Latin Instruction, Part II

Last week we visited Mrs. Moberg’s third-grade class and explored some of the benefits of learning Latin. While showcasing the Sanctus, Mrs. Moberg also points to another excellent reason to study Latin: knowledge of Latin connects us to the Faith.  

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Mrs. Moberg sharing the Sanctus in Latin.

As suggested by the Sanctus, the study of Latin can unveil the beautiful and historic prayers, chants and liturgy of the Church. It can lead to a deeper appreciation of the Mass. Or even help prepare someone for the priesthood! Also, since Latin is the official language of the Church, those who learn Latin will have greater access to the Church’s writing and documents.

The study of Latin has also been encouraged by authorities of the faith—ranging from Benedict XVI to St. John XXIII. In his work, Veterum Sapientia, St. John XXIII spoke of the unifying role of Latin and its nobility.

But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to [Latin]… And since in God’s special Providence this language united so many nations together… it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See. Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity….Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all. Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin formal structure. Its ‘concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity’ makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.

This endorsement of Latin showcases even more strengths of the language. It is not only a clear and beautiful language, but it encourages unity through its “impartiality.” It does not belong to just one nation or people.

While we have explored several good reasons to study Latin the last two weeks, there are still several more. Stay tuned for one final post on the benefits of Latin.



L.M.L.