Really… admit it…

Be honest now.

When it comes right down to it… and you can answer in perfect anonymity,…


In which language do you really prefer for Holy Mass?

  • Latin (or liturgical language of your Rite) (77%, 1,815 Votes)
  • My mother tongue or daily language (23%, 532 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,347

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jon says:

    this is a really dumb idea. we all know how the readers of NLM are going to answer? [Not as dumb as you not knowing that this isn’t NLM! o{]:¬) ]

  2. Ray from MN says:

    Actually, what I prefer most of all is “reverence.”

  3. Jacob says:

    I can’t honestly answer this as I’m deaf as a doorpost, but I would choose Latin just because it simplifies.

  4. RJSquirrel says:

    jon: You’re a democrat, right?

  5. Bobby Bambino says:

    Honestly, it is Latin for me. This was made apparent to me this morning, when I thought there was going to be a TLM at my church, but it was a “new” mass (TLM masses are the first and third Saturday of the month, not every other Saturday). It really hit me how ummm, let’s say “not pretty” the mass is when said in English, especially when you’re expecting a TLM. The mass is still the mass, but I prefer the reverence of a mass said in Latin. Much less opportunity for abuse and word changes as well.

  6. Woody Jones says:

    I tend to agree with “anonymous” above, and to that end would note that the Anglican Usage provides just such a reverent use of Elizabethan English (in Rite One, which is almost exclusively used), thus employing a “sacred language” as it has come to be understood, in the English speaking world, but still in the vernacular. We understand that the Book of Divine Worship is in the first stages of a review and revision, and hopefully this will include insertion of the older offertory prayers at least as an option, to improve things even more.

  7. a catechist says:

    With reverence and good (meaning mostly Latin) music, I’m happy with either. But although my Latin is quite serviceable, I prefer the vernacular Mass with the Ordinary in Latin & ad orientum because I really want to hear the words of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. If the EF had the Roman Canon sung or spoken, I’m sure I’d prefer to be there.

  8. Janet says:

    Ray sums it up for me pretty well. I’m not thrilled with Mass in a language I don’t know, but the silence and reverence make it worth the effort.
    I voted in the minority here, for Mass in the vernacular, but if the ‘extraordinary rite’ could be done in the vernacular instead of in Latin, that to me would be absolute perfection!

    Could it be that the Holy Father is hoping that the Novus Ordo Mass will gradually morph into the extraordinary rite done in the vernacular?

  9. You can vote anonymously, but I don’t allow “anonymous” comments on this blog.

  10. Mitch says:

    Personally, I don’t believe this should be an either/or, but a both/and.

    Ordinary of Mass in Latin. (anything that stays the same most weeks)
    Changing Prayers, Readings in Vernacular. (Including Last Gospel)

    But if I have to Choose between vernacular and church langauge I would perfer the Liturgies I go to to be in Latin, Church Slavonic, Kione, Aramheic etc. The old languages. Aside: Hey you guys over in the Russian Orthodox Church dont drop the Church Slavonic you will end up like us with silly fights over language.

  11. Ben Trovato says:

    Is this the right question? Or to put it another way, you worship God the way you want, I prefer to worship Him the way He wants…

  12. Paul the Other says:

    Cerevisia bibo. Oops! Wrong poll. I voted Latin. I haven’t been spending the last year and a half learning Latin for nothing, you know.

  13. little gal says:

    I think that given the nature of this website that the results would be skewed in favor of the Latin liturgy–I don’t mean this in a pejorative sense, I am only looking at sample bias.

    I am fortunate enough to attend a parish where the NO is very reverent. At times, Latin is used (Gloria, Agnus Dei etc.) and I do like it. But,I have come to the conclusion that the language of the Mass doesn’t make as much difference as the disposition of the faithful and what is happening with their formation outside of Mass.

  14. Jane says:

    Yes, latin not only simplfies, it unifies. The spanish mass could be eliminated and we could get to know our spanish brethren instead of the segregation that occurs in our parishes now.

  15. Tommy Q says:

    I chose vernacular. I have to admit I am jealous of those who celebrate the Anglican Use form of the Latin Rite.

    I love the EF, but I do not want to make it my regular form of worship. I like the OF Mass best when it strictly follows the rubrics, includes Latin at the important prayers, the priest faces with the people, and there are kneelers at Communion. That’s how I get the most out of Mass. So really, a mix of Latin and English is the best.

  16. Jason says:

    If it’s a one or the other, it’s definitely Latin. However, I’d be perfectly happy with the Choir doing the Propers Chants in Latin, most of our responses in English (and with thy spirit, Lord hear our prayer, etc) provided they are translated accurately, with the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Pater Noster in Greek or Latin (as the case may be).

    It really frustrates me that the only time we hear these languages in our parish is during Advent or Lent as if that’s the only time it’s important to do Latin/Greek and chant. This of course is done in the name of “progressive solemnity” (which would be accomplished without these changes if the choir would be allowed to do the proper chants in the corresponding modes for the liturgical seasons!) Anyway, sorry for the rant.

  17. Laurence Peter says:

    I voted with the minority. I want the vernacular though not the current English translations. Actually, to affirm what someone wrote earlier, I’d prefer the Elizabethan English as found in the Anglican Usage Mass.

  18. Tyler says:

    I agree with the above posters who have said that reverence is more important than language.

  19. Jason says:

    I must admit, when I attended my first TLM about three years ago, I was lost; it was a low mass. However, as I studied and realized what participation in the mass really means, I quickly became accustomed to the mass prayed in Latin. Personally, I don’t think it is a vernacular issue, but a paradigm shift in how one sees the mass.
    This is my first comment to this blog. I’ve been reading this blog for quite some time now and realy do appreciate the commentary and pithy comments from its readers. Thanks for all you do, Fr. Z!

  20. Roland de Chanson says:

    I prefer Latin. But I will grant one concession. The Kyrie can stay in Greek. ;-)

  21. Martin T. says:

    Can\’t vote from my Treo! Either or is hard. I chose Native Tounge.

    Hey Padre: Did you vote both as it seems Layin is your native tounge :-)

  22. Jayna says:

    I went with Latin, but I actually really enjoy a combination of English and Latin. The church I went to in England served wonderfully as just my normal Sunday parish church because it was in the vernacular, except we did the Gloria, Sanctus/Benedictus, Agnus Dei, and sometimes both the Credo and Pater Noster in Latin. As has been said above, if it’s done with dignity and decorum, the OF can be a beautiful Mass. I’m not for eradicating it, I’m for doing it correctly. And boy does Canon Eddie at St. Joseph and the English Martyrs get it right!

    That, and if I wanted the whole EF shabang, I could just head on down to London and go to the Oratory. ;)

  23. Sister Joan says:

    I prefer KIND Priests,speaking English.

  24. Jeanne says:

    I live in a diocese where liturgical abuse is the norm and have started to drive an hour to participate in the EF.

    Our book club has just finished reading an excellent book “The Latin Mass Explained” by Msgr. George J. Moorman. If you want to more fully understand the Mass this is the book for you.

    I quote from the book “The greatest act of worship ever performed was rendered on Calvary by the great High Priest. But it was done in silence.”


  25. Dominic H says:

    I would say that reverence is more important than language.

    Two particular bugbears of mine however:

    (1) The current (ie 1970s) vernacular translation of the mass, certainly in to English, but also into the other European languages I know, are really to my mind not acceptable, as banal and incomplete…but as we know something is being done to rectify this

    and (2) – and this pertains to a church in London that I love, that does so many things absolutely right (I guess anyone who knows me would know immediately which one I mean…) – the habit, in a OF Latin Mass, of reading the Gospel in Latin….I’m really not supportive of that: surely it pertains that, at the very least, when this is read, it really ought to be done in such a way that it is understood by all those present. Not just because of the particular importance of the Gospel, but also because it is one element of the service that will vary (totally) from day to day, and so is not something that can be learnt by rote and thus understood, as applies to much of the mass

  26. Dominic H: I think people should/could have the readings with them, or even better, reading and meditating those readings before going to mass.

  27. Jenny Z says:

    I’ll be perfectly honest… I prefer a reverent NO to the TLM for the moment, mainly because I don’t quite understand the TLM yet. There’s a parish about 30 minutes away that has altar rails and a choir loft :o and does a beautiful NO. I’m loving it.

