LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

A mildly amusing memory . . .

My comment about the Bishop of Arundel & Brighton last evening has raised an interesting new train of thought amongst some of the Commentors, about Latin and the like, which has led me to a mildly naughty recollection.

Some years ago now I was at an ‘ecumenical’ event at which – perhaps not entirely unreasonably – the ‘centrepiece’ was the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer . . . which would probably have been completely without comment, had not one of the leaders suddenly said words to the effect of ‘And let everyone say it together in their own native tongue’ . . . so I did : in Latin.

I believe that to be the ‘native tongue’ of Heaven; and I obviously hope that that will be my Native Land in due course, so it did seem to be the right thing to do . . . but my viewpoint seemed to rather distress the leader in question. I do hope I wasn’t being unreasonable . . . <wry smile>


  1. Can I be provocative? This is an amusing mischievous tale, 'tis true. But, you see, to me knowing your prayers in Latin is the mark of a very good education. In the UK particularly it is the sign of (for younger generations at least) a private expensive education. OK, I know that is less the case in Europe. I for one, although I attended Catholic schools and Catholic universities, did not have the opportunity to study Latin until I reached Oxford to study for a doctorate. Yes, I can imagine you lamenting the poverty of the UK education system already, but the point is this. Today, in the UK at least, Latin is the language of the privileged classes. To me it is worrying that this should also be a 'preferred' language of God. I am not sure there is any such thing. Latin, at its best, brings international celebrations to a majority - and for this reason we have a duty to educate ourselves and each other, and it is a shame that so many UK Catholics (myself included) do not know it well. But as a dominant language, it does tend to alienate the ordinary folk - Christ's preferred, the poor. I like it when it brings people together, but I don't like it when it creates divisions between people, or excludes people (for lack of education or whatever) from understanding what is happening in the liturgy. (NB That is why I have a little bug bear about services planned in Latin that do not come with leaflets with responses and translations handed out at the beginning - give us poor uneducated folk a chance!). :)

  2. "Qui vitam sine termino, nobis donet in patria."

  3. Christ's preferred, the poor.

    Really? I thought the gospels say he received everyone is equal measure, regardless of their background.