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October 25, 2006



Recently my parish hosted the "pontifical organist",the organist at St.Peters.He told me that Pope Benedict gave instructions for the masses and vespers to be in Latin.Then the Pope celebrated Vespers and they did them in Italian! The Holy Father then reminded the officials in charge of what he had said and then forcefully said ,"I said IN LATIN!" Its no secret that the sovereign pontiff is not always sovereign in his own house.


That's really good news. Pope Benedict, as he indicated, is gradually instituting a reform of the reform.

Ferde Rombola

The local parish celebrates its Masses at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's. It seems obvious those Masses would be in Italian. Also, Italian priests, of whom there many in the Vatican, probably prefer Italian.

I imagine visiting priests celebrating in the side altars use their own languages. Nice to see they're adding Latin, though. It's Catholic!

chris K

I'm wondering from those out there who are in the positions to know, is this "reform" at all filtering into the major seminaries, preparing the future priests who will be the ones to fully implement any such changes ... with vigor!?


Ooh, that does sound nice. I've got some free time this Friday morning and may well attend.

Kevin Jones

Does Latin have more cultural purchase in Italy, or is it regarded as we might regard Old English, an academic curiosity? The one Italian lady I know is pretty enthusiastic about people who know Latin.


Reflexively leftist/avant-garde/progressives are not especially impressed with Latin, and alot of the working class is not I think especially interested in it, but I would think it gets overall more respect than Old English. After all, the Anglo-Saxons were not the rulers of the known world and its greatest civil engineers when they spoke Old English.

Zadok the Roman

The whole 'classical education' system (Greek and Latin) is certainly more alive in Italy than in most parts of the world.

Zadok the Roman

The whole 'classical education' system (Greek and Latin) is certainly more alive in Italy than in most parts of the world.

Tony in DC

Great lets have all our liturgies said in Latin. I am sure this will increase attendance at mass and in the confessional as well improve the spiritual life of baptized Catholics. Correcting this lapse of allowing English will surely witness to non Catholics our commitment to works of charity and acts of kindness. Reforming the liturgy will surely help us end the violence and disrespect for life we witness daily.

Rich Leonardi

From my operative in Rome:

I'm the reader that was in Rome this weekend. Due to my job, I am in Europe several times per year and normally go to Rome for the weekend. Hence for the past two years I have attended Mass at St. Peter's on Sunday morning several times per year. One of several regularly scheduled Masses and not one that is done by a priest privately for a group or just to say Mass that you can walk up and attend. (Such a system)

1.5 to 2 years ago, all of the regularly scheduled Masses were in Italian and, at the Altar of the Chair, they had a choir. Couldn't tell the language - not English though. The readings - at least the ones I attended - were all or mostly in Italian. Finally, the songs at the Mass were in the spots where we in the US, at least, sing hymns.

Since this past April - weekend of JPII first anniversary of his death - the Mass was in Latin, the readings have been in a wide variety of languages and they have gone out into the pews looking for lay readers in different languages - German, French, etc. Additionally, April 06 was the first time they handed out anything - the little book AND the first time the choir chanted anything in the Mass - going back and forth with the congregation.

So - while some Masses may have used Latin - the Creed, the Gloria, etc were in Italian at this Mass in the past and now it is different.

I have the book in front of me - it is: Ordo Missae Celebrandae - SS Patriarchalis Basilicae Vaticanae - Tempus Per Annum - Missa VIII "De Angelis" MMVI

It's 40 pages and about 5" x 8.5". It's bound with staples. It's got all you need except the readings. You might try the Vatican Web Site.

Clearly the Masses I have been to this year have had a good percentage of visitors - though some Roman's too. They are from everywhere - catholic as it were!! And with no 'practice before Mass'; no one swinging their arms up in front; and typically just a small group of men on the side with the organ - no one leading - it certainly sounds and appears that MOST of the folks can follow the 'little notes' and can swing enough Latin and can even figure out it was our turn vs the choir's turn to 'actively participate!!" Lastly, there were no hymns - except the recessional and the other places where hymn typically are - were the antiphons - chanted - in Latin.

The Latin Responses during Mass didn't seem to be a problem at all.

So - I don't know about 10 years ago or 5 years ago - BUT I do know that from last year to 2006 - there has been a big change at the regularly scheduled Masses at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's. And, having read Cardinal Ratzinger's thoughts on the Reform of the Reform - it seems to me he has at least begun some of it at the church just over from his apartments!!

All I can say is - I LOVE my German Shephard!!

amy welborn


Don't erect staw men. No one here, including me, has said such a thing. Don't bother to enter the conversation if you can't address the issues as they are stated here. Really. I'm serious.

And in case you weren't aware of it, St. Peter's Basilica is the "home" parish for a global faith called Catholicism. On any given day, there are probably people from every inhabited continent attending Mass there. It makes sense that the language in which Mass is celebrated should be as universal as possible, and not favor any particular nationality.

c matt

Although Italian is about as close as you can get to Latin w/o being Latin.


I had thought it my imagination but perhaps not: have there been changes made in the broadcast of the Latin Mass on Vatican Radio? I don't listen regularly enough to know but it seems that there are chanted introits and communions now that weren't done... a year ago? maybe.

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