Learning Latin

I am finishing up RCIA and was wondering, should I learn latin? :hmmm: I notice a lot of the older churches have phrases in latin on the walls, ceiling, and such. In the museum at the Cathedral Basillica in St. Louis Missouri they have documents displayed that are written in latin. These interest me but since I can’t read latin, It’s kind of hard to read. I plan on becoming active in my parish. Would learning latin be beneficial? :ehh:

[quote=bigbear62040]I am finishing up RCIA and was wondering, should I learn latin? :hmmm: I notice a lot of the older churches have phrases in latin on the walls, ceiling, and such. In the museum at the Cathedral Basillica in St. Louis Missouri they have documents displayed that are written in latin. These interest me but since I can’t read latin, It’s kind of hard to read. I plan on becoming active in my parish. Would learning latin be beneficial? :ehh:
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I took Latin in HS for 3 years, and it does help in some instances to recognize vocabulary. I don’t think you need it to be Catholic, but I am glad I took it. When I was young we did many songs in Latin during church and also the mass was in Latin, so when an occasional time comes around that we sing something in Latin in church now I feel a comfort of my youth.

I had a heck of a time getting through latin in the seminary. And as a priest I hardly ever use it. It’s interesting and fun to be able to read latin text, but it is not necessary to become, or be, a good and faithful Catholic.

Peace.

I have to say it sounds beautiful! Recently I became a God parent and at the very end of the ceremony our Priest did this blessing in Latin and it sounded so lovely :slight_smile: So now I’m teasing/bugging him about doing a whole mass in latin sometime. hehehe.

I’m a little off topic here but anyway, it really does sound cool. :wink:

It does sound cool! I love the old Latin hymns and every now and again I’ll throw in a blessing or prayer in Latin too. The problem with the use of Latin now-a-days is that the vast majority of people have no idea what is being said, thus it has no real effect in their worship and ulimatley in their lives, other than an entertainment or nostagia factor.

I really like the traditional Latin Mass as well. It trully expresses the mysterious and divine nature of the sacred liturgy, especially the sacrifical nature of the Mass. But again, if people have no clue what is being said and are only there for the experience of it, it tends to diminish participation. One still recieves the graces, but the motivation to actualize those graces and build up the body of Christ, as a united community, tends to at times suffer.

Personally, I love the Mass the way it is now, when celebrated properly. However, as we all know there are a lot of priests and lay people who take liberites with the liturgy, ignore the rubrics, and turn it into a horse and pony show. Not good!

Anyhow, that’s my thoughts for the day. :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend!

:frowning: I was just saying I thought it sounded neat. :crying:

I’ve seen too many movies… :slight_smile:

[quote=anamchara]:frowning: I was just saying I thought it sounded neat. :crying:

I’ve seen too many movies… :slight_smile:
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I know. Don’t be sad! :smiley: It is neat! :thumbsup:

Well, these days you don’t have to know Latin to participate in the Mass, but it’s good to know some Latin for its own sake. For example, it aids the understanding of English vocabulary since many English words are derived from Latin.
Latin has been the official language of the Western Church for centuries; I think it would be a nice acknowledgement of our heritage if parishes would teach people some of the prayers such as “Agnus Dei” or the “Sanctus” to be sung at Mass. They could be taught the same way those new goofy hymns are taught to the congregation before Mass. The problem is, quis docebit doctores? (Who’ll teach the teachers?)

[quote=Aurelia]The problem is, quis docebit doctores?
[/quote]

Not me, if my April Fools Day sig is to be believed…

tee

I am learning Latin right now and I am learning more about the English language than I had before. It can be difficult, but I am having fun with it.

Well, my folks would not let me take Latin in high school way back in the 60s - “take Spanish, it’s more useful”. But I was an altar boy before VII and did learn all my Latin by rote memorization. Don’t ask me to speak or think in Spanish (I can’t) but I can read Spanish fairly fluently and throw in the French you pick up here in Louisiana and no, I can’t conjugate the Latin verbs but between all of them I can make sense of all the Latin which used to be incorporated into church decoration.

I learned to sing Latin when I was in first grade - this would have been 1957. Kids really are “tabula rasas” -blank slates. I didn’t have any problem. When I made my first communion in second grade, I got my “little” St. Joseph’s missal. It had English on the left side and Latin on the right. Despite what people say, I never had any trouble following along with the Mass. At the end of third grade, I was trained to be an altar boy by Father Naquin. He was a young priest, just ordained. He taught all of us how to pronounce Latin, how to use the cheat sheet cards that altar boys used back then, and encouraged us to become priests - and we wonder where the shortage of priests comes from. I was confirmed in the 6th grade in 1963 and received my “big” St. Joseph missal. English has so many cognates (words that sound the same - i.e. memory, memoriam (Latin) due to the addition of French words in Middle English and the addition of so many Latin words through Shakespeare that liturgical Latin should not be a problem. It is this elitist attitude that Latin should only be attempted by trained professionals. Am I going to be able to speak classical Latin? No. Can I understand liturgical Latin and be able to respond accordingly? Yes. Example: Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria (Glory) (in excelsis - exceeding) Deo (God). Sanctus (Holy) “Sanctified” Try it! See how many English words you can come up with which are based in Latin. It won’t seem so foreign then.

