The use of the vernacular prevailing in a great part of the Church affords at once an imposing sign of fragmentation and an effective help to the corruption of true doctrine.
(hat tip to Father Carota).
Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
With my congratulations to the happy few who today had or will have the possibility of being reminded of the sobering truth mentioned above, in the proper language.
Father Z composed this prayer some years ago.
The original is, as it was to be expected, in Latin, with an English translation. Readers of several countries have added translations in their own language. The translation in “Romanaccio” (Roman dialect) is extremely hilarious but I doubt many people will be able to appreciate it as it deserves…..
As this little blog attracts readers from the most unexpected countries, it might be useful to follow the link and to give a look at the latin and English version and, if available, at the version in one’s own language.
Below the Latin and English Version for convenience.
Oratio ante colligationem in interrete:
Omnipotens aeterne Deus,
qui secundum imaginem Tuam nos plasmasti
et omnia bona, vera, et pulchra,
praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui
Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti,
ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris,
in peregrinationibus per interrete,
et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus
et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
A prayer before logging onto the internet:
Almighty and eternal God,
who created us in Thy image
and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful,
especially in the divine person of Thy Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant, we beseech Thee,
that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor,
during our journeys through the internet
we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee
and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Feast your eyes (and ears!) with this Catholic pearl.
Not only you find here a beautiful Tridentine Solemn Mass almost in its entirety, but you also have the commentary of no less than Fulton Sheen, both explaining details of the Mass and providing a short translation of the Latin text as it is sung. This is the Easter Mass of 1941 in the church of Our Lady Of Sorrows, Chicago.
The beauty and solemnity of this Easter Mass, the reverence, the accuracy of every detail (beautifully explained by Fulton Sheen) put to shame the very thought of getting rid of such breathtaking splendour.
Seriously, what the Conciliar Father were thinking – and in the years immediately after the Council, figuratively speaking, smoking – will always be beyond my simple understanding.
From Una Voce‘s press release, published on Rorate Caeli.
“what is perfectly clear is that the Holy Father has fully restored to the universal Church the traditional Roman rite as enshrined in the liturgical books of 1962, that the rubrics in force in 1962 must be strictly observed, and that Latin and the Usus Antiquior must be taught in seminaries where there is a pastoral need. And this pastoral need must be determined by those who wish to benefit from Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, and not be decided by those many in authority whose natural desire is to prevent their implementation.
Am I the only one noticing a new attitude, a new confidence, and the smell of victory?
This is about a DOXA poll regarding Summorum Pontificum made in 2009, that is: more than 2 years after Summorum Pontificum.
Whilst not entirely new, it is relevant to us because the source is the most prestigious poll institute in Italy. The results of the poll are rather astonishing and are given here in short form:
1) Of those who go to mass at least once a month (rather high in Italy: 51% of the Catholic population), only 64% knew about the possibility of having a Latin Mass. This means that two years after SP, many priests had not considered necessary to even mention the existence of this historic motu proprio. Then they say, of course, that the faithful “don’t want the Mass in Latin”.
2) Asked whether they would have any objection to both the Novus Ordo and the latin Mass being celebrated in their own parish, 71% of the respondents says they would not have any objection at all.
3) Among the weekly churchgoers, 40% would go to the Latin Mass every Sunday. Please read it again, I have checked the numbers! By the way, this means 9 million people every Sunday.
This was a poll made among people who often didn’t even know about Summorum Pontificum and the possibility of having a Mass in Latin and therefore could not educate themselves about the differences of the two masses, let alone assist to the Tridentine Mass for some time to assimilate them. The numbers are therefore nothing less than astonishing and once again, they come from the best known and most reputed polling institution of the Country.It is very obvious that there is a strong appetite, a very vivid interest for the recovery of old Catholic traditions.
If the Pope had more courage to go against his liberal bishops, a generalised use of the Tridentine Mass with an extremely strong following among weekly churchgoers might become the reality in the country in just a few years as there can be no doubt that the enthusiasm for the Tridentine Mass among seminarians is very common.
I thought that in these troubled days, such information might be of some value.
This blog here appears exclusively dedicated to the Rosary in Latin. His wisely anonymous (and therefore, perhaps a “her”) creator did an excellent work in caring for those who have not been exposed to Latin, at all.
The main page has all the prayers in Latin. If you have doubt as to the correct pronunciation, there are several links leading to pronounciation help. There is even an audio version to put what you have learned in practice.
I do understand that for those who have not been exposed to Latin in younger years the switch might come as a shock or that it might be seen as an inuperable obstacle, but this is simply not the case. For generations, innumerable illiterate peasants have recited a number of prayers in Latin and whilst I doubt that their diction was perfect, I am rather persuaded that many of them were better at praying in Latin than many contemporary Brits are at writing in English.
In the case of the rosary, the daily repetition of the prayers will soon allow everyone to feel reasonably comfortable. This is much easier than being confronted with a Latin Mass.
