Sunday, 24 June 2012

Latin Lesson: Tu es Petrus and the future tense

Last week, we looked at the Angelus, and that led to interesting reflections in the comms box and a subsequent post on the meaning of mens and cor.

So for your revision, pray the Angelus in Latin.

This week, we are moving on to the Tu Es Petrus (as inscribed around the interior of the dome of St Peter's in the Vatican, see above [Mt 16:18-19]).  

That is because it is both seasonal (and if you start learning it by heart today, you should know it in time for Friday's feast one of our last holy days of obligation, but don't get me started...) and also because it has some verbs in the future tense, which we have not yet encountered.

As ever, I do recommend rote learning, and here is a recording.

Tu es Petrus

Two things to note about this: one is that if you were at an EF Mass today (the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist) you will have heard remarkably similar music, though with different words.  The second is that this does not include all the words we are going to examine below.

Tu es Petrus
Thou art Peter

et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam

and upon this rock, I will build my Church,

et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam.

And the gates of hell will not prevail against her.

Et tibi dabo claves regni cælorum.
And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

A few notes on vocabulary:

Petrus/petram is not so much a pun as the whole point of Our Lord's re-naming Simon.  When God names something, it effects what it proclaims.

Aedificabo - I will build, from which we get the words edifice and edifying.

inferi - the place below - from which we get inferior.

But the main thing I want you to focus on is the future tense.

Here we have:

Aedificabo, and dabo (1st person singular, future tense) and 
Praevalebunt (third person plural, future tense)

Let's fill in the gaps.

The Future Tense

1st conjugation verbs  (infinitive ends -are)

Infinitive Dare (to give) (and aedificare follows the same pattern)

1st person singular:  dabo  (I will give)
2nd person singular: dabis  (you will give)
3rd person singular: dabit (he, she or it  will give)
1st person plural: dabimus (we  will give)
2nd person plural: dabitis (you  will give)
3rd person plural: dabunt (they  will give)

2nd conjugation verbs (-ēre: long e)

Infinitive: Praevalere (to prevail, to overcome) 

1st person singular:  praevalebo  (I will prevail)
2nd person singular: praevalebis  (you will prevail)
3rd person singular: praevalebit (he, she or it  will prevail)
1st person plural: praevalebimus (we  will prevail)
2nd person plural: praevalebitis (you  will prevail)
3rd person plural: praevalebunt (they  will prevail)

I'm struggling to think of many more uses of the future in Liturgical Latin off the top of my head, apart from the very obvious: Introibo at altare Dei (I will go into the altar of God) which opens Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

However, for completeness, you should know that the other regular endings of the future tense in Latin  (third (-ere: short e) and fourth  (-ire) conjugations) follow this pattern

Infinitive: Benedicere (to bless)

1st person singular:  benedicam  (I will bless)
2nd person singular: benedices  (you will bless)
3rd person singular: benedicet (he, she or it  will bless)
1st person plural: benedicemus (we  will bless)
2nd person plural: benedicetis (you  will bless)
3rd person plural: benedicent (they  will bless)

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