Benedict XVI will use Latin when in Scotland

In case anyone missed it, I object to the term "the Latin Mass" when used to indicated the Traditional Latin Mass, otherwise called the Extraordinary Form or a whole raft of other things.

I object to "the Latin Mass", because – properly – the Novus Ordo or Ordinary Form is also to be celebrated in Latin.  The Novus Ordo is also "the Latin Mass.

This comes from The Herald of Scotland with my emphases and comments.

Pope’s Glasgow Mass in Latin

5 Sep 2010

A substantial part of the Mass to be celebrated by Pope Benedict at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on September 16 will be said in Latin, the Vatican has confirmed.

In an interview with The Herald, published today, Monsignor Guido Marini, the Pope’s master of ceremonies, reveals the Canon and Preface – the most significant parts – will be said in the ancient language. [I think also that most everything that is sung should be in Latin.  Let the readings be in the vernacular.]

Mgr Marini said: “For all the Masses said in the UK the Preface and the Canon will be said in Latin. What the Holy Father intends by using Latin is to emphasise the universality of the faith and the continuity of the Church.”

The Canon is the most significant part of the Mass as it both precedes and follows the Consecration. [The consecration is part of the Canon.  But watch this…] It will be said in a Latin translation of the modern English liturgy, and will be viewed as a sign of Benedict XVI’s desire to return to the solemnity of the traditional liturgy.  [Did you find that odd? "It will be said in a Latin translation of the English"?  Noooo….  Latin is the original and English is the translation.]

Mgr Marini also revealed a new English translation of the Mass, [I assume that the proper prayers (Collect, Super oblata, Post communion, will be in English.] to be introduced next year, will be truer to the original Latin used by the Church for 1500 years before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. Parts of it will be said at Bellahouston for the first time.

But the move falls [far] short of a wholehearted [odd word] return to the old Tridentine rite of pre-Vatican II, supported by Pope Benedict, but which remains controversial. Earlier this year news of the papal visit to the UK sparked debate about the unity of the church in Scotland as it was claimed some Scottish bishops opposed returning to the old pre-1970s liturgy. [Claims aside, what is the actual track record in this regard.  What did they do or fail to do?]

Yesterday Father Stephen Dunn, parish priest of Sacred Heart church in Bridgeton, responded to the news by saying he is moving his regular Latin Mass from Monday evening slot to Tuesdays at 10am from this week.

“I’m doing this because it is in accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father,” he said. “I am delighted that the Holy Father is once again using liturgical Latin. It was never banned but has been discouraged.”

But Scottish composer James MacMillan, who has set parts of the new English verion [sic] to music for the Bellahouston Mass, dismissed any idea of controversy.

Vatican II was never intended to do away with mass in Latin,” he said. “Contrary to what certain activists are trying to claim, neither Latin nor choral music have ever been banned.” [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, said: “It is possible the Latin liturgy at Bellahouston may reawaken a renewed interest in the Church’s traditional music forms. We are completely relaxed about it, and support it.”

Meanwhile, the BBC has rejected claims by the leader of Scotland’s Catholics that it [i.e., the BBC] is institutionally biased. Cardinal Keith O’Brien said in a newspaper interview that mainstream Christian views have been “marginalised” by the corporation and that senior news managers have admitted a radically secular and socially liberal mindset pervades their newsrooms.

He also voiced concern over a documentary about the Pope, to be broadcast on the eve of his arrival in Scotland, and the level of religious programming.

However, a spokeswoman for the corporation said yesterday: “The BBC’s news and current affairs coverage of any subject is approached in an objective and impartial way reflecting the different sides of the debate. [Suuuuuuure.]

“BBC news and current affairs has a dedicated religion correspondent, and works closely with BBC Religion, ensuring topical religious and ethical affairs stories are featured across all BBC networks.


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  1. TJerome says:

    brick by brick. Best news in weeks!

  2. Mitchell NY says:

    I pray that the lay people follow along, and love the fact that Latin is being used in International Liturgies…When others see this there will be no doubt about our Catholic identity. Hopefully the Latin Consecration will become at least a mandatory part of the NO at some point in the future…That is unity…Let’s all pray for a long Pontificate so the Holy Father can get as much done from his agenda as possible and that it overflows into the next..Overall, wonderful news….Does anyone know if EXTN will be broadcasting this?

  3. sanctus3 says:

    ‘It will be said in a Latin translation of the modern English liturgy’

    This reporter must have flunked all history classes. Is this an example of Back to the Future or the cart before the horse? Wouldn’t this reporter’s way of thinking be a disaster to the legal and medical professions? Maybe he should run this comment by Bishop Trautman and see what he thinks.

