The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55980   Message #874791
Posted By: Joe Offer
25-Jan-03 - 03:32 PM
Thread Name: Irish Music and Religion
Subject: RE: Irish Music and Religion
I dunno, O Nameless One - I have very little knowledge of the Irish language and the history of its use. I have to admit that until about ten years ago, I was unaware that English was the primary language of Ireland, and that very few people there spoke Irish. I was surprised that during my two weeks in Ireland, I did not hear one single person speak a language other than English.

I do have eight years of Catholic seminary training and a degree in theology, so my training in Catholic church history is pretty good. As far as I know, the Latin Mass was universal in the Latin Rite for over a thousand years. When Irish people went to Mass, it was in Latin, not Irish. There may have been some Irish-language hymns used at Mass before English took over as the dominant language in Ireland, but I really don't think that the actual text of the Mass was recited in anything but Latin (except for the Kyrie, which is Greek). If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

As far as I know, vernacular languages such as Irish and English were not used at Mass until the late 1960's - and my knowledge of such things is pretty good. Therefore, unless I'm mistaken, an Irish-language Mass is a very recent innovation and certainly not what one would call "traditional." Still, I would very much like to attend a Mass with Irish language and music.

"No Doubt" (you're not the Nameless One I addressed above, because you are using a name) - I think I agree with you. If Mass has been a part of the festival since the 1950's, back when people weren't offended by the practice of religion, then it seems to me it might be very nice to continue that tradition. If the Mass is being used as a weapon, to force Catholicism upon unwilling victims, then I think that is a sacrilegious abuse of the Mass.

But on the other question, I really would like to see any evidence that Irish Catholics celebrated Mass in any language other than Latin before the 1960's.

-Joe Offer-