  28. Michael BD says:

    This was difficult. I prefer the Latin because of the explicit theology expressed in the traditional Mass. But if the Traditional Anglican Communion makes a re-entry, I would be very interested to see how I might respond to their liturgies.

  29. Gideon Ertner says:

    I can\’t say either/or either.

    The Ordinary in Latin, for sure… what do you think we have 18 wonderful ancient Mass settings for?

    The chanted Propers in Latin as well, naturally. Gregorian chant beats everything.

    As for the rest, I appreciate the point that liturgy is service to God and so we shouldn\’t focus on what we want but what God wants. But even Lefèbvre (at least initially) believed that it was a good thing to have the Liturgy of the Word in the vernacular. After all, the Liturgy of the Word/Mass of the Catechumens is also very much God\’s service to us – he gave us Scripture to edify us.

    I also find I am able to join my intentions to a prayer better when it is said in my own tongue.

  30. Dave says:

    I think it makes sense, as a general principle, that when speaking to the congregation, the priest and other ministers should use the vernacular, and when speaking to God, they (and the congregation) should use Latin. That approach, I think, allows the benefits of the vernacular language as foreseen by Vatican II, and also preserves the concept of a sacred language used for prayer.

  31. As a priest, I prefer to celebrate the Holy Mass in Latin. As far as attending – I rarely get the gift of just praying at Mass, but I really prefer to attend in Latin. It’s as if it gives God more room to approach me where I am… If I’m in a pious place, I can just be there and meditate\contemplate. If I’m really into the brain that day, I can follow in the missal or test my latin by following without it. If I’m exhausted, or upset, or especially repentant, or even despondent, the Mass has a means for me to come to the Lord and to meet him… I love it so much!

  32. ssoldie says:

    Since 302 votes and so far 23 post’s ,says alot to me , I myself have always loved the Latin as I have used a ‘Missal’ for so many years. I am also a post Vatican II Catholic, and have always known what the Church wants as to active particpation,(just go to the Gregorian Rite) watch, listen, smell, kneel, stand, sit, genuflect,and silent prayer, now thats active participation.I would also suggest to anyone who does go to TLM, to find a post Vat- Missal, and read from the 1st page of the Missal to the beginning of the 1st gospel, First Sunday In Advent,you will find much knowledge as to what the Mass is and why we pray it so reverently. If you want to further your knowledge read, Adrian Fortescue “The Mass”. God keep yo all.

  33. Anne-France says:

    I prefer Latin for a reason that I have difficulty to explain, and that I did not read on the commentaries. I need to “speak” to God (well, I don’t say Mass, I am one in the pews) in soft words. My language is not English, it’s French, which is supposed to be a pretty language (whatever that means), but I need an “intermediary” language… maybe it’s the language of Our Lady who is interceding for us to the Heavenly Father. Does anybody understand what I mean? First in the NO, the priest speaks too loud! It bothers me now that I am used to the EF. And I really like the silence of the consecration in the EF. The fact the priest says the prayers in Latin allows me to read the text in my own language, at my own speed and ponder the words in my heart. It was never the same in the NO, and I also had a Missal.
    I vote for Latin!

  34. Anne-France says:

    Thank you to Fr.Humphries (above). You expressed it better than I could.

  35. William says:

    Jane has it right — Unity! One of the marks of the “True Church” after all. With Latin, we leave our differences behind and worship as one body of the faithful. Talk about inclusivity! (is that a word?)

  36. I like Latin as much as the next guy, however having attended many times Mass in the Ordinary Form in Latin and English, as well as the Extraordinary Form, I must say that when it comes down to it, I prefer my native English. That said, I do like it when some mass parts are done in Latin (Pater Noster, Agnus Dei, for instance.) Latin also should be the language of choice in an international community or gathering, just from a unity standpoint. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if the vernacular would go away, but I like it to be an option.

  37. This is an invalid question for me, at least as an anglophone.

    We don’t have any actual translation of the Mass into English here in Lourdes, just something that the old ICEL threw upon the masses, so to speak.

    How can one make a comparison?

    Anyway, that ICEL business in the past for me.

  38. Lois says:

    I wish I could answer, but I have never attended a Latin Mass and we don’t have Latin Mass anywhere remotely close to where I live. I have always been intrigued, and am starting to learn some prayers in latin. I hope someday I will be able to cast a vote in a poll such as this.

  39. MarkDW says:

    This is a tough question for me because, ideally, I would prefer the parts of the Mass that stay the same from week-to-week (Confiteor, Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Canon, Agnus Dei, Pater Noster) to be in Latin, while the parts that vary from week-to-week (Collect, post-Communion prayer, readings, Gospel, etc…) in the vernacular. It would be great if the Liturgy of the Word could be in vernacular towards the people like the OF because it is an opportunity for the deacon/priest/bishop to teach the flock; then, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, celebrated with the people (ad orientum) in the common language of the Church (Latin) just as in the EF. It seems to me this is what the Council was going for, too bad it didn’t turn out that way in practice.

  40. Jim says:

    Being a former Episcopal priest, this is a tough call. A mass in Elizabethan language is quite beautiful. But the ICEL English currently in use is atrocious, so until the revision forthcoming I’m going to have to vote Latin.

  41. Michael says:

    Fr. Z., you have put it as an \”either or\” choice, and I voted for Latin, but really, it is because the TLM must be first well established and accepted. Later, one can discuss a vernacular of those parts that change all the time. There is no point, however, in vernacularization of the parts, which do not change and are said by a priest in a low voice: everybody can read a vernacular text if bilingual leaflets are provided. As for those sections that are sung, everybody should learn to sing them in Latin in due course (that is expected in the NO too).

  42. Jon says:

    For “Jim,” former Episcopal priest, and those of you who may have forgotten what the new Novus Ordo translation will look like:

    As for me, I’m blessed to attend an FSSP apostolate. My vote is firmly in the “L” column

  43. Denise says:

    Actually, very hard for me to vote, as i like both at various times. As another poster saidd, my most major preference is for reverence.

    I really like the TLM, but I am not sure I am ready for it to be the only type of liturgy I prefer to attend. Sometimes i just really enjoy the liturgy at my home parish, even though I have to wince at one or two things. Its very reverent, and the presence of my home community is an irreplaceable dimension. Maybe I feel that because I have been traveling for work such a great deal.

    Which on the plus side affords some opportunities for comparing liturgies and visiting many beautiful churches (Today I am heading up to the Sacred heart Basilica at Notre Dame). My most consistent opportunity for the TLM has been a Holy Rosary church in Indianapolis, IN. Now however, I am up north, near South Bend, so I have to look around again. Here in Plymouth, there is no TLM, but their lovely Parish (St. Micheal’s) is open all day for adorationm(Eucharist is reposed), has Eucharistic adoration (Benediction and Exposition)every Wednesday, and they do have a Spanish language Mass (which I discovered by accident–that was interesting)

    Anyhow, I still have to attend the TLM up here. Have to locate one.

  44. marnie says:

    Jane makes a good point. We have the same problem in Catalonia with Catalán and Spanish. Change my vote, Fr. Z!

  45. Latin without a doubt. That being said, a sung OF in Spanish is beautiful as well.

  46. Irish says:

    One of the reasons I prefer the latin is that it encourages me to read the missal. If it were in English, I’m afraid I wouldn’t read along and my mind would drift. As I read the missal, a couple of things happen: 1) I learn latin and the roots of many English words as well as the origins of many idioms (which are being lost with the new translations, i.e. behold the wild flowers vs. lilies of the field; 2) more of the mystery of the mass is revealed. The Tridentine latin mass is like a beautiful work of art, a masterpiece. The more you study it, the more that is revealed to you.

  47. paul zummo says:

    To me it’s not even a choice: Latin. I have attended Anglican use Masses, and while they are beautiful, I still prefer the Latin. To me, it’s like having a liturgical language akin to Jewish services in Hebrew. Somehow it just makes the whole thing seem “elevated.”

  48. Chris says:

    The real question may be, should there be a choice?

    Let me cast the first “no”!

  49. Kradcliffe says:

    The question wasn’t “which form of the rite do I prefer” but “which language do I prefer.”

    So, I would say English – my mother tongue. If the Mass were actually said in the same words as the translation in my 1962 Missal, I’d be very happy.

