|Church Latin, Liturgical Latin|
|Native to||Never spoken as a native language; other uses vary widely by period and location|
|Extinct||Still used for many purposes, mostly as a liturgical language of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Churches, Lutheran Churches, and Methodist Churches. Also used in the Western Orthodox Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church.|
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Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italian Latin, is a form of Latin initially developed to discuss Christian thought and later used as a lingua franca by the Medieval and Early Modern upper class of Europe. It includes words from Vulgar Latin and Classical Latin (as well as Greek and Hebrew) re-purposed with Christian meaning.It is less stylized and rigid in form than Classical Latin, sharing vocabulary, forms, and syntax, while at the same time incorporating informal elements which had always been with the language but which were excluded by the literary authors of classical Latin.
Its pronunciation was partly standardized in the late 8th century during the Carolingian Renaissance as part of Charlemagne's educational reforms, and this new letter-by-letter pronunciation, used in France and England, was adopted in Iberia and Italy a couple centuries afterwards.As time passed, pronunciation diverged depending on the local vernacular language, giving rise to even highly divergent forms such as the traditional English pronunciation of Latin, which has now been largely abandoned for reading Latin texts. Within the Roman Catholic Church and in certain Protestant churches, such as the Anglican Church, a pronunciation based on modern Italian phonology became common during the 20th century.
Ecclesiastical Latin was the language of liturgical rites in the Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, and in the Western Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church.Today, ecclesiastical Latin is primarily used in official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, in the Tridentine Mass, and it is still learned by clergy.
The Ecclesiastical Latin that is used in theological works, liturgical rites and dogmatic proclamations varies in style: syntactically simple in the Vulgate Bible, hieratic (very restrained) in the Roman Canon of the Mass, terse and technical in Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica , and Ciceronian (syntactically complex) in Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Fides et Ratio .
The use of Latin in the Church started in the late fourth centurywith the split of the Roman Empire after Emperor Theodosius in 395. Before this split, Greek was the primary language of the Church as well as the language of the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Following the split, early theologians like Jerome translated Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin, the dominant language of the Western Roman Empire. The loss of Greek in the Western half of the Roman Empire, and the loss of Latin in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire were not immediate, but changed the culture of language as well as the development of the Church. What especially differentiates Ecclesiastical Latin from Classical Latin is its utility as a language for translating, since it borrows and assimilates constructions and borrows vocabulary from the koine Greek, while adapting the meanings of some Latin words to those of the koine Greek originals, which are sometimes themselves translations of Hebrew originals.
The use of Latin in the Western Church continued throughout the Middle Ages and into the time of the Reformation. One of Martin Luther's tenets of the Reformation was to have services and religious texts in the common tongue, rather than Latin, a language that at the time, only clergy understood. Protestants refrained from using Latin in services, however Protestant clergy had to learn and understand Latin as it was the language of higher learning and theological thought until the eighteenth century.After the Reformation, in the Lutheran Churches, Latin was retained as the language of the Mass for weekdays, although for the Sunday Sabbath, the Deutsche Messe was to be said. In Geneva, among the Reformed Churches, "persons called before the consistory to prove their faith answered by reciting the Paternoster, the Ave Maria, and the Credo in Latin." In the Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer was published in Latin, alongside English. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Churches, "used Latin text in doctrinal writings", as Martin Luther and John Calvin did in their era. In the training of Protestant clergy in Württemberg, as well as in the Rhineland, universities instructed divinity students in Latin and their examinations were conducted in this language. The University of Montauban under Reformed auspcices, required that seminarians complete two theses, with one being in Latin and as such, Reformed ministers were "Latinist by training", comparable to Roman Catholic seminarians.
Ecclesiastical Latin continues to be the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. The Council decided to allow languages other than Latin to be used in Mass in order to relate the Church and its values to modern culture.However, the Church still produces its official liturgical texts in Latin, which provide a single clear point of reference for translations into all other languages. The same holds for the official texts of canon law and many other doctrinal and pastoral communications and directives of the Holy See, such as encyclical letters, motu proprios , and declarations ex cathedra . Pope Benedict XVI gave in Latin his unexpected resignation speech.
The Holy See has for some centuries usually drafted documents in a modern language, but the authoritative text, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis , is usually in Latin. Some texts may be published initially in a modern language and be later revised, according to a Latin version (or “editio typica”), after this Latin version is published. For example, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was drafted and published, in 1992, in French. The Latin text appeared only five years later, in 1997, and the French text was corrected to match the Latin version, which is regarded as the official text. The Latin-language department of the Vatican Secretariat of State (formerly the Secretaria brevium ad principes et epistolarum latinarum) is charged with the preparation in Latin of papal and curial documents. Occasionally the official text is published in a modern language, e.g., the well-known edict Tra le sollecitudini(1903) by Pope Pius X (in Italian) and Mit brennender Sorge (1937) by Pope Pius XI (in German).
