(Closed) Asking the priest if the ceremony can be spoken in English and less Latin?

posted 5 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Definitely talk to the priest about it. Every priest is different, of course, but generally they are sensitive to the fact that weddings often have a high proportion of non-Catholic guests, and are often happy to work with the couple to make the service as accessible as possible.

I think in most places you do have the option of a Novus Ordo Mass (i.e. the updated post-Vatican II Mass in English) as well as a Traditional Latin Mass. If your parish only does TLM, it might be a little tricky, but I’d be kind of surprised if it wasn’t an option, if you and your Fiance have discussed it and think it’s the best choice. In any event, talk to the priest and see what your options are.

Post # 4
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Perhaps I am showing my ignorance here, but I thought that one of the key reforms in Vatican 2 involved encouraging priests to use the vernacular rather than Latin?

Post # 5
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@Rachel631:  It did, and most of the Catholic world uses the Novus Ordo (vernacular Mass). Some of the other big changes were that prior to 1962, the Lectionary followed a one-year cycle and included one non-Gospel reading, a Psalm, and one Gospel reading at each Mass.

Post-Vatican II, we now have a Lectionary that follows a three-year cycle and includes a larger proportion of the Bible, and Sunday Masses (as well as feast days and, usually, weddings) have an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, a New Testament reading, and a Gospel. Other mainstream Christian denominations (such as the Lutheran church, and maybe the Anglican/Episcopalian church? not 100% sure on that) use the same Lectionary.

Pope Benedict encouraged dioceses to make the Traditional Latin Mass (also known as the Tridentine Mass) available where there was interest to celebrate it. It used to be that priests had to petition their bishops for special permission to celebrate it; now, more parishes (especially with older/more conservative congregations) have it more regularly. In some parishes, it coexists alongside the Novus Ordo Masses (for instance, my parish has one Tridentine Mass early each Sunday morning, while the rest of the masses are in English). It sounds like maybe the OP’s parish uses the Latin Mass exclusively, though?

Post # 6
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@sunshinewish15:  If you’re using the extraordinary form of the Mass, there will be some limits as to what the rubrics of the Mass allow, as the rubrics are far more detailed and restrictive than the ordinary form.  The ordinary form of the Mass is basically the bare bones and thus is far more up to the priest’s discretion.

 

 

 

We got married according to the extraordinary form.  While it is uncommon, our priest did read the readings at the altar in English.  We were also given the option to have the entire marriage rite done in English.

 

 

 

If your parish offers the ordinary form, considering you’re in a traditional parish, your priest may be more sensitive to what the 2nd Vatican Council actually say, what previous Pope’s have said etc and thus may be more restrictive to what he will allow in the Mass.

 

 

 

Either way, I’d recommend you discuss it with your priest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@Rachel631:  The liturgical reform movement actually began in the early 20th century.  Pope Pius X was concerned that Mass was becoming far too much like a theater performance which left the congregation as more of a passive audience rather than actively participating in prayer.  Note that most classical music was written for the Mass.  Most composers were able to make their living by offering to write Masses for the very wealthy. 

 

 

 

Pius X condemned this and, as such, he called for a recovery of Georgian Chant in an effort to bring about active participation.  The Pope’s stress on active participation thus instigated the liturigical reform movement.

 

 

 

As decades passed, discussion began on other ways to involve the laity more into the Mass.  You see, even besides the language barrier, the Mass was never a dialogue between the laity and the priest.  It didn’t even matter that the language was in Latin because you couldn’t hear the priest speaking anyway.  In fact, there are prayers called the “secrets” where the priest is specifically instructed to say the prayer at an inaudible level. 

 

 

 

Going to Mass was far more like going to Eucharistic adoration.  Confessions often ran along side the Mass.  People mostly sat in the pew praying the rosary.  In fact, praying the rosary was encouraged, because it was prayer and thus far better than sitting in the pew and gossiping with your neighbor.

 

 

 

One suggestion was to incorporate a new dialogue form of the Mass, but this never got underway.  Instead, the liturigical movement took a life of its own.  People started completely diverging from the Missal and reinventing the Mass to how they thought it might have been like for the Early Christians.  These liturgical abuses were condemned by the Pope in 1947.