  4. irishgirl says:

    Mitchell NY-yes, EWTN will be covering the Holy Father’s visit to the UK.

    But if you want to watch it ‘live’, remember it will be in the wee hours of the morning, Eastern time!

    Back to the topic….this is great news! Brick by brick, for sure!

  5. TJerome says:

    What is also wonderful about the use of Latin by the Holy Father is that it encourages younger priests and bishops to follow suit!

  6. John UK says:

    For those interested, the full texts of all services (with melody kibes for all the music. in whch the Holy Father is involved, together with the itinerary and various essays, is downloadable as a pdf file at

    There are rather curious phrases for the references to the Holy Father himself in Eucharistic Prayers 2 & 3, but that in EP1 appears to be correct both in Latin and English.

    The much-trumpeted first appearances of the corrected translation in the Masses are little in evidence, apart from the settings of the Gloria

    Tip of the biretta to Bro.Stephen, O.Cist at
    for the link


    John U.K.

  7. John UK says:

    Sorry, first line should read
    “For those interested, the full texts of all services (with melody lines for all the music) in which the Holy Father . . . ”

    John U.K.

  8. Legisperitus says:

    Not sure exactly what BBC documentary is being referred to, but there’s a Panorama episode next week called “What the Pope Knew.” Now there’s an editorially neutral title for you. It combines the most salacious bits of “What did Nixon know?” and “What the Butler Saw,” all in a xenophobic Guy Fawkes sauce.

  9. tzard says:

    Being objective and impartial is a fallacy. Nobody is impartial – if someone says they are, they are deluding themselves and others.

    Call the press what it is, it never has been and never can be impartial.

    I think some of us wish them to be impartial in order to stop being anti-Christian. But what we really should wish is that they find the Truth, and in the meantime act with Charity.

  10. terryprest says:

    “Benedict XVI will use Latin when in Scotland”

    … and in England for the Masses there.

  11. Well, obviously this ought to be a non-news story (because it ought to be so normal an option as to be snoreworthy — and already is, in many places). But it just goes to show that the Holy Father has had good reason to go slow. As it is, though, there’s enough other stuff going on, that the usual suspects probably won’t have time or energy to get upset; and they’re probably not as shocked and horrified by the idea as they would have been, a few years back.

    Re: BBC — Hahahahaha. Especially the Sarah Jane Smith Adventures’ “alien medusa Benedictine nuns” in full habit, keeping Sarah in bondage. Haven’t seen any Dr Who villains who were disguised as Muslims or Buddhists. (There was that Time Lord disguised as a Tibetan, but Cho Je wasn’t a villain. Far from it.)

    Well, they just admitted a bit ago that the BBC is sorta kinda left-biased, so give them time.

  12. Jerry says:

    There is a related article, featuring comments from composer James MacMillan, at:

    “Scotland’s leading composer yesterday welcomed news that the Pope is to say a substantial part of the Mass at Bellahouston Park next Thursday in Latin.”

    Unfortunately, the term “Latin Mass” is used several times in the article where it is not clear whether the reference is to the extraordinary or ordinary form of the liturgy. The author missed a good opportunity to explain the ambiguity; instead, falling into the trap herself.

  13. chironomo says:

    The article seems to be saying that Latin will be used for these parts of the liturgy at ALL Masses during the UK trip, not just in Scotland. Is this the case, or am I missing something?

    I find it interesting how much the narrative (to use a good solid liberal vocabulary word) has turned towards “Latin never being banned” and “sacred choral music never being banned” in just a few year’s time.

    It’s also interesting how much is being said about a renewed interest in the church’s traditional music. I truly believe that this is exactly why there was so much opposition to SP… once the cat starts peeking out of the bag it’s hard to keep him from getting out… and once that happens, well, you know the rest.

  14. Tradster says:

    The Latin parts will just be lipstick on a pig but highly welcomed lipstick nonetheless. Deo gratius!

    Regarding the English readings, would it be going down a rabbit hole to ask if HH will be using lay women for the readings as he does in Rome, while scores of priests, bishops, etc. sit there idle?

  15. Priests and bishops aren’t supposed to read if deacons are there. There’s a sort of default principle of letting the lowest possible ranking guy empowered to do a thing do it, unless the higher ranking guy plays “temporary deacon” and dresses like it. Or something like that — nobody will ever confuse me with Fortescue.

    (I suppose you could argue from that principle that deacons shouldn’t read if instituted lay lectors are there, heh… but obviously, that’s not law like the deacon thing is.)

