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Latin Mass

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Definition:   The Catholic liturgical celebration in the “universal” language of the “universal” Church. The use of Latin during the Mass was made mandatory by the Council of Trent in the 16th century, and became known as the Tridentine (related to Trent) Mass. Latin was normative for all localities until the Second Vatican Council changed the practice in 1964. After Vatican II, the liturgy was spoken in the vernacular and Latin was prohibited. Pope Benedict XVI changed the rules in 2007 to allow priests to perform private Masses in Latin. It is allowable for the laity to attend by asking permission of the priest.

Discussion: I attended the Latin Mass with my family until age seven.  I had no understanding of what was taking place. The effect was to see my faith as somehow ancient and mysterious. For many, special rites and traditions are very appealing. They offer an exclusivity that promotes pride in one’s religion. They also promote ignorance. In truth, esoteric practices offer no spiritual benefit. The apostle Paul stresses the importance of clarity so that the hearer may be edified (1 Cor. 14:9).

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