Author Topic: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?  (Read 422 times)

Offline MichaelNZ

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Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« on: May 15, 2017, 06:46:16 PM »
I have had a go these last couple of days of praying Vespers in the traditional rite in Latin. However, I've found it's not always that easy to be saying the Latin and reading the English translation side-by-side. Is there any actual benefit to praying the Office in Latin, or is it merely tradition?

What do you guys here do? Also, what about praying the Rosary in Latin?
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 06:59:00 PM »
Fr Ripperger says the DO in Latin is pretty efficacious against demons.

However, if you're not bound to pray it, I would suggest first mastering it in English, and then moving over to the Latin.  Familiarity with the psalms is a wonderful thing. 
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

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Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 
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Online Lynne

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 07:32:34 PM »
I have had a go these last couple of days of praying Vespers in the traditional rite in Latin. However, I've found it's not always that easy to be saying the Latin and reading the English translation side-by-side. Is there any actual benefit to praying the Office in Latin, or is it merely tradition?

What do you guys here do? Also, what about praying the Rosary in Latin?

Praying the Rosary in Latin is a wonderful idea too.
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 

Offline Bonaventure

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 12:25:03 AM »
If you know Latin, pray it in Latin. If you don't, it makes no sense. Why turn the Divine office into a rote exercise, a chore. Pray it so that it becomes a source of joy.
 
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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 06:57:10 AM »
Yesterday was the feast of St jeanbaptiste de lasalle

One of his educational reforms was teaching primary school in the vernacular and stressing literacy in the written vernacular language
 Nowpnder there were so many illiterate people back then
"I am not much of a Crusader, that is for sure, but at least I am not a Mohamedist!"
 

Offline Jon Paul

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 10:25:33 AM »
If you know Latin, pray it in Latin. If you don't, it makes no sense. Why turn the Divine office into a rote exercise, a chore. Pray it so that it becomes a source of joy.

The Divine Office is called the opus Dei for a reason.  And the very word liturgy means "work".  The praying of the Office is a sacrifice of praise and worship addressed to God for His own sake, and not for ours.  It is a means of fulfilling our Christian obligation to love, adore and worship the Triune God.

Using the Latin should be the norm regardless of our fluency in the language.  We're using the Church's own approved form and translations often fail to truly capture the meaning of the Latin.  Saying that though one should either a) study the English translations, multiple translations mind you, and refer to them often or b) study the Latin language on conjunction with praying the Latin psalter.

Our devotional prayer life should be less asking what we can get from it and more about seeking to give God His due.
 
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Offline rbjmartin

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 01:15:42 PM »
If you know Latin, pray it in Latin. If you don't, it makes no sense. Why turn the Divine office into a rote exercise, a chore. Pray it so that it becomes a source of joy.

The Divine Office is called the opus Dei for a reason.  And the very word liturgy means "work".  The praying of the Office is a sacrifice of praise and worship addressed to God for His own sake, and not for ours.  It is a means of fulfilling our Christian obligation to love, adore and worship the Triune God.

Using the Latin should be the norm regardless of our fluency in the language.  We're using the Church's own approved form and translations often fail to truly capture the meaning of the Latin.  Saying that though one should either a) study the English translations, multiple translations mind you, and refer to them often or b) study the Latin language on conjunction with praying the Latin psalter.

Our devotional prayer life should be less asking what we can get from it and more about seeking to give God His due.

I agree with this. Praying the Office in Latin should be the default (particularly if you attend the TLM; I am not aware of approved translations of the Office that would have fulfilled a clerics obligation to recite the Office in pre-conciliar days, so there aren't really any "official" liturgical translations). As Jon Paul stated above, reciting the Office isn't about our own comprehension of the text. It is about being an instrument of praise. That is one reason why moral theologians in the old days agreed that clerics should at least move their lips when reciting the Office privately. The psalms are the substance of the Office, and they were given to man by Divine inspiration. When we recite the Office, we give back to God the words of praise He has provided for us to offer to Him.

Of course it is better that we understand the words we recite, because then it has the added benefit of edifying us intellectually and spiritually. But that is not the primary end of reciting the Office. It is a secondary benefit.

In my own personal experience, my facility with Latin has varied greatly over the years since I first started reciting any form of the Office in Latin (starting with the Little Office of the BVM shortly after I graduated college). When I first started with the Little Office, it had been a few years since I had studied Latin in high school (and I was a pretty poor Latin student in high school), so I was very rusty. It was a side-by-side translation, and I would only occasionally glance at the English. I found that even with my limited knowledge of Latin at the time, I knew the general gist of each psalm because I had familiarized myself with the translations, so each time I recited the Little Office in Latin, I understood enough to stir up the sentiments of devotion. Nowadays, I can translate 99% of the psalms (excluding a few unfamiliar vocabulary words), so I don't use a side-by-side version of the Divine Office. Even with this increase in Latin reading comprehension, I don't find there to be a significant increase in the sentiments of devotion (over what I experienced when I prayed the Little Office years ago). The significant advantage I have now is that I can stop to contemplate the meaning of the words a bit more, but as a devotional exercise, I think the limited knowledge of Latin I had years ago was sufficient for the recitation of the Office to be an edifying experience. But again, we should remember that this is not the primary end.
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: Praying the Divine Office in Latin - any benefits?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 11:42:38 AM »
If you know Latin, pray it in Latin. If you don't, it makes no sense. Why turn the Divine office into a rote exercise, a chore. Pray it so that it becomes a source of joy.

As long as the pronunciation doesn't trip you up constantly, I think it's probably easier to chant it in Latin precisely because you don't grasp the meaning as easily. It's less stress on the brain to have just a vague understanding of the meaning, rather than comprehending every word. It's also less stress to chant it in a simple tone than it is to say it with a varied rhythm & intonation.
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