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, 11 December 2010

The Latin of the Introits, Advent 3 - Gaudete!

The first half of today's introit is from St Paul's letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, and the second half is from Psalm 84. Because of the first word, the third Sunday of Advent is called also Gaudete Sunday.

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestrae innotescant apud Deum. * Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men: for the Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every prayer let your petitions be made known to God. * O Lord thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.

Gaudete - rejoice! Gaudeo is I rejoice. The  -ete ending here indicates the imperative of the verb, for a command or exhortation addressed to more than one person.
in - in. Followed by a noun or preposition in the ablative case, when it indicates position or state (rather than motion).
Domino - the Lord. Dominus is Lord. The ending indicates ablative case, to follow the preposition in.
semper - ever/always.
iterum - again.
dico - I say. Present tense.
gaudete - rejoice! As above.

Modestia - Modesty. This is the subject of the verb nota sit.
vestra - your (plural). Ending agrees with modestia, which it qualifies.
nota sit - Let it be known. Nosco is I know, or become acquainted with. The form of the verb here is the passive subjunctive. Subjunctive because it is a wish or desire; passive because something is being done to the subject modestia.
omnibus - to all. Omnis is all. The ending is adjusted to go with hominibus, which it qualifies.
hominibus - to men/people. Homo is man/person. Here the ending indicates plural, and dative case. Dative since we have an indirect object of the verb nota sit - those to whom something is being made known.

Dominus - The Lord. Subject of the verb est.
enim - for or in fact.
prope - nearby, or at hand.
est - is.

Nihil - nothing.
solliciti - solicitous, troubled, disturbed, agitated. The ending indicates plural.
sitis - may you (plural) be. This is a subjunctive, expressing a wish or desire.
sed - but
in - In. As above.
omni - all. The ending has been modified to go with oratione, which it qualifies.
oratione - prayer. Prayer is oratio. The ending has been modified to show that this is the ablative case, since it follows in.
petitiones - petitions. Petition would be petitio. Here we have the plural. This is the subject of the verb innotescant.
vestrae - your (plural). End modified to go with petitiones, which it qualifies.
innotescant -  may they become known. Innotesco is the verb. The ending -ant indicates that this is a subjunctive, expressing a wish.
apud - at, near, by or with. This preposition is followed by a noun or pronoun in the accusative case.
Deum - God. The ending indicates accusative case, since it follows apud.

Benedixisti - you/thou have blessed. The verb is benedico. The ending indicates that this is the past tense.
Domine - O Lord. Vocative case is indicated by the -e ending, since the Lord is being addressed directly.
terram - the land. Land is terra. The ending is modified to the accusative tense, since this is the direct object of the verb benedixisti.
tuam - your/thy (singular). The ending has been modified to go with terram, which it qualifies.

avertisti - you have turned away. Averto is the verb. The ending indicates past tense.
captivitatem - the captivity. Captivity is captivitas. The ending shows accusative tense, since this is the direct object of the verb avertisti.
Jacob - of Jacob. No inflected ending to indicate possession, since this is a foreign word which has been adopted into the Latin.

Grammatical Notes

1. If you look up the verb nosco in a Latin dictionary - I recommend Collins Gem dictionary as a good, compact, pocket dictionary, by the way - then you will see that three forms of the verb are given: nosco, novi, notum (3). This information is required in order to work out how the form of the verb should be modified in its various different tenses, moods, and voices.

Nosco - this is the present indicative. It simply means 'I know'., or 'I become acquainted with'. From this, a number of other forms of the verb are derived, including the future tense.

Novi - this is the simple past tense, which is also called the perfect tense (perfect means completed, in this situation). It means, I have known, or I knew. From this, a number of other forms of the verb are derived, especially those relating to actions completed in the past.

Notum - This is a passive participle. One of its uses is to form a number of passive parts of the verb. For example, notus sum is the perfect passive - I have known.

The (3) in brackets indicates that the endings of this verb follow what is called the third conjugation. Endings of Latin verbs - the regular ones, that is, those that follow the rules - follow one of four patterns, called conjugations.

2. One example of an irregular verb is the commonly used one meaning 'to be'. It denotes existence, and is also used as part of other verbs.

Present tense
sum - I am
es - You/thou are
est - He/she/it is
sumus - we are
estis - you are (plural)
sunt - they are

Present subjunctive
sim - I may be
sis - You/thou may be
sit - He may be
simus - We may be
sitis - You may be (plural)
sint - They may be

Christianus sum - I am a Christian.
Angeli sunt - They are angels.
Anathema sint - Let them be anathema (excommunicated).
Dominus sit in corde tuo - may the Lord be in your heart.

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