This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Latin of the Propers, lesson 2 - Dicit Dominus

The Latin of the Propers, lesson 2 - Dicit Dominus

Dicit Dóminus: Ego cógito cogitatiónes pacis, et non afflictiónis: invocábitis me, et ego exáudiam vos: et redúcam captivitátem vestram de cunctis locis. * Benedixísti, Dómine, terram tuam: avertísti captivitátem Jacob.
The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction: you shall call upon Me, and I will hear you; and I will bring back your captivity from all places. * Lord, Thou hast blessd Thy land: Thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.

This is the introit for the Last Sunday after Pentecost. The first sentence is from the book of Jeremias, and is a prophecy of the Messias. The second sentence is the opening of Psalm 84.

Dicit - He says. Present tense. The -it ending indicates that it is he/she/it that says.
Dóminus - The Lord. There is no word for the in Latin.
Ego - I. Ego isn't usually necessary, since the verb cogito implies it. It is used here for emphasis: It is I that ...
cógito - I think. Main verb, with subject Ego and object cogitationes. The -o ending indicates that I think.
cogitatiónes - thoughts. Cogitatio is a thought, cogitationes is thoughts.
pacis - of peace. Pax is peace. Pacis is the genitive case, indicating possession, of peace.
et - and.
non - not.
afflictiónis - of affliction. Afflictio is affliction. Afflictionis is the genitive case, indicating possession.
invocábitis - You will call upon. Invoco is I call upon. The -abitis ending indicates you will (you plural, that is)
me - me. This is the object of the verb invocabitis. I as a subject is ego; me as an object is me.
exáudiam - I will hear. Exaudio is I hear; the -am ending indicates the future, I will.
vos - you (plural). The object of the verb exaudiam.
redúcam - I will lead back. Reduco is I lead back. The -am ending once again indicates future tense.
captivitátem - captivity. Captivitas is captivity. The -atem ending indicates accusative case, since this is the object of the verb reducam.
vestram - your (plural). Vester is your. The ending is -am to go with captivitatem, the word that vestram describes.
de - out of. A preposition that has a variety of meanings, but is always followed by the ablative case.
cunctis - all. Cunctus is all. The ending here is -is to go with locis, the word it describes.
locis - places. Locus is place. The -is ending indicates plural and ablative case.
Benedixísti - You have blessed. Benedico is I bless. The -isti ending indicates past tense; you (thou) have done something.
Dómine - O Lord. Dominus is Lord. The -e ending is the vocative case, indicating O Lord.
terram - land. Terra is land. The -am ending indicates accusative case, since this is the object of the verb benedixisti.
tuam - your. Tuus is your. The -am ending goes with terram, which is the word described.
avertísti - You have averted/turned away. Averto is turn away. Once again, the -isti ending indicates past tense, you have done something.
captivitátem - the captivity. Captivity is captivitas. The -em ending indicates accusative case, since this is the object of the verb avertisti.
Jacob - of Jacob. Jacob is a proper name, from the Hebrew. Here the ending hasn't changed to indicate of Jacob; sometimes Latin leaves foreign names unchanged, so Jacob could be in any of the cases.

Reminder about Grammar - the cases.

The ending of Latin nouns, and the adjectives that describe them, changes depending on the function of the noun in the sentence. There are six cases - as they are called - to consider.

Nominative - the subject of a verb, that is, whatever is doing what is done.
Vocative - someone or something being addressed.
Accusative - the direct object of a verb, that is, whatever is being acted upon.
Genitive - possessive, belonging to.
Dative - indirect object, indicating to.
Ablative - indicates by, for, or with.

An example will make this clearer. Take the noun Dominus, meaning Lord.

Nominative: Dominus - Lord (subject); e.g. Dominus regnat - the Lord reigns.
Vocative: Domine - O Lord; e.g. Domine, audi me - O Lord, hear me
Accusative: Dominum - Lord (object); Laudo Dominum - I praise the Lord
Genitive: Domini - of the Lord; Voluntas Domini praevalebit - the will of the Lord will prevail
Dative: Domino - to the Lord; Dabo honorem Domino - I will give honour to the Lord
Accusative: Domino - by the Lord; Haec dies a Domino facta est - this day was made by the Lord.

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