  50. Jason C. says:

    I think I prefer English. I’m not good at praying and reading a Missal at the same time, so the Latin-English Missal doesn’t really help me during Mass. I like to be able to hear the prayer and enter into it. But my comprehension is not the only consideration for the Liturgy. I love Latin and want to hear it in Church. But personally I would like to see Latin and the vernacular both coexisting.

  51. stike says:

    I agree with Kradcliffe and some others. I’ve often thought the best of all would be a TLM said using the English translation in the little red Ecclesia Dei booklet. It’s such a well-written translation and so inspiring. Also, I would love to attend an Anglican-use Mass because I imagine that would be an awesome and holy liturgy as well.

    Really, any liturgy with glorious prayers (read: not ICEL translations) would be fine with me in the vernacular. Unam Sanctam Catholicam has the Chaldean Eucharistic prayer up and it is beautiful (

    I will say that one benefit to Latin (or any other language I don’t speak) is that the tone and speed of the priest don’t distract me. I can’t tell if they are rushing, bored, or what, and the sense of the mystical is heightened when you hear the litury in an unknown language.

    Okay, now I am waffling.

  52. Bro. AJK says:

    I voted for the mother tongue. I want to understand the Scripture and the homily, as well as the intentions in the Eucharistic prayer. I have no problem with some parts in Latin, but I do want to know what I am praying for at the time in the Mass

  53. Irish says:

    Jason C. wrote: I’m not good at praying and reading a Missal at the same time…

    I always thought assisting at Mass by reading the missal was praying.

  54. Blue Falcon says:

    I prefer the Mass in Latin and attend the Tridentine Rite Mass at my church. However, with the approval of the Motu Proprio, I like how my priest says the readings in English instead of Latin. Before the Motu and at all Tridentine Masses I have attended before, the priest would say the readings in Latin and then in English at the ambo before his sermon/homily. Again, I like the readings during the Mass in English, but know some people who disagree with this passionately. I Would like Fr. Z’s opinion on this.

  55. Chris says:

    “I always thought assisting at Mass by reading the missal was praying.”

    PPXII called it the greatest form of prayer.

    I’m kind of shocked that so many people on this blog can’t seem to “pray” when they hear Latin. How many times have you tried?

  56. Rachel says:

    I agree that reverence is more important than language, and also that fine old English is way better than the current translations– still, I voted Latin all the way!

  57. Matt Callihan says:

    I voted for Latin because of its uniformity and the sense of mysticism that it imparts to me.

    I often attend the Byzantine rite, which is in the vernacular, but the recent translation of the Divine Liturgy is a travesty.
    I would be okay vernacular as long as it was not imported into the TLM. In non-TLM Liturgies which make use of the vernacular I would want to see it done in a sacral way, Elizabethan English, for example.

  58. James II says:

    I understand most of the missal in Latin but I would honestly prefer Elizabethan English.

  59. Simon Platt says:

    I have a strong opinion, and I voted. I’m not saying which way. But I am a little uneasy. I fear that part of the problem with the liturgy and our reception of it is those of us who say “I like it this way”, or “I prefer it in this language, but not that bit, no, that bit would be better done this other way”. It’s not my liturgy, or yours; it belongs to the church.

  60. Larry says:

    Actually I prefer my native language for the most part. I am terrible at languages and I do want to know that I am saying what The Church and I intend to say. It is for this reason that I so look to the day when the new translation into English will finally be here. That being said I love praying in Latin those prayers I understand. The Confiteor, Gloria, the Creed, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei and Domine non sum dignus and of course the Greek Kyrie. It is not a coincidence that all these save the Domine have beautiful chant and polyphonic accompaniments. I think also that this is more of what the Council was looking toward.

    I also like the Holy Father’s notion that only the first few words of the various prayers of the Canon need to said outloud. The silence then lets us in pews pray as well and concentrate on the actual prayers we are praying. It also helps in that we don’t need to listen for the priest to make up his own prayers and it allows him to not feel he has to! I do think the Consecration should be aloud if it is in the vernacular. Pardon me, but; then I know that Jesus is present and that he did not exit stage left when the priest went off the rails. 35 years of wondering what we’ll hear next is getting old.

    In spite of all I have said here yes I do love the Latin Mass as well and attend when I get the chance.

  61. Simon Platt says:

    If I understand “Anglican Use” correctly, is not “Elizabethan English” actually the language proper to that rite?

    Now that’s something I didn’t vote for!

  62. Sacristy_rat says:

    Ordinary of the Mass in Latin…
    Readngs (maybe the Collect & Post Communion) in the vernacular…. like the 1964/65 Missal in the USA.

  63. John P. says:

    I will honestly tell you, I prefer the Mass in Latin. It just seems so much more reverent that way. I hardly even know Latin, so I guess I shouldn’t really be saying much, but I know enough to understand what’s going on during the Mass. I’ve still never been to a TLM in person, just watched them on the internet, but even on a screen it just looks so beautiful and reverent.

  64. I was born after Vatican II and never felt drawn toward the Latin Mass. Then a year ago October I wandered into one — the diocese was closing my old church so I had to find somewhere else to go. Now I love talking about that day because it is like remembering falling in love. I didn’t understand half of what was going on, but I understood enough, and it totally floored me and even frightened me. It has completely changed me as a Catholic. The English Mass and songs like “Be Not Afraid” foster a casual atmosphere. The Latin clues you in to that something important is going on, something mysterious and deep. I wish every diocese could have a “traveling Latin Mass” — take it around to different parishes, maybe give a talk beforehand, make people try it. I think that would change a lot of lives.

  65. Jason Keener says:

    I tend to prefer the use of Latin in the Liturgy. It would seem that our divine worship of almighty God almost requires us to use a special sacral language that is set apart for the Sacred Mysteries. Muslims and Jews also make use of sacral languages in their own religions. Using a sacral language shows God that we want to make the effort to use a language at Mass that is not the easy and everyday language of the streets. Moreover, the liturgy is not an everyday event, so it should not be saturated with everyday language, everyday music, and everyday gestures.

    Also, I like the fact that Latin unifies us as Catholics of the Latin Church. In too many parishes today, separate factions of the parish are off at their own Spanish Mass, Charismatic Mass, Polka Mass, Vietnamese Mass, and on and on…

    I noticed that some here have said they get more out of the Mass when the Mass is in English. I don’t think that’s the best way to look at it. We don’t go to Mass to get something out of it. Rather, we go to Mass to put something into it—the Divine Worship of Almighty God.

    If you are having a hard time figuring out the Traditional Latin Mass, please hang in there. Just about everyone is lost at first. You don’t know what is going on. You don’t feel like you are participating. You might even be bored. After 5 or 10 times, however, you will probably start to become more attuned to the Extraordinary Form’s beautiful rhythm and reverential approach to Divine Worship. The Holy Spirit worked for centuries perfecting the Traditional Latin Mass. Its movements, rhythm, and gestures are Divine Poetry.

  66. Aelric says:

    When all the dusts settles from various considerations of comprehension and euphony, one simple fact remains for me: assisting at Mass in Latin transcends time and place. I hear (much) the same words as spoken by Augustine & Ambrose; Francis and Dominic; Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure; Bruno & Benedict; Catherine of Siena & Theresa of Avila. I hear the same words as spoken in the jungles of Africa as the fjords of Norway & Iceland; from the mouth of the Tiber to Cape Hope; from Bath to Guam.

    Patrick O’Brian puts this more eloquently than can I (see The Fortune of War: ) ” … they reached the obscure chapel in a side-alley, a crept into the immensely evocative smell of old incense. There followed an interval on a completely different plane of being: with the familiar ancient words around him, always the same, in whatever country he had ever been, he lived free of time or geography, and he might have walked out, a boy, into the streets of Barcelona, blazing white in the sun, or into those of Dublin under the soft rain.”

  67. Inqiusitor says:

    Look how many neocons read Fr Z’s blog!

  68. Aelric says:

    idiots too, apparently.

    (my apologies to the webmaster)

  69. Simon-Peter says:

    I prefer Latin because it is less confusing than the vernacular: I can pray without having to listen to all the words.

    I trust priests enough to know that they are saying the right things even if I don’t understand everything they say!

  70. Jason C. says:

    I always thought assisting at Mass by reading the missal was praying.

