Two Nitpicky and Lousy Reasons to Stay out of the Catholic Church


Why is it “Agnus dei qui tollet…” not “Agne dei”: isn’t this in the vocative?

Why do they pronounce pacem as pachem not pakem or pasem: Latin has no “ch” sound IMHO.

-on my way to being a Master Liturgical Fascist, First Class:whistle:


I got a laugh out of this; today I was wondering what the proper pronounciation is for pacem, since everyone seems to use an"ch" sound. At least Catholics usually don’t pray to the “Lo-red.” :slight_smile:


It is an imperative. So agnus take the nominative.

Church Latin is pronounced slightly differently to Classical Latin. Another big difference is that “v” is not a “w”.


Only verbs can be in the imperative.:confused:

Way back when I think I learned the classical pronounciation. No wonder no one understands me after Mass when I try to strike up a conversation in Latin.:rolleyes:

At least Catholics usually don’t pray to the “Lo-red.”

How about to the Load? The Lad? The Laud? The Lo-ahd?


About agnus…I don’t know; it looks like the vocative ordinarily would be agne, but perhaps it is irregular or there is another reason for the use of the nominative. In any case (no pun intended), the prayer dates back centuries…I’m sure there is a reason.

I have a much better answer for the second question. There is a difference between ecclesiastical pronunciation and classical pronunciation of Latin. Classical always gives “c” a hard sound as in “cake.” Ecclesiastical gives “c” the Italian sound “ch” when it comes before an “e”, “i”, “ae”, “oe”, and “y” (not sure about the last one). There are more differences than this one, but this is the pertinent difference in this case.

Hope this helps.


No, no, no.

It’s “the Lord Gooood-uh”.

Isn’t-uh that right-uh?


YAAAAY-min, brothah!!


It’s Vulgate Latin; not Classical Latin. Blame those darned Italian peasants for that “ch” sound. :wink:


Then there’s praisin’ the Lard, the good Lard, etc.

But I found this on the development of Medieval Latin:

which includes this sentence:

Decline of Case System

The case system begins to recede. The vocative is in full retreat, replaced by the nominative,

which explains things.

Thank-uh you-uh all-uh. Aimen.

Clearly when/if I ever swim the Tiber I will have to teach Latin as well as theology. An army of one.:stuck_out_tongue:


And this thre-ad is now clo-sed Praise da Lohrd.

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