Wednesday, September 26, 2012
THE PERFECT LATIN / VERNACULAR BLEND?
Celebrating both forms of the one Roman Rite as I do, causes me to reflect on both forms and why changes were made to the Roman Rite Mass following Vatican II.
As I've said, time and time before, the one change that I think was most widely approved was to the vernacular although initially Latin was not to be removed altogether. I think the mix of Latin and vernacular in the 1965 missal, which is still of the Order of the 1962 Roman Missal with all of its prayers in tact, was a good step that then went to far in the 1970 reformed Roman Missal.
What would be a good blend between the vernacular and Latin and make the Mass once again universal in language?
About two years before the revised English translation was official, at St. Joseph Church we jettisoned the old English greetings and returned to the Latin ones. By that I mean, "Dominus Vobiscum," the Preface Dialogue and "The Peace of the Lord..." with the Latin responses by the laity. At first there was a group that did not appreciate this change, but by the end of the first month, everyone was either singing or saying their Latin response with gusto and naturally. In fact, I was a bit depressed when we implemented the new English responses having to drop the Latin.
Why not make the Latin responses mandatory in the current missal?
Our parish also knows the Greek Kyrie and one version of the Latin Sanctus and the Agnus Dei. Many know the Latin Gloria we sing at the EF Mass along with the Credo.
Why not make the Kyrie (Greek of course)and the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster, and Agnus Dei mandatory in Latin in our current Roman Missal?
I personally like all the Eucharistic prayers in the Roman Missal except for #4 which I seldom use. Besides the typical four that most hear, there are also two for Reconciliation which are quite beautiful and four others for special occasions all of which I think are quite befitting for worshiping God. Because of the variety that are possible during the Mass, I personally think that the vernacular is good for the Eucharistic Prayer although I'm not opposed to the Latin versions. Perhaps a good compromise would have been to make the Epiclesis as well as the words of consecration the same in all of the Eucharistic Prayers and that these alone be in Latin with a quiet or "low voice" or always chanted--that would be a wonderful adjustment, no?
Certainly all the changing parts of the Mass should be in the vernacular like the Introit, Collect, Prayer over the Gifts, Preface, Eucharistic Prayer, and Post Communion Prayer as well as the Offertory and Communion Antiphons. But there is no reason why these can't be in Latin as an option which is possible even now.
In other words, I recognize that the personal idiosyncrasies of priests and parishes could have a hybrid of Latin and English now or all Latin with the modern Roman Missal. But the Mass shouldn't be built upon idiosyncratic good intentions but upon universal principles that I suggest above for the use of Latin exclusively.