Prefaces

This page has been revised for academic term 2018-2019.

 

Pontifical Liturgy Institute

The Latin Expression and Theological Meaning
of Selected Prefaces

Taught by: Daniel McCarthy

 

optional course offered in English: 94174 (3 ECTS): 

 

Brief description

This course comprises a detailed study of selected prefaces of the Missale Romanum using the methodology of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. The Latin expression, structure and dynamic of the prefaces will be made clear and four pairs of interpretative keys will be used to appreciate the meaning of the prefaces in their liturgical-ritual context. Students will grow in their ability and confidence to understand the Latin texts of these prayers and render them into standard English, and to discuss their theological meaning.

Aims

By the end of the course the student will be able:

  1. to follow a method presented in understanding and interpreting a different preface during each class session,
  2. to apply the given method to one named Latin preface, accounting for its Latin expression, and rendering it into standard English,
  3. to explain the principles behind the four pairs of interpretative keys:
    anamnesis (narration – ritual programme);
    presentation – epiclesis;
    eschatology – moral life and personal maturation.
    theandric – theosis (personal communion in freedom and love).
  4. to interpret the named Latin preface in its liturgical-ritual context according to these four pairs of interpretative keys.

 

Structure of the course

During each session we shall follow a determined method in examining together a preface. New elements of this method will be presented each session according to two major areas:

First, the Latin expression of the preface will be considered to understand the function of each word in the sentence and the literary structure of the preface, its timeline of events, the interpretative categories of its clauses and its presentation of the divine human exchange.

Second, the interpretation of the preface begins with an understanding of its liturgical-ritual context and continues with an application of the four pairs of interpretative keys to distern their expression in the preface.

 

Learning activities

  1. The instructor will present the elements of the method gradually each session, beginning first with an analysis of the Latin text and literary structure of the prayer, and then continuing with the interpretation of the prayer’s liturgical-ritual context and the four pairs of interpretative keys.
  2. A student will be asked to assist in the presentation of each preface guided by the instructor, and all students will participate in applying gradually more elements of this method to a different preface each session.
  3. At the beginning of the course each student will select an agreed upon preface from the Missale Romanum. As each element of the method is presented, the student will apply it to the named preface during private study

 

Schedule

This course is taught all afternoon for six weeks on Tuesdays of the Autumn semester 2018. It begins on Tuesday, 2 October 2018 and continues through Tuesday 6 November, followed by the exam period. Encounters begin at 15:30 and continue until 18:50 (with three short breaks) on each of the following days:

2, 9, 16, 23, 30 October 2018,
6 November 2018

 

Hours: 15:30-18:50

First session 15:30-16:15

Break: 16:15-16:20

Second session 16:20-17:05

Break: 17:05-17:15

Third session 17:15-18:00

Break: 18:00-18:05

Fourth session 18:05-18:50

 

Office Hours

Please do not phone the instructor. Rather email him at danielmccarthyosb AT mac DOT com. He is available outside of class time by appointment.

 

Bibliography

♦ Latin-English dictionary such as D.P. SIMPSON, Cassell’s English Dictionary, New York-Oxford 1968; better yet: LEWIS, C.T., – C . SHORT, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford UP, Oxford – New York 1879, reprinted thereafter.

♦ Appreciating the CollectAn Irenic Methodology, ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy (Documenta rerum ecclesiasticarum instaurata, Liturgiam aestimare: Appreciating the Liturgy 1), St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough 2008.

♦ FOSTER, R. – D.P. MCCARTHY, Ossa Latinitatis Sola ad mentem Reginaldi rationemqueThe mere bones of Latin according to the thought and system of Reginald (Latinitatis Corpus 1), Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC 2016.

♦ MCCARTHY, D., “The Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer”, in Transition in the Easter VigilBecoming Christians. Paschali in vigilia Christiani nominis fieri, ed. D.P. McCarthy – J.G. Leachman (Documenta rerum ecclesiasticarum instaurata, Liturgiam aestimare: Appreciating the Liturgy 2), St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough 2011.

♦ MCCARTHY, D., “Seeing a Reflection, Considering Appearances: The History, Theology and Literary Composition of the Missale Romanum at a Time of Vernacular Reflection”, Questions Liturgiques / Studies in Liturgy 94 (2013) 109-143.

Also recommended:

♦ LEACHMAN, J.G. – D.P. McCarthy, “Preparation for the Piazza. The Preface of the Second Scrutiny (the Fourth Sunday in Lent): The Mystagogical Formation of the Neophytes and the Assembly”, Societas Liturgica Conference, 11 August 2007, Studia Liturgica 38 (2008) 114-133.

♦ LEACHMAN, J.G. “A New Liturgical Hermeneutic: Christian Maturation by Developmental Steps”, New Blackfriars 90 (2009) 219-231.

