Liturgy on a plate... or a spoon even...
It happened again. Someone else said "Sorry, I don't understand Latin."
I'd better start from the beginning. No, I did not randomly go up to this person and start spouting Latin at them. They were standing in the vestibule of St. J the Anonymous looking bored. I had a good idea and offered to loan them my missal. That's when This Guy says "Sorry, I don't understand Latin."
I'm pretty sure the surprise on my face didn't show but for a half second there I struggled to comprehend. Did This Guy (and his family) really think that I and everyone else there was some kind of scholastic gnome who spoke Latin fluently enough to just read it out of a book during the Mass? Did he _really_ credit us all with that much dedication and hard studying? For a moment I was torn between the apparent praise directed at my intelligence and confusion regarding This Guy.
"No, it's not all in Latin," I explained quickly. "See, this part's in English and the part next to it is in Latin. This is the reading, this is the Gospel, and then you turn to the green marker and that's where the sermon's marked down, then you just keep going."
Maybe that explanation wasn't very clear, but I thought it sufficed and would give This Guy and his family something better to do than stand there looking bored. So This Guy and his family apparently peruse it until just after the sermon when This Guy hands it back to me with a 'Thanks' and retreats to his part of the vestibule (before anyone asks why I was in the vestibule I would like to present State's Exhibits A- a pocket full of tissues, and B- a pocket full of cough drops, not to be used until after Mass).
So I sat/stood/knelt and as I did so I tried to concentrate on the liturgy, but a lot of my mind was preoccupied. Had I been unclear when I handed them the missal? Had I not said "You turn to the green marker and just keep going?" Had they thought I only meant to lend it for the parts that would eventually be spoken in English anyway? I was confused and honestly a little disappointed. I'm speaking only for myself of course, but when someone hands me a book at an unfamiliar liturgy, I assume that I'm meant to follow along the best I can. I (stupidly perhaps) take some pride in for the most part being able to not make a fool out of myself. And the Trid is a pretty easy liturgy as liturgies go, for the purposes of following along, once you have a missal. If you want truly confusing liturgy, go to a Melkite church, it takes some serious getting used to!
So I guess the point of this whole post is that I'm just disappointed that even when someone is handed the metaphorical plateful of liturgy and a fork, they still can't seem to manage...
Maybe I'm overreacting. I know I'm a grinning pessimist...
This is probably the umpteenth time someone has apparently outright assumed that I speak another language fluently, but this is the first time that said assumed language was Latin!:) I feel like I look clever!