Did Vatican II do away with Latin? It was not the council’s intention.
“Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin Langauge is to be preserved in the Latin rites.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.36)
“Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.50)
All the beauty/mystery of Latin is still present after Vatican II. Vatican II cannot simply be blamed for the removal of Latin from everyday life. There were deeper social trends going on at the time that contributed to this.
Did you know also that the Latin from of the Ordinary Form of the Mass also has Gregorian Chant? Vatican II did not do away with that also.
“The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.116)
“In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things. But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n.120)
What is the purpose of all these quotes? (a lot more could be added from John Paul II and Benedict XVI praising Latin as well)
It simply shows that when Vatican II reformed the Liturgy the purpose was not to rid the church of Latin or Chant, but for renewal and accessibility. Other currents were also part of the removal of Latin from everyday experience including the sentiment of lay people and the clergy.
My challenge for everyone is to go out at least once for the ordinary form of the Mass in Latin (hopefully with chant). I was able to do this twice, although it took a while. (Latin ordinary form can be even harder to find than Latin extraordinary form — the pre-Vatican II form)
It was a blessing to experience the traditional language of the Roman Church. It also helped me experience first hand the liturgical continuity of Vatican II at a deeper level!
The wisdom of Vatican II is here present. Now I can go to a vernacular Mass with greater understanding without losing the traditional language of Catholicism at other times. How grateful should we be for this!