Sunday, December 20, 2015

DOES THE VULGAR LANGUAGE CREATE SUCH FAMILIARITY THAT CONTEMPT FOLLOWS?


John Nolan wrote the following comment concerning the Ordinary Form of the Mass as he has experienced it in England with my comment following It was from:

"PRIESTS WHO CHANGE THE WORDS OF THE MASS BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY ARE SUPERIOR IN KNOWLEDGE TO MAGISTERIUM WHICH HAS PUBLISHED THESE TEXTS IN THE REVISED AND GLORIOUS RETRANSLATION OF THE MASS IN ENGLISH":

John Nolan said...
In the 45 years since the Novus Ordo Missae was adopted I have never seen or heard any example of irreverence, disregard of rubrics, ad-libbing, unauthorized alteration of texts, inappropriate music, perambulating priests with hand microphones, clown noses or anything that could be classed as an abuse - when the said Novus Ordo is celebrated in Latin.

December 20, 2015 at 5:01 AM
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Blogger Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...
I have often said that the abuses in the "new Mass" came primarily from familiarity with the vernacular that produces vulgar responses (in some practitioners). Familiarity breeds contempt. Most of the abuses that have become legend have to do with the vulgar language and the contempt for the sacred it somehow create(s). I suspect, though, if one were to use exclusively the new Personal Ordinariate Mass with its "Elizabethan style language" this might prevent some of the vulgarity that you attribute to Latin preventing. I think I'll make your comment and mine into a post!

December 20, 2015 at 5:25 AM

 Here is Eucharistic Prayer II (there are only two allowed in "Divine Worship, the Missal" and the Roman Canon is expected for Sunday but Eucharistic Prayer II may be used for weekday Masses, a wonderful compromise!) Of course it isn't called Eucharistic Prayer II but rather "Alternative Eucharistic Prayer." Please note the elegant Elizabethan style language which acts as Latin and thus becomes "sacral" as it isn't the vulgar language of the streets! I think this Missal if used by the Ordinary Form Latin Rite Mass, in lieu of a mandated Latin Mass would accomplish the resacralization of the Mass through a "sacred language" easily understood by English speakers but dead nonetheless like Latin!

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts: heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High. + Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Truly thou art Holy, O Lord, the fount of all holiness. 

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down thy Spirit upon them like the dewfall, that they may become for us the Body + and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: Take this, all of you , and eat of it: for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

He genuflects, shows the consecrated Host to the People,places it on the paten, and again genuflects in adoration...  

Likewise, when supper was ended, he took the chalice and, once more giving thanks, he gave it to his disciples, saying: 

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me. 

He genuflects, shows the consecrated Host to the People,places it on the paten, and again genuflects in adoration...   

(my astute observation and comment: sadly the "thees and thous" are not logically extended to the words of consecration for some odd reason. Was it to keep these "sacred" words identical to the Ordinary English Form? It isn't logical.)

...Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer thee, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation, giving thanks that thou hast accounted us worthy to be in they presence and minister to thee. Humbly we pray, that partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gather into one by the Holy Spirit.

Remember, Lord, thy Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with N. our Poe, N., our bishop... and all the clergy.  

Remember also our brethren who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection and all who have died in thy mercy. Welcome them into the light of thy countenance. Have mercy on us all, we pray thee, that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Blessed Joseph, her Spouse, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased thee throughout the ages, we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may laud and glorify thee through thy Son, Jesus Christ.

By whom and with whom and in whom, to thee, O Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory throughout all ages, world without end.

Amen. 
 
 

16 comments:

JBS said...

Where would one substitute a "thee" or "thou" in the words of Consecration?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: Take this, all of you (thee) , and eat of it: for this is my Body, which will be given up for you (thee).


Same for the chalice

Take this, all of you (thee), and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you (thee) and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.

Ceile De said...

Father
Thou and thee have only ever been singular on English, never plural.

Bernard Fischer said...

The Mass in Latin, EF or OF, has a very different place in the Church today than perhaps it did in earlier times. Today to say the Mass in Latin is almost an act of resistance. Parishes may have sacrificed much to secure a Mass spoken in Latin and priests may have had to learn it on the sly lest their liberal seminary staff learn about it and expel them. Furthermore, the parish offering the Mass in Latin is likely the only one within many miles. Perhaps the only one in the whole diocese. In that situation, you're not going to put up with nonsense. You went to all that effort to get the Latin, you're going to make sure you get a reverent liturgy. Nothing added, nothing subtracted and nothing altered.

