Saturday, August 25, 2007

If any more evidence was needed...

The Spirit of Vatican II folks have been telling us nonstop since Summorum Pontificum that having the Mass in vernacular languages is better for everyone, so any effort to have the Mass more often in Latin -- let alone in that horrid Tridentine form! -- will be a step back into the Dark Ages.

Many others have remarked that Latin has the advantage of being the same everywhere, which is a great thing for travelers -- and travel is a lot more common today than it was in the years just before Vatican II. We dumped Latin just at the historical moment when the world was being newly knit together by cheap travel, and having a universal language of the liturgy would have been a tremendously unifying thing.

But I hadn't experienced this much myself, mainly because I don't travel nearly as much as most people seem to.

Well, I recently returned from a photographic seminar in San Diego, where the all-day sessions included Saturday and Sunday. The only opportunity I had to attend Mass without cutting class was on Sunday afternoon at 5:00, at a little church a couple of blocks away from the studio, that I could get to quickly.

As soon as I walked in I knew I was in trouble: the Mass was in Spanish. "Active participation"? Sorry, not by me. Yes, there was an English-Spanish missalette. But how is it better for the non-Spanish speaker to be reading the Spanish-to-English translations on the fly, than to be reading Latin-to-English translations with which one might already be familiar? Now, if that Mass had been in Latin all along, and the Church hadn't been nearly stripped of its Latin traditions, we all could have concentrated on the liturgy that afternoon -- one liturgy, not one for every language under Babel.