  16. John UK says:

    The whole of the texts for the entire visits are at the papal visit link I posted above.
    It will be see that for the Masses, the ordinary form will be used, with the Canon in Latin at all Masses, the Credo in Latin, some Latin motets and hymns, the Blessing sometimes in Latin and sometimes in English. The Gloria sung inin the corrected English translation.

    I hope that helps, but it is worth downloading the pdf, which is rather well type-set, for once, in red and black, with the plainchant in round notes for the Masses, but using Gregoire traditional square notes elsewhere.

    At 480 pages I suspect it is a somewhat weighty “booklet”!

    John U.K.

  17. walker217 says:

    Are the minor orders so moribund that they couldn’t scratch up a Lector and Subdeacon? Just wondering…..

  18. TNCath says:

    I read the booklet, and it is good to see that so much Latin is being used in the various liturgies. However, it does seem a bit weird odd at certain points the Gloria is not sung in Latin. At the same time, it seems that certain phrases well known (or easily taught) such as “Oremus,” “Dominus vobiscum,” “Verbum Domini, and others couldn’t have been included as well. I understand why the orations and readings are in the vernacular.

    Regardless, this is definitely a significant step forward, more so than the Pope’s visit to the U.S. several years ago.

    By the way, regarding the music, I bet the Oratorians are having a fit over the singing of John Foley’s “City of God!”

  19. nanetteclaret says:

    I’ve been wondering why the Holy Father is not celebrating Mass according to the Anglican Use. Surely it would have been a wonderful teaching moment and an encouragement for all Anglicans that they would be able to keep their traditions even after “swimming the Tiber.” I think it would be thrilling to be able to hear them say “and with thy spirit” or “it is meet and right so to do” during the Sursum Corda. Or to be able to pray the Prayer of Humble Access before Holy Communion. It could have been a beautiful example of the “Anglican patrimony” which the Holy Father mentions in Anglicanorum Coetibus, especially with some glorious English choral music and wonderful hymns, like Ralph Vaughn Williams’ arrangement of “For All the Saints.”

  20. Tradster says:


    That is a nice idea but I think us TLM lovers have first dibs on any alternate form Mass the Holy Father celebrates! :-)

  21. nanetteclaret says:

    Tradster –
    Maybe, but he is going to be in England, after all. England was once known as “Our Lady’s Dowry” and it seems to me that anything that the Holy Father can do to get it back for her would be appreciated. I believe the “English Missal” is the English translation of the Tridentine which was in use before the Reformation. My understanding is that since the “Book of Divine Worship” is not available in England, that the Anglo-Catholics use the “English Missal” instead, and I have heard that there is a great hope that it might be the basis for the new Anglican Use liturgy which will come with the Ordinariates.

  22. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Is there a distinct Latin version of the “Mass according to the Anglican Use”?

    There was an official Latin version of the Book of Common Prayer, concerning which see:

    as well as various unofficial translations of the 1662 BCP, concerning which see:

    There used to be Latin BCP services regularly (though not frequently) in Oxford, though using which version(s) I do not think I have ever heard – perhaps there still are?

  23. Henry Edwards says:

    The much-trumpeted first appearances of the corrected translation in the Masses are little in evidence, apart from the settings of the Gloria

    Actually, at a quick scan it appeared to me that the MacMillan settings of the new English translations will be used at least for the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei in all three Masses. However the Credo in the Saturday and Sunday Masses will be in Latin; the Kyrie in Greek for all three Masses.

  24. Pelicanus says:

    As a Scot, it’s always nice (and when I say “always” I have never actually seen this before) for a whole-UK news story to be given a Scottish slant rather than an English one from a Yankee’s perspective.

    Thank you Fr Z! You can come any time!

  25. TJerome says:

    Clearly, the Mass at Westminster Cathedral is the most traditional and the music the most beautiful of all the Papal Masses. I was sorry to see certain “loser” “tired” hymns from the 1970s and 1980s included. Those must be a sop for the doubleknit dinosaurs still lumbering around Great Britain. Hopefully, they will consigned to the ashbin of history very soon along with the Tablet.

  26. Would this sort of thing even have been imaginable ten years ago (I honestly don’t know, I’m a recent convert)? I don’t think so. How far we’ve come. I, for one, am very excited about the future of the Church, it looks like a lean, mean, salvation machine. Brick by brick. Deo gratias.

  27. Chesterblc says:

    Great story. Perhaps I’m being hypercritical but I can’t help commenting on—


    Maybe I read too much into these types of statements, but I see them as an indirect comment on our (perceived) inability to be objective and impartial. When considering our arguments in favor of general reverence for the sacred and authentic orthodoxy, they always know what we mean better than we do because they understand so much better the naïveté at work in forming all of our ideas. And I am sure they really will consider other “sides” of the debate-ones they believe are worth the complement of rational opposition.