Perhaps the one or the other will take this occasion to give it a try. Perhaps the one or other will take this as motivation to learn and practice the Rosary in his original language first.
I cannot stress enough how important the Rosary is in the economy of salvation. Those who are interested may read more here , here, here, here, here and in the mother of all my blog posts about the Rosary, here
I have already posted about the Rosary and you will find an explanation of what it is – and how beneficial its recitation – under the “Catholic Vademecum” button at the top of this page. In this Month of the Holy Rosary, I have found what I think is a useful integration.
This here is, though, a useful integration because it is a video following you step by step and allowing you to enter into the “rhythm” of the Rosary. Various options are at your disposal, from the background you find mor einspiring to two different sets of video to the possibility of joining an already ongoing rosary recitation or starting from the beginning of the five decades you have picked up for the day.
At any time, a virtual rosary (the object) on the right will tell you at a glance where you are in the process.
This product is really interesting in that it gives to beginners, who might be intimidated and not willing to enter a church to see how it’s done, a comfortable way to follow “how it works”.
On a window below you’ll see how many people are praying together with you. This is another important component of the rosary, a devotion that can also be prayed alone but is best prayed with other faithful.
I personally found the video somewhat distracting and to better focus on the relevant mistery had to close my eyes often, but everyone collects his thoughts in a different way. I also stop to meditate shortly on the mistery before starting the Our Father in order to help myself to stay focused, but accomplished rosary prayers will not have this need.
One day I’ll try to see whether there is something like that in Latin, possibly with all the trimmings like the rosary depiction. For the moment, I dare to hope that this extremely well made product will encourage the one or the other to stop hesitating and to finally start with the recitation of the Rosary.
Creative Minority Report has an interesting contribution about the “America’s Got Talent” TV transmission. It would appear that a young (Catholic) girl called Jackie Evancho was allowed to sing unintelligible songs like Pie Jesu (the nation wondered, stunned, what this may mean) and Panis Angelicus (this was really too much, I suppose)
The last performance was also titled in the same impossibly dead language, called Latin, and the lady sung – incredibile dictu – not only the title (something incomprehensible, Ave Maria I think, who knows…), but the entire song in Latin.
This can, of course, not be true. Let us think about the reservations recently expressed by some progressive priests and bishops, like Rev. Reese about the great difficulties now facing English-speaking faithful having to cope with some modification of the Mass in English.
Having read the profound considerations of Mr. Reese, it is utterly impossible to us to believe that a little girl may have learned an…. an…… entire song not in English, but in a….. a….. foreign language!
It must be a miracle. Otherwise Mr. Reese would look entirely stupid and I am sure that he considers this absolutely inconceivable.
Completely different is then the question how the sender could authorise the singing of something as incomprehensible as that. It is clear that the audience will never, ever be able to grasp the beauty of the music or get to know what it means. You could give them subtitles of course, but this would be such a shock to them! Think of how much they’d have to get accustomed to! It can’t be.
I therefore must assume that:
1) it has been a miracle, or
2) Rev. Reese has been ridiculed by a girl.
According to Anna Arco at the Catholic Herald, a poll conducted among Catholic churchgoers in several European countries reveals that 43% of them think they would attend the Latin Mass every week if it were available to them, and 66% once a month.
As those who attend to two masses every Sunday are rather rare and those who attend several times a week are also not terribly frequent, what emerges is that without even having access to the TLM, almost half of the interviewed say that if the Latin mass was available, they would ditch the Novus Ordo and proceed to excusively attend the Tridentine Mass.
This calls, I think, for the following considerations:
1) all those “trendy” bishops who do whatever they can to boycott the Tridentine in their diocese very well know why they do it. They may claim that there is no interest but they perfectly well know that the interest would be huge;
2) the survey was made among generic churchgoers; there’s no reason to assume a disproportionate amount of them has had any significant exposure to the Tridentine Mass. It is the tradition that moves them to say that they would attend the TLM, the clear conscience that this is what their forefathers did. This tells a lot about the attraction of the TLM even on those unaware of its intrinsic beauty and reverence.
3) If someone would inform a Coca-Cola drinker about a new type of Coca-Cola, would he say that if introduced he’d automatically switch to the new type? Though not. Why? Well, because he likes Coca-Cola as it is and would therefore not switch to something else just because it is different. What does this say to us about the popularity of the Novus Ordo?
I think that vast part of the churchgoers find the Novus Ordo rather childish, not reverent enough and, in general, superficial. They instinctively know, even without having assisted to a TLM, that the Church has much better to offer. Therefore when someone prospects to them a Mass they don’t know in a language they don’t know, almost half of those asked say they’d prefer the unknown product they wouldn’t be able to immediately understand to the known one whose shortcomings they understand all too well.
As things are, the TLM would sweep away the Novus ordo in no time, were it to be rolled in in every parish and celebrated reverently.
Unfortunately, it appear we’ll have to wait and do the Sixty-Eighters the favour of waiting that they die. A favour they didn’t grant to old people in the Sixties.
