I want to encourage all of you wonderful priests who are willing to learn the Latin Mass. Once you have decided to begin the daunting task of saying the Latin mass, you usually begin to try to learn all the difficult rubrics; (blessings, bows, genuflection, postures and hand and finger movements). One of the greatest aspects of the Latin Mass is that all priests have to follow the rubrics EXACTLY AS THEY ARE WRITTEN IN THE ROMAN MISSAL. Thank God with the Latin Mass there is NO ‘father so in so’ doing whatever he wants and in his own style.
Once you begin to familiarize yourself with the rubrics comes learning to offering the Holy Mass in LATIN. Besides the prayers of the Mass being in Latin, the readings from the Bible are also in Latin. On top of that, some of the Latin prayers have to be memorized because you will be praying them as you move or when giving out Holy Communion. You can not have card to cheat from. These prayers are especially difficult to memorize. This is because the meaning and translation of the Latin words into English is difficult and they are arranged in the sentence structure in a way that is not used in the English language.
Just learning the correct pronunciation of the Latin words, is in itself very difficult. Every syllable has to be pronounced, (and in the Latin language, they sure do cram a lot of syllables into each word). I can speak Spanish and Italian. This has helped me a great deal in learning and pronouncing Latin.
Often, I think that the Latin Mass was so easy for the Italians to understand because it is so close to their language. Since Rome is in Italy, maybe that is why the people there did not complain about the Holy Mass being in Latin and it stayed so long in Latin, (1800 + years). I know that the Holy Mass in Latin united the whole Catholic Church all over the world where everyone speaks a different language or dialect. Also words in Latin do not change their meanings because it is a ‘dead’ language.
Germanic languages are very far from Latin roots of words even though many of the words have Latin roots. In the sciences, many of the correct titles of medicine, body parts and plants are still in Latin.
So, for all of you who have a hard time learning foreign languages and are trying to learn the Latin Mass, DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. It does get easier over time. You do not have to say the Latin with perfect diction. Do the best you can.
At the beginning, I only understood 60% of the Latin. Now, after praying daily the Latin Breviary with English text next to it, I understand a great deal more. I am just doing my best to do the Latin Mass for God and others. For all of you too, try the best you can and let God do the best.
We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to offer a dignified Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in gratitude for all we receive from God and to beg His help and forgiveness of our sins.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.