Language matters. It has power. How we use language matters. It has power to wound, to comfort, to offend. What we think we’re saying isn’t always what other people hear. Language is tricky like that: complex, slippery, beautiful, dangerous…..
Sometimes the church is brilliant with language. We use it to elevate, to inspire, to transform. Sometimes the church is terrible with language. We use it to hurt, to divide, to oppress.
I discovered something yesterday about the language I use. I have a colleague – a wonderful godly woman, a Licensed Lay Minister for 25 years, a true saint – who finds the word “Mass” offensive. I only realised the extent of this yesterday. “Please don’t use that word,” she said, “it really hurts me.” I could hear the pain in her voice.
And so I will try not to. Not because I think there’s anything wrong with saying “Mass”…
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