Jul 7, 2005

Pray for Benedict, our pope

Pope Benedict XVI wants Catholics to begin to memorize basic prayers in Latin so that the faithful from every nation on earth may pray together in one voice.

In addition to the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria and Gloria Patri, I suggest we encourage our brothers and sisters to learn this traditional prayer for the Pope.

OREMUS PRO Pontifice nostro, Benedicto.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.
Pater Noster…, Ave Maria….

LET US PRAYER for our Pontiff Benedict.
R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him to be blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
Our Father…, Hail Mary….


Blogger Rick Morrow said...

Hmmm...moving right along...here is a good site for learning our Latin prayers: http://www.preces-latinae.org/index.htm

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


While I understand the Pope's desire to have Catholics pray as a community, why is Latin so paramount? Yes, I understand the traditional Mass was conducted in Latin, but that was only because Latin was the "lingua franca" of Western Civilization for centuries. It isn't now, nor has been since, maybe, the 1700s (replaced by French, which has been replaced by English).

Why not have people just pray in their own languages?

7:08 PM  
Blogger Rick Morrow said...


Well, I think you've said it. Latin was the common language of the West for nearly two thousand years. It was also the scholarly language. As late as the 1950's people from all around the world, at Lourdes for instance, could still sing together ancient and modern Latin hymns together. When I travel around the world, I find it disconcerting to be at a mass where I cannot join in the singing, or the responses because I don't know the language. Even in one country, like the Philippines, there can be dozens (if not hundreds) of different dialects. So, Latin can unite us across space. It can unite us through time. Many of the greatest writings on faith are written in Latin. As an academic, I've watch courses on classical languages (I was trained in two--most of which I have forgotten) dropping out of universities like dodo birds. We may well find ourselves unable to translate our foundational texts (of both Catholics and Protestants by the way) with any great facility. Finally, and this is probably the romantic in me, there is the time and space of the communion of the saints. It intrigues me that my ancestors from various parts of the world (mix bag I am) have at least had Latin as the mother tongue of their faith uniting them. My mother's was the last generation that learned Latin throughout their schooling. My daughters and I only know enough to be dangerous. Being old enough to remember pre- and post- Vatican 2, I have found the assault on Latin by those who suppose it to be the language just of clerics (ala dan brown) to be an interesting phenomenon that has caused such a loss of beauty and understanding in the world--not what many expected I should think.

10:37 PM  
Blogger skeetor said...

I learned the Pater Noster, time for the Ave Maria.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Rick, it's one thing to pray as a community in a church. It's quite another to individuals around the world to pray as an "extended community" serendipitously. I think this is what Benedict has in mind. To my way of thinking, it's too esoteric. If Benedict wants Latin in the Mass for the reasons you cite, then he should have the honesty to put it back into the Mass. Then again, perhaps he is trying to get Catholics worldwide gradually used to the idea. If the Mass is to be in Latin, I hope the homilies (which I assume will remain in the vernacular) will be far better. Otherwise, they might as well be in Latin, Urdu, Sinhalese or Fortran.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why latin? Real simple. It is VERY hard to commit liturgical abuse when the liturgy is done in latin. Whenever possible I attend a Latin (Tridentine) Mass; they are ALWAYS reverent and orthodox. The priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (order founded in the 1980's by JP II) are absolutely great; they give powerful homilies, they wear the traditional black robe of a Catholic Priest (yes, even when they aren't in church!) and I have never seen an act of liturgical abuse at a Latin Mass. It's GREAT!!!! Find a Latin Mass community nearby or petition your bishop to let the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter start one. They have plenty of priests in their seminary, and I have yet to meet a bad one. Blessed Sacrament in Kansas City, KS, is an especially good example. To hear a homily there is like listening to Bishop Fulton Sheen.

They homilies are, of course, in
English, as are the readings and Gospel. The church is alive and thriving in the Tridentine parishes. It's really amazing, and probably hard to imagine if you've never seen it.

Andrew DuBois

3:52 PM  
Blogger Rick Morrow said...


Sorry about the delays of the very great time zone differences between us.

I think that it would be impossible to truly have a heart felt communal use of Latin if it did not form something of our personal life of prayer. I suppose its like the difference of learning how to order food in a cafe in Rome, ask about the weather and complement the cook on the one hand. And, on the other hand having spent time thinking, reading, talking to one's self and letting your thoughts be shaped by the cadence and rhythym of Italian so that you can share the little nuances and jokes of the waiters and the cashier and spontaneously respond in a warm hearted fashion to their banter. They enjoy the fact that you have done the first, they feel complimented. They enjoy you, your presence, in the second case; you are really with them in their experience. One use is instrumental; the other inspirational.

I expect that more Latin will be brought back into the Mass. I also suspect that it will be, in part, for the reasons that Andrew touch upon as well. I always notice how much more thoughtful and careful people are in our parish when reciting the "Lamb of God" in Latin verses in English...BTW our parish and surrounding parishes are very mixed: Africans, Asians, Europeans, Latin Americans whose first language is not English (54% of people living in our city speak languages other than English as there first language).

Well, off with the family for an outing. Ciao!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Non Sum Dignus said...

Ahhhh, another easy one, but unfortunantly, one that can't be answered in just a few quick notes. But what the heck... I'll give it a shot!

Latin is a dead language (Thank God!). What's said is meant, and what's meant is said. It's simply impossible to change the meanings of Liturgical Latin. Can the same be said of "live" languages such as English, Spanish, Urdu, Swahili, etc, etc?

Live languages evolve, they change meanings, they mutate. Is that what we want when it comes to The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Especially the Consecration? Why play fast and loose?

Bottom line, Latin is set in stone... live languages are set on a foundation of quicksand. If you doubt me, just research the Prot heresy of so-called "Co-Substantiation".

What hath live languages wrought?

For a better site, please check out my personal website where I have added a FAQ section specifically for The Latin Mass

Dominus Vobiscum, Y'all

2:57 PM  

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