Saturday, March 7, 2015


From Henry:

Dom Alcuin Reid has an extraordinarily informative article (click here) at NLM today, on that so-called "first Mass in Italian" on March 7, 1965.

That was actually the date of implementation of the instruction Inter Oecumenici “On the Proper Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy”. This Instruction made the changes in the traditional Mass that appear in the 1965 Ordo Missae—simplification of the initial prayers at the foot of the altar, elimination of the final Gospel, introduction of the prayers of the faithful—allowing for some use of the vernacular but retaining Latin for the Preface and Roman Canon (then still the only EP, and more important than the Latin, retaining most of the ritual action and ceremonies of the traditional Mass.

It may be inferred that at this “first Mass in Italian” Paul VI actually said the Preface and Canon in Italian, as well as the other “prayers said only by the priest” (presumably including the collect, super oblata, and postcommunion prayer). It is unclear whether the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, etc) was said in Italian.

In any event:

“it is worth noting that no less than Klaus Gamber judged the 1965 Ordo Missae (there was no 1965 Missale Romanum) to be the last form of the traditional Roman rite, appropriately reformed according to the provisions of the Council.” (As was plainly stated without reservation in the new revised 1965-1966 hand missals published in the U.S.)


Michael said...

I said this over at Fr. Z's blog a few days ago, but wouldn't it be funny in an ironic kind of way if, after Pope Francis' commemorative Mass, he had another Mass commemorating whenever a Pope said the NO in Latin for the first time since the Council?

Or, even more ironic: if he said *this* Mass, all in Latin! What a message that would send!

John Nolan said...

It cannot be inferred that the Canon was said aloud and in Italian; this would imply that an unofficial and unapproved translation was used, and in 1965 recitation of the Canon aloud was only permitted in concelebrated Masses. However the Kyrie, Sanctus/Benedictus and Agnus Dei would have been recited in Italian by everyone - these were the first texts to be put into the vernacular. I don't know if official translations for the Collect, Super Oblata and Postcommunion were available (they weren't in England, but I'm told the US used the Maryknoll versions). If available, they would have been used.

Everything the priest said aloud could be in the vernacular (even the Orate Fratres although the Offertory prayers themselves were still in Latin). So for those attending on 7/3/65 it was to all intents and purposes a Mass in Italian.

As I pointed out earlier, the rubrics for the papal Low Mass cum populo appear to be still in place. If you enlarge the photograph you can spot the bugia (it's the thinner candle in front of the 'big six')

Anonymous said...

I mistyped but meant to say it may be inferred that at this so-called “first Mass in Italian” Paul VI actually said the Preface and Canon in LATIN, as well as the other “prayers said only by the priest” (including the collect, super oblata, and postcommunion). [Since this was what IO specified.]

My best guess is that, if Inter Oecumenici had--as apparently intended at the time--remained the final and definitive instruction implementing Sacrosanctum Concilium, and the silliness of the 1960s had been brought under control--instead of being allowed to run wild, thereby overwhelming the intentions of the bishops at Vatican II--then the "new Mass" would have included the 1965 Ordo Missae, a still largely traditional simplication of the 1962 Mass with only the Roman Canon, but without the new calendar and propers of the Novus Ordo.

And that the Faith would have not been so ravaged by the perfect storm of 1960s cultural chaos combined with the “spirit of Vat II”. Because the 1965 Order of Mass, including vernacular in the people's parts but retaining Latin for the priest-only prayers (including the Roman Canon as the only EP), was welcomed by a majority of pew Catholics without destroying their faith, as did the subsequent wholesale abandonment (in the Novus Ordo) of the traditional liturgy which had historically sustained the faith of Catholics.

And perhaps the normative Mass now would have the variable parts of the Mass (propers and readings) in the vernacular, but the fixed parts (Ordinary, offertory, preface, Eucharistic prayer, etc) in Latin.

Anonymous said...

It's also the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma....The President is about to give a speech from there....

Michael said...

Having now seen the Mass...Am I the only one who wishes that EP 2 would be forbidden entirely (or at least, very severely restricted in its use)?

Anonymous said...

