From a reader:
If I am to pray in Latin, how beholden am I to the regulated ecclesiastical pronunciation?
I ask because I have a hobby that involves some pronunciation in classical Latin. Learning two pronunciations of the same language with my limited natural foreign language gifts is daunting enough that it would likely dissuade me from the enterprise.
I don’t have others with whom I would be prayi101ng, and therefore no personal leadership in the matter.
First, unless you are a cleric or religious with the obligation to pray the Church’s official prayer, which is in Latin, you don’t have to pray in Latin.
“But Father! But Father!”, some priests and religious may be saying. “We don’t have to pray the office in Latin! We had Vatican II!”
101. 1. In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power of granting the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly. The vernacular version, however, must be one that is drawn up according to the provision of Art. 36.
Okay… I’m just being difficult. I am just irritated with people who invoke Vatican II for all sorts of things, but neglect things like this.
Back to the question at hand.
No, if you are alone, I don’t think you are bound to use ecclesiastical pronunciation. Go ahead and use classical pronunciation.
If you are praying with others, use the ecclesiastical.