Talk:Ecclesiastical Latin

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According to a recent newspaper article (Oct 2005) there are problems in getting ecclesiastics who can speak Latin. Posted by an Anonymous user at ISP at 16:54, 25 October 2005.

My fault[edit]

Doubtless by my fault, the comment I believed I posted here on 30 August does not appear. I will repeat the idea now in fewer words.

Latin is a language. Ecclesiastical Latin is not a language. It is only the same Latin language used for ecclesiastical purposes, as it can be used for commercial purposes, for purposes of invective, or just for fun.

Others may see reasons, practical or of other nature, for keeping this article separate. But it seems more logical to me to move the material here to the Latin language entry, as a section within it.

Lima 20:07, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

As no one has bothered to answer this for the public since 2005, I will have to do it. Any language evolves over time. That concept has been captured for Latin by the notion of styles. All the styles of Latin cannot be placed under a sungle heading; the topic is too extensive. Thanks for this most relevant question.Dave (talk) 09:28, 11 October 2009 (UTC)


Fortunately, for Latin as pronounced ecclesiastically, it is extremely easy to show that words like "actio" and "natio" are of three syllables, because in Gregorian musical notation each syllable is given a separate note or neum. Take any edition of the Roman Missal in Latin and on almost every page that has music you will find examples. In the Our Father, "tentationem" (et ne nos inducas in tentationem) has five syllables. In the introductory dialogue to the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, "gratias" (Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro) has three syllables. The first of the liturgical greetings proposed in the present Missal, has two examples: Gratia Domini nostri Iesu Christi, et caritas Dei, et communicatio Sancti Spiritus sit cum omnibus vobis.

Where on earth can Aeusoes1 have got the opposite idea? Does he really think that "actio" is pronounced ecclesiastically as [aktsjo] - it is not at all easy to pronounce it as two syllables. Aeusoes1 cannot have got the idea from classical Latin: the poets give the same number of syllables to such words as are given in the ecclesiastical pronunciation. Would Aeusoes1 kindly indicate where in Latin spelling and pronunciation he thought he found it stated that these words have one syllable less: I do not intend to waste time looking in that article for what I am convinced it does not contain.

Lima 04:46, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, I have let myself be tempted and have looked at the other article and found the mistake (mistyping?). I have corrected it. Lima 04:54, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Stupid Romans and their failure to orthographically distinguish between semivowels and high vowels. My apologies. AEuSoes1 05:16, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
All such blanket phrases "the ecclesiastical pronunciation" are strictly limited to context. Like any other language, Latin evolved diachronically and in other ways I am sure.Dave (talk) 09:32, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed a redundancy[edit]

"And double consonants receive doubled pronunciation."

I removed this because this was also the case in Classical Latin and therefore doesn't belong in a section about the differences between the two. Arthurian Legend 04:37, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I changed back before reading this comment. Still, I do not think comparison is being made with (what we presume to be) classical Latin pronunciation. The comparison is with English, rather than with classical Latin pronunciation, about which many (most?) readers will have little or no idea. Mention is made, for instance, of giving the vowels their value in Italian. I take this to be in contrast much more to English than to classical Latin. Lima 07:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Church leaders that can speak latin[edit]

The article should maybe try to give an educated guess on the number of Church leaders that can speak and write latin. For a long time now, their number has been thought to be declining, to the extent that many Church leaders of the future may not have the ability to speak the language. Another issue would be to try to provide an adequate commentary on the quality of the latin language that is spoken by contemporary Popes. Leo XIII is often described as having spoken an excellent latin, while Benedict XVI spontaneously writes remarkable latin-language letters to his brother bishops. [1] ADM (talk) 10:37, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

45 years ago every bishop could speak Latin fluently (so well that they would of been the envy of medieval scholars) - today however I am unaware of ONE American prelate that can speak it fluently, though many have a grasp. There is a professional Latinist in Rome (Vatican City) whose job it is to lead a school on it, and sadly he thinks the situation is hopeless. If it makes you feel better though despite not being Latin-Rite I plan on learning Ecclesiatical Latin fluenty :P Zantorzi (talk) 13:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Early history of the use of the language[edit]

I was hoping to find some discussion of the early use of the language. Presumably, Ecclesiastical Latin originally stemmed from Late Latin with a strong influence from Vulgar Latin. Subsequently, the recovery of classical texts brought it back to Classical Latin. Is this true?

The difficulty seems to be that this article has not gotten enough historical linguistic attention. I'd be surprised that there has not been a lot of scholarly attention to evolution of Ecclesiastical Latin, though much of it may not be in English. DCDuring (talk) 10:13, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

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