EP II is not supposed to be used on Sundays and solemnities,however commonly ignored is this "suggestion"--which in typical VaticanIIese is expressed by especially "recommending" its use on days other than these.

A priest whose OF Masses I frequently attend, uses only EP I on Sundays and solemnities, and only EP III on feasts and memorials. EP II may not be entirely objectionable if its use is restricted to ferial weekdays,

John Nolan said...

I remember being told when the Novus Ordo first came out that EP II was the 'Canon of Hippolytus' and the oldest anaphora known to have been used in Rome (Hippolytus was martyred in 236) Fr Cipriano Vaggagini (who disliked the Roman Canon and is the author of EP III) might have convinced himself of this, but more recent scholarship doubts whether the prayer can be attributed to Hippolytus or that it was ever used as an anaphora. The original Greek text is lost.

EP II uses phrases from the text but does not reproduce it. Some of the 'Hippolytan' elements are incorporated into its proper Preface, and it does not make sense to use it with another Preface, which is what happens when it is used on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

Who all watched the Selma activities and speeches this afternoon?

I thought not.....

George said...

Hippolytus is considered to be the most important theologian and religious writer before the age of Constantine. His writings are the fullest source of our knowledge of the Roman liturgy and the structure of the Church in the second and third centuries. Interestingly,he had himself elected antipope(after Callistus, whom he disagreed with on doctrine and discipline, was elected pope) and remained in schism through the reign of three popes. He was eventually banished to Sardinia (along with Pope Pontian). Somewhere around this time he was reconciled to the Church and subsequently died still in exile. He along with Pope Pontian are considered to be a martyrs. He was a overzealous defender of orthodoxy but never a formal heretic.

John Nolan said...

EP IV, another new composition (or fabrication - the word is not in itself pejorative) is loosely based on the anaphora of St Basil the Great. Check out the original, it's magnificent. The epiclesis comes after the Institution narrative, as is the tradition in the East; in EP IV it is before the consecration. This EP is especially suited to weekdays where there is no Creed, and it is not too short.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I seldom if every use EP IV as it is redundant when the Creed is used on Sunday. I find it too long for weekday use so I must confess I am a fan of EP II for weekdays. I sometimes use it at our 5 PM Mass on Sundays because I've run out of liturgical steam by that time!

Anonymous said...

I know a couple of priests who claim to use EP II precisely one day each year. However, one says he "forgot" to do so last year, and hence to make it up faces the ordeal of subjecting himself to EP II twice this year.

Anonymous said...

How sick to see the High Altar and communion rail ripped out and gone forever. Martin Luther, Cranmer, Huss would all be proud to see the elimination of the Roman Church and Bergoglio loves it!!!! Please Holy Ghost send us a savior in Rome and restore to us the TLM and send the Novus Ordo to the bins of darkness. Our souls are in limbo

Ted said...

Dom Alcuin in this article refers to a Denzinger entry which is actually Canon IX of the 22nd session of the Council of Trent. Here is an English translation:
"CANON IX.--If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema." In my understanding, a canon of a valid council becomes an invariable article of faith. The Vatican II council followed up on this and repeated the requirement that Latin be retained in the Roman liturgy, although some vernacular was allowed.
These have given me problems. We all know that in the New Mass the total use of the vernacular and of a non-silent Eucharistic prayer is an enforced rule by the highest Church authorities, yet that seems to contradict the teachings of the councils, and so would imply heresy. Trent declared that canon against some Protestants whose raison d'etre was partly a condition of a completely vernacular liturgy and of a read aloud Eucharistic prayer. Does anyone have any observations on this?

George said...

CANON IX says to me that no one (even the Holy Father) can disallow, prohibit or abrogate these things. What is interesting to me in the way it is written is that it does not say that these are mandatory. So it does allow for other forms.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Ted - Jeffrey Mirus writes at EWTN: "The liturgical directives in force at any given time may tend to illuminate or obscure the fundamental mysteries which the liturgy enshrines, according to the wisdom and prudence (or lack thereof) of the competent authority (usually the Holy See). But liturgical directives remain human laws about how to do things, not definitions of faith and morals. As such, liturgical directives are not protected by the Holy Spirit in the same way that definitions of Faith are.

