The Low Churchman's Guide to the Solemn High Mass: Latin



The Latin tongue was first spoken in the late ninth century A.D. in the Palatinate Forest region of southwestern Germany, after which the language is named. (The language is conventionally referred to as “Latin” rather than “Palatin” to distinguish it from the typeface Palatino.) The invention of Latin is usually ascribed to a mysterious figure named Gondulph of Maastricht, who used it as a secret code to plot against his enemies. Gondulph’s new language was enthusiastically adopted by ecclesiastical figures from neighbouring regions, until word of this new innovation spread to Pope Marinus I. Quick to see the tactical advantages of conducting covert services in an incomprehensible language, the Pope issued an edict that from henceforth the services of the church must be conducted in Latin, appointing a team of translators to render the services into the Latin tongue from their original English. This event is viewed by historians as the beginning of Ritualism.