Hail Mary


#1

Pax!
To me it seem that both the Hail Mary and Bible verses of the Annunciation do not contain any formal language when addressing Mary other than mentioning how great she is.
In Swedish we say “du” (“ni” would be formal). In Latin it’s “tu”.
What can you learned people say about the language? Formal or informal or both?

Anyway, Jesus called God Abba and that’s informal.


#2

From what I have read the older “thee, thou, thy” are second person singular in English. I think that is equivalent to the Swedish “du”. However, the second person singular vanished from popular usage in English long ago, and is, unfortunately, being phased out of liturgical usage. [They haven’t managed to get it out of the “Our Father” yet.]


#3

If you look at Luke Gabriel greets Mary with “Hail, full of grace” (not Hail Mary). Someone on EWTN explained that in Jesus’ time the greeting “Hail” was almost followed by a title, like “Hail Caesar”. So by greeting her the way he did Gabriel was actually conferring the title “Full of Grace” on Mary. Which explains why she was confused at the form of greeting.

This would seem to argue in favor of formal language.


#4

It is the second part, not the first, which is special: the initial Greek greeting there is χαιρε, which was just an everyday greeting form (see James 1:1). It is the rest of the message which was the eyebrow raiser.


#5

It is not formal, in terms of register of language, but it is special, in terms of message content.


#6

Note that angels address her as Queen; we may address her as Mother. That sticks in Satan’s craw.


#7

Pax!
Did the angel really speak Greek to Mary? Why not Aramaic?


#8

[quote=Joe Kelley] Note that angels address her as Queen
[/quote]

Can you please give a Scriptural reference where any angel addressed Mary as Queen?

[quote=henrikhank] Did the angel really speak Greek to Mary? Why not Aramaic?
[/quote]

Since the Scriptures were written in Greek (as inspired by the Holy Spirit), I don’t see how it matters what language the original greeting was given in. Certainly God would make sure that His Word would be accurate, regardless of human language.


#9

Several verses suggest that the angel thought of Mary as royalty. First, in Luke 1:28 he addressed her with “Hail,” which is a royal greeting. Then, in the subsequent verses, he explains that she will be the mother of a prince – “the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.” He uses other royal language in the passage as well, basically everything he says about the Son of Mary. All that royal language about the Son implies that Mary will be the Queen Mother.

I don’t think James 1:1 suggests that Chaire was an ordinary greeting. It is my understanding that chaire is a royal greeting, used by the nobility or for the nobility, and I think James uses the noble/royal motif several times in describing his audience, e.g. James 1:12, James 2:2-3, James 2:4, James 2:5, James 2:7, James 2:8, James 5:1-3, James 5:5. Perhaps James 1:1 is just his way of introducing the motif that he will use throughout his letter.


#10

dma198 - Thanks. - Joe


#11

The only records we have are in Greek, not Aramaic, so You’d probably want to go to a Greek Scholar for the answer to this.


#12

The Latin of the ‘Hail Mary’ uses the informal, q.v.

Ave Maria, gratia plena Dominus tecum…

“te” is the informal “you”

==================
Besides that point, the Catechism points out that a better translation of Ave Maria is actually “REJOICE, Oh Mary” ---- which is how I say the rosary.

Rejoice O Mary full of grace the LORD is with you !!

Blessed are you among women!!

And, blessed is the fruit of your womb, JESUS !!

Holy Mary, Mother of God !!

Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death.

Amen


#13

Greek literature is mostly populated by the upper class, which might give someone this impression, but the term is used very generally: in the Odyssey 1.123, when Telemachos greets a complete stranger, in Aeschylus’ Eumenides 996, when the Chorus address the whole population of Athens, in Theocritus’ Idylls 14.1, in which one commoner greets another on the the street. In Cassius Dio Cocceianus’ Historiae Romanae, 69.18, it is described as a standard greeting form, especially in the morning.

I think James uses the noble/royal motif several times in describing his audience, e.g. James 1:12, James 2:2-3, James 2:4, James 2:5, James 2:7, James 2:8, James 5:1-3, James 5:5. Perhaps James 1:1 is just his way of introducing the motif that he will use throughout his letter.

Um, 1:12 and 2:8 perhaps. 2:2-4, 2:7, and 5:1-5 are about the wealthy abusers of the poor, and the evil of treating the wealth as more important than the poor: James very specifically identifies these people as rich, not noble, and the same happens in 2:5.