To put this another way, liturgical directives are matters of policy that affect the Faith, but not matters of Faith themselves. There is no guarantee of infallibility for Church policy. This in no way implies that liturgical directives are "unimportant". They just aren't matters of faith in and of themselves; they can, in fact, be good, bad or indifferent."

The statements about the liturgy from Canon IX if Trent aren't meant to be - and actually can't be - infallible and/or irreformable. Liturgical guidelines, even when expressed in the statements of Trent, are not matters of the faith, so changing them can't be considered matters of "heresy."

"Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;..." This doesn't apply to liturgical guidelines.

George - The Church does have the authority to establish new rites, change existing rites, or prohibit celebrations according to various rites.

George said...

Fr Kavanaugh

Ok. It is not an unimportant thing to note that while there can be changes to the Mass, that what is contained in the Liturgical and Eucharistic prayers cannot contradict Church teaching. While it is true that the Liturgy be changed, it does not mean that a particular change is an end in itself and cannot be improved upon or modified in some way.

Digital recording was a leap in technology but some musicians have gone back to analog because they preferred the sound. Both are used depending on one's preference. Of course the liturgy is far more important than a recording medium.

Ted said...

Fr Kavanaugh:
Thank you for your comment. I do not think, however, that things are so tidy with anathemas. An "anathema sit" means excommunication typically due to heresy. The Trent council fathers thought liturgical matters pertained to doctrine, otherwise there would be no reason for excommunication. The council of Trent did not make distinctions between liturgical directives and matters of faith and morals in their anathemas. Indeed, I suspect the council fathers were defending the gift of the Mass they thought was God given to the Roman Church.
Even if what Dr Mirus says were true, that would make things even more pernicious: people in one generation are excommunicated for something that in another generation becomes quite acceptable. That makes mockery of the Church as Magister.

Rood Screen said...

Ted and Father Kavanaugh,

The "anathema sit" means it is a doctrinal definition. That particular canon, however, does not say that the (Eucharistic) Canon cannot be recited in a loud voice or in another language. It only says that it is heresy to condemn the use of Latin or the low voice in recitation of the Canon. Rome's acceptance of the Eastern liturgical rites (loud voice, no Latin) helps clarify this.

Ted said...

Thanks for your comment. The Trent fathers were addressing the Roman rite, something which was very sacred for them and for many Catholics before and after this council. My understanding of Canon IX is that anyone who says that this Mass of St Gregory the Great ought to be ONLY in the vernacular is, quite simply, a heretic.
Certainly, the Church can institute a new rite. I think Benedict XVI made things more complicated when he declared that there are 2 forms of the same Roman Rite. That would imply that anyone who says the Novus Ordo Mass should only be in the vernacular, such as in English, is a heretic. Many in high places in the Church have said this and continue to say this.

Rood Screen said...


Those canons were written in very precise phrases, and must be read, preferably in Latin, as they are written.

As for creating new "rites", it depends upon what is meant by this term. Generally speaking, there is an established school of thought, of which Pope Benedict is a member, that insists that God's will is for liturgical rites to develop organically, like a vine, from the Apostles through history. In this understanding, the rites are the product of a dialogue between man and God, and so man must carefully discern God's guiding hand in the development of liturgical rites. Had Pope Benedict declared the reformed Roman Rite to be a new creation without an unbroken lineage traceable to the Apostles, then it's legitimacy would be in question.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - "It is heresy to say that one cannot say the canon quietly."

Is this what you say Trent said? If so, what revealed truth is being denied? The authority of the Church to set guidelines for liturgy?

Also, does "anathema sit" always equal "you are a heretic?"! A person who procures and abortion is "cast out" (anathema) but is not guilty of heresy.

Ted - Liturgical guidelines are not revealed Truth. Heresy applies only to "...the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth..."

The choice of language, Latin or vernacular, for any celebration of any mass is not revealed Truth.

No, there is no mockery being made here. The Church has the authority to make laws and to impose penalties, to re-make laws and relax or eliminate penalties. In 1984, for example, the penalty of excommunication for Catholics who divorced a spouse was lifted.

