About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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"The local church should be conscious that church worship is not really the same as what we sing in a bar, or what we sing in a convention for youth."
— Francis Cardinal Arinze (2005)

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Liturgical Language Barriers
published 1 April 2017 by Veronica Brandt

Lincoln Cathedral JUST RECENTLY A FRIEND and fellow Catholic homeschooler expressed concern about singing in Latin. She felt her family not experienced enough to accomplish this. This shocked me and revealed my underlying assumption that the whole point of Catholic homeschooling is to devote time to the study of Latin and Sacred Music.

Once I reflected a little about this I realized the folly of my position, and the enormity of our distance from the ideals assumed in the Second Vatican Council of the primacy of Latin and chant.

Not that Catholic homeschoolers are necessarily more enlightened than regular Catholics. Homeschooling is more an absence of external schooling rather than a thing in itself. There is no compulsory boot-camp for prospective homeschool parents – it is all learning on the job.

Back to Language Barriers.

Latin as a liturgical language is a very useful mechanism for transcending space and time and uniting our worship with people around the world and across the centuries.

But it takes a little learning.

Not too much learning! You don’t need to conjugate or decline in order to pray a Pater Noster. A simple word for word translation will suffice.

The main thing to learn is how to make sounds out of printed Latin words. Fortunately a few simple rules go a long way to making this possible. Learn the rules and practice reading aloud and it will take root and become easy.

Here is a short video (2.5 minutes) that covers the most used features of Church Latin pronunciation. The remaining rules can be introduced as needed. Here my daughter is 7 months old.



 

UPDATE: a reader sent this list of pronunciation videos for the Ordinaries of the Mass. Great to listen and watch to make that connection between the written words and the sounds.