Is it fair to say that most medieval laymen did not understand the mass?

Discussion in 'Church History' started by With_the_scripture, Jun 13, 2019 at 3:22 PM.

  1. With_the_scripture

    With_the_scripture New Member

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    This assertion does not seem to make much sense when you take into account the intelligibility of Romance languages with Latin. Especially because the majority of Europeans speak a Romance language. Would it be more correct to say that most could at least piece together what is being said?
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That seems like a big stretch, like saying that the French and the Spanish are mutually intelligible, which they most certainly are not
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The short answer has to be no.

    You most certainly can understand the mass without knowing the liturgy it was written in. The language of the Mass is bread and wine, taken, offered, blessed and broken.
     
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  4. JoeLaughon

    JoeLaughon Active Member Anglican

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    I know Eamon Duffy's scholarship will show that in some parts of England, the Latin mass was fairly well understood by the people. However across Western Christendom there was a widespread dissatisfaction in regards to how reverent the mass was and how ill-educated the clergy were. My guess is the norm was a certain degree of ambivalence if not total incoherence for many.
     
  5. With_the_scripture

    With_the_scripture New Member

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    I would say French has drifted a lot more from Latin than the other Romance languages, especially in pronunciation.
    upload_2019-6-14_17-7-9.png
     
  6. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Member

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    You have to remember that those languages that you posted are todays equivalent. They have developed to this point. At the year 1000 that are not what they are now and in the year 1500 they were different than they are now.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Spanish_language#Spelling
    Just for reference. I have no clue how pronunciation has changed.
     
  7. Jeffg

    Jeffg Member

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    And don't forget Romanian, the language of the country Romania. If I remember correctly, and correct me if I am wrong, it's closest to French
     
  8. With_the_scripture

    With_the_scripture New Member

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    That is true. Romanian is a weird language b/c it has a lot of influence from Slavic as well.
     

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