Unless you recover the words, you can’t recover the concepts.

When you change the words, you change the concepts.

The liberal progressivist liturgical terrorist reformers were successful in changing our way of speaking about our sacred liturgical worship.

For example, they made us – and no one asked them to do this, by the way – give up talking about “sacrifice”. And when we lost “sacrifice”, we therefore lost a clear understanding of “priesthood”. No “sacrifice”, no “priest”. Today, “minister” dominates. We are losing or have, in some places, lost the words “worship” and “adoration”. Now we talk about “celebration”. We “gather”. We still “pray”. But do we? Really? To whom or what?

“Sin”?  It is to laugh. “Hell”?  What’s that?

“Worship” and “adoration” had to go, of course. They smack too much of Tantum ergo, and all that stuff. You can see why the now aging-hippies tried to do away with those words. In seminary, after all, the same generation of Richard McBrien types incessantly crammed down our throats “Jesus said ‘Take and eat’, not ‘sit and look’!”

“Altar” is now associated more with protestant “altar calls”. Catholics, talk about “table”. Altars are connected with “sacrifice”. Thus, the concept of altar had to go. “Tables” are us!

It is not, I think, that they were trying to find new ways to express old and fundamentally Catholic concepts to a new generation in modern terms. They were trying to destroy the old and fundamentally Catholic concepts for a new generation.

We must recover our terms.

Unless you recover the words, you can’t recover the concepts.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, Vatican II, What are they REALLY saying?, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, Year of Faith and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. pj_houston says:

    Another example: the word “Church” is replaced by “Community” in the parish’s name.

  2. PhilipNeri says:

    One of the real world consequences of changing “altar” to “table” is the practice of hanging banners on the table; putting balloons, dolls, jars of water, etc. on the table at the Offertory; or using the table as a convenient surface to rest non-liturgical books, money, etc. I rail against this constantly and everyone just looks at me like I’m an idiot.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  3. Long-Skirts says:

    Fr. Z said:

    “They were trying to destroy the old and fundamentally Catholic concepts for a new generation.”

    A BRIT

    And the Word was made Flesh
    But does that really mesh
    With authentic faith and dialogue today?

    ‘Cause at Eucharistic meal
    Which is no big bloody deal
    We smile and our mistakes are washed away.

    We gather round the table
    To hear a gospel fable
    From Father Bob the celebrant divine.

    Never kneels he always stands
    But he runs to shake your hands
    Then he sits a lot perhaps a weakened spine.

    The ladies and the girls
    Their ministry unfurls
    A Eucharistic minister’s sensation.

    With servers and the cantor
    They have a playful banter
    Then bread and wine it’s time for celebration.

    As the people we all sing
    But the bells they never ring
    For they took away the Words that made His Flesh…

    For a Corpus? That’s too rough
    There’s no need for violent stuff —
    That’s as welcomed as a Brit in Bangladesh!

  4. dinsdale says:

    Let’s not forget the unfortunate and widespread use of “reconciliation” in place of penance.

  5. Allan S. says:

    I think the important frame of mind is this: that we should recognize the simple fact that we are victims of a theft – a grand larceny of material impact. It is our unfortunate (yet joyful) duty to set about recovering the 2,000 years of Catholic identity (including devotional practices and liturgy) that was stolen from us with malice and deliberate intent. And we should do so withregard to the “feelings” of the thieves and their enablers.

  6. MarkJ says:

    They also did away with the hour of Prime, which included a daily reading from the Roman Martyrology… too much sacrifice and violence for the modern “presider” to handle, I guess. We need to bring back this hour and re-establish the entire traditional Roman Breviary and Roman Calendar as the norm, with all its sacrificial terminolgy and focus. The agenda of the liturgical deconstructors was indeed was to bring a “new church” into being… a gentler, more effeminate church which would offend no one, which would do away with words and images that defined the Catholic Religion, and which would substitute something alien, protestant and altogether post-Catholic in its place. The typical modern parish reflects this “new church” heresy all too well.

  7. kford says:

    This is why, when working with college students, it seems the first step is for them to learn a “new” vocabulary consisting of the “old” words– which invariably leads to Latin.

  8. NBW says:

    Well said, Father!

  9. anilwang says:

    One other important word have been lost to secularism, namely “vow”. Vow used to mean “a promise to God that one would never break, even on pains of death”. Now vows are just promises that can change when “it’s no longer working for you or times change” and consequently marriages have been weakened and callings to the priesthood and other religious vocations have also weakened.

