Sunday, 20 October 2013

Latin Carols banned

Welcome to West Wales

Ho hum, the silly season is upon us once more and good Welsh and English (and those north of the border) Catholics, will be flabbergasted to learn that a West Wales parish priest has banned all Latin Carols during the Christmas period.

The parish is none other than Our Lady Queen of Peace at Newcastle Emlyn, served from the parish of the National Shrine of Wales, Our Lady of the Taper at Cardigan.

Good friends in Menevia (who shall remain anonymous) have passed this information to me, many thanks.

Apparently, the choir master (who is faultless in this account and has not contacted me or made any comment in my direction), has been told to lay off the Latin, Latin is off the Carol list, no Latin Carols, Latin Carols are verboten!

So, no Adeste Fidelis, no In Dulce Jubilo and no Quem Pastoris.

I am speechless (and, probably just as well).

What sort of a priest would demand that Latin Carols be omitted?

Well, admittedly, the priest hails from a different part of the world, I mention this because we need to determine if this ban has been imposed out of innocent ignorance or malice.

And I also would not like anyone to mention the race card; it matters not to me if a priest is English, Polish, Inuit or Lakota.

But, given my knowledge of the fact that the choirmaster is a most charitable and kind sort of a chap, I have no doubt that he would have enlightened the PP as to the fact that such Carols are an essential part of our Christmas worship.

All to no avail.

So, just to be helpful, I have produced an all English version of "Angels we have heard in Heaven" - just for Father P at Newcastle Emlyn....

Angels we have heard in Heaven,

Sweetly singing o’er our plains,
And the mountaintops in answer

Echoing their joyous strains..

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Shepherds, why the exultation?
Why this rapturous strain prolong?
Tell us of the gladsome tidings,
Which inspire your joyous song?

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Come to Bethlehem, and see him
O’er whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore, devoutly kneeling,
Christ the Lord, the new born King

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

See him in a manger lying,
Whom the choir of angels praise!
Mary, Joseph, come to aid us,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Utter nonsense, of course.

But, should you wish to write to the Bishop, or Fr P, and register your charitable concern regarding the Carol Service, here are the contact details....

Bishop Thomas Burns -

And, of course, it would be most helpful if you could please dedicate just one Rosary this week (or more if you wish) on behalf of the Bishop and his priest.                        


  1. Surely not! Surely in west Wales, of all places, the divisiveness of the vernacular should be clear to all.

    There must be some mistake.

  2. Ridiculous! E-mail has been sent to His Grace.

  3. It's too bad. As Damian Thompson once pointed out, Christmas liturgies are one of the few times when traditional hymns are heard in Catholic and CofE parishes.

  4. Not quite the same - but I was told once that I was not allowed to sing 'Faith of our Fathers' as it might upset prospective converts?!?!?

  5. Carols include the only Latin that most people know. It sounds as though the pp himself doesn't know any Latin and doesn't want to be embarrassed. Sad.
    Incidentally, on Sunday we had a change from the usual fare of Anglican hymns with Faith of Our Fathers as the recessional. I nearly fell down. But it was taken at such a gallop it could have been in Serbo-Croat.

  6. I sent an email to the good father and reminded him that Latin Carols will be sung in ANGLICAN churches at Christmas