Sunday, March 3, 2013

Well Then...

Now, most of us Catholics are Latin Rite Catholics. Our theology, prayer, and liturgical traditions stem from the Latin speakers of the Roman Empire who were converted by the Apostles and their successors. To this day, the language of the Latin Rite is well, Latin.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law says this, in Canon 249 with my emphases:
 The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well and have a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry.
Fr. Z points out in several places that the Latin-which is the only official language for the CIC and the overwhelming majority of documents in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis and from the Curia if not all documents- must be known very well. At a minimum, their training should allow them to properly pronounce the formulas for the Sacraments. At best, they should be skilled enough to translate official documents, from the liturgy down to encyclicals, and cover a great degree of nuance, which will ultimately make them better priests and help their flocks as well. Fr. Z's service is what they should aspire to model their own after.

So,  if that is the case, then why is Gloria in excelsis translated in the Missal? Shouldn't priests  everyone know that it is the Glory to God in the highest? Besides, we usually refer to the prayers by their Latin title anyways. Also, if nothing else, priests (I'm sure of it. This is after all a WASP-dominated country, and we have been subjected to the 4-hymn sandwich for 43 years, which becomes the 10-hymn Dagwood at Christmas) have sung "Angels We Have Heard on High" at Christmas time?


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