Saturday, March 12, 2011

Documents on the Liturgy - Latin

DOL 1: Sacrosanctum concilium (constitution on the liturgy), 4 Dec 1963
(36) 36.1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

(54) 54. With art. 36 of this Constitution as the norm, in Masses celebrated with the people a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and "the universal prayer," but also, as local conditions may warrant, to those parts belonging to the people. Nevertheless steps should be taken enabling the faithful to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them. Where a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.

DOL 23: Inter oecumenici (first instruction on the orderly carrying out of the Constitution on the Liturgy), 26 Sep 1964
(351) 59. Pastors shall carefully see to it that the Christian faithful, especially members of lay religious institutes, also know how to recite or sing together in Latin, mainly with simple melodies, the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass proper to them.

(379). 87. [...] Nevertheless, this faculty [use of the vernacular in individual cases by those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a serious hindrance], conceded solely to make the recitation of the divine office easier and more devout, is not intended to lessen in any way the obligation of priests in the Latin rite to learn Latin.

DOL 332: Doctrina et exemplo (Instruction on the liturgical formation of future priests), 25 Dec 1965
(2686) 15. The language of the liturgy in the Mass and divine office in seminaries will be Latin, the language of the Latin Church, which all clerics are required to know (SC art. 36.1 and art. 101.1). It will be advisable, however, to use the vernacular in the celebration of Mass on some specified days (for example, once a week) -- to the extent permitted by the lawful authority for each region and confirmed by the Holy See -- so that the clergy will be better prepared for the vernacular celebrations in the parishes. Thus use of the vernacular must never become the general practice at the expense of Latin. In granting the use of the vernacular, the Church does not intend that clerics think themselves freed from going to the sources or that in their preparation for the priesthood they neglect even slightly the universal language of the Latin Church.

DOL 32: L'heureux developpement (letter on problems in the reform of the liturgy), 25 Jan 1966
(424) It is only right that where the use of the vernacular in the liturgy is concerned, one should be guided not only by the spirit of the Liturgy Constitution, but also be an awareness of the given situation in different places. Here and there, in fact, the adoption of the vernacular in the Mass has given rise to some signs of disquiet. It would be good if local Ordinaries were to consider the eventual suitability of preserving in some churches, especially in big cities and in places where they are large influxes of tourists, one, or more if necessary, Mass in Latin.

DOL 508: Musicam sacram (instruction on music in the liturgy), 5 Mar 1967
(4168) 47. According to the Constitution on the Liturgy, "particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites."* At the same time "use of the mother tongue ... frequently may be of great advantage to the people."** Therefore "the competent ecclesiastical authority ... is empowered to decide whether and to what extent the vernacular is to be used. ... The acta of the competent authority are to be approved, that is, confirmed by the Apostolic See."*** These norms being observed exactly, there should be a wise use of the kind of participation that is best suited to the capabilities of each assembly. Pastors should see to it that, in addition to the vernacular, "the faithful are also able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them."****
* Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1
** Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1
*** Sacrosanctum Concilium 36.1
**** Sacrosanctum Concilium 54, Inter Oecumenici 59

(4169) 48. Once the vernacular has been introduced into the Mass, local Ordinaries should determine whether it is advisable to retain one or more Masses in Latin, particularly sung Masses. This applies especially to great cities in churches with a large attendance of faithful using a foreign languages [sic].

DOL 512: Letter to the Italian conference of bishops (on liturgical music), 2 Feb 1968
(4199) [...] In any event we must not lose the important ecclesial bond that consists of a solid repertoire in Gregorian chant and therefore in Latin. THe national liturgical commission is responsible for a program that will include the Credo and the Pater noster among the Gregorian melodies that the people should know well (see SC art. 54; the instruction Inter Oecumenici no. 59; and Musicam sacram no. 47).

DOL 121: Address to Latinists (excerpt on Latin and the vernacular), 26 Apr 1968
(835) Today in the presence of this assembly of men of great wisdom, we desire to repeat: the study of Latin must still be cultivated in our times and above all in seminaries and houses for the religious formation of the young. In no way is it permissible to ignore this language if there is to be any genuine attempt to create keen minds in the young, to train them in humane letters, to probe and reflect on the words of the Fathers, and above all to prepare them to share fully in the ancient treasures of the liturgy. Without the knowledge of Latin something is altogether missing from a higher, fully rounded education — and in particular with regard to theology and liturgy. The people of our times expect such an education of their priests and the Fathers of Vatican Council II repeatedly endorsed it, in the Decree Optatam totius on priestly formation, in the Constitution on the Liturgy (art. 16), and in other conciliar norms. Because of the power and effectiveness of Latin to develop the mind and to open the way to the more advanced fields of study, we have the strong desire that it continue to receive the attention it deserves. At the same time the whole world knows that, in willing and eager obedience to the wise norms of Vatican Council II, we ourself have taken every step to have all the modern languages introduced into the liturgy. No lack of regard for Latin has moved us in this direction, but rather the keen awareness of our own pastoral responsibility and a deep sense of the need for pastors to provide plentifully the food of God's word contained in the liturgy. But it must also be presented in such a way as to be understood and in a way that will lead Christ's faithful to experience the loveliness of the liturgical rites and to take part in them eagerly and intently.

