From a reader…
I have a friend who is seeking to get married. Due to various factors, the priest doing the marriage doesn’t know enough Latin to do the EF Mass, but could do the EF marriage rite. That said, is it permissible to do an EF wedding rite followed by an OF Mass, either the OF wedding Mass or the OF Mass of the day?
Wellll…. do one or the other.
And, frankly, … excuse me for a moment but…
For the LOVE OF GOD, Fathers! LEARN SOME LATIN.
This is YOUR RITE.
What does it mean for a priest who doesn’t know a) the language of his rite and b) the RITE of his Rite?
“I don’t know Latin!”
Some say this with sincerity and it wasn’t their fault … at first.
But Latin has been around for a while, priests of the Latin Church have known about Latin for a while, and Latin is NOT algebraic geometry.
Forgive me, dear lay readers. I get frustrated when I hear about priests who won’t put their backs into learning some Latin. Little boys can learn the responses, after all.
As I cool a little, I note that the priest in question is willing to do what he can, the marriage rite. And good for him. I’m sure this is a good man – a good and busy priest – with a lot of things on his plate.
Yet another priest who was cheated and lied to in seminary and ripped off in his formation by formators who blatantly violated Canon Law with their eyes wide open and a smirk.
Seminarians and priests… now bishops, too… were victimized. They were cheated of their patrimony.
Men should want to rise up and claim what was uncharitably and illegally denied! Don’t just lie there like a victim.
On the other hand, there are also priests out there who give lip service to tradition and yet do not apply themselves. They talk a lot, but they won’t do the work. And it wouldn’t take them all that long if they would just put a couple of their projects to the side and really go all in. At least for a while.
Some times I hear what is turned into an excuse not to do the work to learn Latin: “St. John Vianney had a hard time learning Latin.. and he’s a saint!”
Well… yeah.. St John Vianney struggled with Latin and other studies. SO?!? That doesn’t mean that he didn’t try. He struggled by he TRIED! He worked on it. He learned enough Latin and his other topics to an adequate point that he could be ordained.
He learned enough Latin to say Mass.
John Vianney didn’t have to learn enough Latin to write odes in Alcmanian strophes or declaim with Ciceronian clausulae. Perhaps if today’s priests are being hampered by, I dunno, something akin to the French Revolution and the Terror or being drafted into the army, we could cut a little slack. St. John struggled, but he tried. In contrast to his exemplary holiness, he may not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer. But saints try. St. John tried. If he could try, then we can try.
Back to the topic. Mechanically, I guess one could have the marriage rite at one point and then a Mass at another point. But…
Fathers. I know that the Latin thing is daunting. It seems to be really hard. All good things worth pursuing are. The Enemy of your soul will try to keep you from it by planting doubts. Muscle through.
Start somewhere. Anywhere. Duolingo. Rosetta stone. Good old dependable Wheelock.
Sorry, dear lay people. Sometimes it just has to come out. Maybe some of you out there will encourage your priests to learn Latin and be willing to provide resources, etc.
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