Vernacular Masses Before the Vatican Council…

…I mean the First Vatican Council.

Over on Facebook, somebody was going on about the sadness of not having all the liturgies in the world in a single language. Several people pointed out that the Mass has never been in a single language and that those who celebrate it in Slavonic or any of the many other languages of other rites would be surprised to discover that Latin is the “only” language of the Mass.

At that point, my pal, Traditionalist Reader Pete Vere, chimed in with his customary joie de vivre and cried, “Mark Shea says the liturgy has been in a language other than Latin? Kyrie eleison!”

Nyuk, nyuk!

Anyway, that made me curious about just how many languages the Mass was in before vernacularization of the liturgy. Pete, who has forgotten more about such things than I will ever know went off to find out and instead came back with this tidbit:

Mark, a 1710 letter from the Jesuit superior for New France (modern-day Quebec) describing a specific mission among the Hurons: “All are present in the morning at the sacrifice of the mass, which is celebrated in behalf of the whole village. Nearly all assist at the mass of a second priest, and not a few at another if there be a third celebrant. While the first mass of all, which is called β€œthe Mission Mass,” is being said, they sing sacred Hymns written in the vernacular tongue, and adapted to the feasts which are then being celebrated, β€” with a harmony truly beautiful, and not at all barbarous.” (page 149)

Pete also writes:

Here’s another article from traditionalist web-journal New Liturgical Movement which I helped fellow traditionalist (faithful to the Church) Shawn Tribe to found several years ago. In it, the author provides actual pages of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic liturgies celebrated in the languages of North American First Nations peoples

.

In conclusion, here is a hymn in the Huron tongue:


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X