Learning Latin to attend Tridentine Mass

Hey…I have this strong desire to learn latin for scholastic reasons. In addition, I want to occasionaly attend a local Tridentine Mass held at one of the local parishes, but I don’t know Latin. I really want to learn how to read, speak, and understand it. Does anyone have any good recommendations for a Book, Program, or CD/DVD that will help me learn Latin. I want something that is good for beginners, but will also teach me all of the advanced parts of latin such as prepositional phrases, indicatives, etc. PLEASE help me. I have heard Wheatlocks is good, but I was wanting to know if you all had any suggestions. Thanks, Sonny

I don’t have any advice on this, but Jimmy Akin does, from his blog.

Regarding Latin Jimmy says:

For Latin, a deutero-biblical language due to the Vulgate, you would think there would be an embarrassment of riches to choose from, but there’s not—at least not if you’re learning ecclesiastical or “church” Latin. This differs from classical Latin in pronunciation and in a few matters of vocabulary and grammar, and though there are plenty of good, introductory texts for classical Latin, there aren’t for ecclesiastical Latin.

The text that I learned from was A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John Collins, which is the major recent grammar. I had a great teacher, but boy did I hate this textbook. Collins’ method of instruction is horrible. He presents grammatical concepts in a higgledy-piggledy and unduly drawn-out order, with poor explanation and inadequate examples. This is tolerable if you have a teacher to fill in the gaps, but the text is totally unsuited to self-study.

There are a few other grammars of ecclesiastical Latin out there, but they tend to be older (meaning that they are likely to be harder for the self-study student to use), and I’m not as familiar with them at this point, so I don’t want to recommend any.

Let me make an alternative suggestion: To compensate for the deficiencies of Collins, use a short, easy-to-use classical Latin grammar and then, once you have the basics of the language down, tackle Collins.

The one I’d recommend is Learn Latin by Peter Jones. This is a short book that originally appeared in England as a series of newspaper columns that proved so popular they were collected in book form. It’s user-friendly, good for self-study, and does cover some ecclesiastical Latin.

One note of caution: If you use a classical Latin grammar, be sure that you learn ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation. The two are not quite the same. If the text you use doesn’t have a section on ecclesiastical pronunciation, check the Web and get the info there.

If you click over to the page I took this text from you can click links to the books he reccomends.

I like Wheelock’s Latin; it’s the textbook that my latin teacher uses. If you can find a course to take with an actual teacher, I think that’s the best route to take- I know that I couldn’t teach myself latin!:slight_smile: I don’t know of any online courses, but here’s some links that you can practice on:





These links really helped me a LOT with learning latin. I really wouldn’t worry too much about the differences between ecclesiastical latin and classical latin. Maybe a latin scholar will correct me on this, but it really didn’t seem like a huge difference: some the words are pronounced slightly differently- so what? It’s still spelled the same- and at the tridentine mass, you’re probably not going to be making a ton of responses.
Oh, and you really don’t have to learn latin to be at the tridentine mass- it definetly helps me a lot now, but you can always buy a missal where they have the words in both languages so you can follow along. The only thing with that is that some of the priests talk so fast that you can’t keep up! But once you go to the tridentine mass fairly regularly, it starts to get easier.

Thanks everyone…I look forward to learning and to more responses. THanks

[quote=sonnydaniels] I want to occasionaly attend a local Tridentine Mass held at one of the local parishes, but I don’t know Latin.

The beauty of The Tridentine Mass is that you do not need to know Latin to understand, love and worship.

The Latin Mass is of such an experience that all you have to do sit and absorb. After you have attended one, you will not know what has happen but you will be profoundly affected.

During Mass the experience is between you and God - of course you are in union with those in the Church and the Priest on the Altar, but the experience is solely yours and yours alone, it is like an infusion directly to the Heart of Jesus. All you have to do is sit and revel in the Presence of God.

I do not speak Latin - but I know everyword that is being said on that Altar - it is just something that comes in time!

God Bless and I hope all with find and experience “The Latin Mass”

Learn Latin in order to attend Tridentine Mass?

ABSOLUTELY NOT !!! If you attend Mass regularly you will know the parts of the Mass and you will KNOW just about what the Priest is saying without knowing Latin. Just follow along in your Daily Missal.

I became Roman Catholic in 1954, a convert. I was given a Saint Joseph’s Daily Missal which I still use. In 1954 all Masses were in Latin…I had no trouble at all back then.

In the Saint Joseph’s Daily Missal the Nass is written in Latin on the left page and in English on the right hand page. You can glance back and forth…in a year or two you will have learned all the Latin you need. Back then we sang songs in Latin too. It was wonderful. I was proud to be hearing the very same words that the Early Church Fathers had said. It has a feeling of a solid foundation.

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