Ted said...

I think you all for your observations.
To complicate things further I would like to introduce this text from the Old Catholic Encyclopedia:
"Anathema remains a major excommunication which is to be promulgated with great solemnity....The Roman Pontifical reproduces it in the chapter Ordo excommunicandi et absolvendi, distinguishing three sorts of excommunication: minor excommunication, formerly incurred by a person holding communication with anyone under the ban of excommunication; major excommunication, pronounced by the Pope in reading a sentence; and anathema, or the penalty incurred by crimes of the gravest order, and solemnly promulgated by the Pope."
The Council of Trent spoke in terms of anathemas, the gravest of crimes. Since the pope formally approved the Tridentine Canons with their anathemas, I do not think these doctrinal issues of the liturgy can be very easily dismissed.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Ted - These are not doctrinal matters. They are discipline matters.

There are doctrinal matters in the mass - the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. Only a validly ordained priest can validly confect the Eucharist.

Also, I don't think we maintain the three levels of excommunication you refer to. We have excommunication, suspension, and interdict.

But the level of voice one uses when saying the canon of the mass cannot be properly construed as a doctrinal matter.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Ted - Another quote on the malleability of the liturgy:

"The rite of the Mass by its nature involves much changeable discipline, as opposed to simply unchangeable doctrine.[1] Consistent with previous and subsequent Popes, Pope Saint Pius V used ecclesiastical terms like “forever” and “in perpetuity” to safeguard the liturgy. But these terms do not bind future Popes from altering the disciplines, who themselves would have “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power” [2] in their respective pontificates. This fact is well known among canonists and liturgists. The Tridentine Rite itself was based on previous rites and, by the
time Pope Paul VI issued his apostolic constitution (Missale Romanum) that promulgated the Missale Romanum in 1969, several Popes already had modified the Tridentine Rite several times without controversy."

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1125.

[2] Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition (Washington DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1999) canon 331. See also the 1917 Code of Canon Law, “The Roman
Pontiff, being the successor of St. Peter, possesses not only an honorary primacy, but supreme and full power of jurisdiction in the whole Church concerning matters of faith and morals as well as of discipline and government” (canon 218, §1).

Ted said...

dFr. Kavanaugh:
Yes indeed, there are many changeable disciplines for the Mass. Yet the Council of Trent singled out just a few issues regarding the Mass and chose to use the formal "anathema sit" that is used for dogmatic canons of ecumenical councils. Is the Tridentine Canon IX of S22 a dogmatic canon or is it not? If the fathers did not consider it a dogmatic canon why would they not have used a different formula and approach?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Ted - Is "anathema sit" used exclusively for doctrinal/dogmatic matters?

Given that liturgical regulations are not doctrinal/dogmatic, I think the answer is "No."

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Surely you can see that it is heresy to condemn the "silent" and Latin canon as contrary to the Christian Faith. It is one thing to argue for a vernacular and audible canon, as was the accepted practice in the East (the Roman Canon, too, was never recited in Latin in Dalmatia), but quite another to condemn the established Western practice as contrary to the Gospel. What is more central to the Faith than the Eucharistic Prayer?

The canon in question is clearly not applying a penalty for immoral behavior, but "cutting off" those who condemn the Roman practice on the basis of it being "contrary" to the intentions of Christ.

Anonymous said...

"The Tridentine Rite itself was based on previous rites and, by the time Pope Paul VI issued his apostolic constitution (Missale Romanum) that promulgated the Missale Romanum in 1969, several Popes already had modified the Tridentine Rite several times without controversy."

Well, actually, when the FSSP celebrated on 9/14/2007 (the implementation day of Summorum Pontificum) the first "Tridentine" Mass broadcast on EWTN, they used an altar missal printed in the late 1500s, itself said to be textually identical to a Roman missal of the early 1400's over a century before the so-called "revision" of Pius V.

View the video of this 2007 Mass with your 1962 missal in hand, and you will see that it’s identical word for Latin word, with the commemoration of St. Joseph that Pope John XXIII inserted in the Roman Canon. This 1962 insertion was the first change of a single Latin word of the Roman Canon in almost fourteen centuries, since Pope Gregory the Great inserted the “save us from eternal damnation” clause in the Hanc igitur (circa 600 AD).