The rule now in force on the use of Latin in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Roman Rite states Mass is celebrated either in Latin or in another language, provided that the liturgical texts used have been approved according to the norm of law. Except for celebrations of the Mass that are scheduled by the ecclesiastical authorities to take place in the language of the people, priests are always and everywhere permitted to celebrate Mass in Latin.
There are not many differences between Classical Latin and Church Latin. One can understand Church Latin knowing the Latin of classical texts, as the main differences between the two are in pronunciation and spelling, as well as vocabulary.
In many countries, those who speak Latin for liturgical or other ecclesiastical purposes use the pronunciation that has become traditional in Rome by giving the letters the value they have in modern Italian but without distinguishing between open and close "E" and "O". "AE" and "OE" coalesce with "E"; before them and "I", "C" and "G" are pronounced /t͡ʃ/ (English "CH") and /d͡ʒ/ (English "J"), respectively. "TI" before a vowel is generally pronounced /tsi/ (unless preceded by "S", "T" or "X"). Such speakers pronounce consonantal "V" (not written as "U") as /v/ as in English, and double consonants are pronounced as such. The distinction in Classical Latin between long and short vowels is ignored, and instead of the 'macron', a horizontal line to mark the long vowel, an acute accent is used for stress. The first syllable of two-syllable words is stressed; in longer words, an acute accent is placed over the stressed vowel: adorémus 'let us adore'; Dómini 'of the Lord'.
The complete text of the Bible in Latin, the revised Vulgate, appears at Nova Vulgata - Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio.New Advent gives the entire Bible, in the Douay version, verse by verse, accompanied by the Vulgate Latin of each verse.
In 1976, the Latinitas Foundation : Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) in 2012.(Opus Fundatum Latinitas in Latin) was established by Pope Paul VI to promote the study and use of Latin. Its headquarters are in Vatican City. The foundation publishes an eponymous quarterly in Latin. The foundation also published a 15,000-word Italian-Latin Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis (Dictionary of Recent Latin), which provides Latin coinages for modern concepts, such as a bicycle (birota), a cigarette (fistula nicotiana), a computer (instrumentum computatorium), a cowboy (armentarius), a motel (deversorium autocineticum), shampoo (capitilavium), a strike (operistitium), a terrorist (tromocrates), a trademark (ergasterii nota), an unemployed person (invite otiosus), a waltz (chorea Vindobonensis), and even a miniskirt (tunicula minima) and hot pants (brevissimae bracae femineae). Some 600 such terms extracted from the book appear on a page of the Vatican website. The Latinitas Foundation was superseded by the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Latin
Latin remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.Until the 1960s and still later in Roman colleges like the Gregorian, Roman Catholic priests studied theology using Latin textbooks and the language of instruction in many seminaries was also Latin, which was seen as the language of the Church Fathers. The use of Latin in pedagogy and in theological research, however, has since declined. Nevertheless, canon law requires for seminary formation to provide for a thorough training in Latin, though "the use of Latin in seminaries and pontifical universities has now dwindled to the point of extinction." Latin was still spoken in recent international gatherings of Roman Catholic leaders, such as the Second Vatican Council, and it is still used at conclaves to elect a new Pope. The Tenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2004 was the most recent to have a Latin-language group for discussions.
Although Latin is the traditional liturgical language of the Roman (Latin) Church, the liturgical use of the vernacular has predominated since the liturgical reforms that followed the Vatican II: liturgical law for the Latin Church states that Mass may be celebrated either in Latin or another language in which the liturgical texts, translated from Latin, have been legitimately approved.The permission granted for continued use of the Tridentine Mass in its 1962 form authorizes use of the vernacular language in proclaiming the Scripture readings after they are first read in Latin.
In historic Protestant Churches, such as the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches, Ecclesiastical Latin is often employed in sung celebrations of the Mass.
The Roman Missal is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church, as well as in Anglican, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.
The Mass of Paul VI, more commonly called the post-Vatican II Mass, is the most widely used form of the Mass in use today within the Catholic Church. It is known as the ordinary form, in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 declaration that "the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy". It is also referred to, especially in Traditionalist circles, as the Novus Ordo.
The Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass or Usus Antiquior, is the Roman Rite Mass of the Catholic Church. It appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. Celebrated exclusively in Ecclesiastical Latin, it was the most widely used Eucharistic liturgy in the world from its issuance in 1570 until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI.
A sacred language, "holy language" or liturgical language is any language that is cultivated and used primarily in religious service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily life.
The New American Bible (NAB) is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1970. The 1986 Revised NAB is the basis of the revised Lectionary, and it is the only translation approved for use at Mass in the Roman Catholic dioceses of the United States and the Philippines, and the 1970 first edition is also an approved Bible translation by the Episcopal Church in the United States.
