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The Slacker's Guide to Praying in Latin

It shames me to admit that I have slacked off on this blog quite a bit. I have a final on Monday and wanted to post something.... 

In an effort to ensure you all that I am:

  1. alive
  2. keeping this blog running
  3. still Catholic and loving it
  4. not abandoning you
I've decided to introduce you to the mysterious and beautiful world of praying in Latin. However, before I begin, let's take a look back at one of my all time favorite scenes from one of my all time favorite movies....Braveheart. 
Argyle Wallace (William Wallace's uncle)- Did the priest give a poetic benediction? "The Lord bless thee and keep thee...?
William Wallace (as a tiny kid)- It was in Latin.
Argyle Wallace- You don't speak Latin? Well that's something we shall have to remedy, isn't it?
This scene is a classic and demonstrates just how awesome it is to pray and understand Latin Prayers. No, I am not having you memorize the declensions. I have had "hic haec hoc" and all that other good stuff burned into my brain and I remember enough of the experience to not want to put you all through that torture. Instead, I'm just going to give you some basic prayers in Latin. You already the words to these prayers in your own respective you really don't have to memorize every verb tense, etc. in the Latin language. You already have enough on your plate (considering how many of you are off to World Youth Day and how many of you have jobs, families, etc. that you need to take care of). Therefore, consider this the slacker's guide to praying in Latin. 
Slacker's Guide to Praying in Latin
1. Look at prayer in English
2. Look at prayer in Latin
3. Compare both (you may be able to recognizea few Latin words just by doing this)
4. Try to memorize one prayer in Latin by reading it and saying it out loud
5. Practice, practice, practice
6. Impress family, friends, and Uncle Argyle by reciting prayer in Latin
7. Go crazy and learn a lot more prayers in Latin
8. Go to Latin mass and impress everyone there with your awesomeness
9. Impress friends by translating Gregorian Chant in CD you bought
10. Marvel at how much life has improved since learning Latin prayers
Feel free to add the following prayers to your prayer life, if you feel like speaking to God in Latin. If you find that you love the way it sounds, try memorizing a few and chanting them  softly next time you decide to wear a scapular, go barefoot into the woods, and go all out when it comes to praising God (a la Saint Francis). If you memorize a few, you will be the life of any party should you choose to teach a few friends how to pray in Latin. Who may even be tempted to go to a Latin mass. However, before you do that....start off with a few small steps. Pray as the saints have prayed for centuries! Pray as people prayed back when Latin was the norm! Pray as they prayed in ancient Rome! Or at least understand the Latin part of the burial mass in the beginning of Braveheart....

The Glory Be is quite short...but still a great prayer to start off with...if you want to memorize at least one prayer.

The Hail Mary...this one isn't too unfamiliar considering how many albums out there include this song...

AVE Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer took me a little longer to memorize correctly....but it wasn't too difficult once you get over the "dimmitte nobis debita nostra." It is quite a mouthful....or at least it was for me.

Oratio Dominica
PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
The Lord's Prayer
OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The essential for every Catholic. (Maybe start working on this one after you get a few shorter prayers down first.)

CREDO in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Credit needs to be given where credit is due. These prayers and translations were borrowed from the had the great foresight of putting prayers side by side in a format what turned out to be Please check out this site for some very great's very helpful...especially if you want to learn how to pray the rosary in Latin (still working on it...).

Okay, if you's one of the dreaded tables that Latin students have had to learn over the years...It looks innocuous...but I assure you it was torture (especially with all the other tables we had to memorize).
Pax Vobiscum

Pray for those on their way to World Youth Day.


  1. The oratory at which we attend Mass prays the Pater Noster, Gloria, and Sanctus in Latin. The Sanctus was easy for me to *pray* in Latin, the Gloria I still struggle with since it is so long--I have it memorized, but it's easy just to sort of sing along without praying. But I think comparing the English and Latin really helps with that! (And knowing a romance language like Spanish. :) )

    It's pretty cool--a reverent Mass in the ordinary form, but with a healthy dose of Latin. :) That's what we ended up doing for our wedding!

  2. I'm still trying to negotiate with the boy over including Latin in the may be a tough one since I'm also trying to throw in naming our children after the archangels...and getting a small dog...and a peacock. :)

  3. I would love it if you could post the actual Latin Requiem prayer which is said by the priest/monk, at young William Wallace's Fathers and brothers funeral. Thanks.

    1. I too have been searching for this. Please post if at all possible.

  4. What you may be looking for is Numbers 6 24-26 which Argyle was referring to and later praying himself in English.