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Pilgrimage Moments: Latin or English Worship?

Length - 04:36
Published - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4

This clip comes from the BBC series: Pilgrimage – The Road to the Scottish Isles.

The Pilgrims have just attended a Catholic service at a Benedictine Abbey which was conducted entirely in Latin. Scarlett initiates a lively – sometimes emotional – discussion with the Pilgrims about the language used in religious services.

Laurence, Nick and Shazia all enjoyed the service in Latin, but Scarlett and Will wanted to understand what was being said, and feel personally involved.

Laurence suggests that listening to the service in Latin engages a person’s intellect differently. This viewpoint provokes a reaction from Scarlett and Will, who highlight the importance of inclusivity in religious practises, regardless of educational background.

Eventually, they reach a resolution, exchange apologies and toast their appreciation of each other’s perspectives. The exchange highlights the diversity of spiritual journeys and religious views within the group, and the importance of listening.

Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Latin or English Worship? Pilgrimage S4 Ep 3 - Clip2

1 / 5


S1 00:00:24:23

After vespers and over their baked potatoes, the pilgrims discuss

whether to go to any of the other services.

S2 00:00:32:07

There's a service in the morning that's not in Latin, so it's in

English. Oh, wow. So if anyone wants to go to that. So we've

experienced the Latin one and then we can know what was being


S3 00:00:46:07

Then there's also a service at 450 in the morning. And I think

that's a once in a lifetime experience to it.

S4 00:00:53:09

Laurence, are you going there at four? No, because I had such a

perfect experience today. I don't want to do that again. I don't

want to risk there being another experience that didn't actually

work in the same way. Quite right.

S5 00:01:05:10

I enjoyed today enormously. It takes me back to the old days.

That's a proper, dignified, majestic service.

S2 00:01:13:00

Do you feel like it's better being in Latin than in English? Yeah.

Oh, yeah. Really?

S5 00:01:18:11

You don't have a great opera aunt in English who wants to

understand in a way.

Clip: Latin or English Worship? Pilgrimage S4 Ep 3 - Clip2.mp4

2 / 5

S3 00:01:22:22

You don't need to understand it. It's just the feeling you get from


S6 00:01:26:13


S2 00:01:27:16

I sort of got, like, lost a little bit, you know, when it was

happening. I love going to a service where I feel like I understand

what's being said and sort of try and put it in a what's happening

in my life and whether I can take anything from it. And. Yeah.

S7 00:01:45:02

Yeah. Because the words mean the words mean a lot to me. I fell

asleep halfway through it.

S4 00:01:50:00

You were in a liminal state? Yeah, it's a meditation. It is a

meditation. I'm not sure whether it has the same power when it

is in English. You know, there was a barrier. Are you saying in

English it's going to be less powerful? Well, you engage your

intellectual. Well, I.

S2 00:02:03:18

Feel like it's up to the person, isn't it? Nobody can say it's more

powerful being in Latin, because that isn't what church is about,

and that isn't what religion and faith is about. It's individual as a

person. And obviously I didn't go to fancy school. I can't speak

Latin, but I can speak a little bit of English.

S4 00:02:20:21

But we I mean, you know, none of us are following it in Latin.

S7 00:02:23:24

I just don't get why there's like, such a like it's better that it's like

that. It's like this and it's purer and that's.

Clip: Latin or English Worship? Pilgrimage S4 Ep 3 - Clip2.mp4

3 / 5

S4 00:02:30:08

No, no one's saying that. No, it's it's.

S7 00:02:32:04

I did hear that a bit.

S4 00:02:33:08

No, no, but it's you know, Nick finds it purer for him.

S8 00:02:35:24

I think Nick was brought up with it all in Latin. So for him, that is

how he. Oh, no.

S2 00:02:40:00

I don't think it was Nick that I think it was Lawrence's comment

of that. It's more intellectual when something's Latin that

sometimes. No, no, no, no, no and will find that really that's not

what I said. Because, you know, just because we didn't go to a

posh school, it doesn't mean that we don't or we don't

understand things. It just means that we feel things a little bit


S4 00:02:59:11

That's absolutely not what I said. I said, no, no, wait but I think,

no, no, Monty, please. Right. What I said was, when you hear it

and you can understand it, you engage your intellect. I didn't say

it's more intellectual. I think it's absolutely all about everyone

doing it their own way, for sure, and not judging other people's

way of doing.

S3 00:03:18:05

Listen, I'm Muslim, and I was terribly moved by this.

S4 00:03:22:06

We're not. You know, I'm not saying that there is a better way or

not, but.

Clip: Latin or English Worship? Pilgrimage S4 Ep 3 - Clip2.mp4

4 / 5

S2 00:03:25:01

I was trying to.

S4 00:03:25:14

Defend you are both Anglicans and this was a Catholic service.

And Anglicanism is in English. That's the whole point of it.

S7 00:03:31:22

I'm just surprised by your reaction.

S4 00:03:33:10

But listen, I'm surprised your not at all backing down. You're not

at all. I accept your opinion. I'm surprised you're not just a little


S4 00:03:40:09

We're arguing over a little bit of language, which is,

unfortunately, something that always happens with religion.

Yeah. You know, there are a couple of words that that, you know,

didn't, didn't land. Yeah. As far as the room went. And I apologise

deeply for that because. Well, that's actually.

S2 00:03:56:01

Very much.

S8 00:03:56:12


S4 00:03:57:08

You know, I am absolutely here to support everybody's religion

and there's no judgment attached to it.

S5 00:04:03:22

Everybody's got to fight their own corner.

Clip: Latin or English Worship? Pilgrimage S4 Ep 3 - Clip2.mp4

5 / 5

S4 00:04:05:18

They do the best.

S5 00:04:06:14

Of their ability.

S2 00:04:07:13

I feel like we need to have a little toast before we got to bed. Just

saw that we're all all right together. Cheers.

S9 00:04:13:02

Cheers. Cheers. Cheers, guys.

S2 00:04:16:01

Oh, this is our first heated debate. I didn't realize the family now.

Yeah, we've got a proper argument.

S3 00:04:21:20

I can't wait for you to come to the mosque.

S4 00:04:24:22

It's looking good. Looking good, isn't it?

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