Monday, 27 October 2008

I only got a C for Latin O level

... but something has been niggling at me.

You know when we say, "Domine, non sum dignus..."? Well, if I'm talking about myself as being unworthy at that time, rather than making a general statement about the unworthiness of the congregation as a whole, should I (and all female members of the congregation) not be saying, "non sum digna" instead? I mean, I know you use the masculine form if it's a generic statement, but how can a statement in the first person be generic (unless it's plural - "non summus digni" I'd accept as correct)? And surely in any case this is meant to be a personal prayer.

Just wondering...

6 comments:

Mac McLernon said...

Hehehehe... ok, here are a couple of thoughts for you...

We are quoting the centurion's remark to Jesus...

...also, the priest (in the EF) says the words...

;-)

newhousenewjob said...

First one - fair point.

But in many congregations, the congregation joins in with the priest in saying these words before the Communion of the faithful (as permitted by 'De musica sacra et sacra liturgica').

So are we 'just' quoting Scripture and reflecting on it, or are we identifying ourselves with the centurion and making the same request on our own behalf - in the same way that when we pray the Our Father, we're not 'just' quoting what Jesus taught us, but praying in the way that he taught us?

Mac McLernon said...

No idea... the Church says it's in the book, so I say it. Not knowing any Latin here is probably a help...

;-)

(For years the only bit of the Latin Mass I knew was the Kyrie eleison... the rest was all Greek to me!!)

newhousenewjob said...

:¬)

Anonymous said...

and Kyrie eleison is Greek :-)
The rest is Latin, except for Amen, Alleluia and Hosanna.
Elise B.

Anonymous said...

'The Rest was all Greek' was Mac's joke....