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Monday, February 06, 2006

Latin's just cool!
Today's the feast of St Blase, and the traditional day to bless throats with a pair of candles through his intercession. In the afternoon, we went to bless the throats of the school kids, room by room. I decided to do an experiment. In each class I visited, I explained a bit about the blessing and the feast, then asked them, 'I'll let you choose. Do you want your blessings in English or in Latin?' In every room, they roared back, 'In LATIN!!!!' One of the teachers, a nice older lady, was one of the only three people who preferred English. Just thought it was interesting.
It's not a traditionalist leaning on my part. I just think Latin's cool. I think the fact it's a different language makes it seem much more reverent and holy. To my mind, it's why The Passion of the Christ is so powerful. Using Aramaic or Latin (depending on the speaker) takes us out of our normal world and really draws us in the what's going on. It think the same is true when praying or attending Mass.

I'm not saying that Mass should be solely in Latin, a healthy dose of the vernacular is a good thing. (I've been to one Latin Mass. Wow, was I lost. I'll stick with English.) But some of the responses, like the "Lamb of God" or the Kyrie (I know it's Greek) could be done in Latin. And you can't tell me Down in Adoration Falling" is anyway near as cool as "Tantum Ergo." You just can't. (See both here.)

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