    I’m sure there are people who can pray as they read, but I don’t think “reading” and “praying” are necessarily the same thing, at least not for me. I’m not against anyone who likes to use the Missal, it’s just not something I find easy. When I can hear and immediately understand the prayer (because it’s in my native tongue), I am able to enter into it in a way I can’t when I’m trying to read the prayer.

  71. Jason C. says:

    I’m kind of shocked that so many people on this blog can’t seem to “pray” when they hear Latin. How many times have you tried?

    I can pray when I hear Latin. I just can’t pray the prayer that is being said, because I have no idea what is being said in the prayer. I don’t think comprehension is the only reason to have the vernacular. There is much to be said for mystery. But personally I think both Latin and the vernacular have their place.

  72. Daniel Muller says:


    So much easier than the pickle question.

  73. Jake says:

    I voted with the minority as well. I would honestly prefer to have a mixture of both. But if forced to choose, then I think that practical the benefits of the vernacular are clear to the masses—and like it or not, it’s here to stay. We’ll never, ever, ever go back to a universal non-vernacular Mass in the West, and I think this is for the best.

    I think that the proper and especially the readings really should be in the vernacular (maybe except on special occasions or when the congregation is multilingual). I know some disagree, but the idea of having the readings in Latin for a normal parochial Mass just seems silly today (even if they get repeated in English before the homily).

    My hope is that someday (sooner rather than later) the language issue will be less politicized and we will see a greater use of Latin in the OF and wider permission for the vernacular in the EF. I think that if the EF is to really be integrated back into the normal life of the Church (which I think is the Pope’s intention), then some of the liturgical principles of Vatican II need to be applied.

  74. Jim says:

    The Byzantine Divine Liturgy, in church Slavonic if you please.

  75. Jim says:

    I voted English because I do not know Latin. It would be great though if I did!

  76. momoften says:

    I am a great fan of the EF…attend it many times in the week. My boys serve the EF Mass. I love the Latin,the rituals,the reverence…. but,have limited knowledge of Latin. OF course I am getting better at it, but, because I have MANY children with me in the pew I can’t always pray the Mass like I would like to by following it in the missal. The English is great for that reason (if done properly without ad libbing) I once talked to a priest who gave me a very good insight. He believed that there is a place for both Masses. That for the younger ones to attend
    the Mass in English was a great tool for them to begin to understand the Latin Mass. Of course he does his English Masses with reverence and beautifully. I think the problem is still the translations used in the Mass are horrible compared to the latin. Change the translations correctly. Correct postures, and
    get rid of the entertainment business going on in Mass! The English Mass could be awesomely (especially ad orientam)

  77. Chris says:

    Jason: I’, sure there are people who can pray as they read, but I don’t think “reading” and “praying” are necessarily the same thing.

    That’s simply not the case. As I said PPXII said it was the highest form of prayer. It quotes him in my ’45 Missal. So it may not be your preference, but what you think about it just isn’t the case.

  78. Daniel says:

    I vote latin, but actually i prefer combination both latin and vernacular that is the ordinary of the mass in latin and the proper in vernacular.

  79. tradone says:

    Fr Humphries said……. “If I’m in a pious place, I can just be there and meditatecontemplate. If I’m really into the brain that day, I can follow in the missal or test my latin by following without it. If I’m exhausted, or upset, or especially repentant, or even despondent, the Mass has a means for me to come to the Lord and to meet him… I love it so much!”
    Thank you Fr Humphries, you put my thoughts into words.
    The TLM allows one to pray at Mass in many ways.

    I really don’t understand the need to say every word with the Priest and mimic his every action. Thats not my idea of active participation and thankfully thats not how I was taught. I beleive, you are the priest I am the one in the pew.

  80. jo says:

    Jim, please just buy a missal.

  81. little gal says:

    I have a question for those who prefer the Mass in Latin (either form) and whose basis for doing so is the mystery + ‘pull’ into prayer. What happens during your prayer outside of Mass,eg., time spent in Eurcharistic devotion, recitation of the Rosary? Do you pray in Latin? I have found for myself that my ongoing inner state influences my prayers-both inside and outside of Mass. I heard a priest say that those who get something out of the NO have to be more holy people. Now, if I interpret a little what he may have meant, perhaps it is that those who find the NO ‘valuable’ are perhaps those who are focussed on interior preparation a bit more at times. I offer this as a point of discussion, not a critique.

  82. jo says:

    Ms. Goldman, the traveling Latin Mass idea is an excellent one. Brilliant!

  83. big bertha says:

    hardly an unbiased sample but i’m glad the venacular vote has held so strong in such circumstances. interesting what the result could have been if the question had been worded differently, and if there were a greater variety of responses (eg to include an option for ‘both’ against ‘latin only’).

  84. Greg Smisek says:

    Dave said: “I think it makes sense, as a general principle, that when speaking to the congregation, the priest and other ministers should use the vernacular, and when speaking to God, they (and the congregation) should use Latin.”

    It was difficult, but assuming one should address the saints in the language of Heaven as well, I think I’ve worked out the Confiteor:

    Server: Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, beatae Mariae semper Virgini, beato Michaeli Archangelo, beato Joanni Baptistae, sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, and you, Father: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo, et opere, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, beatum Michaelem Anchangelum, beatum Joannem Baptistam, sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum, omnes Sanctos, and you, Father, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.

    Priest: May almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to eternal life.

    (My apologies to Dave.)

  85. Charlotte says:

    OK all you Latin fans – what about the fact that throughout Europe, and in much of South America (I know nothing about Asia), English is not only usually REQUIRED as a second language, but it’s also widely spoken in business, etc., circles? Would that not be a better argument for having the mass said in the unified language of English? (If this is an oft-discussed point, I apologize. You all know I’m new to this topic.)

  86. avecrux says:

    Dear Lil Gal –

    I love the Latin. My first exposure to Mass in Latin was daily Mass (NO) at Thomas Aquinas College. I just think the Latin language is more beautiful – the economy of words – and translations never quite capture the essence of the original. So, for me, it is a beauty thing. I think Latin makes the Mass more beautiful. Sacramentum Caritatis #35 says “Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation.”

  87. Jason C. says:

    As I said PPXII said it was the highest form of prayer.

    My 1962 Missal has this quote from Pope St. Pius X:

    The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the Altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the Altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens on the Altar. When acting in this way you have prayed the Holy Mass.

    Are you referring to this quote? It says that Mass is the highest form of prayer, and that we should pray Mass with the Priest. But you don’t absolutely need a Missal to pray Mass. The point of the Missal is to let the people know what is being said, so that they can join in the prayer better. But when the prayer is the in the vernacular, you don’t need the Missal, because you understand the language that is being used.

    I find it hard to “associate [my] heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words” when I am reading those words. I find it easier to enter into the prayer when I can hear it and understand it in my native tongue. As I said before, I have nothing against people who use the Missal. It’s just not something I find easy to use.

  88. Evelyn says:

    I would go with ordinary in Latin and propers in the vernacular. I grew up Rite I Anglican, and I really do appreciate good use of the English language. For now, I read here what the prayers really ought to say, and that gets me through. I go to a reverent NO parish, but I’m thinking of trying an EF Mass next month. I’ve also been to several Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgies. They were beautiful, but very alien, and when I ended up at an NO Mass, I felt like I had found the balance I needed.

    I’m a convert, and I tend to think that doing the *entire* Mass in Latin is going to leave a lot of people out. I’m not talking about Kumbaya inclusiveness, just using a language that visitors can understand. Now that I am very accustomed to what goes on at Mass and why, and have read quite a bit about the EF, I’m confident that when I go, I will know what is going on even in the places where my Latin can’t keep up.

  89. little gal says:

    I agree that Latin is beautiful. I am not sure that English-particularly the hardness of English spoken in America, is the most beautiful language to listen to whether it is at Mass or in Opera. I also agree that beauty is a bridge to transcendence; the beautiful religious frescoes in the parish I attend are a point of contemplation for me during the Mass at times and they are very helpful in moving me inward. But, the content of the Mass (words, gestures) have meaning and there is a need for someone like myself to comprehend them–and to comprehend them them better. For example, I always use the missal-like the celebrant-when reciting the Creed. At times, one word or phrase draws me in and I stop a minute to focus on it. How could one do this in any language that is foreign to one? Just a thought…

  90. Matt Callihan says:

    The more I think about it, I don\’t think it is wise to pit one against the other. Having one to the exlusion of the other is one of the variables responsible for the liturgical mess we are in now. Both Latin and vernacular each have their proper places. Keep them seperated and people will go where they are comfortable and not be forced to accept something that goes against their sensabilities.