 

 

 

As such, what Vatican II intended to do was to bring forward a Mass with more active participation and dialogue while avoiding the liturgical abuses of the 40’s.

 

 

 

SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, the Vatican II document on the Sacred Liturgy states this:  “Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.  But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.”

 

 

 

The Council also affirmed the place Georigian chant had in the Church.  “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations,”

 

 

 

The Church then worked toward building up a new Mass (novos ordo means new order…in other words, new order of the Mass).  This new order was designed to be a dialogue Mass.   It was written in Latin and incorporated numerous other goals the Council had.  One goal specificially was to provide more education on salvation history.  Thus an extra reading from the old testament plus the responsorial psalm was added.  With the exception of having to hastefully cut the length of the liturgy of the hours without being that careful, they actually did an amazing job with developing the 3 year liturigical cycle.  Its quite beautiful, and when you have a priest who does his job in the homilies, the connections between the readings are really amazing.

But still, what the council wanted and what the liturgical movement wanted were not the same thing.  As such, a lot of things went into how the new Mass was celebrated had nothing to do with the 2nd Vatican Council.  The text was designed to incorporate both languages.  It was not designed to use the venacular exclusively and there are plenty of good arguments as to why it should not be used exclusively.

Post # 7
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@twoangels:  

@KCKnd2:  Very interesting, thank you. I must say, it’s rather strange to hear about this when I come from a tradition of engagement within the vernacular. The irony is, of course, that my Latin is actually half passable, but hey ho…

Post # 8
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It’s the form of the Mass, so the priest may not be willing to change it. 

However, you can print up Mass booklet programs for the guests, templates may be hard to find, but some churches have made them for situations like this. That’s what I plan on doing. Most of the guests and most of my family will be familiar with the Latin, but my fiance’s family won’t be at all and we’re both adament about the Latin being said.

Post # 9
Member
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@sunshinewish15:  Unless this priest is a follower of Monseigneur Lefevre (the French bishop who refused to abandon the Mass in latin after Vatican Council II), he should listen to your request…here in Europe it is very rare to attend a Mass in latin, most priests use the vernacular language. The latin Mass is still celebrated in monasteries, especially benedictine ones. As other bees wrote, Pope Bendedict gave the priests the choice to celebrate in latin again, but it isn’t mandatory at all. In my opinion he should listen to you.

Post # 10
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@sasi:

Lefebvre founded the Society of Pius the X.  He and his bishops were excommunicated because he ordained new bishops without the Pope’s permission.  It had nothing to do with the Latin Mass.

The Institute of Christ the King is in line with the Church.  The priests of the institute have only been trained in celebrating the Mass according to the 1962 missal.  The priests at St. John Cantius parish in Chicago also only celebrate the Latin Mass.

http://www.institute-christ-king.org/home/

http://www.cantius.org/

In 2007, Pope Benedict published Summorum Pontificum which gave further permissions for the use of the Latin Mass.  It replaced the 1988 document Ecclesia Dei which allowed local bishops the right to give local permission for celebration of the Latin Mass.  Since 2007, priests no longer have to petition their local bishops for specific permission to celebrate the Mass.

If the Mass is being celebrated according to the 1962 missal, the priest will not be able to accomodate her too much.  If this is a preist using the current missal and using the Latin a lot rather than much of the English translation, this may be up to the priest.  When my husband was studying in Oxford, he attended a parish where the New missal was used, but much of the Mass was sung and the majority of it was in Latin.  He thought it was beautiful, but that sort of thing should not be confused with the Traditional Latin Mass.  Its important to recognize that the order of the Mass was completely redone in the 70’s and has been revised over and over.  When we talk about the ordinary form of the Mass, we are talking about the order of the Mass according to the New Missal.  We actually are not talking so much about what language it is done in.  That Mass was composed in Latin and has been translated multiple time.  In fact, our most recent translation of it in English was a translation of the “New Missal” and had no relation with the order of the Mass in the extraordinary form.

Both forms of the Mass have requirements of what is and is not allowed.  The 1962 Missal is very strict because it went through hundreds of years of modifications.  Our current missal has only been around for a few decades, and thus doesn’t have the centuries lengths of revisions and rules surrounding its practice.

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