Anonymous said...

Having declared myself wary of anonymous commentors, let me say that I inadvertently posted the "Anonymous" comment of 1:42 pm today. Henry Edwards

Henry said...

Sure "Anonymous Henry"....a likely story. Actually I was the one who wrote it.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - Are you saying that Trent said, "It is heresy to say that one cannot say the canon quietly."?

If you say that this is Trent's intention, then what divine truth is being denied, since heresy applies only to "...the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth...".

Rood Screen said...


I thought it seemed too rational and informed to be the usual Anonymous!

Ted said...

Fr. Kavanaugh:
What you are saying is not supported by statements from the Council of Trent.

In the preamble to S22, we find the following:
"The sacred and holy, ecumenical and general Synod of Trent--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legates of the Apostolic Sec presiding therein--to the end that the ancient, complete, and in every part perfect faith and doctrine touching the great mystery of the Eucharist may be retained in the holy Catholic Church; and may, all errors and heresies being repelled, be preserved in its own purity; (the Synod) instructed by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, teaches, declares; and decrees what follows, to be preached to the faithful, on the subject of the Eucharist, considered as being a true and singular sacrifice."

Now, a canon is called a canon because it teaches an immutable truth about the Faith. In prefacing the list of canons for that session, the following is said:
"And because that many errors are at this time disseminated and many things are taught and maintained by divers persons, in opposition to this ancient faith, which is based on the sacred Gospel, the traditions of the Apostles, and the doctrine of the holy Fathers; the sacred and holy Synod, after many and grave deliberations maturely had touching these matters, has resolved, with the unanimous consent of all the Fathers, to condemn, and to eliminate from holy Church, by means of the canons subjoined, whatsoever is opposed to this most pure faith and sacred doctrine." And then all 9 canons are listed for that session. Clearly the council considered these canons as de fide statements.

Canon IX specifically teaches that it is an error against the Catholic Faith to prohibit Latin from being used for the Roman Mass.

For those interested in an English translation of the whole S22, here is the link:

Rood Screen said...

Father Kavanaugh,

The Protestant leaders did not condemn Catholic practices simply because they thought them to be in bad taste or pastorally obsolete, but because they believed them to be contrary to the Gospel. Thus, it was a doctrinal issue.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

JBS - Are you saying that Trent said, "It is heresy to say that one cannot say the canon quietly."?

If so, what truth is being denied? It seems you are now asserting that the practice of praying the canon quietly has a basis in the Gospels? IS that the case?

Ted - A canon is called a canon because it is part of a list. For example: "With its political machinations, personal and institutional racism and a scandalous interracial relationship as the tipping point, Othello is the most St Louis-ready play in Shakespeare's canon."

A saint is "canonized" meaning he/she is added to the list of Saints.

I would ask you the same question I have asked JBS - What Truth (divinely revealed) is being denied by those in favor of using the vernacular in mass?

John Nolan said...

Father Kavanaugh

A person who procures an abortion is not 'cast out' - she (or he) incurs a latae sententiae excommunication which is not reserved to the Holy See, is not public, and is lifted following Confession and Absolution. That is, if the excommunication is incurred in the first place; the eminent canonist Dr Edward Peters has observed that there are so many 'get out' clauses in Canon Law that it is difficult if not impossible to be sure that any automatic excommunication is actually incurred.

I would tend to agree with you and Dr Mirus about liturgical directives not being matters of Faith. Paul VI may have had very good reasons for ordering that his Missal be used exclusively and he had the authority to do so. But the very next year he authorized an indult for England and Wales to allow occasional use of the Vetus Ordo. Also, as Newman had pointed out in the previous century, the Church does not suppress any forms that are orthodox, so when Bugnini asked permission to apply for the formal abrogation of the older Rite he was turned down because this would be 'obnoxious to liturgical tradition'.

John Nolan said...


The New Mass allows the vernacular but does not mandate it. Any Mass may be in Latin unless it is specifically scheduled to be in the vernacular. Trent considered allowing the vernacular but decided the time was not opportune.