    Another word lost to secularism is “consecration”. It used to mean dedicating to God, so it needed to be treated with respect, honor, and reverence. Now consecration means “has sentimental value and helps me focus on God”. Because this word carries little meaning, chastity both in and out of marriage has little value. Sure you can associate it with consequentialist morality and natural law (assuming they aren’t relativists), but without some understanding of what consecration really is, its all head knowledge and never gets to the heart and soul, and it will never convince a relativist.

  10. Fr.WTC says:

    The loss of the term Apostolate and the introduction of the term ministry is fundamentally regrettable. The apostolate links laymen and clergy to the ministry of a bishop, who under his authority “sends” into the world to accomplish a task. An apostolate is not proper to the one who who undertakes the work of the apostolate, it is always rooted in the priestly and apostolic ministry of a bishop. Ministry on the other hand had always been understood as the work springing forth from the priestly character of those possessing the clerical state– those who by ontology and divine right have the obligation to “order” the mystical body in the way of perfection.

  11. Bea says:

    Great Post, Father Z.
    This is so right-on.

    Sin=wrong choice. (as one Catechist on EWTN was teaching children)
    I guess sin is in the same category as choosing hot chili and getting indigestion?

    And then we have “loyal dissent” I guess that’s where the “nuns on the bus” get their premise for teaching their “own thing”

    One could go on and on with words that led to the watering down of Faith.
    This year of Faith is a good time to recoup our vocabulary and WDTPRS.

  12. teomatteo says:

    I remember when the priest replaced the words “eternal damnation” with “seperation from the Lord”. This happened shortly after I ended a very difficult relationship. The relief i felt after the breakup was beyond words and i couldn’t help but think that my ‘seperation’ from that person was an important thing and a good thing for both of us. Words matter and i dont think any words can replace ‘eternal damnation’.

  13. SJF says:

    I think it’s important to correct our Catholic friends who say they “attend church on Sunday.” Protestants attend church; Catholics attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Huge difference. In addition, I always refer to the Mass as “the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” I started doing this after doing a presentation on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to the men’s group at my parish, and no one knew that the Holy Sacrifice fo the Mass is, well, a re-presentation of the sacrifice on Calvary. They thought we were celebrating the Last Supper.

  14. Pingback: Father Z rants about the meaning of words | Foolishness to the world

  15. JKnott says:

    Thanks Father. Breath of fresh air to read this.

    Then there is the twisting and misapplication of sacred words to fit the modernist s’ worldly agenda. Words such as peace and charity have been used as weapons against the devout to intimidate them and to distort truth and moral absolutes.
    The endless homilyettes, packed with ambiguous and meaningless vocabulary which dull the conscience still prevail.
    There was wisdom in the Baltimore Catechism in defining words within the context of each Q&A. Wouldn’t it be creative to bring back definitions for the Year of Faith? Twitter could accommodate it. “Baltimore-KAT – Follow me on Twitter”

  16. Sixupman says:

    Some elevated cleric recently classified The [New] Mass as “a dialogue between priest and congregation”?

  17. Late for heaven says:

    May I offer a small (or maybe not so small) addition to your cogent comment? We Catholics do not “attend” the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we “assist” or participate in that Sacrifice by offering our own sacrifices on that altar.

  18. Mike says:

    Thanks Father for your post today!
    Another word that should go is “presider”. It conjures up a notion that the priest merely sits and watches or officiates… presiding if you will but not directly acting over the things happening at Mass (sacrifice). Here they might sing the song with the lyrics… “Come to the table of plenty!”

  19. thefeds says:

    Fr Z, I was very naive when I entered college seminary in ’82. What I was reading in “Catholicism” by McBrien seemed wrong, off the mark. But these were faculty members repeating this drivel as if it was the Gospel. Later, in Theology, other faculty members, gave the same rant about the Mass no longer being true Sacrifice, about it being a waste of time to sit before the Blessed Sacrament. Then I left and had the grace and good fortune to find trustworthy sources like EWTN and the Catholic Register, and bloggers like yourself.

    Brick by brick…

  20. But where’s the sense of urgency to fix any of this? Look at the same old, same old prattle from the Bishops Synod on “The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.

    For instance, in today’s final summary message, no mention (either explicit or implicit) in all their words about new evangelisation and sharing the riches of Vatican II of the central role of the liturgy in transmitting the faith, no evidence of realization that the disintegration of the liturgy is at the root of the worldwide loss of Catholic faith and practice.