I took Latin in high school. I always found it fairly easy, but then again langauges are my thing. For those who are really interested in learning it on their own, an excellent self study program is Artes Latinae, levels 1 and 2. I’m not sure if posting a link would violate any forum rules but you can find it fairly easily through google, otherwise if interested you can pm me.

Side note: There actually do exist a few thousand native Latin speakers. In various places throughout the world people who have learned Latin come together and hold Latin conventions. At these conventions they speak only Latin, especially since it is often the only common language among these people who come from dozens of countries. Many marriages result from these conventions, and since the only language that the spouses have in common is Latin, it is what their children grow up speaking in the home (they then of course learn the language of their country when they attend school). I interviewed several of these people while earning my MA in Linguistics.

Of course, from a purely linguistic point of view, there are between 6 and 800 million native Latin speakers today, but that’s another story.

[quote=Fuerza]I took Latin in high school. I always found it fairly easy, but then again langauges are my thing. For those who are really interested in learning it on their own, an excellent self study program is Artes Latinae, levels 1 and 2. I’m not sure if posting a link would violate any forum rules but you can find it fairly easily through google, otherwise if interested you can pm me.

Side note: There actually do exist a few thousand native Latin speakers. In various places throughout the world people who have learned Latin come together and hold Latin conventions. At these conventions they speak only Latin, especially since it is often the only common language among these people who come from dozens of countries. Many marriages result from these conventions, and since the only language that the spouses have in common is Latin, it is what their children grow up speaking in the home (they then of course learn the language of their country when they attend school). I interviewed several of these people while earning my MA in Linguistics.

Of course, from a purely linguistic point of view, there are between 6 and 800 million native Latin speakers today, but that’s another story.
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Indeed, one of DWs colleagues is a Latinist. Both DW and I are medievalists and we helped him design and sew his toga (all 30 some odd yards of woven white wool) and I helped him with his armor, calligraphy, and shield design. He travels to conventions and puts on a two hour presentation in fluent classical Latin not liturgical Latin. Very cool.

I did not have the opportunity to learn Latin, and I now regret that. As pointed out earlier, an understading of Latin will help one understand the proper use of English.

I’m a rank amateur lexicographer, and I find it fun to come across English words with Latin roots. There are thousands of them due to the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Though English is a Germanic, not a Romance, language, there is a major impact due to Latin.

Even if one only learns the most basic Mass responses in Latin, and a few of the prayers, it would do nothing but help.
I will never be fluent in Latin, but I love the hymns in Latin. If you can understand the Ave Maria, then hearing it sung - especially to Schubert - will move you to tears.

[quote=Fr. Joe]I really like the traditional Latin Mass as well. It trully expresses the mysterious and divine nature of the sacred liturgy, especially the sacrifical nature of the Mass. But again, if people have no clue what is being said and are only there for the experience of it, it tends to diminish participation. One still recieves the graces, but the motivation to actualize those graces and build up the body of Christ, as a united community, tends to at times suffer.

Personally, I love the Mass the way it is now, when celebrated properly. However, as we all know there are a lot of priests and lay people who take liberites with the liturgy, ignore the rubrics, and turn it into a horse and pony show. Not good!
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You sound like my kind of priest, Fr. Joe!!! :thumbsup:

I would love to learn Latin. I’m going to take it in my Junior and Senior years. I would be totally thrilled if Pope Benedict restored the Tridentine Mass. I have nothing against the Novus Ordo Mass, but I’ve been to a couple Latin Masses lately; it was absolutely amazing. :thumbsup: Oh well. God’s will be done!

Here are excellent resources:
[LIST]
*] Simplicissimus, an excellent, free, online Latin course from the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales
*] Lewis & Short’s A Latin Dictionary, the famous Latin dictionary accessible for free online
*] Perseus Word Study Tool, a morphological analysis of inflected Latin words
[/LIST]It is great you want to learn Latin. Read what the Baltimore Catechism says about Latin:

Q. 566. Why does the Church use the Latin language instead of the national language of its children?
A. The Church uses the Latin language instead of the national language of its children:[LIST=1]
*]To avoid the danger of changing any part of its teaching in using different languages;
*]That all its rulers may be perfectly united and understood in their communications;
*]To show that the Church is not an institute of any particular nation, but the guide of all nations.
[/LIST]

Thanks for the tips. They will come in handy.:thumbsup:
This is going to be interesting, I can barely speak english lol.:stuck_out_tongue:

I have always wanted to learn Latin, too. I work at a university and I thought about auditing the beginning Latin course, for starters.

A great resource for them what have it available! :thumbsup:

Also, I seem to have let this thread go with naught be an out of date sarcastic comment, and nary a reference to my favorite reference thread: [thread=173658]Latin resources[/thread].

There is also, these days, a social group where you might seek help over at [group=26]Latin lately…[/group]

tee

This is a good Latin grammar: by Charles E. BennettNew Latin Grammar

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