♦ MCCARTHY, D.P. – J.G. LEACHMAN, “Listen to the Word” Commentaries on the propers of selected Sundays and feasts”, The Tablet (28 November 2009 – 13 November 2010).

♦ MCCARTHY, D.P. – J.G. LEACHMAN, “Listen to the Word” Commentaries on the prefaces of selected Sundays and feasts”, The Tablet (20 November 2010 – 27 November 2011).

♦ GILDERSLEEVE, B.L, – G. LODGE, Gildersleeve’s Latin Grammar, Bolchazy-Carducci, Wauconda IL 2003, reprint of 31895.

 

Works by other authors on the prefaces:
♦ ASHWORTH, H., “Praefationum fontes novarum liturgici, biblici et patristici“, Ephemerides Liturgicae 82 (1968) 430-444.

♦ BEALL, S., “Mirabilia Dei: Style and Translation int he Prefaces of the Missale Romanum“, Antiphon 8:1 (2003) 10-21. (download PDF here).

♦ DUMAS, A., “Les préfaces du nouveau missel”, Ephemerides Liturgicae 85 (1971) 16-28.

♦ RUSSELL, N., The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition (Oxford Early Christian Studies), Oxford UP, Oxford 2006.

♦ TRIACCA, A.M., “La strutturazione eucologica dei Prefazi. Contributo metodologico per una loro retta esegesi. In margine al nuovo ‘MIssale Romanum”, Ephemerides Liturgicae 86 (1972) 233-279.

♦ WARD A. – C. JOHNSON, The Prefaces of the Roman Missal: A Source Compendium with Concordance and Indices, Congregation for Divine Worship, Centro liturgico vincenziano edizioni liturgiche, Rome 1989.

♦ WARD A. – C. JOHNSON, “The sources of the Roman Missal (1975) II. Prefaces”, Notitiae 24 (1987) 559-568.

♦ WARD A. – C. JOHNSON, “Fontes liturgici. The Sources of the Roman Missal (1975), 2. Prefaces”, Notitiae 23 (1987) 409-1009

Enter an inflected form of your word in the field under the heading “Dictionary Entry Lookup”, located in the column on the right.

 

Parsing tool with Lewis and Short Dictionary♦ LEWIS and SHORT entry word search: Enter the dictionary entry for your word in the field under the heading “Dictionary Entry Lookup”, located in the column on the right.

 

Lewis and Short dictionary search tool♦ LEWIS and SHORT entry word search: This is another version of the above entry word search. This one is well laid-out for easier reading. Enter the dictionary entry for your word in the field at the top left of the page.

 

Examination in detail

Explanation: During the oral exam the instructor chooses one of the four interpretative keys. The student both demonstrates an understanding of the theory involved in the chosen interpretative key and then applies the interpretative key to the preface in its liturgical-ritual context. The instructor ask the student about the function of any Latin word of the preface and its literary composition.

Criteria for evaluation: Both the regular participation of the student in class discussions and a final oral exam are assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. a clear understanding of the function of each word and the literary structure of the Latin preface,
  2. a clearly developed presentation of the selected interpretative key,
  3. a well considered application of the selected interpretative key to the text of the preface in its liturgical-ritual context.

This is an open book exam, so students may bring their notes and printed resources. The exam is timed, so the student is advised to prepare the material well and then to focus on the essential elements for presentation. The instructor may ask questions to help the student provide a fuller response.

Academic program

The program of studies, course descriptions and calendar for the academic year 2016-2017 is available for download here.

Place

This course is offered in English at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy housed at:

Sant’Anselmo
Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, 5
00153 Roma, Italia

See map below.

The Latin Expression and Theological Meaning
of Selected Prefaces

Note well: Students are encouraged to download and print this document with the prefaces of the Missale Romanum 2018. Please bring this document to each class encounter so that you may use it to take notes on the prefaces as they are presented. If the order of prefaces is changed without notification, you will  have the text already in hand and will not have to take class time to write out the text in longhand. The same prefaces are also found on this web-page.

Students are also requested to print this web-page which contains the course description and the class schedule and bring them to each encounter so that the student will have all of the resources necessary for our discussions. Of particular importance for each encounter is the method of approaching the Latin expression of each preface as it is given in the first several encounters.

Each student is encouraged to access the instructor’s English translations of numerous mass formularies of Sundays and feasts published in The Tablet of London from 28 November 2009 – 20 November 2010, available on a reserve shelf in the library. A listing of these commentaries arranged according to their liturgical day are found at this link. In the entry for each liturgical day, following the heading “Praefatio”, you will find bibliographical entry for my article on the preface listed. This article includes our study translation of each preface along with a commentary. You may then take this bibliographical entry to the library and find the relavant issue of The Tablet on the reserve shelf for this course.

