Ecclesiastical Latin

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Ecclesiastical Latin
Church Latin, Liturgical Latin
Native toNever 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. [1] Also used in the Western Orthodox Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church. [2]
Latin
Official status
Official language in
Holy See
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
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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. [3] 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. [4] Its pronunciation is based on Italian. [1]

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:

Lingua franca languages used to facilitate trade between groups without a common native language

A lingua franca, also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.

Ecclesiastical Latin was the language of liturgical rites in the Catholic Church, as well as the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, [1] and in the Western Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church. [2] Today, ecclesiastical Latin is primarily used in official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, and it is still learned by clergy. [3]

Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. Although the term liturgy is used to mean public worship in general, the Byzantine Rite uses the term "Divine Liturgy" to denote the Eucharistic service.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Anglican Communion International association of churches

The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.

The Ecclesiastical Latin that is used in theological works, liturgical rites and dogmatic proclamations varies in style: syntactically simple in the Vulgate Bible, hieratic in the Roman Canon of the Mass, terse and technical in Aquinas's Summa Theologica and Ciceronian in Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter Fides et Ratio .

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.

<i>Summa Theologica</i> theological treatise by Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologiae is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas. Although unfinished, the Summa is "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as an instructional guide for theology students, including seminarians and the literate laity. It is a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West. The Summa's topics follow a cycle: God; Creation, Man; Man's purpose; Christ; the Sacraments; and back to God.

Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope John Paul II was the Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Usage

Late antique usage

The use of Latin in the Church started in the late fourth century [5] with 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. [6] 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. [5]

Theodosius I Roman emperor

Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was a Roman Emperor from 379 to 395, and the last emperor to rule over both the Eastern and the Western halves of the Roman Empire. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire. His resources were not sufficient to destroy them or drive them out, which had been Roman policy for centuries in dealing with invaders. By treaty, which followed his indecisive victory at the end of the Gothic War, they were established as foederati, autonomous allies of the Empire, south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the Empire's borders. They were given lands and allowed to remain under their own leaders, a grave departure from Roman hegemonic ways. This turn away from traditional policies was accommodationist and had grave consequences for the Western Empire from the beginning of the century, as the Romans found themselves with the impossible task of defending the borders and dealing with unruly federates within. Theodosius I was obliged to fight two destructive civil wars, successively defeating the usurpers Magnus Maximus in 387–388 and Eugenius in 394, though not without material cost to the power of the Empire.

Byzantine Empire Roman Empire during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe. "Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Jerome 4th and 5th-century Catholic priest, theologian, and saint

Jerome was a Latin Catholic priest, confessor, theologian, and historian, commonly known as Saint Jerome. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin, and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.

Protestant usage

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. [7] 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. [8] 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." [8] In the Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer was published in Latin, alongside English. [1] John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Churches, "used Latin text in doctrinal writings", [1] as Martin Luther and John Calvin did in their era. [1] 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. [8] 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. [8]

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Reformation Schism within the Christian Church in the 16th century

TheReformation was a movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic Church—and papal authority in particular. Although the Reformation is usually considered to have started with the publication of the Ninety-five Theses by Martin Luther in 1517, there was no schism between the Catholics and the nascent Lutheran branch until the 1521 Edict of Worms. The edict condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas. The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy. Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ended since there are still Protestants today.

Martin Luther Saxon priest, monk and theologian, seminal figure in Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther,, was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Catholic usage

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. [9] 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 . [3]

Mass in the Catholic Church Central liturgical ritual

The Mass, known more fully as the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the central liturgical ritual in the Roman Catholic Church where the bread and wine are consecrated and become the body and blood of Christ. As defined by the Church at the Council of Trent, in the Mass, "The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross, is present and offered in an unbloody manner." The Church describes the Holy Mass as "the source and summit of the Christian life". It teaches that through consecration by an ordained priest the bread and wine become the sacrificial body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ as the sacrifice on Calvary made truly present once again on the altar. The Catholic Church permits only baptised members in the state of grace to receive Christ in the Eucharist.

In law, motu proprio describes an official act taken without a formal request from another party. Some jurisdictions use the term sua sponte for the same concept.

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 [10] (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. [11]

Comparison with Classical 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'. [12]

Language materials

The complete text of the Bible in Latin, the revised Vulgate, appears at Nova Vulgata - Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio. [13] New Advent [14] gives the entire Bible, in the Douay version, verse by verse, accompanied by the Vulgate Latin of each verse.

In 1976, the Latinitas Foundation [15] (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 [16] of the Vatican website. The Latinitas Foundation was superseded by the Pontifical Academy for Latin (Latin : Pontificia Academia Latinitatis) in 2012.

Current use

Latin remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. [17] 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, [18] though "the use of Latin in seminaries and pontifical universities has now dwindled to the point of extinction." [19] 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. [20] 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. [21]

In historic Protestant Churches, such as the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches, Ecclesiastical Latin is often employed in sung celebrations of the Mass. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

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New American Bible English-language Catholic Bible translation

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Latin Mass Catholic mass celebrated in Latin

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Latin Psalters

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References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Cross, Frank Leslie; Livingstone, Elizabeth A. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. p. 961. ISBN   9780192802903. The Second Vatican Council declared that the use of Latin was to be maintained 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 C of E 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.
  2. 1 2 "On the Western Rite Liturgy | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese". antiochian.org. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  3. 1 2 3 "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Church Latin". www.newadvent.org. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  4. Collens, Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, pg. vi
  5. 1 2 Collins, Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, pg. vi
  6. Leonhardt, Jürgen (2013). Latin: Story of a World Language. Munich: Harvard University Press. p. 94. ISBN   978-0-674-05807-1.
  7. Janson, Tore (2007). Natural History of Latin: The Story of the World's Most Successful Language. Oxford University Press. p. 126. ISBN   978-0199214051.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Waquet, Françoise (2002). Latin, Or, The Empire of a Sign: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. Verso. p. 78. ISBN   9781859844021.
  9. "Second Vatican Council | Roman Catholic history [1962–1965]". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  10. "Tra Le Sollecitudini Instruction on Sacred Music". Adoremus Bulletin. November 22, 1903.
  11. "Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum". www.vatican.va. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008.
  12. Roman Missal
  13. "Nova Vulgata - Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio". www.vatican.va.
  14. "HOLY BIBLE: Genesis 1". www.newadvent.org.
  15. "Latinitas, Opus Fundatum in Civitate Vaticana". www.vatican.va.
  16. "Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis, parvum verborum novatorum Léxicum". www.vatican.va.
  17. As stated above, official documents are frequently published in other languages. The Holy See's diplomatic languages are French and Latin (such as letters of credence from Vatican ambassadors to other countries are written in Latin [Fr. Reginald Foster, on Vatican Radio, 4 June 2005]). Laws and official regulations of Vatican City, which is an entity that is distinct from the Holy See, are issued in Italian.
  18. Can. 249, 1983 CIC
  19. Cross, Frank Leslie; Livingstone, Elizabeth A. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press. p. 961. ISBN   9780192802903.
  20. Can. 928 Archived December 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine , 1983 CIC
  21. [ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2015-03-27.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum , article 6

Sources

  • The New Missal Latin by Edmund J. Baumeister, S.M., Ph.D. Published by St. Mary's Publishing Company, P.O. Box 134, St. Mary's, KS 66536-0134, USA.
  • Byrne, Carol (1999). "Simplicissimus". The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2011. (A course in ecclesiastical Latin.)

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