Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Suscipio - A bit of Latin

Readers of this blog need not know Latin, but occasionally I will be including bits and pieces along the way that I, and hopefully others, may find enlightening.

There is an excellent book called A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John F. Collins, which I'd found in a used bookstore. It may still be in print. I highly recommend it, as it is geared to Latin used in the Latin Mass and church writing.

I found this little gem:

""Suscipio" means 'take up [from below].' A Roman father acknowledged a newborn child as his own by picking it up, ecclesiastical Latin often uses this verb of God the Father taking up [and therefore acknowledging) our earnest prayers. -- PEL"

For example in the Mass we know the response: "May the Lord Accept the sacrifice at your hands, to the praise and glory of His name, for our good, and the good of all His church."

In Latin the response in the same in the EF form of the Mass "Suscipiat Dominus [may the Lord accept] sacrificum de manibus tuis ad laudem, et gloriam nominis sui, ad utilitatem quoque nostram, totiusque Ecclesiae suae sanctae."

Also, another place in the Latin mass would be the priest's prayer just prior to that that to the Holy Trinity: "suscipe, sancta Trinitas" [Accept, Holy Trinity.]

Additionally, "Suscipe, sancte Pater, omnipotentens aeterne Deus, ...." Accept, Holy Father, Almighty eternal God.... --- the first prayer of the EF Offertory.

It gives these prayers a richer mean knowing this.


  1. I *love* entries like this. Thanks!

  2. :-D Glad you like that. It's a phrase we've heard so often we take it for granted -- nice to know there was a little more behind it!

  3. Please would you be able to tell me the Latin for "Life begins"? Thank You!


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