Schedule in detail

revised for academic year
2018-2019

List of prayers and presenters:

Encounter 1: Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Instructor: preface for Palm Sunday

Encounter 2: Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Augustin: preface II of Easter
Peter: preface III for the Sundays of Ordinary Time

Encounter 3: Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Costantino: preface for the Second Sunday in Lent
Roy: preface for the First Sunday of Advent

Encounter 4: Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Presenter?:preface I of Christmas
Presenter?: Preface for the feast of Mary Magdalene, 22 July

Encounter 5: Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Presenter?: preface II of the Ascension of the Lord
Presenter?: preface II for the birth of the Lord

Encounter 6: Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Justin Osih: preface III from the third Sunday in Lent in year A
Presenter?: Preface for the Baptism of the Lord
Exams

Students yet to choose a preface. It appears that four students will have to prepare in two pairs of students:
William, Tipu, Jovitus, Justin T, Novotny’, Noel, Chatchai

Encounter 1: Tuesday, 2 October 2018
We shall examine the preface for Palm Sunday

We shall meet one another.
The instructor will introduce the course, and explain the method of the exam.
We shall also begin our method of understanding a preface using the following steps:

  1. Write out the prayer.
    1. Write out the prayer as it appears in the liturgical books.
    2. This means that the prayer is broken up into sense lines so that the words on each line of text belong together – it does no good to write the prayer as one sentence of prose text.
    3. Leave double spacing or more between each line of text so that there is room to make notes.
    4. If your computer automatically corrects the Latin text or capitalises the first word of each line, please correct these – these are your responsibility.
    5. You may include the accent marks to help people read the prayer aloud.
    6. Above the prayer write out the heading that the prayer appears under in the liturgical book so that we may have an idea of its context.
  2. Read outloud the prayer.
  3. Underline the action words (verbs, participles, gerunds, gerundives).
  4. Put a box around the main, independent, finite verb of the sentence.
  5. Put circles around connecting words such as et, -que, sicut etc. Identify the words they connect.
  6. The relative pronoun opens a clause. Put an open square bracket before the relative pronoun: “ [ ”. Then answer these two questions in the following order:
    1. Where is its verb?
    2. Where does the clause end? Mark its end with a close square bracket: “ ] ”. (See: Ossa, Encounters 10-11, 23, 28, 33)
    3. Name the antecedent of the relative pronoun.
      1. Remember the function of the relative pronoun comes from whithin its own clause. It functions either as:
        1. subject (qui, quae, quod) = nomimnative,
        2. object (quem, quod, quos, quas, quae) = accusative,
        3. of-possession (cuius, quorum, quarum) = genitive,
        4. to-for-from (cui, quibus) = dative,
        5. by-with-from-in (quo, qua, quibus).
      2. The gender and number of the relative pronoun come from its antecedent usually located or implied outside its own clause.
  7. The ut opens a clause. Put an open fancy bracket “ { ”  before the ut. Then answer these two questions in the following order:
    1. Where is its verb?
    2. Where does the clause end? Mark its end with a close fancy bracket: “ } ”. (See: Ossa, Encounters 58, 84)
    3. Note the fourteen ways to express purpose given in Ossa, Encounter 84.
  8. Identify the prepositions and their objects (accusative or ablative). Put ( rounded parentheses ) around prepositional phrases. (See: Ossa, Encounters 6, 28)
  9. Put [ square brackets ] around participial clauses. (See: Ossa, Encounters 50-53, 84)
  10. Identify any ablative absolute and mark it with [ square brackets ].
    1. Identify the subject given in the ablative form.
    2. Give the full, natural meaning of the participle with its subject in English, noting the time of the participle.
    3. Decide what the relationship of the ablative absolute is to the rest of its sentence:
      1. when, after, once = temporal (this is the lightest touch and thus used most frequently),
      2. because, since = causal,
      3. although = concessive.
      4. The ablative absolute can function in just about any way in relation to the main sentence. (See: Ossa, Encounters 54-57)
  11. Where there is an infinitive, determine:
    1. Wether it the subject or object of another verb (and thus functions as a gerund); (See: Ossa, Encounters 77)
    2. Wether it a part of an accusative with the infinitive (indirect discourse) (See: Ossa, Encounters 71-73).
      1. Identify the subject of the infinitive which is given in the object (accusative) form.
      2. Write out the entire sentence in the accusative with the infinitive and put a box around it.
      3. Identify the verb of M&M which gives rise to the sentence in the accusative with the infinitive.
      4. Give the three possible ways to express the accusative with the infinitive in English, namely:
        1. The English accusative with the infinitive.
        2. Supply the word “that”, then make the accusative subject a regular subject and make the infinitive a finite verb – be careful of the times of the infinitives and finite verbs.
        3. Replicate the above, without the word “that”.