  91. Mark says:

    Convert here. No contest. Latin.

  92. tradone says:

    Matt, you are right. That is exactly what is happening now. Not just recently, but over the last 40 or so years.

  93. pelerin says:

    It is interesting to see so many different comments here regarding praying at Mass. Whichever their preference they have expressed it without criticizing others and God willing one day we may all have the opportunity of choosing our language of worship.

    The divisiveness of the vernacular is particularly felt in places like Lourdes where each nationality can find its own vernacular Mass although there is an International Mass where different languges are used. During the torchlight procession many languages are used and I have have been pleased to see on my last couple of visits that more Latin is now being introduced.

    After the torchlight procession the Credo and the Salve Regina are sung and even though the words are printed on the paper torches I am always surprised how few people sing when it should be such a unifying occasion for all the nationalities there.

    I am lucky in being able to pray in either English or French so I am able to join in the daily Rosary in the Grotto when there which as far as I am aware seems only to be in French. The last time I was there a lady behind me announced in English in a loud voice to her friend just as the Priest started that she could not pray in a foreign language. Her friend agreed and they proceeded to chat for the full half hour, then with Rosary finished they got up and left!! My thoughts were that if the Rosary had been in Latin, and if Catholics were encouraged at least to learn the Pater, Ave and Gloria then all could participate in the Rosary prayers. It was difficult to be charitable on that occasion as I could feel the annoyance of those around as we all raised our voices and tried to concentrate!

  94. Jane says:

    I agree that reverence is key. Our former pastor was reverent, unfortunately, he was also transferred.

    Within our county, one parish kneels after the Agnes Dei, another does not, and still another doesn’t even have kneelers. My point is that the NO is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna git. It’s the Tower of Babel in practice.

    The Mass in Latin eliminates all that distracting stuff that we endure in the vernacular NO. (How do you say “Let’s all give the choir a big hand for that great performance, huh?” – in Latin? I know you can say it in Latin, but what are the odds you would hear it?)

    The Mass in Latin just seems conducive to a reverent Mass. The vernacular Mass allows for (in my county anyway) too much variation, little reverence, and disunity.

  95. BobP says:

    We’re not talking just liturgy and tradition but the greatest art of all.

    The operas stay in Italian, the cantatas in German, and the Mass, whether Tridentine or in B-minor, in Latin.

  96. CPT Tom says:

    I voted for Latin…if we’re going to have to go through the pain of a new translation, might as well go tall the way and just say the mass in Latin. It would be interesting to see what happens with the Life Teen masses and the like. I have a feeling that would crater those abominations. Well, one can dream!

  97. Andreas says:

    Latin for me. But I am truly amazed that so many others prefer Latin also. I am really surprised.

  98. Jane says:

    I go to Masses in both English and in Latin. The Mass is the Mass, regardless of which form it is in, regardless of which language it is in, regardless of which rite (Maronite, Latin etc.) it is in.

    Latin is the language of the Church, but the Masses here in Australia stopped being said in Latin when I was about eight years of age in the 1960’s. My Catholic schools did not even talk about Latin, yet alone known teach it. My husband is 1 day off 11 years older than me. His Catholic school taught Latin as a subject. He even has an old missal that has English on one side and Latin on the other side, despite this advantage over me, he does not remember much Latin. I am slowly picking up a few words of it. I can’t actually say any of them, but at least I can guess what the priest is saying.

    It clearly is better for me to have the Mass in English under the circumstances. I have also been to a few Masses on rare occasions in other languages: In Italian (because I was visiting Italy), in Lithuanian (because it is my husband’s first language). It is very hard for me to fill in the Latin gap now. There is no one to help me with this and I felt real distress when my parish priest put the Novus Order into Latin overnight without warning, without preparation for one Sunday Mass each month. Benediction, prayers hymns and all were done in Latin. I felt that he was really not with it. He knows Latin, but failed to make any preparations for people like me who went to Catholic schools in the 1960’s. A lot of water had gone under the bridge since then.

    Because Australia has people of many languages, even though English is the official language of our country, just like it is in the USA, New Zealand and elsewhere, occasionally the priest has given a homily in another language such as Maltese, but even then he tells the English speaking people that he is going to do so and then when he is finished, he gives a version of the sermon in English for the other people who can not speak Maltese.

    I would like to be fluent in Latin and therefore be fully liturgical but the nuns of the sixties in the schools had no interest in bestowing that upon me and the other pupils.

    I am glad that speaking Latin is not a requirement for entering heaven, although I suspect that some people think that it is.

  99. avecrux says:

    Dear Little Gal –
    I agree – you can’t do what you mentioned if you don’t understand what is being said.
    Fortunately, I was studying Latin at the same time, so that helped me a ton. I understood a fair bit – and through daily repetition, I learned the vocabulary in the Mass quite well.

  100. Brian Murphy says:

    Although it is not a critical matter to me, I do prefer Latin. Although I would prefer the Extraordinary Form in Englis over the Ordinary Form in Latin any day of the week.

    With that said if it were to be in English I would prefer something more set apart from the daily language, perhaps Elizabethan English. But again I would still prefer Latin.

    Also, is there something wrong with the website or is it my personal computer. Whenever there is a poll, I have to scroll down substantially to be able to see the poll, there is a lot of white space. Also when commenting, I cannot see the last 20% of what I am writing on each line?

  101. Frank H says:

    Speaking of the new English translation, at Mass this morning, during Eucharistic Prayer 3, the Priest used the phrase “From the rising of the sun to its setting”, instead from “from east to west”. As far as I could tell that was the only deviation from the current English translation. It sounded GREAT! Why, oh why, must we wait another two or three years!?

  102. ED says:


  103. Frank H says:

    Brian, that seems to happen with older versions of Internet Explorer.

  104. Mitchell says:

    Latin is best overall I think. There are too many other options and changes that Latin, Chant, Incense, need to be constants. For anyone who travels internationally and takes a quick language course, how satisfying is it when you get where you are going and talk to peoples from another culture in a common language? A bridge to communication. Lay Catholics should reclaim their Latin and be proud of it. If I had a penny for each time I heard the Jesus didn’t speak Latin arguement (and yet no one wants to learn Aramaic) I could fund a Latin University.

  105. Father Nicholas Schumm says:

    I love Latin! I love the heritage of the Latin Rite of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church! But, I must admit, I do like offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the vernacular…and I am so excited about the new Roman Missal and the much improved translations…coming soon (I pray) to a parish near you! God bless you Fr. Z and all your endeavors!!

  106. Rob says:

    When you study both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms side by side, and I mean REALLY STUDY the words and the parts of both forms from a literary perspective, from a church history perspective, while meditating and praying over the words, there is no doubt that the Extraordinary Form with its Introits, Prayers, Collects, Communion Prayers, Offetory, Canon, etc, etc, is far more sublime structurally and spiritually insofar as it is the Church’s way to participate in the Sacrifice of Calvary. The Ordinary form is also lovely and reflects more the horizontal nature of Catholic spirituality in its paarticipation in the Sacrifice. One draws up, vertically more and the other propels out and forward dimensionally speaking. I don’t understand how a priest can go from one form to another. The difference is stark from the perspective of what one sees, what one particpates in, how one acts and reacts to the parts of the Mass, though the effect on the soul in the end is the same: the transmission of Grace through the Word and Eucharist. Yet and so puzzling to me the ontological experience of Eucharist during the participation is very different. Again, I don’t understand how a priest can shift from one form to another on an ongoing basis. Something tells me that there is a kind duality occuring which God wills, like in mathematics: a symmetry within a system such that the underlying theorum remains valid even if certian objects, relations, operations, are interchanged