    If the best and brightest of our appointed shepherds gathered from around the world have no clue, what’s to be done?

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    No, the concept of an protestant altar call is completely foreign to Catholics. We don’t really have counterpart for it. When Catholics misrepresent the altar they almost always call it a table, like a dinner table or a table at a party.

  22. AnnAsher says:

    Amen! I’m in agreement there was no accidental terminology destruction.

  23. AnnAsher says:

    @Fr. Philip Neri – you Sir, are no idiot.

  24. anilwang says:

    @Henry Edwards,

    I think the key issue is that there are so many issues that need addressing that its hard to get consensus on what needs to be focused on. If you focus on everything, you’ve focused on nothing.

    Most Catholics just don’t see a problem with the Mass. As long as they get to kneel and pray, listen to the gospels and homily, and receive the Eucharist, they’re happy. Its one reason why the “New Roman Missal” was so quickly accepted with little actual resistance. The form isn’t that big a deal to them, no matter what modernists say and what traditionalists desire. While it might seem disheartening, it does hint that if a future Pope decided to replace the NO mass with the 1965 missal (with suitable modifications to include the new lectionary), few people would really care since the 1965 missal contains virtually no text in the people’s part that is not already in the current NO missal.

    In the mean time, Fr Z is correct that we need to recover key Catholic words, since our language determines what we think and what concepts we’re able to express. If we have to go into a 1000 paragraph description of whenever we want to use the word simple world like “holy”, we’re already lost, especially in this age of sound bites.

    We also need to return to shorter, unambiguous, meaningful language. I think the loss of Latin is one reason this has happened since its much harder to run on in Latin than in English. George Orwell might have been a rabid eugenics atheist but he has an excellent short essay on this in “Politics and the English Language” ( https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm ).

  25. acardnal says:

    I agree with Henry Edwards’ sentiments. The liturgy has been “dumbed down” over the last 40-50 years. Restore the mystery, transcendence, reverence and solemnity to the Holy Sacrifice and people will return to attending regularly and desire to know more about Catholicism.

  26. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: “sit and look,” Jesus seemed to be entirely supportive of St. Mary of Bethany sitting and looking. (Though presumably she listened also, it was important for a disciple to watch the rabbi’s actions as well as his words.)

    “Hugging ankles, dumping perfume, crying, and drying off feet with one’s hair” are also acceptable responses to the Real Presence.

  27. HyacinthClare says:

    I bet I can start another rant… how about getting rid of that wretched translation of the Bible while we’re at it?

  28. jhayes says:

    The GIRM is very clear about the Mass as sacrifice:

    Testimony of an Unaltered Faith

    2. The sacrificial nature of the Mass, solemnly defended by the Council of Trent, because it accords with the universal tradition of the Church,[1] was once more stated by the Second Vatican Council, which pronounced these clear words about the Mass: “At the Last Supper, Our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood, by which the Sacrifice of his Cross is perpetuated until he comes again; and till then he entrusts the memorial of his Death and Resurrection to his beloved spouse, the Church.”[2]

    What is taught in this way by the Council is consistently expressed in the formulas of the Mass. Moreover, the doctrine which stands out in the following sentence, already notable and concisely expressed in the ancient Sacramentary commonly called the Leonine—”for whenever the memorial of this sacrifice is celebrated the work of our redemption is accomplished”[3]—is aptly and exactly expounded in the Eucharistic Prayers; for as in these the Priest enacts the anamnesis, while turned towards God likewise in the name of all the people, he renders thanks and offers the living and holy sacrifice, that is, the Church’s oblation and the sacrificial Victim by whose death God himself willed to reconcile us to himself;[4] and the Priest also prays that the Body and Blood of Christ may be a sacrifice which is acceptable to the Father and which brings salvation to the whole world.[5]

    So, in the new Missal the rule of prayer (lex orandi) of the Church corresponds to her perennial rule of faith (lex credendi), by which we are truly taught that the sacrifice of his Cross and its sacramental renewal in the Mass, which Christ the Lord instituted at the Last Supper and commanded his Apostles to do in his memory, are one and the same, differing only in the manner of their offering; and as a result, that the Mass is at one and the same time a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving, propitiation, and satisfaction.

