Inclusive Language?


What about using inclusive language in the public prayer of the Church?
-- Languishing in Lakewood


The church in it's official revisions of the text since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is using language which is inclusive of the human community. The official texts of the Church do not usually have pronouns which allude to the feminine imagery of God, e.g., she/her.

Currently, in the revisions of the Sacramentary other addresses and titles naming God are proposed. None use only male or only female images. All pronouns in English are ascribed to God as he/him. References to Christ are also as he/him. Church officials are very sensitive to wanting to maintain language that reflects the longs standing tradition of the creed.

One way that has been used to describe how inclusive language is used in the church: horizontal & vertical inclusive language. Horizontal language corresponds to the human beings and their relationship and inclusivity. Vertical language corresponds to God and language about God. For the most part, the official church prayer and language used in this prayer utilizes horizontal inclusive language.

Another guide: if the Latin uses an "inclusive" term or pronoun, in the revised translations into English, an inclusive word is used. For example, in the past "Deus" was translated as "Father." This is incorrect translation; Deus means God. So in this next generation of liturgical texts, like RCIA, Order of Christian Funerals, etc., it will be accurate.


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