Why do Traditional Catholics say Holy Ghost and not Holy Spirit?

I was nine years old when we began attending Traditional Latin Mass. One of the prominent differences I noticed is the mention of the Holy Ghost everywhere in prayers and especially in the Sign of the Cross.

Whenever I say it out loud to others, they would be shocked as why I used that terminology. Because for all we know, ghost is defined as the horror spirits that children are afraid of.

So fast forward now, how do we explain such difference to young children?

My daughter herself understands ghosts as terrifying notions. And once, when she made the sign of the Cross, she said the words out loud and asked me, ‘Ghost?’ And I knew exactly what she was asking.

‘Yes, dear, Holy Ghost’ was my reply.

So why Holy Ghost

From the Baltimore Catechism, here’s the rudiments that mention the Holy Ghost:

  1. Q. Is the Holy Ghost God?
    A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
  1. Q. How was the Son of God made man?
    A. The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb
    of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  1. Q. Who is the Holy Ghost?
    A. The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
  1. Q. On what day did the Holy Ghost come down upon the Apostles?
    A. The Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles ten days after the Ascension of our Lord; and the day on which He came down upon the Apostles is called Whitsunday, or Pentecost.

Source: Link

The change was caused by translation

According to this site: The differences in the usage of “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are mostly due to the nuances of the English language affected by the incorporation of words from other languages.

The Holy Ghost is always represented by a form of a dove.

1 thought on “Why do Traditional Catholics say Holy Ghost and not Holy Spirit?”

  1. Timothy Verellen

    When I say the Hail Mary, I refer to Mary as thee, thy, and thou I don’t refer her as you and your. When I refer to the priest in the confiteor I refer him as thee, and thy I don’t say you and your. It shows respect deservered to the person who is superior to me. As with God, I believe that Holy Ghost is a more fitting title. This is my reasoning for the use of Holy Ghost instead of Holy Spirit. Humans have spirits.

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