Saturday, October 24, 2009

Liturgical Confusion

“The (Second Vatican Council’s) Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy stipulated vernacular language, not sacred language,” he added. “Did Jesus ever speak to the people of his day in words beyond their comprehension? Did Jesus ever use terms or expressions beyond his hearer’s understanding?”

So spoke bishop Trautman, former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ liturgy committee on October 22nd. Surely this isn`t right. The Second Vatican Council did not `stipulate` the use of the vernacular: it allowed it where it was thought to be useful. Latin remains the official language of the Roman liturgy. Also when Jesus was preaching he used language that people could understand but when he was praying he used Hebrew which was not the vernacular of the day but had come to be a sacred language by then. The language of the liturgy has never been the simple language of colloquial conversation. When Latin was adopted in the fourth century it was not the Latin of the street but a heightened form of the language. For more on this see Fr Hunwicke.

1 comment:

Ben Trovato said...

Yeah Trautman is nuts. Hasn't he read the Gospels recently?

'The people thought He was calling on Elias.' WHy might that be if he was using the vernacular...

And consider how many times the apostles failed to understand - but the Word was planted in them for the Holy Spirit to work with later.

Our modern mania for instant understanding reduces the sacred to banality. These days you can understand every word of the Mass, but totally fail to approach an understanding of what the Mass is.