The Roman Church allowed celebration of its rites in Church Slavonic (the Glagolitic Mass) although this was regarded as a sacred language rather than a vernacular.

Although the faithful have a right to the old Mass, they have no similar right to a Novus Ordo Latin Mass, so one can say the new rite is biased towards the vernacular. A parish priest would not be allowed by his bishop to use Latin exclusively, but he is at liberty to use the vernacular exclusively.

Ted said...

Fr. Kavanaugh:
There are different meanings to "canon". For a council it refers to a dogma or regulation.
The Council of Trent declared what is false to preserve the truth of the Catholic faith. It is false to say that the Roman Mass should only be in the vulgar tongues, and it is false to say that parts of the Eucharistic Canon and words of institution must not be said in a low voice. By implication, it would be true to say that the Mass should be in Latin, or in Latin and the vulgar tongues, which is precisely what the SC of Vatican II says. As for the Canon, I suppose it would be true to say that the Canon can be silent or said in a low voice.

Mr Nolan:
In view of SC I have problems with your last example. SC says Latin is to be maintained in the Roman liturgy. According to both Trent and SC, and if the Novus Ordo is just another form of the Roman Rite, a bishop cannot prohibit some Latin to be used, nor to mandate a completely vernacular Mass. Otherwise he would be anathema according to these documents. I raised this issue because I am uncomfortable that the Church says one thing in its documents, yet does another which is, to say the least, a hypocrisy. All sorts of justifications are invoked to overturn Trent and satiate modernity, yet it seems pretty clear to me that Trent considered these issues a matter of the Catholic Faith, and therefore of Truth.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Ted - Again, "canon" does not refer to a dogma or a regulation, even when it is used by an ecumenical council. It is simply the next “item” of the list of decrees or regulations that come from a Council. While some canons may refer to matters that are dogmatic, many do not.

Also, consider the following from Fr. John Huels: “Liturgical law may be understood broadly as the law regulating the liturgy. Liturgical laws are mainly ecclesiastical (human) laws, so their promulgation, binding force, interpretation, dispensation, and revocation are subject to the same canonical rules as any other ecclesiastical law. Some liturgical laws are based on divine law, for example, many requirements for the validity of sacraments. No one may dispense a divine law or validly enact a human law contrary to it.”

Liturgical laws are mainly human laws – they are not matters of dogma. Note that “some” liturgical laws are based on divine law. Most liturgical law is not based on divine law, and these matters are subject to revision. The Holy See has the authority to change liturgical laws. (Canon 838 1. The supervision (moderatio) of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church which resides in the Apostolic See and, in accord with the law, the diocesan bishop.)

Also, Regional/National Episcopal Conferences may adapt many liturgical laws to their own regions/countries. These adaptations are subject to approval by the Holy See. (Canon 838 3. It pertains to the conferences of bishops to prepare translations of the liturgical books into the vernacular languages, with the appropriate adaptations within the limits defined in the liturgical books themselves, and to publish (edere) them with the prior review by the Holy See.)

The use of a loud or low voice when reciting the Eucharistic Prayer is not a matter of doctrine, but discipline. Since it is a matter of discipline, it is of human origin and, therefore, subject to change.

The same is true regarding the use of Latin or vernacular languages, how much beeswax, if any, is required for candles used at mass, which musical instruments may be used at mass, etc etc etc.

Ted said...

Fr Kavanaugh:
It is amazing how far the arguments you present have drifted away from traditional Catholicism. Whatever happened to the "tres linguae sacrae" which were so much part of the Western Roman Church until recently, and in the mind of the Council of Trent against the Protestants as I was intimating? Was it not St. Isidore who taught that these three languages excelled all others in the world? Was it not the Holy Spirit that led the ignorant Pilate to
stumble into the truth by using them on the caput crucis of the Christ, the King of the Cosmos, according to Prudentius? What does Aquinas have to say about them? A sacred language is used to address the Divine; it is a special reserved language of great honour. I suppose little is sacred anymore in this modern world. Even the The Church of Vatican II seems more interested in addressing the people instead of God during the liturgy.