By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Liking Latin and Liking the Vernacular: the "Both . . . And" ("Et ... Et") Approach

Holy MassImage via Wikipedia
My guess is that there are many of us who like both: the beauty of the Latin language (especially in the Vulgate and in writers like St. Augustine, at least in my opinion) and large chunks of the liturgy in the vernacular. There is no logical conflict between the two loves. Having taking five years of Latin in high school, having taught it to my kids at various ages, and planning to take it again at an even more advanced level to renew the "romance" (pun intended), I still as a Catholic Christian rejoice in the widespread use of the vernacular in the Mass so that each may hear the Good News in his own language, as happened to the privileged bystanders at the first Pentecost (see Acts 2:5).

You can find on the side bar of this blog some reminders from Cardinal de Lubac and from the current Pope that the Eucharist, the Mass, is always both Last Supper and Pentecost. It is very theologically and biblically appropriate that Catholics and others get to hear the Good News, re-presented in the Mass, proclaimed and celebrated in their own languages. It is also good, as a matter of heritage and tradition with a small "t," to have the Mass celebrated partially or even wholly in Latin. But this particular lover of Latin (who, by the way, as a Hispanic descended from Hispano-Romans, is himself culturally and ethnically "Latin") is very happy to have the Good News proclaiming the saving death of Jesus and enacted in the Eucharist heard in his own native languages (in my case, both English and the very latinate Spanish). As in the first Pentecost, let the Good News re-enacted and celebrated so graphically in the Eucharistic Liturgy be heard in all the languages of the world. How fitting, how "incarnational," how "evangelizing" and missionary, how "pentecostal," how universal and catholic.
Enhanced by Zemanta