  107. Marilee says:

    Dear Friends, I think our Church Fathers had a better vision than this present generation because they prayed more and meditated more on their Catholic Faith. They centered their lives around GOD. They had a wonderful relationship with Jesus, their Savior, Redeemer and friend. and His Mother Mary. They were guided by the Holy Spirit because they ASKED for His guidance. NOW in these modern times, everybody is a genius!!!!! THEY KNOW EVERYTHING AND THEREFORE, SHOULD NOT BE TAUGHT ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY KNOW EVERYTHING!!!! CLERGY, too, Prelates and religious, do not follow the guidance of the HOLY FATHERS…… Should we expect the flock to follow when they themselves do not obey?????? BAD EXAMPLES…….. WE have the lives of the SAINTS of OLD, who showed us OBEDIENCE is the key to ORDER AND PEACE. THIS, I think should be the same atmosphere in ALL liturgies. REVERENCE AND PROPER DIVINE WORSHIP TO GOD ALMIGHTY….. NOT TO PLEASE YOU OR ME (MAN THE CREATURE!)… BUT TO PLEASE GOD (THE CREATOR)… that HE may welcome us to Heaven. ISN’T this the object of all our Divine Worship???? FOR NOW, the choice for me is LATIN RITE. WHY???? BECAUSE OF ITS REVERENCE AND SACREDNESS!!! Some of the Church Hierarchy helped in destroying the sacredness of the Liturgy by PLEASING MAN instead of PLEASING GOD ALMIGHTY!!!! THUS we have seen how disgusting some of the creative ways some of the parishes led by some clergy make a mockery of the HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS. I believe this is the right word for LITURGY!….. THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS!!

  108. Allena says:

    I’m confused.

    I see a lot of people saying they can’t pray the Latin, because they don’t understand what they are saying. My Missal has the English right along side, and I read that silently, as the Priest says the Latin. Once you do that for a while, then you do understand what he’s saying. You can read it, in any language you want, it doesn’t matter, you’re still praying the mass whether you say it aloud or read to yourself. JMO..

    I think the OF is just so touchy feelie with the other parishioners, and I don’t do as well in that atmosphere. It really gets to feeling like it isn’t about God so much as “participating” and reaching out to others in your parish. These are good things, but I think the EF is more serious, reverent and ritualistic in such a way that it is easier to focus on the sacrifice instead of shaking hands and being sociable. I think it focuses more solely on God, then on each other. I really just feel it gets to me more about each other instead of just God. Maybe others don’t find it this way.

    I don’t mean to rumple feathers, just saying what I have seen in the parishes I’ve gone to, I’m sure there are differences all over.

  109. Sean says:

    Old Church Slovonic!!!

  110. Nan says:

    Jason Keener,

    You’re aware that Polka Mass traveled to St. Peter’s Basilica and was celebrated for Pope John Paul II, aren’t you? The priest responsible therefor has since retired, though polka mass will likely live in the hearts and churches of the slavs.

    I’ve never experienced Latin Mass though would have choices to make if my local Greek Catholic church always celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Old Church Slavonic.

  111. Joanna says:

    I like Latin for “special occasions”.

  112. Richard Feller says:

    Why does the poll have to be all one language or another. Why not have a mix. I like the EF Mass, but also the standard Mass, done reverently, with some prayers, songs, and responses in Latin. Having the Mass in the local language allows all individuals who are visiting, maybe checking out the Catholic faith, to understand some of what is going on, while the Latin, will allow Catholic visitors from all over the world, who don’t speak the local language, to easily recognize the Mass and to follow along. People can learn the Latin and what it means, I did.

  113. Tom Cole says:

    ‘Tis Latin for me, a former Lutheran. Indeed, everything in Latin — in a Baroque Church — is my preference. May God bless Benedict XVI, and let us pray for the reunion of the SSPX!

  114. Tina says:

    One side of my family is Marionite Rite Catholics, so I have a slightly different perspective. I’d have to say the Mass it split between English (venacular) and Syrrac?Arabic?. The Readings, Gospel, Homily and Intentions were all in English. The responses were in the other language. It was difficult because I can’t read whatever language as it was non-Latin based. They had missals and I spent most of the Eucharistic prayer trying to figure out where we were. The Mass I went to this time, the priest actually said which Prayer He was going to use as there was a Confirmation class there from a Latin Rite parish to experience the different rites of the Church. I probably paid the most attention ever so I would know when to sit, kneel and stand.

    However, it was interesting to note that the songs were from Glory and Praise.

    I would agree with the majority of the posters that things that don’t change week to week, such as the Consecration could be in Latin. It’s not like eventually you wouldn’t learn anyway. As a teacher, I am amazed by what students learn without trying to learn it like song lyrics. In grade school the Nicene Creed was the only one we didn’t have to memorize as we eventually had it memorized just by going to Mass.

    I just can’t wait until we have a Mass half in Latin with the songs from Glory and Praise. The best of both worlds.

  115. mrsmontoya says:

    Actually, this is Mrs. Montoya’s husband (Shihan Rob)

    I prefer English (my native tongue) because I’m not versed in Latin and I can pray along better in English than any other language. I go to mass to worship and so far I’m more of a spectator than a participant in the Extraordinary Form. I must say, I do love the Extraordinary form. Thank God for the missals that allow me to read along and follow. Our Parish also has a NO mass that’s sung in Gregorian Chant. Beautiful beyond words! EVERY time I go, I’m so overwhelmed with the beauty of the mass, the fact that love of Our Lord inspired man to create such gorgeous music (chant) to go along with the Mass that I find myself so moved that I weep every time I attend. Marvelous!


  116. Tzard says:

    I struggled with this question all day before I answered – Almost like I had not thought of answering the question before – or nobody really asked *my* preference.

    My preference for the Church, or my family, or my parish are different things, but … Me. Hmmm Honestly, hmmm.

    My family situation doesn’t permit me to go to the only Latin mass in the area. If there was one locally, I’d go to it – but would it be out of curiosity or wanting to be more familiar with something I don’t see everyday? Would I persevere out of personal preference? Would my preference prove itself? Which way?

    Two doors are before me – English and Latin. I decide to choose Latin.

    Personally, for me, participation is not saying the words – nor is it immediate understanding what’s being directly said. It is being present at Calvary (with all the angels and saints gathered around). I always have to listen through a lens, and respond the same. The language is not the important piece, unless it’s distracting. And perhaps my own language would be the most distracting.

    I am also attracted to the Catholicity, or universality of a single language – a language which goes back in time and across the globe. English doesn’t do that – it takes an extra step to put oneself into that mindset.

  117. David Martin says:

    OF in Latin, ad orientem, but with Liturgy of the Word in English and facing the congregation. (I like to understand the (variable) scripture readings directly and I just don’t get reading the epistle and gospel facing “east” in the EF.) One becomes familiar quickly enough with the Ordinary of the mass in Latin and having the Proper in Latin opens up our priceless musical heritage. With Latin, I feel united to the universal church, both geographically and in time (connection with all Catholics present and past). In other words, lets implement V2 and get it right this time.

  118. Luigi says:

    One of the early comments read,

    “I prefer KIND Priests,speaking English.”

    Not to disparage the poster in any way, but herein lies a key point as it relates to the uninntended consequences of the “new” Mass; the OF.

    In reality, the relative “kindness” of the priest has little to do with the Mass itself. As then Card. Ratzinger pointed out in his excellent book, “Spirit of the Liturgy,” the priest is not supposed to be the central player in the Mass that he has become.

    The shift from an ad orientem posture is what the Cardinal was referencing, but I would submit that the move to the vernacular is also a contributing factor in the priest’s personality – as though he were performing – becoming a prominent part of the way in which the liturgy is experienced.

    When Latin is used liturgically, the priest’s personality and his relative kindness become less apparent, and therfore less a factor in how the Mass is experienced, as it should.

    Needless to say, I voted for Latin.

  119. Magdalene says:

    If I had my druthers…
    I would love a proper vernacular translation of the Traditional Latin Mass but keeping those ‘common’ parts in Latin. Not the Novus Ordo that has been cleaned of the notion of Sacrifice and so on but the beautiful prayers of the TLM.

  120. Dove says:

    I must be really dumb, but how does one vote?

