01/26/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

More than 700 faithful attend the first Mass in Latin in Iloilo City

by Santosh Digal
This week, the parish of Mandurriao celebrated the first Eucharistic celebration in Latin in more than 30 years. The participants say they were "spiritually inspired". The celebrant was Msgr Tuvilla, who at the homily used the local Hiligaynon dialect.

Iloilo City (AsiaNews) – For the first time in more than 30 years, the Catholics of Iloilo City  have participated in a Mass in Latin. More than 700 faithful attended the celebration in the parish of Mandurriao this week. It was the first "Tridentine Mass" celebrated on the island since Vatican Council II decided to introduce the Mass in local languages.

Maria Legarda, 56 years old and a member of the parish's pastoral council for responsible voting - recalls that the last time she took part in a Mass in Latin was after the second world war. "We understand Latin because we learned and got used to it", she says. "Celebrating it in the traditional way is inspiring for us".

The celebrants were Msgr Juanito Ma. Tuvilla, Fr Oscar Andrada, Fr Winifredo Losaria, and Fr Renato Cuadras. The priests used Latin for everything but the homily, for which Msgr Tuvilla used the local Hiligaynon dialect. He explained that celebrating in Latin does not exclude the use of the vernacular: "Whatever language is used, the elements of the rites of the Catholic Church started 2,000 years ago are still there".

Fr Celis clarifies that the decision to celebrate the Mass in Latin is a response to the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" from last July, "on the use of the Roman liturgy preceding  the reform of 1970". The norm, established by Benedict XVI, conferred full citizenship on the so-called "Tridentine" Mass, with the priest facing away from the faithful and the other "ancient" practices that were replaced, but not abrogated, by the missal of Paul VI, who accepted the recommendations on the liturgy from Vatican Council II.

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