      5. Note that sometimes a subject is given in an accusative form, but its infinitive is only implied.
  12. Is there a cum clause?
    1. Does cum function as a preposition followed by an object in the ablative?
    2. Is cum followed by a verb in the indicitave or subjunctive?
      1. Cum with all times of the indicative means “when”.
      2. Cum with all times of the subjunctive means either:
        1. because, since = causal,
        2. although = concessive.
      3. On Track II (historical sequence of tenses):
        1. Cum with the indicative means “when” as in clock-time coincidence
        2. Cum with the subjunctive can mean “when” giving a temporal circumstance and almost means “because”.
  13. Other forms of causal clauses meaning “because” may begin with:
    1. quod, quia, quoniam:
      1. followed by the indicative to give the author’s own idea,
      2. followed by the subjunctive to give the idea of another, a reported idea;
    2. Quando, quandoquidem (followed by the indicative), siquidem;
    3. qui, quae, quod followed by the subjunctive;
    4. quippe qui, utpote qui followed by the subjunctive (see: Ossa, Encounter 59.3).
  14. Draw a tree showing how the dependencies of the clauses.
    1. Note that the tree is a graphic way of representing the brackets you have already drawn and the dependency of one clause upon another (see: Ossa, Encounter 11.4 on the box effect).
    2. The main verb goes in the trunk of the tree.
    3. Each clause in brackets, depending directly on the main verb, forms a branch comming off of the main trunk.
    4. Within these main brackets, each smaller clause is drawn as a branch coming off the clause it stands within and depends upon.
    5. When drawing each branch:
      1. Write the verbal form on the branch itself.
      2. At the place where the branch joins the rest of the tree give the connecting word such as a relative pronoun qui, quae, quod …, or such as ut, cum, or coordinating particles such as sicut.
      3. If this connnecting word is a relative pronoun, name the antecedent on the main branch. If it is not expressed, then give it as a pronoun such as: is, ea, id, eius, ei, eo, ea, eum, eam, ii (ei), eae, ibus, eos, eas.
      4. Where the connecting word is a correlative particle such as sicut, give the other part of the correlative in its proper place.
  15. Establish the times of verbs and their several possible English equivalents (see: Ossa, Encounters 7)
  16. Draw a timeline of the actions and goals (see: Ossa, Encounters 44)
  17. Discern the interpretative categories of the prayer. Draw a box with three columns.
    1. In the column on the left write each word of the Latin text one clause at a time.
    2. In the middle column give the function of the clause in the Latin sentence (its grammatical term).
    3. In the column to the right assign the interpretative category (see De Zan). These include:
      1. Address expressed as direct address (see: Ossa, Encounter 38.3);
      2. Amplification given as:
        1. A relative clause (see: Ossa, Encounters 10-11),
        2. A noun or adjective in apposition (butted up against another word, without a connecting word);
      3. Profession (others call this the confession) given as:
        1. A relative clause (see: Ossa, Encounters 10-11),
        2. An accusative with the infinitive (see: Ossa, Encounters 71-73);
      4. Motor driving the prayer to its conclusion given as:
        1. A participial phrase, active or passive (see: Ossa, Encounters 50-53),
        2. A relative clause (see: Ossa, Encounters 10-11),
        3. An ablative absolute (see: Ossa, Encounters 54-57),
        4. Note that what I call “motor”, Prof. De Zan calls “motive”;
      5. Purpose expressed in one of 14 ways (see: Ossa, Encounter 84);
      6. Premise (presumed context for the prayer) expressed as:
        1. Accusative with the infinitive (see: Ossa, Encounters 71-73),
        2. ablative absolute (see: Ossa, Encounters 54-57);
      7. Goal (in or ad + object) (see: Ossa, Encounter 6).
      8. On interpretative categories see: 1) R. De Zan, “How to Interpret a Collect”, Appreciating the Collect, 6.3 on p. 75;
        2) D.P. McCarthy, “Between Memories and Hopes: Anamnesis and Eschatology in selected collects”, Appreciating the Collect;
        3) Listen to the Word – many examples of using this method.
        4) Transition in the Easter vigil – many examples of using this method.
    4. Note that several grammatical categories such as the ablative absolute and the accusative with the infinitive may function in different ways, so a degree of interpretatnion needed in assigning the interpretative categories. The question is how the clause functions in the overall sentence in moving the thought forward.

 

In the following preface for Palm Sunday we shall note especially:

The two different functions of the three infinitives,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronouns Qui and Cuius with their antecedents,
The two elements joined by the et in line 1, in line 8, in line 10,
What innocens agrees with,
The full, natural meaning of the participle in its proper time-frame.

We shall consider each of the three sections of the following preface in turn, asking all of the above questions for each.

DOMINICA IN PALMIS
De dominica Passione

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui pati pro impiis dignatus est innocens,
et pro sceleratis indebite condemnari.
Cuius mors delicta nostra detersit,
et iustificationem nobis resurrectio comparavit.