    3. Moreover, the wondrous mystery of the real presence of the Lord under the Eucharistic species, confirmed by the Second Vatican Council[6] and other teachings of the Church’s Magisterium[7] in the same sense and with the same doctrine as the Council of Trent proposed that it must be believed,[8] is proclaimed in the celebration of the Mass, not only by the very words of consecration by which Christ is rendered present through transubstantiation, but also with a sense and a demonstration of the greatest reverence and adoration which strives for realization in the Eucharistic liturgy. For the same reason, the Christian people are led to worship this wondrous Sacrament through adoration in a special way on Thursday of the Lord’s Supper in Holy Week and on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

    4. In truth, the nature of the ministerial Priesthood proper to the Bishop and the Priest, who offer the Sacrifice in the person of Christ and who preside over the gathering of the holy people, shines forth in the form of the rite itself, on account of the more prominent place and function given to the Priest. The essential elements of this function are set out and explained clearly and extensively in the Preface for the Chrism Mass on Thursday of Holy Week, the day, namely, when the institution of the Priesthood is commemorated. For in the Preface is made clear how the conferral of Priestly power is accomplished through the laying on of hands; and, by the listing one by one of its duties, that power is described which is the continuation of the power of Christ, the High Priest of the New Testament.

    5. Moreover, by this nature of the ministerial Priesthood, something else is put in its proper light, something certainly to be held in great esteem, namely, the royal Priesthood of the faithful, whose spiritual sacrifice is brought to completion through the ministry of the Bishop and the Priests, in union with the Sacrifice of Christ, the sole Mediator.[9] For the celebration of the Eucharist is the action of the whole Church, and in it each one should carry out solely but totally that which pertains to him, in virtue of the place of each within the People of God. The result of this is that greater consideration is also given to some aspects of the celebration that have sometimes been accorded less attention in the course of the centuries. For this people is the People of God, purchased by Christ’s Blood, gathered together by the Lord, nourished by his word, the people called to present to God the prayers of the entire human family, a people that gives thanks in Christ for the mystery of salvation by offering his Sacrifice, a people, finally, that is brought together in unity by Communion in the Body and Blood of Christ. This people, though holy in its origin, nevertheless grows constantly in holiness by conscious, active, and fruitful participation in the mystery of the Eucharist.[10]

  29. Speravi says:

    Altar? Isn’t that the area where the presider stands when everyone is celebrating Eucharist?

  30. anilwang: “Most Catholics just don’t see a problem with the Mass.”

    Correct. And what better evidence of the real problem–the fact that most Catholics have lost any sense of real worship, and think the Mass is just about “receiving the Eucharist” in a celebration of the Last Supper.

    As for your subsequent remarks, I was there in the 60s and 70s. It’s true that the 1965 Mass was well received by many to whom the vernacular was welcome, because it preserved most of the ceremony and ritual, and was there still recognizable as the Sacrifice of the Mass. It’s false that the chaos that set in the late 1960s (well before the official Novus Ordo) was almost universally well received. I was a member of a liberal academic community parish, and it was pretty evenly split, as were most parishes I knew about. A great many “good Catholics” left when they did not recognize it as the same Mass, the same Church they’d known before. Indeed, I sometimes wonder whether the basic problem is that the wrong people stayed in the Church (many to fight it from within, rather than from without).

    But it’s certainly true that most Catholics, then and now, care little about the text of the missal per se (nor should they necessarily). What’s generally ignored in blog discussions like this is that transcendant worship is more about ceremony and ritual and ars celebranda, and less about text.

    Indeed, with a few specific reservations, I could argue that the newly translated OF text needs little improvement. But whereas I heartily concur with Father Z’s overall thesis, I fear the Church will not address the liturgy as “source and summit of our faith” so long as we’re worrying only about words. The Mass sustained the faith as something so many were willing to die for, even when they may have understood few of its words.

    Finally, I’d suggest that our Catholic words began to lose their meaning only when the Mass began to lose its meaning to so many Catholics. In my observation during the 60s and 70s, the liturgy disintegrated first, and because it had been the anchor of Catholic faith and practice, the constant in Catholic life, disintegration in most other areas followed. If the liturgy could be changed, what could not? And this is precisely what the “reformers” knew.

  31. Elizabeth M says:

    Thank you Father!

  32. PostCatholic says:

    A rose by any other name would be as sweet.

  33. Pingback: Recovering Words « Fr Stephen Smuts

  34. St. Epaphras says:

    “It is not, I think, that they were trying to find new ways to express old and fundamentally Catholic concepts to a new generation in modern terms. They were trying to destroy the old and fundamentally Catholic concepts for a new generation.”