  28. Chesterblc says:

    Oops. Here’s the quote I was referring to–

    The BBC’s news and current affairs coverage of any subject is approached in an objective and impartial way reflecting the different sides of the debate.

  29. StMalachy says:

    It’s not clear from that article, so for the record, the “Latin Mass” at Sacred Heart which is referred to is Mass in the EF. I’m pretty sure I’m right in saying that it is the only regular EF Mass in the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

  30. pattif says:

    It is good that there will be substantial parts of the Masses in Latin, and that the English and Latin are printed side-by-side in the Order of Service (which, in the UK, has been produced as a nice little pocket-sized booklet by Magnificat and the Catholic Truth Society as a joint venture). Whenever I am in Rome, it is always noticeable that the English-speaking pilgrims are always excluded from participation in the Angelus with the Holy Father because they have been denied their heritage for nearly half a century; the other pilgrims around me always seem to be able to join in quite happily. My guess is that, although the blessing is sometimes printed in English, when push comes to shove, the Holy Father will sing in in Latin; I’ve never even heard him give it in Italian.

    The hymns, apart from the Newman ones, are pretty dire, both at the Masses and for the Hyde Park Vigil (mercifully, the Holy Father is to be spared the more cringe-making aspects of this event, as he is only arriving at the end to expose the Blessed Sacrament). This, I believe, is deliberate policy, part of the Bishops’ Conference policy of using this visit to persuade the great British public that we Catholics are no different from anyone else, really. Look – we even sing the same content-free ‘songs’.

    Nanetteclaret – there wouldn’t be any point in having the Anglican Use in England or Scotland; it is not used here.

  31. RichardT says:

    Oh, is this real? How splendid!

    I saw the story on Holy Smoke, but assumed it was just Damian’s sense of humour, inventing something that would annoy the 1970s liturgists.

  32. The Cobbler says:

    “It will be said in a Latin translation of the modern English liturgy… [Did you find that odd?…]”
    Understatement of the week, Father?

    Maybe the reporter mixed up “translation”, of which one must be the original, and “version”?

  33. Gail F says:

    Pattif: I don’t know what other Christian churches are like in Scotland, but here in the USA many (if not most) of the other churches have much more “content-full” songs than the Catholics do, whether they are traditional Protestant hymns or Gospel songs or even contemporary Christian “praise” songs. Singing the fake folk songs no respectable folk singer would ever choose doesn’t make us more like everyone else, whatever it DOES do.

  34. Henry Edwards says:

    After a closer look at the special Magnificat prepared for the papal visit:

    The Kyrie will be in Greek, the Preface (including preceding dialogue) and Eucharistic Prayer will be in Latin at all three papal Masses in Scotland and England–EP II on 9/16, EP I on 9/18, EP III on 9/19–as will be the Credo at the Sept. 18 and 19 Masses (no Credo at the Sept. 16 Mass). The communion music at each Mass will include a traditional Eucharistic motet sung in Latin.

    At the Sept. 16 and 19 Masses, the Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei will the new English translations sung by a choir to the new musical settings by the composer James MacMillian. The Pater Noster will be sung in Latin on Sept. 16 and 18, in English on Sept. 19 (the beatification Mass).

    However, at the Sept. 18 Westminster Cathedral Mass–in some ways the “highest” of the three Masses–the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei will be Latin polyphony (Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices), presumably sung by the Cathedral’s famous choir.

  35. AnAmericanMother says:

    Pattif, Gail F,

    Second what Gail F says.

    The schlock-folk used at “Life Teen Masses” is like the worst of the 70s preserved in amber or aspic or mothballs . . . I know of no Protestant church that is still using this horrible stuff.

    I’m feeling particularly ill towards the Hippy-Dippy music because we were visiting my parents and wound up having to endure a particularly awful “Life Teen Mass”. There were two, maybe four, actual teenagers in the congregation, and the music was provided by three hippies of a certain age, including one off-duty priest who seems to think he can play the guitar. He can’t, nor can he sing. My husband (a semi-pro rock and classical guitarist) was cringing at the plonking and buzzing and off key chords, and I was cringing at the truly hideous singing. The ‘imitation folk music’ was passed out in handwritten photocopy sheets, just words, no music. Which was no problem, because there wasn’t any music being made.

    Embarrassing, just embarrassing. With all the beautiful musical treasures the Church has to offer . . . we sound like a bunch of idiots!

    The obvious thing to do is have simple chant printed out in staff notation for the congregation to sing. Even the hippies could hit a note on the piano (or with a tuning fork) and then lead the chant.

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