Liturgical Sign Language

One of our signers interprets for the Deacon at Sunday morning Mass

Most sign-language users in the UK use BSL (British Sign Language). This is a language in its own right, with its own grammar; it does not always follow the structures of the English language.

When we celebrate Catholic Liturgy (Mass and other religious ceremonies), we use a mixture of BSL and Sign-Supported English. When the priest himself is signing the liturgy, he follows the structure of the spoken English rather than the grammar of BSL. Signing a liturgy also needs a number of specialist signs for religious concepts, some of which may be unique to Catholic liturgy.

A group of volunteer parishioners assist in signing the readings at these Masses and interpreting the sermon for the priest or deacon preaching. New volunteers are always welcome, and when the Catholic Deaf Service is running a course in Liturgical Sign Language, details will appear on this page.