Why do priests say Mass in Latin?

In the Epistle to the Hebrews, you will find these words, “For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins.” (Hebr. 5:1)

A priest has two chief duties: to offer sacrifice to God, and to sanctify men by his teaching and instruction. Now, when a Priest is speaking, not to men, but to God in the name of men, he speaks in the language of the Church -in Latin- a language God certainly understands, as does the priest.

When on the other hand the priest speaks to the people, he speaks in their own language; in France, in French; in America, he uses English; in Germany, German. Sermons are always given in the vernacular, and not in Latin, because they are addressed to the people. Go into any Catholic Church, and you will never hear any sermons in Latin.

(Source: Radio Replies, Fr. L. Rumble MSC & Fr. C. Carty MSC, 1937)

Semper Excelsius is a website for the defense of the Catholic faith through instruction and informative articles. Its focus is on explaining the rich history and traditions of the holy Roman Catholic Church, while defending her teachings against false assumptions and doctrinal errors.

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