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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Show me the way to go home....

...I'm tired and I want to go to bed.
No, that's not true.
Or actually, it is true, but it's not my theme.
On a thread over at the CMAA messageboard wherein the oft vaunted virtues of vernacular are invoked, and by some, vented upon, the merits of Latin as the Roman Church's sacred language was neatly put like this, by the musician blogger Adam Wood:
The most important reason to retain Latin is that language carries culture.

Every immigrant group has realized this, and every native tribe after colonization --- when the children stop learning the old language, they abandon the old culture. When hegemonic political regimes want to control and subdue a culture, they forcibly remove the language --- think of Ireland, Native Americans, Native Australians, and Cantonese speakers in China....

Latin is the language of Catholic culture. If we lose it, we lose who we are as a people. Or perhaps we already have. 
I do not share his pessimism, or at least his doubt. We, the Church, the Faith, the faithful have not and we shall not lose it.
Not to say that  their aren't plenty of poor little lambs who have gone astray out there, just that the Shepherd will supply ... you know the rest.
There will always be that remnant, even when the glories of the Israel's forest, 
and of his fruitful land the Lord will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away. The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.
In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
I firmly believe that so long as a single child remembers the way home, the family can never be truly lost.


Mr. C said...

Geri, this "problem" (cultural identity/language, comprehension/mystery, etc.) shouldn't even be a problem. The problem is best signified by the autocratic actions of Fr. Robbins at Our Saviour's Church in NYC. He, the chancery and the Cardinal are exemplifying clericalism at its worse, and seem to equate unilateral autocracy with "hierarchy" with the iconoclasm wreckovation.
Here's the overlay to language- I would imagine that in a substantial majority of parishes the willingness of a number of parishioners would demonstrate interest in a Latin Mass, OF or EF isn't the issue really at this point. Since Summorum, I know of only one diocesan priest who is actively learning Latin and ritual elements in the EF. But it's been made clear to me over three pastorates by every priest that they don't want to take the time themselves, and preparation/catachesis of PIPs, in order to provide the opportunity for the GenX/Millenials to experience Adam's maxim. It's simple laziness from my perch. If we can accommodate Masses according to parish demographics with multiple vernaculars, with many "styles" of music in attendance, there's no reason whatsoever to deny the mother tongue an opportunity to live at the same table with others. We're not only losing cultural identity, we're perpetuating sloth from above that anesthetizes the Faithful.

Scelata said...

Thoroughly agree.
The strange thing is, like many manifestations of laziness, this ultimately ends up doubling the work load.
In my former parish there were four, count'em 4 language groups clamoring to be satisfied - in a town of fewer than 5000 people.
But my suggestions for more of ethnic-neutral Latin in the "big Masses," (Holy Thursday, Paschal Vigil,) were always greeted iwth horror, hostility, or the accusations that that agenda was "divisive."
The only priests I know who have made an effort to broaden their liturgical horizons are very young one.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)