(836) We want to say something very plainly to those whose shallow minds or unthinking passion for the new lead them to the idea that the Latin language must be totally spurned by the Latin Church. To them we say that it is absolutely clear that Latin must be held in high honor and especially for the excellent and serious reasons that we have mentioned. On the other hand, we also address those who, out of an empty aestheticism that goes too far in seeking to preserve what is old or out of a prejudice against anything new, have bitterly denounced the changes recently introduced. To them we say that we must clearly never forget that Latin must be subordinate to the pastoral ministry and is not an end in itself. Any defense, thereofre, of the rights this language has acquired in the Church must avoid at all costs impeding or constricting the renewal of pastoral service mandated by the Council. In this matter, too, the highest law must be the well-being of souls.

DOL 545: Domus Dei (decree on the title of minor basilica), 6 Jun 1968
(4352) 8. As may seem advisable, in every basilica especially on holydays, one or more of the Masses, recited or sung, is to be in Latin.* When sung, such Masses are to have Gregorian melodies or sacred polyphony performed with great care and attention.
* Sacrosanctum Concilium 54, Inter Oecumenici 59, Musicam Sacram 48

DOL 212: Address to a general audience on the new Ordo Missae, 26 Nov 1969
(1762) Morever, the new Mass rite lays down the provision that the faithful "should know how to sing at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the profession of faith and the Lord's Prayer."*
* 1975 GIRM 19

DOL 216: Instructione de Constitutione (notification on the Roman Missal, book of the LOTH, and the Calendar), 14 Jun 1971
(1773) 4. Regarding the language used: a. For Masses with a congregation [...] It is for local Ordinaries to judge, with the good of the faithful as the decisive consideration, whether once use of the vernacular has begun it seems advisable to have one or more Masses in Latin, especially sung Masses*, in certain churches, especially those attended by people of a foreign language.
* Musicam Sacram 48

DOL 329: Ecclesiae imago (directory on the pastoral ministry of bishops), 22 Feb 1973
(2656) 86e. Finally, it is up to the bishop to see that pastors make proper provision for the faithful coming from places where a different language is spoken, especially in the churches of larger cities and in populous vacation centers. These faithful are to have the opportunity to assist at Mass celebrated according to their own practices and in their own language or, in case there are many languages, in the majority language or in Latin. [...]*
* Eucharisticum Mysterium 19

DOL 521: Letter from Cardinal Villot to Cardinal Siri (on sacred music), Sep 1973
(4234) [...] [Pope Paul] notes the many requests worldwide to preserve the Latin, Gregorian singing of the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater noster, and Agnus Dei. The POpe again recommends, therefore, that every appropriate measure be taken to transform this desire into fact and that these ancient melodies be treasured as the voice of the universal Church and continue to be sung as expressions and demonstrations of the unity existing throughout the ecclesial community.

DOL 522: Address at an audience for choir members, 12 Oct 1973
(4235) [...] Furthermore, we must all commend the concern of those who are striving to keep in the repertoire of customary liturgical song at least the several texts that have always and everywhere been sung in Latin and in Gregorian chant. These texts make communal song possible even for people of different countries at certain special occasions in Catholic worship. The Gloria, Credo, and Sanctus of the Mass are examples.

DOL 523: Voluntati obsequens (letter to bishops accompanying Iubilate Deo), 14 Apr 1974
(4237) Pope Paul VI has expressed often, and even recently, the wish that the faithful of all countries be able to sing at least a few Gregorian chants in Latin (for example, the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei). [...] I also take this occasion to commend to your own pastoral concerns this new measure intended to ensure the carrying out of the prescription of Vatican Council II: "Steps should be taken enabling the faithful to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them."*
* Sacrosanctum Concilium 54

DOL 208: General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 27 Mar 1975
(1409) 19. [...] Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the profession of faith and the Lord's Prayer, set to simple melodies.*
* Sacrosanctum Concilium 54, Inter Oecumenici 59, Musicam Sacram 47

DOL 335: In ecclesiasticam futurorum sacerdotum (instruction on liturgical formation in seminaries), 3 Jun 1979
(2798) 19. A good knowledge of Latin and Gregorian chant is extremely useful for the students. There is a need to safeguard for the faithful the opportunity to join together in song and prayer at international gatherings, as Vatican Council II envisioned.* It is also right that future priests have a thorough grounding in the tradition of the Church at prayer, understand the authentic meaning of texts, and thus be able to explain vernacular translations by comparing them to the original.
* Sacrosanctum Concilium 54

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