Traditional Catholics/Latin mass outside US, 1930-1940


QUESTION: If one went to a Catholic mass in Austria in 1930, would it have been in Latin, or in German? Also, if one went to a graveside interment service in Austria at that time, would it have been in Latin or German? I'm asking because I'm writing a novel and I don't want to get it wrong. Thanks.

ANSWER: Other than announcements and (probably) any homily which would be in German, it would have been done in Latin.  If they pray any rosaries or other such simple and basic prayers that the people are to participate in, that would probably also be done in German.

An old German Missal, printed any time before about 1955 or so, should guarantee faithful texts and so forth.

Also remember that just about any Church back then would have had the altar up against the wall with the priest facing it for the ceremonial parts, and facing the congregation only for the homily, announcements, briefly for the Orate Fratres ("pray my brothers") and a few other such points in the Mass, and finally when providing the Eucharist along the altar rail.

It wouldn't hurt to visit a real Latin Mass (or several of them) to gain a good sense of the rhythm and feel and character of the Mass (much of it will be whispered by the priest, for example).  Just assume German instead of English where the latter would be seen here.

Use the following to find the nearest Latin Mass, as would have been found anywhere in the world back then:

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QUESTION: Thanks. That's what I thought but was not sure. But what do you think about the graveside service in the cemetery? Would that have been in Latin, or in German?

I have to admit that this is beyond my knowledge.  If there is anyone who would know and could give you a reliable answer that would be Fr. Michael (another expert here in Allexperts under simply the category of "Catholics" instead of "Traditional Catholics"), as he being a traditional priest would be up on what prayers or litanies or liturgical acts would accompany a gravesite burial.  He would also know if there exists some standard "format" for the prayers etc. at a Catholic burial at the graveside.  My own guess would be that some few particular prayers would be uttered in Latin but all the rest in German, but he would know what such prayers (if any) would be.
Despite my "How deeply would you like to explore this," you have managed to run up against a genuine limitation to my knowledge.

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Griff Ruby


I focus on the "why" and "how" questions of the Faith and one`s need for the Church to overcome sin, live the life God wishes us, and to become what God wants us to be. My areas of expertise are particularly in the areas of practical morality, theology, Scripture, history, and personal problems and dilemmas that people face. It is important to bring a sense of proportion to the recent and current ecclesiastical situation that makes necessary having to add the clarification "traditional" to "Catholic," for a "traditional Catholic" today is simply what anyone would have called a "Catholic" only 60 years ago, and so on clear back to the beginning. I seek to provide insight and information such that you are then able to see for yourself the answer to your questions. Homework problems and trivia questions may be refused, and I am not interested in using Allexperts as a debating forum.


Years of extensive research, thought, and prayerful meditation on many of the issues that trouble Catholics today, taught catechetical classes to teenagers and adults, answered many questions already as Allexperts volunteer in Catholics category.

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