Broughton, Marton and Thornton

Latin Mass

Late evening silhouette of the tower at Broughton. As nearly all the church's services are in the evening, one gets used to the dark: the gentle light of early summer, however, makes up for the winter's gloom.

We celebrate the Eucharist in Latin at least once a month, at Broughton on a Wednesday evening.

We also have one or two Sung Latin Eucharists during the summer months – 19.00 on a Sunday evening – with a visiting choir. With refreshments in the hall afterwards, and many visitors from other parishes.

This is a demanding form of worship, for few of us have any grasp of the language, but it is a careful attempt to restore the task of worship. Here is an old-fashioned aid to pronunciation of some key texts:


There was a wonderful little book produced during the Second World War seeking to help Catholics with the difficulties of the Latin Mass.  If you ever find it in a second-hand bookshop, grab it;  it is a gem.  LEGENDO a simple approach to the Latin of the Liturgy by V. G. Little, published in Liverpool in 1943.
    He begins with a spirited defence, ‘The complaint that the use of the Latin language by the Church is an obstacle to the devotions of Everyman… Let us make no mistake about the origin of this century old complaint.  Let us recognize it for what it is:  a very subtle and dangerous weapon skilfully wielded by the enemy of Christian civilization.  For the unity of the Church is so closely bound up with the unity of liturgical language that any attack against the latter is directly aimed at the former.  One cannot insist too strongly on this truth.’  And again, ‘What Mass in the vernacular would mean we dare not contemplate.  Apart from the loss of unity of language, visible sign of the unity of faith, how much of its inner spirit would be lost or wrongly interpreted.’
    Themes he brings out from the Latin:  unity and unchanging tradition, ‘it maintains our link with our Catholic past and proclaims to all the world our unbroken descent from the ancient Church’;  ‘a new dignity is conferred on the mind’;  ‘it forces you to rivet your attention on every word, and the fact of having to study it so closely reveals, little by little, depths of meaning which otherwise would be overlooked’;  and best of all, his aphorism of encouragement, ‘It is by doing things that we learn how
to do things.’
    Before offering a simple primer, he gives these three transliterations to help with pronunciation:



Pah-tair noss-tair kwee ays een chay-leess

Sahnk-tee-fee-chay-toor nom-en too-oom

Ahd-vay-nee-aht ray-n’yoom too-oom

Fee-aht voll-oon-tahss too-ah see-koot een chay-lo ett een tair-rah

Pah-nem noss-troom kot-ee-dee-ah-noom dah nob-eess hod-ee-ay

Ett dee-meet-tay nob-eess day-bee-tah noss-trah

see-koot ett noss dee-meet-tee-mooss day-bee-to-ree-booss noss-treess

Ett nay noss een-doo-kahss een ten-taht-see-on-em

sedd lee-bair-ah noss ah mah-lo



Ah-vay Mah-ree-ah,

graht-see-ah play-nah, Dom-ee-nooss tay-koom

Bay-nay-deek-tah too een moo-lee-air-ee-boos

et bay-nay-deek-tooss frook-tooss ven-treess too-ee, Yay-sooss.

Sahnk-tah Mah-ree-ah, mah-tair Day-ee,

o-rah pro nob-eess peck-kah-to-ree-beess

noonk et een o-rah morr-teess noss-tray



Glo-ree-ah Pah-tree et Fee-lee-o et Spee-ree-too-ee Sahnk-to

see-koot air-aht een preen-chee-pee-o et noonk et same-pair

et een say-koo-lah say-koo-lo-room.  Ah-men