Although I wasn't around, I have heard plenty of stories of mumbled Low Masses that took all of 15 minutes. They didn't value the Latin Mass like we do today because it was as mundane as the vernacular mass is today and the Mass itself wasn't the reason people came but the style of the priest: the sermon, or the speed or whatever. And if you didn't like what was on offer you could go to the next parish down the road where you'd get the same mass, but more to your liking. My hometown OF parish lost parishioners because another parish had shorter masses. The Mass was 10 minutes shorter. Of course people had to drive an extra 20 minutes to get to it but there you have it. Adding nonsense like liturgical abuse, magic tricks in homilies, liturgical dancing is just part and parcel with the consumer approach to the Mass, regardless of what language it's in.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thank you CD, obviously I am not familiar with nor speak Old English, but I can learn! :)

Ceile De said...

Father
I studied only a little bit of Old English - it is a very arcane point now.
Just as in modern French "tu" is singular (informal/intimate) but "vous" is both you plural and singular (formal), in Old English (and even today, as I understand it, in parts of Northern England), "thou" is singular (and informal) whereas "you" is plural and singular (but formal). I think there is an equivalent distinction in Italian but you would know more about that than me.
Interestingly, in French, people use the "vous" form (as children used to do in addressing a parent) when addressing Mary in the Ave Maria but the "Tu" form in the Pater Noster (that may just possibly be a post-Vatican II innovation!).
Thank you for all your work on the blog. (Or should that be, I thank thee for all thy work on the blogge.)

Ceile De said...

If you will forgive a PS, my wife (who attended the winter chant intensive at your parish a few years ago) reminds me that, in the Latin, it is "nomen Tuum" not "nomem Vostrum". I think in Latin, "tu" was always singular and "vos" always plural, without the formal/informal distinction.

Tony V said...

Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%E2%80%93V_distinction

John Nolan said...

'Thou' is the archaic second person singular which persisted in poetry and prayers after it disappeared from everyday speech. In Shakespeare's time the second person plural 'you' was also the polite singular form (cf the French 'tu' and 'vous') but whereas French has preserved the distinction, in English the polite form drove out the familiar form altogether.

The Quakers hung on to 'thou' to indicate equality and humility, and it also persisted in Yorkshire dialect as in the saying 'if tha does owt for nowt, do it for thisen' (if you do anything for nothing, do it for yourself).

Those who celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin do so because they wish to preserve the musical and liturgical traditions of the Roman Rite and are hardly likely to want to mess around with it. Regarding Bernard Fischer's comment above, a Sunday Low Mass in the 'old days' would have included a sermon, preceded by the reading of the epistle and gospel in English from the pulpit and the parish notices. The length of the Mass depended on the length of the sermon, and some priests could easily preach for twenty minutes. Weekday masses were shorter but even with few communicants and a brisk priest you'd be looking at least twenty minutes. The 'twelve minute Mass' is something of an urban myth. The priest would have had to talk over the server's responses and miss out a lot of the prayers. I'm not saying it wasn't done, but it wasn't usual.

The modern fashion for preaching at weekday OF Masses puts an extra burden on the priest and if it had been the norm in the 1950s it would have dissuaded people from attending.

gob said...

Eugene...we could use some vulgar language here, dude. Help us out.

Flavius Hesychius said...

CD,

In Latin there is no T-V distinction. They function only as plural and singular. The feature is also missing in Ancient Greek and Old English. A distinction did exist in Early Medieval Latin, but given Latin's lack of native speakers, it is essentially defunct.

In Louisiana French, vous is used in prayer. I have never heard tu used. In France, though, tu is used for some reason, although traditionally vous was used.

Gene said...

Gob, RE: vulgar language. Ok, here ya' go: Democrat, Obama, Clinton, OF, socialism, Communism, progressive, humanist, global warming, Gob, liberal. There...haven't heard cussing like that since my momma slammed the washing machine lid on her boob.

Ceile De said...

Thanks Flavius
I think I might be right about the "tu" form in French being a Spirit of Vatican II innovation (Not one with which I have an issue).

George said...


When St. Bernadette gave an account of the apparition to her of the Blessed Virgin, one of the things that made an impression on her was that the lady that appeared and spoke to her did not use the informal form of address (tu), but rather the polite form (vous).

John Nolan said...

Before Vat.2 Catholic vernacular prayers, including the Pater Noster, used 'vous'. The vernacular French Mass uses 'tu' throughout, no doubt for 'ecumenical' reasons, which has affected the Pater, but not the Ave which still begins 'Je vous salue, Marie'. Litanies and traditional prayers, such as the St Michael prayer, usually retain the 'vous' form. Catholics often used 'Ainsi soit-il' instead of 'Amen'.

In England the Anglicans adopted the Catholic wording ('who art in heaven', 'on earth', 'those who') although they add the power and glory bit at the end; we adopted the Anglican 'Ah-men' which out of habit I still don't use when praying in English.

Do they use 'vous' in a French Mass in Louisiana?

Flavius Hesychius said...

Unfortunately not. Because of canonical requirements regarding foreign language texts, France's are used.

Most francophones in LA go to English Masses, anyway. The French translation is rather sad (like the pre-2011 English one) and the use of tu is offensive.