The Nova Vulgata, also called the Neo-Vulgate or New Latin Vulgate, is the official Classical Latin translation of the original-language texts of the Bible from modern critical editions published by the Holy See for use in the contemporary Roman rite. It was completed and promulgated in 1979 by John Paul II. A second, revised, edition was promulgated in 1986, again by John Paul II. It is the official Latin text of the Catholic Church.
The Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office or Work of God or canonical hours, often referred to as the Breviary, is the official set of prayers "marking the hours of each day and sanctifying the day with prayer". It consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns, readings and other prayers and antiphons. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.
A Latin Mass is a Roman Catholic Mass celebrated in Ecclesiastical Latin.
The Roman Rite is the main liturgical rite of the Latin Church, the main particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It is the most widespread liturgical rite in Christianity as a whole. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church, developed out of many local variants from Early Christianity on, not amounting to distinctive rites, that existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent (1545–63) and more recently following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65).
The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is a commission set up by a number of episcopal conferences of English-speaking countries for the purpose of providing English translations of the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, the originals of which are in Latin.
Latin liturgical rites, or Western liturgical rites, are Catholic rites of public worship employed by the Latin Church, the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, that originated in Europe where the Latin language once dominated. Its language is now known as Ecclesiastical Latin. The most used rite is the Roman Rite.
Divino afflante Spiritu is a papal encyclical letter issued by Pope Pius XII on 30 September 1943 calling for new translations of the Bible into vernacular languages using the original languages as a source instead of the Latin Vulgate. The Vulgate, completed by Jerome and revised multiple times, had formed the textual basis for all Catholic vernacular translations until then. Divino afflante Spiritu inaugurated the modern period of Roman Catholic biblical studies by encouraging the study of textual criticism, pertaining to text of the Scriptures themselves and transmission thereof and permitted the use of the historical-critical method, to be informed by theology, Sacred Tradition, and ecclesiastical history on the historical circumstances of the text, hypothesizing about matters such as authorship, dating, and similar concerns. The eminent Catholic biblical scholar Raymond E. Brown described it as a "Magna Carta for biblical progress".
The English Missal is a translation of the Roman Missal used by some Anglo-Catholic parish churches. After its publication by W. Knott & Son Limited in 1912, The English Missal was rapidly endorsed by the growing Ritualist movement of Anglo-Catholic clergy, who viewed the liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer as insufficient expressions of fully Catholic worship. The translation of the Roman Missal from Latin into the stylized Elizabethan Early Modern English of the Book of Common Prayer allowed clergy to preserve the use of the vernacular language while adopting the Roman Catholic texts and liturgical rubrics.
Mass in the Catholic Church goes by many names. As fundamentally an action of thanksgiving to God it is called Eucharist, which means thanksgiving. Other terms for it are Lord's Supper, Breaking of Bread, Eucharistic assembly, memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection, holy sacrifice of the Mass, Holy and Divine Liturgy, Sacred Mysteries, Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the holy things, and finally Holy Mass from the sending forth (missio) of the faithful.
Summorum Pontificum is an apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued in July 2007, which specifies the circumstances in which priests of the Latin Church may celebrate Mass according to what he calls the "Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962", and administer most of the sacraments in the form used before the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council.
Liturgiam authenticam(De usu linguarum popularium in libris liturgiae Romanae edendis) is an instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated 28 March 2001.
The Pontifical Academy for Latin is the eleventh and newest pontifical academy. Headquartered in the Vatican City, it was established for the promotion and appreciation of the Latin language and culture. The Academy replaces the Latinitas Foundation and is linked to the Pontifical Council for Culture on which it depends.
The Grail Psalms refers to various editions of an English translation of the Book of Psalms, first published completely as The Psalms: A New Translation in 1963 by the Ladies of the Grail. The translation was modeled on the French La Bible de Jérusalem, according to the school of Fr. Joseph Gelineau: a simple vernacular, arranged in sprung rhythm to be suitable for liturgical song and chant. All official, Catholic, English translations of the Liturgy of the Hours use the Grail Psalms.
Pope Francis issued the document Magnum principium dated 3 September 2017 on his own authority. It modified the 1983 Code of Canon Law to shift responsibility and authority for translations of liturgical texts into modern languages to national and regional conferences of bishops and restrict the role of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW). It was made public on 9 September and its effective date is 1 October.
The Second Vatican Council declared that the use of Latin was to be maintained in the liturgy, though permission was granted for some use of the vernacular; in the outcome, the use of the vernacular has almost entirely triumphed, although the official books continue to be published in Latin. In the Church of England the Latin versions of the Book of Common Prayer have never been widely used, though, for instance, John Wesley used Latin text in doctrinal writings. The option of using traditional Latin texts in sung worship has been retained by choirs in both the Anglican and Lutheran Churches.
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