  121. I was born in 1950 and for the early part of my life all Masses were said in Latin. Although I really did not understand a word of Latin, until I went to Secondary School from the age of eleven, I had always found the Latin Mass deeply moving, and this ‘unknown language’ added greatly to the Mystery of the Mass. The dignity, reverence and love that were shown during Mass, embellished more by music from the Masters, had a profound effect on many young people. It made me think seriously of a vocation to the Priesthood, and although God had other plans for me, ( I am married and have eight children ), the whole ambience of what took place in church encouraged greatly the whole process of discernment of what God wanted for me in my life. And I have known this was the same experience for quite a few people of my acquaintance, some of whom went on to become Priests, while others did not. Latin is a language Jesus would have known and heard spoken, while He lived in a land occupied by the Romans. It is also a language that keeps the Traditions of the Church ever before our eyes. There was no mandate at Vatican II for getting rid of Latin in the Mass. The translations of the Mass into the vernacular have removed much of the beauty and magnificence of this Holy Sacrifice, being often very inaccurate and failing to convey the Mystery of what is taking place on the Altar.

  122. Gloria says:

    Since I grew up with the “Gregorian” rite and prefer it above all things, it is the most natural way to appreciate all the liturgy – vespers, benediction, etc. As I remember being told more than once by the nuns in religion classes, the Latin made sure that all over the world the Mass would be unified and understood. I can take my missal to France, Italy, wherever, and if the Mass is in the Gregorian rite, I can easily follow, even though my vernacular side of the page is English. I have always felt, moreover, that the language we use to converse with God and to hear from Him, should not be the ordinary words we speak every day. The music soars and uplifts and lends itself to meditation when the Latin is chanted. When I hear English chanted(?), it assaults my sensibilities. It has a flat, perfunctory sound. I get the same feeling with modern translations. Give me a “Thee” and “Thou” to lift the language and make it special.

  123. DP says:

    Father, I see you took down your “I am tired of all the division post” from a few days ago. That apparently did not last very long. ALL division is set aside at the Eucharist.

    Just a note to everyone that happens to read down this far down in the comments… If you truly want to know what The Prayer Really Does Say, you will not find it here. Talk to your Pastor and follow your Bishop.

  124. Brian says:

    Latin, including the propers, sung in Gregorian chant – the greatest artistic treasures of the Church

  125. Max says:

    I would prefer an EF in English.

  126. AR says:

    FrZ, I’m rather surprised by the results. It is very interesting that less than 80% of the readership are ‘trads’ as far as the language of the Mass is concerned.

  127. Sharon says:

    This is not a question of whether we like the OF better than the EF or vice verce. If I had my druthers I would like the EF form of the Mass said in my native language.

  128. It doesnt matter if one thinks the priest is their “buddy”. Priests are supposed to challenge us to be better Catholics. Sometimes that involves our feelings getting hurt. Offer it up to God in Humility. Priests should always be respected, no matter what form or language they use

    Until we get a decent translation, and not a transliteration (come on, that’s what it is..), I prefer Latin. Though I wouldnt mind an english version of the EF, I think it might actually help people appreciate the mass better, as the EF in its form is much more prayerful, IMO of course.

  129. Tiny says:

    Latin, because it falls under the competencies of Rome. The vernacular leaves too much to chance.

  130. Honestly, I think that doing everything in latin isn’t optimal. I do think that you should use gregorian chant as much as possible, that is at least for the ordinary and the propers. The dialogues, penitential rite, peace prayer and so on could be in any language as long as they are sung to the same tones as in latin. But I want to be able to understand the orations, the readings, the preface and the canon without having to read in a missal.

    In other words, I cannot answer the question when there are only two alternatives. I think the optimal is a mix. And that is what Sacrosanctum Concilium seem to imply, too.

  131. Anne-France says:

    We have become so rationalist that we have to “understand” the Mass, therefore the preference o orEnglish over Latin. Are we saying that a child attending the Mass is not receiving the graces? Do you really UNDERSTAND what’s going on? I thought the Church talks about a “mystery”… be honest: do you understand it “better” because it is in English? Well if you do, I admire you.
    I voted for Latin! And I vote again for Latin.
    I read that some prefer the Elizabethan English: I am amazed at this statement. Here I am with my Latin-French missal, the others with their Latin-English missal and the priest happens to be from India saying the TLM… and we are all praying the Heavenly Father as One Body. I vote for Latin!

    The Good Sheperd would do anything to bring the lost soul back with the others, I can’t believe we still think of “me and I”. I thought people one thousand years ago were more stupid than us (less educated for sure), they never complained about the Latin Mass. And the fruits? saints and more saints, and vocations! When are we going to stop this mentality of cafeteria catholics!
    I hope I am not hurting too many feelings.

  132. Charivari Rob says:

    Jane – “Yes, latin not only simplfies, it unifies. The spanish mass could be eliminated and we could get to know our spanish brethren instead of the segregation that occurs in our parishes now.”

    In my experience, language determines neither unity nor segregation, just as others have observed above that language does not determine reverence.

  133. Mary says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, so sorry if this has already been said. I also would like to add to the prefer the mix votes. It was suggested that the readings, for example, could be brought or read beforehand, but even when this is done, there is something useful about hearing them again. It reminds me of what I had meditated on, or sometimes even strikes me in a new way. If they weren’t read in English at the Mass, I wouldn’t hear them in my language ever. And if you are mixing langauages, then why read the readings twice?

  134. John Lacroix says:

    To be honest, I do not think that this is about language, per se. IMO, it is about reverence & praying prayers that resonate with my humble intent, whatever language is used.

    Without casting aspersions on the many Priests who offer reverent & humble Masses in the OF, I find the EF most conducive to this layman’s need for the Mass of the Ages. It is clear, ordered & succinct.

    As an oldster, one who was an altar boy pre-65, my search these many years has been for a reverent Christ-centered Mass. More times than not, I have found it with a celebration of the Mass in Latin.

    Unsurprisingly, most of these Masses have been of the EF.

    I will continue in my long-standing attendance at an FSSP-sponsered Mass in the EF, not only for the reverence & good focus, but for the very good conversations I have been privileged to participate in after Mass. Some of these conversations may veer off, but not more than the many supposedly focused conversations I have on less lofty topics outside the confides of the EF of the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.

    Despite the many pointed comments to the ‘rad Trads’ I find in these threads, I still find it becoming that so many TLM attendees care enough about the Mass that they want to talk about it with others & seek to more perfectly know His will.

    Christ & His Roman Catholic Church are where it is at, whether in the EF or OF.

    God bless Pope Benedict XVI and His Church. Please pray for the FSSP & the FSSPX.

    I am seeking to attain heaven at the moment of my death. I do not seek to be the most reverent, most holy or smartest of all time. If God is so merciful, as to gather up this sinner to Him, I have attained the prize!

    As many others have said much more eloquently, “Keep your eye on the prize!”

    God bless.

  135. Brandon says:

    Latin. Hands down.

  136. RBrown says:

    Latin. I have been to “reverent” vernacular masses, and the only thing they have going for them is a lack of foolishness. And I think there is a strong tendency in these masses toward sentimental piety.

  137. Lisa says:

    Dear Anne-France,
    The term cafeteria Catholics refers to those who pick and chose which doctrines of the Catholic faith that they agree with, and who ditch the other doctrines. It is not about a preference for the Mass in English, Latin or in any other language. Yes the Mass is a mystery, but the prayers don’t have to be also.

  138. Paul Moeller says:

    The Vernacular.

    That’s after years assisting at the traditional Latin Mass. This is stated without an ounce of bad will towards the traditional Mass or towards the use of Latin, as I am familiar with an appreciate both the liturgy and the language. I simply like praying in my native language better, and in fact, prefer the eastern Divine Liturgy. In fact, I made my entire family parishoners at a Ruthenian parish and we are loving every minute of it.


  139. I truly prefer and love the vernacular and the ordinary form. I am not speaking of the clown Masses and other aberations, but the reverent and prayerful Mass as is celebrated in my parish.

  140. craig Smith says:

    Honestly, I prefer the vernacular, if reverently done. Though I dont believe it needs to be a either or; Latin or Vernacular. A vernacular Mass with some Latin is my number one preferance.

    What I would LOVE to see is a vernacular EF. I can dream

  141. JaneC says:

    I am another one who prefers a combination of English and Latin–changeable elements in the vernacular, static elements in Latin. But this is probably because that is what I am accustomed to. I have never been in a position to regularly attend Mass all in Latin, and so on the rare occasion when I do, I spend half my time flipping through a book trying to figure out where we are, because I only know half of the responses and need to read the rest. If I went to Mass all in Latin regularly for six months, I am sure that I would learn to love it.