Unde et nos cum omnibus Angelis te laudamus,
iucunda celebratione clamantes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “The Lord comes“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet 
(16 April 2011) 16.

 

Encounter 2a: Tuesday, 9 October 2018
We shall examine preface II of Easter

Of particular note in the following preface II of Easter are:

The function of the two infinitives,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun quem with its antecedent,
The full, natural meaning of two participles, in two different time-frames,
The use of Quapropter,
The ablative absolute.

PRAEFATIO PASCHALIS II
De vita nova in Christo

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare:
Te quidem, Domine, omni tempore confiteri,
sed in hoc potissimum gloriosius praedicare,
cum Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus.

Per quem in aeternam vitam filii lucis oriuntur,
et regni caelestis atria fidelibus reserantur.

Quia mors nostra est eius morte redempta,
et in eius resurrectione vita omnium resurrexit.

Quapropter, profusis paschalibus gaudiis,
totus in orbe terrarum mundus exsultat.

Sed et supernae virtutes atque angelicae potestates
hymnum gloriae tuae concinunt,
sine fine dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “Return to the font“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (30 April 2011) 14.

We shall examine the four participles (see: Ossa, Encounters 50-53):

  1. contemporaneous active
  2. antecedent passive (antecedent active – deponent)
  3. futurity
  4. passive necessity

We shall examine the construction of the Ablative Absolute and its role in the sentence, and how to render it into clear English (see: Ossa, Encounter 54, 55, 57).

We shall note causal clauses that use: quod, quia, quoniam (see: Ossa, Encounter 59):

  1. Followed by the indicative to give the author’s own idea,
  2. Followed by the subjunctive to give the idea of another, a reported idea = “allegedly”.

 

Encounter 2b: Tuesday, 9 October 2018
We shall consider preface III for the Sundays of Ordinary Time

We shall give particular attention to the following elements found in preface III for Sundays of Ordinary Time:

The two different functions of the infinitives agere and admitti,
The problematic time of the infinitive pertinère, which should perhaps be pertinuisse,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
Purpose clause constructed of ut followed by T.1s (we don’t say “present subjunctive”) or T.2s (we don’t say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The sequence of tenses on Track I and Track II,
The relative pronoun cuius and quem and quibus and their antecedents,
The correlatives unde and inde followed by the subjunctive,
The full, natural meaning of two participles, in two different time-frames.

PRAEFATIO III DE DOMINICIS “PER ANNUM”
De salvatione hominis per hominem

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus:

Ad cuius immensam gloriam pertinere cognoscimus
ut mortalibus tua deitate succurreres;
sed et nobis provideres de ipsa
mortalitate nostra remedium,
et perditos quosque unde perierant, inde salvares,
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Per quem maiestatem tuam adorat exercitus Angelorum,
ante conspectum tuum in aeternitate laetantium.
Cum quibus et nostras voces
ut admitti iubeas, deprecamur,
socia exsultatione dicentes: Sanctus

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “Glory to help, provide, save“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (
5 February 2011) 13.

We shall examine the 14 ways to express purpose (see: Ossa, Encounter 84; Appreciating the Collect, p. 44-45). Of these, we shall give specific attention to the construction of ut followed by the subjunctive. We shall examine the full time frame of verbs in the first and second subjunctive according to the sequence of tenses.

 

Encounter 3a: Tuesday, 16 October 2018
We shall consider the proper preface for the Second Sunday in Lent

Costantino will lead us in considering the following elements of preface II for the Second Sunday in Lent:

The two different functions of the infinitives agere and perveniri,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun Qui and its antecedents,
Purpose clause constructed of ut followed by T.2s (we don’t say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The sequence of tenses on Track II,
The full, natural meaning of three participles, in two different time-frames,
Two ablatives absolute in different time frames,
The preposition ad followed by an object, expressing a goal.

DOMINICA II IN QUADRAGESIMA A
De transfiguratione Domini

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui, propria morte praenuntiata discipulis,
in monte sancto suam eis aperuit claritatem,
ut per passionem, etiam lege prophetisque testantibus,
ad gloriam resurrectionis perveniri constaret.

Et ideo cum caelorum virtutibus
in terris te iugiter celebramus,
maiestati tuae sine fine clamantes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “A different form“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet 
(19 March 2011) 16.

We shall begin to consider different functions of the accusative with the infinitive.