Below, some chosen lines out of a Vatican document of the past (feel free to skip at will 😉 ):
The Church […] values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold.
But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.
And since in God’s special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire — and that for so many centuries — it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See. Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.
Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among Peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.
Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin formal structure. Its “concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity” makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.
For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority “as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws.”
She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.
Thus the “knowledge and use of this language,” so intimately bound up with the Church’s life, “is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons”.
“For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time … of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular.”
[..] Latin [..] is set and unchanging. It has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.
[..] the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.
In addition, the Latin language “can be called truly catholic.” It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed “a treasure … of incomparable worth”.
It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church’s teaching. It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.
I could go on, but I think that you get the gist: this is a passionate praise of the inestimable value of Latin and of its being the only possible preferred choice for the Universal Church.
Who is the author of this? The strong anti-modernist Crusader St. Pius X perhaps? The rigid Dobermann (said in a good sense) of Orthodoxy Pius XI? Or maybe the severe, solemn, saintly diplomatic Pius XII?
None of these, dear readers. This is all taken from Veterum Sapientia, the Apostolic Constitution “on the Promotion of the Study of Latin” authored by…. John XXIII and promulgated with great pomp just a few months before the beginning of the Second Vatican Catastrophe!
This Apostolic Constitution gives you all the scale of the subversion of traditional Catholic mentality (not talking of dogmas here, merely of the general outlook on life) perpetrated during and after Vatican II. The clear impression is that V II itself has been a subversion of the very traditional “Spirit of pre-V II” which had been the basis for the preparation of the very Council; and that after the conclusion of V II, a new wave of subversion started, with the forces of demolition now unleashed and determinedly bent on subverting V II itself.
Veterum Sapientia dates February 1962. Only five years later Vatican II itself was being happily demolished by the new orgy of renewal at all cost. The Aggiornamento was eating his own children.
In my eyes, this bears two lessons for us:
1) once you begin to play with ideas of Aggiornamento, you open a Pandora’s box of great devastating power.
2) If such a great amount of devastation could be executed in just a few years without leading to the disintegration of the Church, I can’t see why a comparable amount of restoration should not be possible within the same timeframe. The Church is not a fragile LibCon coalition government needing protection from every jolt. It is a rather stabile, rock-solid institution under the protection of the Holy Spirit.
The Church has survived a great amount of falsity and heretical infiltrations. There is no limit to the amount of Truth it can withstand.
“Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria….”
It is sad to think that these words, once devotedly pronounced by countless faithful every day, nowadays rarely adorn Catholic lips. One cannot avoid noticing that when prayers where recited in the allegedly so tough Latin the faithful actually prayed a lot more than today that everything has been made easy for them. There is a lesson to be learned here, I think: you don’t do any favour to the faithful by making things shallow; you merely encourage them to become shallow themselves.
The neglect of the Memorare is particularly unfortunate, because this is a powerful prayer. I see in it the fundamental optimism and the simple but solid faith of the Catholic knowing that the Blessed Virgin will intercede for him without fail and just for the asking. This is not the prayer of one who hopes, but of one who knows that his prayer will go straight to the Queen of Heaven. The key words of the prayer are “non esse auditum a saeculo” (“that never was it known”) and “esse derelictum” (“was left unaided”). If you hear this prayer once or twice you will probably instantly remember this powerful statement and its far reaching promise: that given the proper attitude, the Blessed Virgin intercedes without fail for anyone who addresses her.
This is powerful stuff. This is the Catholicism of our forefathers, who were less used than us to rely on secular institutions to sort out their problems and rather accustomed to look heavenward in their troubles. The Memorare forces us to face the fact that Mary’s intercession is not something existing in an undetermined dimension somewhere between a child’s tale and a vague hope, but a very concrete reality in which we can take refuge every day.
Our ancestors – solidly rooted in Catholicism irrespective of their education level – were naturally familiar with such a concept, but the present generation vastly ignores the very notion of the Communion of Saints, nor will you find many priests willing to take care that such basics elements of Catholicism are universally and thoroughly understood. This ruthless massacre of everything specifically Catholic – and his substitution with a protestantised, simplified and banalised undersatanding of Catholic prayer and devotion – was perhaps not positively encouraged, but certainly made possible by the “aggiornamento”. Some fifty years later, Catholic desolation is what this passion for “change” has engendered: once commonly used devotions have disappeared, once beloved prayers are almost forgotten and mainstays of Catholic thinking, powerful tools in a world of insecurity and trouble, have been utterly and wilfully neglected.
I may be wrong, but my impression is that the rediscovery of this and other beautiful ancient prayers is the result of the rediscovery of Latin and of the growing awareness that together with Latin a rich patrimony of Catholic traditions and devotions has been thrown into the dust bin. I wonder how one can rediscover traditional Catholicism without recovering Latin, and vice versa.
The Enchiridion of Indulgences states that a partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite the Memorare.
You can find here both the Latin and English version, together with the most succinct and easy to understand historical information I could find.