Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I see that Pope Benedict just paved the way for the Latin Mass to return.
Yeah, like we didn't see that coming.

I'm sure all the Opus Dei and anti-abortion folks are just purring over this. This is the sort of thing they live for. Latin Mass equals "conservative agenda." I can just see it now -- the Latin Mass taking place and all these neo-conservatives just kicking back their heads and leaving wet spots in the pews . . .
. . . and not understanding a freaking word that's said. Typical.

Frankly, I'm all for it. Surprise.

I converted to Roman Catholicism in my early thirties and "guitar Masses" always bugged me. Here's a typical scene. You have this glorious cathedral with a giant pipe organ, unused. Up front is a lone guitarist strumming the chords to "On Eagle's Wings" or some other vomit-inducing song. How the hell are a thousand people supposed to sing to that?

So yes, I'm all for a little dignity placed back in the Mass. Hell, I'll even convert to Islam or become an Episcopalian if I encounter many more guitar-accompanied Masses.

But the main reason I'd like to attend a Latin Mass is because I was forced to take three years of Latin while in the seminary. And I hated every minute of it. Three years of suffering through Beginning Latin, Intermediate Latin and Advanced Latin. Damn it, I want to use it!

Beginning Latin: Basic vocabulary, noun declensions, verbs. I thought I was through after that. But no. They made me take
Intermediate Latin: Translating Cicero, etc., where you have one sentence a whole paragraph long and one little bitty verb at the end that applies to two different subjects in the sentence. Oh, okay. I thought, whew! I'm done, but noooo, they made me take
Advanced Latin: Comprised of translating Latin poetry where ALL the grammatical rules I'd learned so far didn't apply. It's poetry after all. By then, an understanding of Latin was supposed to be innate. Yeah, right. Rub a lamp.

Unlike these neo-conservatives who won't understand a single word or be able to keep up with the phrases, I'll know every word and their grammatical forms. Ha!

Three years of torturous Latin classes and I'll finally be able to use it!

So, when the priest says, "Dominus vobiscum," I'll be the one shrieking, "Et cum spiritu tua!"
"Pssst! That was the ablative form of 'you'."

Maybe I should just stay home and sleep late instead. . .

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At 2:15 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

We use bits of Latin from time to time in our Masses (nary an "Eagle's Wing" ever, but you knew that). And I'm down with singing the Sanctus in Latin and such like that there. But the Creed? I didn't take 3 years of Latin.

I don't know why this is scaring me so much but after last week and the whole "If you ain't Catholic you ain't Christian" thing, I'm feeling very, very sad.

At 3:53 PM , Anonymous Bro said...

...and so it is said in the Book of Devine Fabrication...

At 10:25 PM , Anonymous the neighbor said...

Do you know the phone number at the Vatican?

scroll down

Et cum spiri 220.


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