PODCAzT 140: Paul VI’s 1966 Letter Sacrificium laudis on the use of Latin and Gregorian chant by religious

It has been quite awhile since I made a PODCAzT, over a year, if you don’t count the offerings during Advent and Lent.

I was inspired to get back into it by something I saw at the website of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Letter Sacrificium laudis.  I determined that more of you should know about this letter.  Happily, the LMS provided an English translation of the Letter prepared by Fr. Thomas Crean OP, to whom we are indebted.  The Latin original (with typos) is HERE.

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and listen!  Be careful not to spill if you are in the car.

The music used is from the wonderful Benedictine monks of Le Barroux, in France.  You hear part of Vespers of the day I made this, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  You can stream the hours sung by the monks everyday.  HERE



128 12-02-22 “Veterum sapientia”! 50th Anniversary. On Latin in the Church.
110 10-08-19 Learning the Roman Canon in Latin for Seminarians

Chime in if you listened.

PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. kekeak2008 says:

    Once again, to my chagrin, I’ve discovered yet another Church document that has summarily gone ignored by our Roman Catholic Church. The wanton disobedience demonstrated by the majority of our church leaders is remarkable. I shall pray for the restoration of Latin in our Church during my rosary this evening. Aside from that, what else can I, a layman, do?

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Tried listening inline twice, but that cut out after “tune your ears”. Listened through the pop-up and that worked fine.

    Thanks for introducing us to the magnificent site of Le Barroux! (the “text” option allows one to read along too).

  3. Wiktor says:

    The player doesn’t show (it did work in the past, but not anymore), so I copy-pasted the link to .mp3 file into Winamp. It started streaming immediately (without pre-downloading everything).

  4. NBW says:

    Thank you for the podcast, Fr. Z. I didn’t know Pope Paul VI wanted to keep Latin and Gregorian chant. I can’t understand why there was so much disobedience. It’s demonic!

  5. boko fittleworth says:

    Paul VI admitted that Latin and chant would be lost to the laity, but reassured us that the monks would preserve them. Soon thereafter the classically trained (Julliard) musician and then-Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation Rembert Weakland toured the Benedictine abbeys of the world suggesting (ordering?) that they give up the chant. Then he …

  6. KevinSymonds says:

    An English translation of Sacrificium Laudis was put in the Liturgical Press’ book “Documents on the Liturgy: 1963-1979” (p. 1080-1081).

    [I would trust the translation provided by Fr. Crean.]

  7. sw85 says:

    Speaking of monks and coffee, Fr., the traditionalist Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem in Charles Town, WV, are attempting to open a coffee shop along Charles Town’s quaint little main street. The secondary attraction will be Dom John’s homemade bread, I’m told — I’ve never had it (because it’s always sold out!) but I’m told it is to die for.


  8. jameeka says:

    Thank you, Father Z. I definitely count your Advent and Lentcazts, but it is refreshing to get a NEW PODCAZT! I know they are a lot of work, but this information is very good for us to know—I have listened to the two other related ones you posted underneath as well. Can anyone who knows answer this: what was a typical seminarian training like in the 1950s, say, prior to the dismantling of all this education and focus? How long did it last, was it a pre-requisite to have a certain amount of Latin and musical training by the time of entrance, etc?

  9. kekeak2008 says:

    @Jameeka, I don’t have any definitive proof, but from listening to other videos (and a bit of anecdotal information), I think it really starts with Catholic grade schools and high schools. In an ideal situation, a young Catholic man would go to a Catholic middle and high school and would learn basic Latin. He would then go on to minor seminary or a good Catholic liberal arts college and learn more Latin during those years, so by the time he entered major seminary, he would have had about three or so years of the language. This would mean he’d only have to fine tune his Latin skills while in major seminary during the Pre-Theology/philosophy years (approximately three more years). A priest is expected to have a good command of the Latin language before he enters the Theology years of major seminary, which are the last 4 years. This would give the seminarian about 5-6 years of Latin training before he started studying Catholic theology. I’m not sure how long seminary was back in the 1950s, but I imagine it was of comparable length.

    There were also minor seminaries back then: these were boarding schools run by the Church that prepared young men who expressed interest in becoming a priest. They would prepare them academically and spiritually; I imagine this would include training in Church music. Unfortunately, they seem to have gone out of favor; there are only a handful or minor seminaries still operating. The loss of minor seminaries, along with the near wholesale abandonment of Latin in the majority of Catholic high schools have created a deficit of knowledge. Now we have priests and bishops (probably cardinals) who don’t know anything past a few semesters of introductory College Latin (if even that much).

  10. KevinSymonds says:

    Indeed, Fr. Z., we must always be careful of translations. Experience tells us as much :)

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