The following items are tagged Latin
Blogged by James Preece 3 Months ago...
Is it possible to go from knowing absolutely nothing about Latin to being ready to sit a GCSE exam in less than a year? I'm going with yes. But you have to really want to do it...
A friend told me he was really enjoying learning Latin and finding it both easier than expected and also more useful. That seemed unlikely. Still, he suggested a book called "So You Really Want to Learn Latin" and after reading some reviews about how it was a terrible, old fashioned book that puts latin teaching back in the 1950's I couldn't help but order a copy.
Which I duly left on the shelf until I was interested.
I'm not sure what latin teaching looked like before it was put back in the 1950's but this terrible old fashioned teaching consists of telling you things that you ought to know and then getting you to answer questions based on the knowledge you just acquired. Gasp. I know. It's awful.
Anyhow, to my suprise I discovered that it was nothing at all like learning a language at school and more like a sort of puzzle game which appealed to me because I'm a nerd. Somewhere around chapter three I realised I had been doing a chapter a week simply for fun and I thought to myself "hang on, if I keep doing a chapter a week then in thirty weeks I will have learned Latin!"
Yes, well... it didn't quite work out like that. Week thirty has just finished and I'm only on chapter twenty-six. Still, pretty good going and I have learned a lot. In fact, it's gone well enough that I have booked myself in for a GCSE Latin exam (actually, four one hour papers) in June this year.
It hasn't been all sunshine and giggles. The interesting fun puzzle feeling wore off pretty quickly and there were weeks when I just didn't want to do it at all, but I pushed on. Being a dad has been good training for doing things I don't want to do. Getting up in the night, changing a nappy, conjugating a verb. It's all the same really...
So there you go. It is possible to mostly learn GCSE Latin in a year...
But you do have to really want to.
Blogged by James Preece 2 Years ago...
By Victor Lams... h/t Mark Shea
Blogged by James Preece 2 Years ago...
From the documents of the Second Vatican Council...
"care must be taken to ensure that the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."
Is such care being taken?
Blogged by James Preece 3 Years ago...
When I said I didn't know this, the Bishop said "shame on you". He said that "It's part and parcel of being a Latin Rite Catholic to at least know the Our Father".
In our parish there is no Latin ever. That's because the opinions of our Bishop are largely irrelevant here. If I want to experience things that are "part and parcel of being a Latin Rite Catholic" I have to go on YouTube...
Isn't technology wonderful.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Years ago...
When I interviewed Bishop Drainey, we had the following exchange...
I explained that most young people in Middlesbrough diocese don't know the Our Father in Latin. "Well," he replied. "I think that's very sad if that's the case. It's part of our heritage and I feel very strongly about that."
He is going to need to feel very strongly if he is going to do anything about it. He is not up against one or two hippy priests, he's up against a cultural phenomena, as Jeffery Tucker describes in his preface to Msgr Marini's address...
Every Catholic has experienced it at some level, that culture of disdain for the past that has afflicted Catholicisim in the postconciliar period. It happens at our parishes, when a special guest lecturer talks about the supposed horrors Catholic school back in the day, or of how ridiculous it was that the Mass was in Latin, that we attempted to sing chant and did it so poorly, or that we went to confession behind a screen. We read about it in our catechetical materials, that contempt for what has gone before in the great age of ignorance and oppression that was finally swept away in the liberating Age of Aquarius. How unfortunate those people were and how fortunate we are in this enlightened age.
Or so we've been taught. So pervasive has this attitude been that we can speak of self-hating Catholics as a widespread cultural phenomenon. Even in our own parishes, the absence of a positive self identity seems almost required as an ground rule for every conversation. "I don't want to go back to the past of course," we are expected to say before adding any critique of the present. This attitude - this hermeneutic of discontinuity, this positing of a great divide between preconciliar and postconcilar faith - has cut us off in a strange way. Wondering used book stores we find pre-1965 books on the faith and read them like relics. We don't recognize the pictures, understand the words, or even see a familiarity in the disciplines then and now.
You don't fight a culture by quietly pottering away in the Cathedral and making sure Masses there contain the occasional bit of Latin. You fight a culture by doing things openly and publicly in such a way that it becomes a widely known fact that, as Bishop Drainey said to me: "It's part and parcel of being a Latin Rite Catholic to at least know the Our Father or to be able to sing the Creed and the basic things [in Latin]."
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith works in the Vatican as the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship. That means he probably knows a thing or two about the liturgy. He writes...
Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation."
Today [...] the Church can look back and recognize the influences that distorted the original intent of the Council. That recognition, he says, should "help us to be courageous in improving or changing that which was erroneously introduced and which appears to be incompatible with the true dignity of the Liturgy." A much-needed "reform of the reform," he argues, should be inspired by "not merely a desire to correct past mistakes but much more the need to be true to what the Liturgy in fact is and means to us and what the Council itself defined it to be."
In years to come the period shortly after the 1960's will be but a footnote in the history of the Church. The short period of turbulence that follows any council of the Church.
The question Catholics have to ask themselves now is simple. Will they use their free will to read the council documents and choose the good of what the Liturgy in fact is and what the Council defined it to be? Or will they submit to the degrading slavary of being children of their age?
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
From this month's Middlesbrough Catholic Voice...
Feeling as if you belong
Some parts of WYD came across as exclusive. During some of the Masses, there were sections in Latin. Whilst Latin is the root language of our Church and has a place within our Church and within our Liturgy, many young people have never studied Latin and so struggled to understand exactly what was being said. In a recent reflection on WYD, Fr Paul Roberts, Parish Priest and Vocations Director of the Diocese of Paramatta, Australia, states that it took him years of being at seminary to appreciate the beauty of this. He goes on to say that the young people he was with were not engaged by it at all.
To listen to robed clerics singing Morning Office and to see clergy walking down the streets of Sydney in ornate robes is spectacular and shows our Catholic tradition, but how many of today’s young people does it really speak to and show that our Church is for the here and now?
The author mentions a reflection by Fr Paul Roberts, you can read it here.
The Mass has depth. That means it has parts which are easy to understand and parts which require going deeper. The not so deep parts, Leona can take part in. When a bell rings and Fr Massie holds up the host and a whole room full of adults is silent, Leona knows something important is happening. She is often quiet and staring, sometimes she stands up and points. You don't need stupid kiddy music to include toddlers, you need clear signs and symbols.
The deeper parts, I do not understand. Nobody truly comprehends everything that happens at mass. Nobody. So, is it 'exclusive' to have a part of the mass that some people (such as Leona, or those who don't speak Latin, or anybody who isn't Thomas Aquinas) cannot understand?
Is anybody really suggesting that we take every one of these 'exclusive' elements of the mass and eliminate them all? Leona can't talk, so talking is exclusive? Some people are blind, so visual clues are exclusive? Some people can't leave their homes, so asking people to get to mass is exclusive?
Do we stop having Mass because some people can't get there? Do we stop speaking at Mass because some toddlers can't speak? Do we ask all the angels and saints to stop being present at the Eucharistic sacrifice because James Preece doesn't always comprehend their significance?
No. It would be ludicrous.
In fact, I'm going to go so far as to suggest that Mass is actually better, precisely because it isn't limited by my ability to understand. Precisely because God (who does he think he is?) goes ahead and does things that are beyond my understanding.
Latin. Do I understand it? No, but I know that it contains, as the author states: 'beauty'. There is a beauty to the Latin that is not always present in the English. The Latin has a way of expressing theological realities in a way the English can't. Whenever I have learned even a smidgin of Latin, it has aided me in my understanding of the English. At massive international celebrations, Latin gives our prayer one voice and demonstrates the oneness (is that a word?) of the Church.
The Second Vatican Council (Sacrosanctum Concillium) specifically states that:
the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites
steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them
If you don't do that, if you remove the Latin from the liturgy and act like it doesn't exist. What you are really doing it taking a part of the Mass and excluding me from it. You are locking me out. You are saying "that part of the Mass is not for James, James can't have it".
My entire generation have been deliberately excluded from a deep well of tradition. We have been brought up in Churches where this tradition is absent. No wonder then, that we struggle with it.
When Ella and I were in Rome in 2006, Pope Benedict lead the Lords Prayer in Latin. Hundreds of people from many countries joined in this one prayer in one language. We met Polish people, Mexicans, Canadians, Italians. All praying with one voice. James and Ella from England - Don't know it.
Were we excluded from this beautiful expression of the unity of the Church because the foreigners wouldn't learn English? Clearly not.
When people from every continent joined in one prayer in one language, we were held back by our own Priests and Bishops. The people who decided before we were even born that when we grew up we would be too stupid to understand.
If you want young people NOT to feel 'excluded' at the next World Youth Day, it is very simple. Do what the Council says: steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
Rocket Science it is not.