From a priest…
When using the older ritual of blessings, the ones still used at the time of the Second Vatican Council, some of the blessing itself could be done in the vernacular. I have a Collectio Rituum that was printed in 1964 by Benzinger Brothers. It was approved for use by the National Conference of Bishops of the United States of America. Each page has two columns one with the texts in Latin and next to it text translated into English.
On page vi there is a translation of the Decree printed in Latin. It reads:
“In accordance with art. 36, par 4, of the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, we the Bishops of the United States of America, decree that the following English versions of the liturgical texts are approved for use in the celebration of the sacred liturgy in our dioceses, within the limits established in the decree of April 2, 1964 …”
Am I able to use this 1964 Ritual and recite the various blessings and exorcisms in English? Today, for example, I recited the blessing of the throats from the Collectio in Latin however, someone said that he would have appreciated it in English in order to understand what was spoken. This Collectio includes, as well, the Blessing of Holy Water translated into English. Is it permissible to recite it in English rather than Latin if advantageous for the people to grasp and participate interiorly.
The short answer is, “No.” I’ll explain, below.
There are two issues here, which intersect: participation and use the vernacular.
I contend that use of the vernacular does not automatically result in “interior” participation (which is a desired goal). Latin on the other hand can more effectively create an experience of mystery, lacking or diminished when the difficult signa of rites are reduced to a low common denominator. But that is not the main topic of the question.
To the question: Can the Collectio Rituum be used and, therefore, can some vernacular be used in rites, especially involving exorcisms?
The issue of the use of the 1964 Collectio comes up once in a while. The “emancipation proclamation” of Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, established that the books in force in 1962 can be used. There was an 1961 edition of the Collectio in force in 1962. That is the Collectio to use. The differences are few, but important.
The 1961 Collectio accords with the 1954 and 1959 permissions which granted limited use of the vernacular. In 1959 the Sacred Congregation for Rites permitted, in these USA at least, vernacular for sacraments excepting exorcisms, sacramental forms and blessings, and some other moments, such as prayers after funerals.
The 1964 Collectio gives wider use. The 1964, however, also says – in memory serves – that forms of sacraments should be done in Latin.
In my copy of the 1964 – I don’t have a 1961 – I’ve put post-it notes over the English translation columns in those moments when only Latin must be used (chiefly exorcisms) and over Latin when I can use English. Hence, I can use the 1964 book, but I use it in conformity with the 1961 edition.
Any of the “Weller” books, helpful as they are, must also be adapted in this way, since they were issued – I believe – in 1965.
Hence, NO, the exorcisms and forms of sacraments, etc., are to be done in Latin. Most blessings I believe are to be done in Latin as well.
BTW… I have a red bound Collectio which originally belonged to “Iron John” Dearden, late Card. Archbp. of Detroit, and one of the ultimate liberals whose mess we are still stepping in even in our own days. He started, for example, Call To Action. I enjoy using his book when performing the traditional rites. It’s a mild form of Schadenfreude.