#14

If tecum is informal then what is the formal?


#15

cum = “with”

tecum = te + cum = with you (informal)

vobiscum = vobis + cum = with you (formal / plural) [or both, depending on context]


#16

[quote=dmar198] Several verses suggest that the angel thought of Mary as royalty.
[/quote]

Excuse me, but Joe Kelley stated specifically “that angels address her as Queen”. That is a far cry from “Several verses suggest”, and is why I specifically asked Joe if he could “please give a Scriptural reference where any angel addressed Mary as Queen?” (his assertion, not mine).

First, in Luke 1:28 he addressed her with “Hail,” which is a royal greeting.

I think you put a lot more emphasis on the word “hail” than is called for. When Judas betrayed Jesus (Matt 26:49), was he addressing Jesus as royalty when he greeted Him with “Hail Rabbi”? I don’t think so. In the case of :Hail Rabbi", it’s the “Rabbi” that identifies the specific honor being given to the recipient; “Hail Caesar” - “Caesar” indicates the “royalty” of Rome; “Hail, King of the Jews” (from the mocking of Jesus prior to the crucifixion) - “King of the Jews” identifies the title that is being addressed (or mocked in this case); “Hail, Highly favored one” (or “full of grace” depending on which version you’re using) identifies the honor given to Mary. Seems to me that “hail” is simply a greeting.


#17

Is that really true?


#18

It’s been a long time since I studied Latin, and it was never my best subject, but I don’t recall a formal/informal split in the second person. Neither do I find one in my texts.

In the liturgy the priest addresses the people: Dominus vobiscum.
The people respond: Et cum spiritu tuo. [It is always translated** your not** thy**.]

In the Office of Readings the hymn reads:

Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur. Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur…

It is translated with the formal you:

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships** you**…

Whereas the Pater Noster reads:

Pater Noster
qui es in caelis,
sanctificetur nomen tuum.
Adveniat regnum tuum.
Fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in caelo et in terra…

and is translated in Morning Prayer as:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven…


#19

While no “formal” type of address is used, the “Hail Mary” as part of the infancy/childhood narratives in Luke, is composed in a form of Greek that is older than what the rest of Luke is written in.

Luke 1:1-4 is written in Koine Greek–very, very well written Koine Greek. This type of Greek is what is found in the rest of the New Testament, though none of the writers ever show such a mastery over Koine Greek like Luke…except perhaps for the author of the epistle to the Hebrews.

But beginning in Luke 1:5 and through 2:52, the author writes in what is known as Septuagint (LXX) Greek. This was the Greek that was common in the days that the Septuagint was written, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

One could say this is somewhat formal by comparison, but it is really more like what a filmmaker does when shooting a scene in the past in black-and-white format. By doing this Luke is both linking the Gospel with the days of the prophets who were waiting for the arrival of the Messiah and perhaps using this older form as a conduit to render words and expressions spoken to him directly from the Hebrew/Aramaic dialect that the Jews of his day employed.

The oft debated expression in Luke 1:28 where the angel calls Mary “full of grace” instead of by her name is a unique expression in Greek. Because Greek allows for the composition of new words by combining suffixes and prefixes and other parts of words together, Luke does this here. In fact many scholars believe that he is struggling and inventing a new word due to translating an Aramaic expression for which there is no equivalent in any form of Greek.

The infancy narratives end in Luke 2:19, and the boyhood narrative in verse 51, each with an expression found in the Old Testament used to attribute a story to its source. In these cases the source is said to be Mary. It is highly possible that Luke developed these parts of his Gospel from firsthand reports from the Blessed Virgin, and since the story was obviously told to Luke in the Hebrew/Aramaic (perhaps through a translator), the use of Septuagint Greek seemed appropriate.

Contrary to what some believe, the “full of grace” expression in Semitic form is that used when speaking of a vessel that is full of liquid, like water, and had no room for anything more. In the way we talk of petrol or gas tanks as being full and mean we can put nothing more into them, Mary is spoken of as being “filled” with “grace” to the extent that there is no room to add sin into her. The term for “grace” means being gifted or favored with this type of “fullness.”

This logic is foreign to Greek and of course our Western culture. The Septuagint Greek term is trying to grasp this Semitic logic that doesn’t quite translate over, but Luke is gifted enough to use the inflectional aspect of Greek to meet this challenge as best as he can.


#20

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