We shall begin to apply a basic semiotic analysis to the prayers asking the following two questions, being mindful of both active and passive events:

  1. Who does it?
    1. Simply name the subject (person or thing) for each action word.
    2. For each action word write the initial letter of the subject directly to the right of each line, for example D=Deus, Domine; N=nos
    3. Once all the initials are written, organise them into columns by grouping like subjects together.
      1. In the column to the furthest left I usually put all references to D=Deus, Domine.
      2. In a column to the right I usually put all references to N=nos.
      3. Between these two columns I usually locate one or more columns indicating various mediations between God and us as they appear in the prayer. For example in columns arranged from left to right I would put
        1. one column for JC=Jesus Christus,
        2. another for SS=Spiritus Sanctus,
        3. another for E=ecclesia
      4. At the far right I often put a column that indicates either the world, M=mundus, or P=peccatores, or other elements indicated in the prayer, which are farther from God than N=nos.
      5. Thus, the columns are arranged as needed in the following order: God, Jesus, Spirit, church, us, world, sinners.
    4. I treat the subject of passive verbal forms the same as the subjects of other verbal forms, by putting the initial letter in the appropriate column.
      1. But the subject undergoes the action of the passive verb, and the agent doing the action is someone else. Often the agent is not mentioned explicitely. Typically the implied agent is God, but on occassion other agents seem more appropriate.
      2. The agent doing the action is indicated by the initial letter in the appropriate column. If the agent is only implied, then I put the initial letter ( in rounded parentheses ). Then I draw a dotted arrow from the agent to the subject of the passive verbal action.
    5. At this point you can look at the pattern of subjects sketched out to discern whether there is a pattern.
      1. Typically in collect type prayers the divine action is initially dominant in the prayer and gradually gives way to human action which becomes dominant. For collects I indicate this with a zig-zag line.
      2. Collects, however, are petitions whereas prefaces are expressions of thanksgiving, so the overall pattern of subjects may follow a different pattern than is typical for collects.
      3. Sometimes it is better to look for a pattern among the subjects of one section of a preface; each section may have its own pattern.
  2. Who does what?
    1. Begin by making an exact copy of the chart developed above so that you can add new elements to a fresh chart.
    2. Here I indicate direct objects by their initial letter. I arrange these objects on the columns where they belong with similar elements.
    3. Next I draw an arrow from the letter representing the subject of the verb to the letter representing the object of the verb. This shows the action of the subject upon the object.
    4. The 65 verbs that take the dative as their complement are included here and the dative complement is indicated by its initial letter placed on the appropriate column. A line is drawn from the subject to the dative complemtn. The same may be done for compound verbs which take a dative complement.
    5. Passive verbal forms do not have objects unless they are deponent verbs, which are treated with the regular verbs with active meaning. Truely passive verbal forms have no objects to indicate.
    6. Intransitive verbs such as esse, “to be”, and fieri, “to become” do not have objects, nor do they have agents. Their action is contained in the subject.
    7. Once you have sketched out the objects and drawn the arrows to indicate action of the subjects upon the objects, then you can once again look for an over-all developing pattern of greater complexity.
  3. Who does what to whom?
    1. Begin by making an exact copy of the chart developed above so that you can add new elements to a fresh chart.
    2. This question concerns indirect objects – datives – in particular.
    3. But it is also used as a bit of a grab-bag to include the ablative, and goals expressed by the prepositions ad or in followed by the accusative object as well as various prepositional phrases.
    4. The initial letter of these elements is drawn on the appropriate column and an arrow is drawn from the objects to the indirect objects etc.
    5. Once this schema is mapped-out, once again the overall pattern is considered for any complex pattern it may have.

From this analysis, we shall develop an interpretation of the divine-human exchange in the prayer.

Encounter 3b: Tuesday, 16 October 2018
We shall consider the preface for the First Sunday of Advent

Roy will lead us in considering the following preface for the first Sunday of Advent, especially:

The different functions of the two infinitives,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The full, natural meaning of the three participles, two in one time-frame, one in another time-frame.

PRAEFATIO I DE ADVENTU

De duobus adventibus Christi

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui, primo adventu in humilitate carnis assumptae,
dispositionis antiquae munus implevit,
nobisque salutis perpetuae tramitem reseravit:
ut, cum secundo venerit in suae gloria maiestatis,
manifesto demum munere capiamus,
quod vigilantes nunc audemus exspectare promissum.

Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis,
cum Thronis et Dominationibus,
cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus,
hymnum gloriae tuae canimus,
sine fine dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “Two comings of Christ“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (
27 November 2010) 15.

 

We shall next begin the second half of the course:

We will focus on the four interpretative keys for understanding a ritual action, or in this case a collect offered in its ritual context. We present each of these four interpretative keys as a pair:

anamnesis is understood according to the presentation of Prof. De Zan in terms of the narrative of the saving works of God and celebrating the ritual programme

Epiclesis is understood in terms of the presentation of one’s self to God in prayer at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and the invocation of God. As we process to meet Christ the one coming, this double procession leads to an encounter in which the human person is changed in the following two ways

Eschatology is the graced process of transcending one’s former self in order to become one’s self anew in a greater communion. By such stages of human maturation a person cooperates in one’s own graced transformation into the body of Christ. This is lived in daily life, according to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25, by our moral behaviour in the world

Theosis is the graced experience of coming to full human personhood, that is to share on a human level in the personal way of being proper to the Divine Trinity. This is experienced in the personal exercise of freedom in a bond of love.

