I’ve said little about the much rumored, speculated, and bally-hooed Motu Proprio that will allegedly free the Tridentine Mass and, if some rumors are to be believed, inaugurate the eschaton.
But this from CWN leads to a discussion on that page that I must draw attention to.
DV: Remember that even the very traditional-minded young priests coming out of the several good seminaries are unlikely to know Latin. I know one excellent young priest who would LOVE to say the Trid Mass — except that he does not know Latin! …
G: Whenever I have said that I and most Catholics don’t understand Latin so Trid Mass will be hard to hear or implement, folks on this site have told me to buy a Latin-English Missal, with Latin on one side and English on the other. Buy your priest one of these and write out the Latin for him phonetically. Then he’ll be good to go! If it’s apparently not important for us to understand Latin to attend the Trid Mass, maybe it’s not important for the priest to know Latin to say the Mass. …
S: Una Voce has teamed with FSSP to form an intensive study program designed to “re-train” priests in the TLM. …
C: There are many videos and books explaining how to offer the Traditional Mass. Get some for your priests.
So, there seem to be a lot of folks who think you don’t need to learn the language. Just be able to pronounce it. Just make the noises and go through the motions.
This reminded me of a time some years ago when I was speaking with someone who teaches Latin, and though he is on the more liberal side of things, he was happy when a younger, more conservative, priest came to him asking to learn Latin from him. So the older priest prepared, had Wheelock‘s open, and got into the first lesson with enthusiasm. The younger man, somewhat flummoxed, finally managed to say, “No, I don’t want to learn the language, with all that grammar and vocabulary. I just want to know how to pronounce it so I can celebrate mass in Latin.”
In a previous era, some Protestants referred to the mass as “mummery.” Seems like that could well apply to the situation some folks are so excited about.
n., pl. -ies.
- A performance by mummers.
- A pretentious or hypocritical show or ceremony.
[French mommerie, from Old French momer, to wear a mask, pantomime.]