  142. andreas says:

    Sung OF, 100% in Latin, Gregorian proper and ordinary. This seems to be something of a minority opinion here. I’m thrilled at the rehabilitation and revival of the EF, but I do worry that it may (paradoxically) decrease the chance of ever seeing the properly celebrated Novus Ordo become the true “ordinary form”. Current situation here in North Carolina: a patchwork of half a dozen EF Masses, at awkward and/or irregular times and located away from the main centers of population, and not a single Latin OF. The sung Latin OF with professional-quality music may be an urban aesthete phenomenon with limited viability in the Real World, but one can hope.

    On that note, off now to another dreadful Newman Center liturgy. I plan to offer it up for the intentions of Fr. Z and all the WDTPRS readers. Oremus pro invicem.

  143. Brian Day says:

    I’ve been contemplating the choices for two days now. I still haven’t voted. In the end, I prefer Holy Mass to be both Latin and the vernacular (with excellent translations).

  144. sheryl says:

    I’m an Eastern Rite Catholic, and at our parish the Liturgy is about 1/3 Old Slavonic and 2/3 in English, and entirely sung. I’m a convert and have noticed that over the past 15 years at this parish, the proportion of English in the Liturgy has been slowly increasing. There is also a large Hispanic population in our church and on major feast days, a portion of the Liturgy is often in Spanish as well.

  145. Christina says:

    Is both not an option? For daily mass I prefer my native tongue. For Sundays and Holy days I would prefer Latin (if it was offered here).

  146. RBrown says:

    If I might make one final point: I don’t look for reverence by the celebrant. I want the celebrant’s invisibility, which excludes his reverence.

  147. little gal says:

    RBrown: If you would like to experience a reverent NO Mass with celebrants whose humility and deep spirituality make them as you say ‘invisible’, I would like to invite you to the Opus Dei parish I attend.

  148. RBrown says:

    RBrown: If you would like to experience a reverent NO Mass with celebrants whose humility and deep spirituality make them as you say ‘invisible’, I would like to invite you to the Opus Dei parish I attend.
    Comment by little gal

    You missed the point–I’m not looking for reverence from the celebrant.

    Opus Dei has a lot of very good people, but it’s not my cup of tea.

    Having said that, I was still in Rome when the founder was beatified, and I have been to the HQ to venerate his tomb.

  149. thomas tucker says:

    EF in English, please.
    Why didn’t “they” think of that?

  150. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Thomas,

    I think they did. It didn’t last long.

    People older than I am should be able to confirm this.

  151. little gal says:

    Mr. Brown:

    Have I missed the point or have you misunderstood mine? First you state that the only thing that reverent vernacular Masses have going for them is a lack of foolishness (quite a shocking statement to dismiss all vernacular Masses…past, present and future, I take it), then you state that you don’t look for the celebrant’s reverence, but his invisibility and this excludes his reverence.

    I gave you an example of priests whose inner spiritual dispostion-for lack of a better word- renders them invisible. I ‘get’ your point non-the-less that you dismiss all vernacular Masses. Since your litmus test hinges on use of the nonvernacular (Latin I take it),perhaps you will answer the question I posed earlier re: praying in Latin outside of Mass.

    Re: Opus Dei,although I am not a member,their focus on holiness and ordinary life in their pastoral work & homilies is something which has helped me tremendously.

  152. Humilitas says:

    I just returned from a Tridentine Latin Mass at Resurrection Parish in Ft. Myers and it was glorious.

    Low Mass – no chant schola yet. They are working on it at present.
    No busybodies running all around – no hand shakes – no applause for new parishoners and visitors – no sign of peace lasting 5 minutes.

    Just prayerful reverence and peace. Ah! I will take the EF over the OF anytime.

    And just think, we now have that Mass weekly starting today. Thank you FSSP and Bishop Dewayne.

  153. Introibo says:

    I personally prefer Latin for the entire Mass (whether the ordinary or extraordinary form), but I think what might be the best solution for the future of the Roman Rite might be to have the readings in the vernacular.

  154. RBrown says:

    Have I missed the point or have you misunderstood mine? First you state that the only thing that reverent vernacular Masses have going for them is a lack of foolishness (quite a shocking statement to dismiss all vernacular Masses…past, present and future, I take it), then you state that you don’t look for the celebrant’s reverence, but his invisibility and this excludes his reverence.

    Question: If the priest is saying the mass ad orientem, how would you know it’s being done reverently?

    I gave you an example of priests whose inner spiritual dispostion-for lack of a better word- renders them invisible. I ‘get’ your point non-the-less that you dismiss all vernacular Masses. Since your litmus test hinges on use of the nonvernacular (Latin I take it),perhaps you will answer the question I posed earlier re: praying in Latin outside of Mass.

    I didn’t know that you ask the question of me, but I’ll answer it. Yes, I always:

    Say the Rosary in Latin
    Say the Angelus in Latin
    Say the Act of Contrition at Confession Latin (also sometime use the Latin introductory prayers)
    Read the Breviary in Latin
    Say the responses in Latin (sotto voce) at a vernacular mass.
    Sing the Adoro te and Tantum Ergo in Latin (also sotto voce) at Benediction
    Say all the intro prayers from the Greg Rite while driving to mass

    That should be enough.

    Re: Opus Dei,although I am not a member,their focus on holiness and ordinary life in their pastoral work & homilies is something which has helped me tremendously.
    Comment by little gal


  155. little gal says:

    Mr. Brown:

    Re: your question about reverence and & ad orientum. To continue to use the example of the priests at my parish, they say Mass facing the people. Ad orientum is not a criteria I use for reverence.

    I do recognize a priest-during and outside of Mass-who is an instrument of God (I like Mother Theresa’s statement about being a pencil in the hand of God) who is humble,who abnegates self, who pushes himself thru hours of selfless service with a smile despite obvious infirmaties and in whose presense one senses a gentle & quiet love. One can’t fake that during Mass or outside of Mass. I think that whatever a priest is, wherever he is in his formation, it comes thru the Mass and it doesn’t matter which form or what language is used. That’s my opinion.

  156. John Womack says:


  157. Lirioroja says:

    I missed voting in the poll because I can only access the internet when I’m at work.
    I would’ve voted for Latin. I don’t need 100% comprehensability because I’m a distracted
    type who often misses things at Mass even in the vernacular. I admit I have an unfair
    advantage over many native Anglophones because I’m fluent in Spanish (my parents are
    from South America and I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household). Without having
    studied Latin I understand two out of three words.

    That said, as I skimmed through the comments I have to agree with those who said they’d
    like the Ordinary in Latin and the Propers in the vernacular. It’s very easy to learn
    and understand something that’s repeated week after week. Something that comes up
    only once a year or so will go over most people’s heads if it’s not in a language they
    understand. However, this only works if there is one vernacular language switching
    off with Latin. Add more languages (excepting the Greek Kyrie, of course) and it turns
    into an incomprehensible mess. In the case of a parish where there are large ethnic
    communities and serveral vernacular tongues, or a special diocesean Mass for an equally
    diverse congregation, keep it simple. Say the Mass exclusively in Latin, either EF or OF.

  158. Tom Cole says:

    I used to be quite concerned with the idea of the propers in the vernacular, but I wonder if that misses the point. The Mass is a sacrifice and prayer offered to God, not to us. Do we, the layfolks, really need to understand everything that is said? Can we not follow along with our missals and allow the continuity of Latin throughout the Mass?

    So, Latin for me, throughout the Mass and every liturgy! I guess I do appreciate a homily in English, since it is addressed to me…

  159. Jordanes says:

    Roland said: I prefer Latin. But I will grant one concession. The Kyrie can stay in Greek.

    And the Amen, Sabaoth, Hosanna, and Alleluia in Hebrew, right? :-)

  160. I personally prefer a mix of the liturgical language and the vernacular:

    – Many of the standard responses could be in the liturgical language.

    – The propers, the readings and most of the anaphora/canon could be done in the vernacular.

    I think the use of the liturgical language is a nod to the heritage of the particular Church and the use of the vernacular acknowledges the need to be apostolic and for people to hear the liturgy in their mother tongue.

  161. And I wonder if you had polled the group how many would have selected the blended option…

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