    Amen! But thanks be to God, Mass is what it IS, regardless of their efforts. And despite how some tried and still are trying to weaken the Priesthood, thank God it still is what it is. Not a day goes by that I am not truly grateful for these (and other) absolutes.

  35. Sandy says:

    Amen, Father! There are still a few other phrases that are more of my pet peeves. It’s like finger nails scraping a blackboard to hear the drivel, when one grew up with the “real thing”. Is it any wonder that there is so much truth to “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi”?!

    BTW, they just don’t seem to get the message from Rome’s document some years back that lay people are not ministers of anything, nor do they have ministries.

  36. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    At the risk of getting myself banned from this blog, except as an observer, I must ask a particularly thorny question.

    Wasn’t using new terms precisely the point of Pope John’s Council?


    Doesn’t the Oath against Modernism preclude changing the terms — or is it merely changing the meaning while retaining the words?

  37. The Masked Chicken says:

    “for as in these the Priest enacts the anamnesis, while turned towards God likewise in the name of all the people…”

    There you have it.
    GIRM 1 Liturgical Reformers 0

    God is in the tabernacle, which is usually in the opposite direction of the people.


    Everyone should read Orwell’s treatise.

    Really, very little of this loss was caused by the everyday laity. They simply followed their pastors and the pastors followed…

    The Chicken

  38. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Wasn’t using new terms precisely the point of Pope John’s Council? ”

    No. It was presenting the words in a form that would engage the world. Things did not work as planned at the time (…or DID they, maniac laughter…).

  39. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Sin”? It is to laugh.

    Don’t get me started. I have had the urge to slip into my Russian dialect as the maskiruyetsya kuritsa since yesterday.

    …V’you know…these Catholiski..they altered the altar and sacrificed the sacrifice. They lost their adoration for adoration and sent sin to hell instead of the sinners.

    Now, in Russia, ve know how to stage uprising! Ve have government issued piggy banks for people who say bad words – use the word holy and v’you must deposit 5 rubbles, say altar and lose 7 rubbles. Say really bad word like hope and the piggy banks you. This is how government Ministry of Words (ve laugh and call them priests of propaganda – I mean ministers) changed Russia into the sane country it is, today. Our government tells us what word means. Everyone is happy, unless the government says they are not. In my country the government is the concept. Just like Church, I’m hearing.

    Must go. Matushka is cooking, but we are not allowed to say what.

    Maskiruyetsya Kuritsa

  40. Michelle F says:

    Preach it, Father!

  41. muckemdanno says:

    “The liberal progressivist liturgical terrorist reformers were successful in changing our way of speaking about our sacred liturgical worship.”

    Is this a reference to anyone other than the highest authorities of the Catholic Church since the Council? [Yes. It is a reference to OTHER thank the highest authorities.]
    They are the ones who called for the reform of the liturgy, the priesthood, and the language. They are the ones who appointed the men who made the reforms. They are the ones who approved of and implemented the reforms that were made.

    They also are the ones who severely punished (by suspension and excommunication ) those who resisted those reforms and who continue to turn a blind eye to those who ‘abuse’ the reformed liturgy. [Settle down.]

  42. joan ellen says:

    Fr. Z’s topic “Unless you recover the words, you can’t recover the concepts.” And there is our largest problem. There are concepts (ideas), contents (details), and context (meaning) in what is thought, said, and/or written or done. It seems that these components came ‘undone’, and that is how we got the ‘diabolical disorientation’ that Sister Lucia spoke of before she died.

    What is the consequence of this ‘diabolical disorientation’? Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. might say “Dare I say it?” and then proceed to say it. So here goes.

    The consequence of ‘diabolical disorientation’ may well be soul disintegration. Our souls may be disintegrating. Even those of use who try to follow Our Blessed Lord and His Church are not immune from our souls disintegrating. Unfortunately.

    Henry Edwards says “…the disintegration of the liturgy is at the root of the worldwide loss of Catholic faith and practice.”

    And he says “In my observation during the 60s and 70s, the liturgy disintegrated first, and because it had been the anchor of Catholic faith and practice, the constant in Catholic life, disintegration in most other areas followed.”

    Could not these ‘other areas’ include our very souls? We have lost our Catholic Identity and our identity as human beings. Might that not be soul disintegration?

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  43. Laura98 says:

    Ironically, I spent a lot of time this week with my daughter, going over important words like those mentioned by Fr. Z. Her Catechism lesson was about the Eucharist, but we ended up talking about a variety of subjects including Church History and the difference between Catholic and Protestant beliefs on communion. Lots of “real” vocabulary needed there. That’s also why I love homeschooling.

