Why do we not refer to God as “Yahweh” in mass?




Full Question

I noticed the Catholic Church does not refer to God as “Yahweh” in her liturgy, why is that?

Answer

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments released a letter on 29th June 2008, under Pope Benedict XVI’s directive

“In recent years, the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel’s proper name”

“As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, (the name) was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture by means of the use of an alternate name: ‘Adonai,’ which means ‘Lord,’”

“Church’s tradition, from the beginning, that the sacred Tetragrammaton, (YHWH) was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated.”

In the letter, the Congregation for Divine Worship reminded Bishops all over the world that the name “Yahweh” in Catholic worship should be replaced by the word “Lord” in Latin (“Dominus”) or its equivalent in the local language.

This change did not affect the words of the Mass itself, only some prayers and hymns that were in use in churches at the time.

The reason why the Church avoided using the name in her liturgy and hymns was out of respect for the long-standing Jewish tradition which also avoided pronouncing or even writing the name of God out of holy respect

 





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1 comment

  1. Peter Aiello Reply

    The Catholic Jerusalem Bible uses Yahweh in place of LORD in the Old Testament.

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