For the discussion of theosis, see the comments of Norman Russell on the contribution of John Zizioulas in N. Russell, The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition(Oxford Early Christian Studies), Oxford UP, Oxford 2006, 318; For theosis in the Latin authors see: J. Ortiz, “Making Worshipers into Gods: Deification in the Latin Liturgy”, in Deification in the Latin Patristic Tradition, ed. J. Ortiz,Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC forthcoming; G. Ladner, The Idea of Reform: Its Impacton Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass 1959, 133-316; G.M. Lukken, Original Sin in the Roman Liturgy: Research into the Theology of Original Sin in the Roman Sacramentaria and the Early Baptismal Liturgy, Brill, Leiden 1973, 373-74.

In this encounter we shall begin to consider the interpretative key of anamnesis. See: D.P. McCarthy, “Between Memories and Hopes: Anamnesis and Eschatology in selected collects”, Appreciating the Collect; see also: Transition in the Easter vigil, pp. 124-127; see also:  J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy, “A Liturgical Study of the proper prayers for St Charles of St Andrew Houben, C.P. 1: The Opening Prayer”, Questions Liturgiques: Studies in Liturgy 92 (2011) 28-44, especially 40-41.

 

Encounter 4a: Tuesday, 23 October 2018
We shall examine preface I of Christmas

Of particular interest in preface I of the the Birth of the Lord are the following:

The different functions of the two infinitives agere and esse,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The two ablatives absolute and their relative time frames.

PRAEFATIO I DE NATIVITATE DOMINI
De Christo luce

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:

Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium
nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit:
ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus,
per hunc in invisibilium amorem rapiamur.

Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis,
cum Thronis et Dominationibus,
cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus,
hymnum gloriae tuae canimus,
sine fine dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “Glory in humanity“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (
11 December 2010) 14.

We shall turn our consideration to the interpretative key of epiclesis. See: Transition in the Easter Vigil, pp. 123-124; see also: Leachman, “A Liturgical Study of the proper prayers”, 39-40 Transition in the Easter vigil.

 

Encounter 4b: Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Of particular note are the following in new preface for the feast of Mary Magdalene:

The functions of the infinitive praedicare,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The special meaning of quippe quae, used here with the indicative to state historical facts, but perhaps better used with the subjunctive to express motive or cause,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The several participles, with the problematic use of resurgentem,
The expression of a goal in ad followed by an object.

DIE 22 IULII S. MARIAE MAGDALENAE FESTUM
De apostolorum apostola

Vere dignum et iustum est,
æquum et salutare,
nos te, Pater omnipotens,
cuius non minor est misericordia quam potestas,
in omnibus prædicare per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui in hortu manifestus apparuit Mariæ Magdalenæ,
quippe quae eum dilexerat viventem,
in cruce viderat morientem,
quæsierat in sepulcro iacentem,
ac prima adoraverat a mortuis resurgentem,
et eam apostolatus officio coram apostolis honoravit
ut bonum novæ vitæ nuntium
ad mundi fines perveniret.

Unde et nos, Domine, cum Angelis et Sanctis universis
tibi confitemur, in exsultatione dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: None published yet.

The interpretative key of eschatology is presented. We shall also consider how the prayer presents steps of human maturation. See: D.P. McCarthy, “Between Memories and Hopes: Anamnesis and Eschatology in selected collects”, Appreciating the Collect; see also: Transition in the Easter Vigil, pp. 127-128; see also: Leachman, “A Liturgical Study of the proper prayers”, 41-42.

 

Encounter 5a: Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Of particular note are the following in preface II of the Ascension of the Lord:

The different functions of the two infinitives agere and esse,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The two ablatives absolute and their relative time frames.

PRAEFATIO II DE ASCENSIONE DOMINI
De mysterio Ascensionis

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus:
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui post resurrectionem suam
omnibus discipulis suis manifestus apparuit,
et ipsis cernentibus est elevatus in caelum,
ut nos divinitatis suae tribueret esse participes.

Quapropter, profusis paschalibus gaudiis, quapropter causal,
totus in orbe terrarum mundus exsultat.

Sed et supernae virtutes atque angelicae potestates
hymnum gloriae tuae concinunt,
sine fine dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “Cosmic praise“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (4 June 2011) 16.

