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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Guide to Latin Prayers: Lesson 03 - Pater Noster

Our Father

Taken from the Baltimore Catechism No. 4:
This is the most beautiful and best of all prayers, because Our Lord Himself made it. (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2). One day when He was praying and explaining to His Apostles the great advantages of prayer, one of them said to Him: "Lord, teach us to pray." Then Jesus taught them this prayer. It contains everything we need or could ask for. We cannot see its full meaning at once. The more we think over it, the more clearly we understand it. We could write whole pages on almost every word, and still not say all that could be said about this prayer. It is called "the Lord's," because He made it, and sometimes the "Our Father," from the first words.

Pater noster
(PAH-tehr  NOHS-tehr)

Qui es in caelis
(quee  ehs  een  CHAY-lees)

sanctificetur nomen tuum
(sahnc-tee-fee-CHAY-toor  NOH-mehn  TOO-oom)

adveniat regnum tuum
(ahd-VAY-nee-aht  RAY-nyoom  TOO-oom)

fiat voluntas tua
(FEE-aht  voh-LOON-tahs  TOO-ah)

sicut in caelo et in terra.
(SEE-koot  een  CHAY-loh  eht  een  TAYHR-rah)

Panem nostrum quotidianum
(PAH-naym  NOHS-troom  quoh-tee-dee-AH-noom)

da nobis hodie
(dah  NOH-bees  HOH-dee-ay)

et dimitte nobis debita nostra
(eht  dee-MEET-tay  NOH-bees  DAY-bee-tah  NOHST-rah)

sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris
(SEE-koot  eht  nohs  dee-MEET-tee-moos  day-bee-TOH-ree-boos  NOHST-rees)

et ne nos inducas
(eht  nay  nohs  een-DOO-kahs)

in tentationem
(een  tehn-TAH-tsee-oh-nehm)

sed libera nos a malo.
(sehd  LEE-behr-ah  nohs  ah  MAH-loh)

This concludes the third lesson. Practice often.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Guide to Latin Prayers: Lesson 02 - Doxologia Minor

The Minor Doxology

Don't allow the strange name fool you. The Doxologia Minor (dohks-oh-LOH-gee-ah   MEE-nor) you already know as the Glory Be, or as is commonly known in Latin: the Gloria Patri (GLOH-ree-ah   PAH-tree). The prayer is distinctly Trinitarian in nature, referring to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Why minor? Referring to this prayer as the Minor or Lesser Doxology simply distinguishes it from the Greater Doxology, the Gloria of the Mass.

The Doxologia Minor is used quite often in the Church's liturgy. In typical circumstances, whenever a Psalm is recited —whether in Holy Mass or in the Divine Office— it is concluded with the Gloria Patri.

Gloria Patri
(GLOH-ree-ah  PAH-tree)

et Filio
(eht  FEE-lee-oh)

et Spiritui Sancto
(eht spear-EE-too-wee  SAHNC-toh)

Sicut erat in principio
(SEE-koot  AIR-aht  een  preen-CHEE-pee-oh)

et nunc et semper
(eht   noonk  eht  SEHM-pair)

et in saecula saeculorum
(eht  een  SAY-koo-lah  SAY-koo-lor-oom)

It is customary, when reciting the Doxologia Minor, to bow during the mentioning of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

This concludes the second lesson. Practice often.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dies Irae

In preparation for the forthcoming celebration of All Souls' Day and the Solemn Requiem Mass on November 3rd at St. Stephen's, we'd like to share with you one of the Church's most beautiful liturgical chants, a famous thirteenth century Latin hymn. The poem describes the day of judgment, the last trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God, where the saved will be delivered and the unsaved cast into eternal flames. It is that day of wrath, Dies Iræ.

Dies Iræ is reknown for it use as a sequence in Holy Mass, which occurs after the epistle and just before the Gospel.

A major inspiration of the hymn seems to have come from the Vulgate translation of Zephaniah 1:15–16:

Dies iræ, dies illa, dies tribulationis et angustiæ, dies calamitatis et miseriæ, dies tenebrarum et caliginis, dies nebulæ et turbinis, dies tubæ et clangoris super civitates munitas et super angulos excelsos.
That day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery, a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and whirlwinds, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high bulwarks. (Douai Bible)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Guide to Latin Prayers: Lesson 01 - Signum Crucis

The Sign of the Cross

We begin our Guide to Latin Prayers with the Signum Crucis (SEE-nyoom KROO-chees). Catholics, since ancient times, have made the Signum Crucis at the beginning and ending of prayers. The Signum Crucis is so important that we even begin the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with It.

This Guide to Latin Prayers uses ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation. The syllables in capital letters represent where the stress in the word is. Let's begin.

Touching the fingers of our right hand to our head, we say:

In nomine Patris
(een  NOH-mee-nay  PAH-trees)

Before we move on, let's address a quick consonant pronunciation note. The Latin consonant S always sounds like the S in the English word house, and never like the S in hose.

Next we move our hand down to the middle of our breast and, touching it, we say:

et Filii
(eht  FEE-lee-ee)

Finally, we place our hand on our left shoulder and move it to our right shoulder, and say while doing so:

et Spiritus Sancti
(eht  SPEAR-ee-toos  SAHNC-tee)

Many people have the custom of finishing the Signum Crucis by saying Amen and folding their hands.

This concludes the first lesson. Practice often.