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Latin was the language of scholars and priests during the Middle Ages, and Latin was used almost universally throughout the church and in formal education settings throughout medieval Europe. Prior to the Reformation, the catholic mass was always delivered in Latin, and its use in the fields of law and medicine, as well as in the Roman Catholic church, has persisted even into modern times. Modern scholars often divide medieval writing into Latin writing (mostly sacred texts and matters of law) and vernacular (native language) writing (mostly secular writing such as romantic or comedic writing). One of the driving forces behind the Reformation was push for widespread usage of the vernacular languages in the church, such as Martin Luther's German translation of the Bible.

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