The interpretative key of theosis will be presented. For the discussion of Theosis, see the comments of Norman Russell on the contribution of John Zizioulas in N. Russell, The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition (Oxford Early Christian Studies), Oxford UP, Oxford 2006, 318. See also: Transition in the Easter Vigil, pp. 333-38; see also: Leachman, “A Liturgical Study of the proper prayers”, 5.1 on page 39, 5.5 on pages 42-44. For theosis in the Latin authors see: J. Ortiz, “Making Worshipers into Gods: Deification in the Latin Liturgy”, in Deification in the Latin Patristic Tradition, ed. J. Ortiz,Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC forthcoming; G. Ladner, The Idea of Reform: Its Impacton Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass 1959, 133-316; G.M. Lukken, Original Sin in the Roman Liturgy: Research into the Theology of Original Sin in the Roman Sacramentaria and the Early Baptismal Liturgy, Brill, Leiden 1973, 373-74.

 

Encounter 5b: Tuesday, 30 October 2018

As we draw near the end of our course, we shall review a glorious preface, II for the birth of the Lord. Of particular interest are the following:

The different functions of the two infinitives agere and esse,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb,
The different possible functions of venerandi: adjective, participle of passive necessity or gerundive,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”),
The relative time frames of the participles: genitus, deiecta, perditum, clamantes,
The two ablatives absolute and their relative time frames,
The expression of a goal consisting of ad with an object.

PRAEFATIO II DE NAVITATE DOMINI
De restauratione universa in Incarnatione

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui, in huius venerandi festivitate mysterii,
invisibilis in suis, visibilis in nostris apparuit,
et ante tempora genitus esse coepit in tempore;
ut, in se erigens cuncta deiecta,
in integrum restitueret universa,
et hominem perditum ad caelestia regna revocaret.

Unde et nos, cum omnibus Angelis te laudamus,
iucunda celebratione clamantes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: D.P. McCarthy, “All things lifted up“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet (
18/25 December 2010) 32.

If students have any questions about the exam they are invited to raise them during this encounter or at any time throughout this course.

Encounter 6a: Tuesday, 06 November 2018

During this final encounter of our course, we shall review two prayers in preparation for the exam. Justin will lead us in considering with particular interest the following from preface III from the third Sunday in Lent in year A:

The different functions of the three infinitives: agere, praeberi, sitire,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb, especially of dignatus est,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”).

DOMINICA III IN QUADRAGESIMA A
De Samaritana

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:
per Christum Dominum nostrum.

Qui, dum aquae sibi petiit potum a Samaritana praeberi,
iam in ea fidei donum ipse creaverat,
et ita eius fidem sitire dignatus est,
ut ignem in illa divini amoris accenderet.

Unde et nos tibi gratias agimus,
et tuas virtutes cum Angelis praedicamus, dicentes: Sanctus …

Translation and commentary: J. Leachman, “Kindling of love“, Listen to the Word, The Tablet 
(26 March 2011) 14.

Encounter 6b: Tuesday, 06 November 2018

WHO will lead us in considering the beauty of the preface for the Baptism of the Lord with particular attention to the following:

The different functions of the three infinitives: agere, habitare, perungi, mitti,
The several possible meanings for the time of each verb, especially of two verbs used impersonally, crederetur, nosceretur,
The relative pronoun Qui with its antecedent,
The expression of purpose consisting of ut followed by two verbs in the second subjunctive (we do not say “imperfect subjunctive”).

IN BAPTISMATE DOMINI
Iesu baptizato et orante, apertum est caelum

Vere dignum et iustum est,
aequum et salutare,
nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere:
Domine, sancte Pater,
omnipotens aeterne Deus:

Qui miris signasti mysteriis novum in Iordane lavacrum,
ut, per vocem de caelo delapsam,
habitare Verbum tuum inter homines crederetur;
et, per Spiritum in columbae specie descendentem,
Christus Servus tuus oleo perungi laetitiae
ac mitti ad evangelizandum pauperibus nosceretur.

Et ideo cum caelorum virtutibus
in terris te iugiter celebramus,
maiestati tuae sine fine clamantes:

Exams: perhaps during encounter 6b: Tuesday, 06 November 2018

If students have any questions about the exam they are invited to raise them during this encounter or at any time during the course.

Each exam lasts ten minutes, timed, so be prepared to say the most important elements right away.

Students are asked to bring a copy of the text of their prayer in Latin with them, and to provide a copy for the instructor.

Students are suggested to have already prepared their full translation of their chosen preface.

The method of examination and the criteria for the mark are given above.

After each exam the instructor will have a few minutes to write his notes.

 

Praefationes Missali Romani collectae
Collected Prefaces of the Missale Romanum

The Latin texts of the prefaces of the Missale Romanum are available on this separate web-page, so that this page may be more easily nagivable.

Praefationes ex Missali Romani editio MMII excerptae
Prefaces selected from the 2002 edition of the Missale Romanum

Materials continued

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Map:

Latin resources

I have begun to develop a page of resources for the Latin language including: dictionaries, grammars, resources, texts, links.

© D.P. McCarthy, revised in part on 25 September 2018.