  44. St. Epaphras says:

    Today “Iota Unum” came in the mail and so work took a break. It covers many of the points people have mentioned. I recommend it.

  45. contrarian says:

    …and using translations of scripture that make sure that we get ‘Gehenna’ or ‘Sheol’ or ‘pit of gloom’…

  46. joan ellen says:

    A parishioner wrote a 22 page letter to the Gov. I read 14 pages. That letter alludes to the idea of soul disintegration.

    This topic has also alluded to that. For example…The Masked Chicken says:
    26 October 2012 at 6:27 pm – ““Sin”? It is to laugh.”

    The lack of knowledge of, or any consideration for, the 10 Commandments…the Law of Obedience and the lack of knowledge of, or any consideration for, The Sacraments…the Law of Grace doesn’t allow us to realize that the one is there in response to the other.

    These 2 concepts are one way to help us begin to rebuild and revitalize our souls. A recent post pointed out that right relationships and right worship have to begin with God. Our relationship with and worship of God influences our words in what we think, say, and do and in turn influences others.

    We receive more help by paying strict attention to our Salvation (…and that also is to laugh since a common thought is this is the only life we have…) as we learn from: Scripture/Tradition, Our Saviour, His Sacraments – for the grace needed to keep us from sinning, the Blessed Mother, and the Saints of Salvation History. And, practicing the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in response to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and giving new emphasis to the Spiritual Works of Mercy, while working the Physical Works of Mercy, praying more and more intently to help ourselves and others rebuild and revitalize their souls, along with our own. Holy Mother Church has everything we need for a happy life here and in the hereafter.

    The recipe (I know which blog this is) ain’t easy in this day and age and location. Not for most of us.

  47. Cathy says:

    CCD has been replaced by “Religious Formation”. The sad part is when you are left wondering which religion?

  48. robtbrown says:

    pj_houston says:

    Another example: the word “Church” is replaced by “Community” in the parish’s name.

    At mass a few weeks ago the homilist said that the liturgical changes were to emphasize the communal nature of the mass. Although historically he was right, what needed to be emphasized was the Ecclesial nature of the mass–that it is not merely a matter of those materially present (community) but rather of all members of the Mystical Body, living and dead.

  49. The Masked Chicken, LOL! I speak Russian, I had to laugh a bit at your comment :)

  50. Imrahil says:

    Dear @dinsdale,

    let’s not forget the unfortunate and widespread use of “reconciliation” in place of penance.
    Especially since if we talk about “The Sacrament of Reconciliation”, we should remember that the Sacrament of reconciliation is, of course, Holy Baptism. Holy Penance is the second plank after shipwreck.
    On the other hand, I do of course have no principal objection to advertising Holy Penance as a sacrament of reconciliation… provided that they allow me to speak, as I always do, of “going to Confession”.

    Dear @SJF, I will not give up my language, which in that case is historically Catholic-formed, and which does speak of attending Church or even going to Church. I am even convinced that there is some theological-metaphysical background to the triple meaning of the word “church” (= “Mystical Body of Christ; sacral edifice of the Church; Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”). Interesting is that you may very well imagine a Catholic, who certainly does say “On Sunday there’s a church at 8 o’clock and a church at 10 o’clock”, also to say “but on 19 o’clock that’s no church, it is only a devotional service”.

  51. drea916 says:

    Not having to do with the liturgy, but I’m tired of….
    God is love. Love = being nice. Love = don’t hurt anyone’s feelings! Love = don’t tell anyone they are doing/believing in something that is wrong.

  52. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Ha! Finally found out why some folks are so hotbutton about “go to Mass” when “go to church” is such an ancient English Catholic expression!

    Apparently in IRELAND, among English-speaking Irish, there was actually a distinction at a certain point where you could ask, “Will you go to Church or to Mass?” This shows up in the 1827 publication of the minutes of a commission investigating charges of proselytism and cruelty in the Richmond General Penitentiary, in Ireland.

    But of course, not everybody Irish came from an area where this was the expression, not every English-speaking Catholic is from an exclusively Irish background, and a lot of Anglicans always said that they were going to Mass. This kind of expression distinction could only arise in areas where there were both non-Anglican Protestant and Catholic churches (legally), so it couldn’t be an expression that existed much before the Penal Laws were repealed.

  53. acardnal says:

    drea916, you are right. Mother Angelica on EWTN calls that kind of “love” misguided compassion.

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