Thursday, March 15, 2007

If my kids can do it, so can you: Learning to sing the Latin Prayers

Nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant. Sacramentum Caritatis §62
Of course they--WE--can. We're not stupid, are we? My own children have learnt to say and sing the Pater Noster and Ave Maria in Latin, they can say the In Nomine and Gloria Patri, and they are learning to sing the Salve Regina. And in case you think I am making performing monkeys out of them, I am also teaching them to know what the words mean, like "a malo"--"from evil". (They make the connection with Malfoy, the "doer of evil", in Harry Potter). It is their language of choice when we say prayers at night.

And in case anyone thinks that this is simply "what the Pope prefers" or "his culture", then they should take a look at the Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where all the traditional prayers are given in Latin as well as the vernacular. The Pope is not asking us to do something which he has not already equipped the Church to do.

(Sorry, did I say all? No, not all. There is one huge ommission: namely the "Our Father". All the other prayers are given in Latin as well as English, but the Our Father must have been overlooked because there was already a whole section in the Catechism on it, but sadly, no Latin text. Has someone pointed this out to the editors?)

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