Letter: Language of liturgy

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The Independent Culture
Language of liturgy

Sir: Clare Garner is mistaken is asserting that hitherto worship in the Church of England has had to be in English ("Word of God need no longer be English", 3 November).

The theological requirement since the 16th century has been that it be "in a language understanded of the people", which is why one of the official languages of the Church of England has continued to be Latin, on the assumption that the scholars of Oxford and Cambridge were fluent in that language.

More seriously, since 1995, the Constitution of the Diocese in Europe has given me specific and canonical permission to authorise the use of local language liturgy in a number of European languages where pastoral need makes this necessary. This does not detract from the welcome to be extended to the news that minority UK languages might also be available in future.


Bishop in Europe

Worth, West Sussex