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    Liber Precum Publicarum:
The Book of Common Prayer in Latin (1662)

 

The Book of Common Prayer, has, throughout its history, been translated into Latin. While this may at first seem odd, as one of the main purposes of the Book of Common Prayer was to get away from liturgy which the people could not understand, there were some good reasons for it. First was to better communicate the liturgy to those on the Continent who might wish to study it, but did not know English. Second was for use in colleges and universities where it would be expected that all knew Latin. And finally it was for use in Ireland by priests who knew Latin but not English - a translation into Irish Gaelic was not completed until 1608.

A translation of the 1549 Book into Latin was completed in 1551, and one of the Elizabethan 1559 book in 1560. (We have most of this book online.) The 1662 Book was first translated into Latin by Jean Durel in 1670. This was followed by another translation in 1713 by Thomas Parcell, one by John Carey published by Samuel Bagster in 1821, and finally a translation by William Bright & Peter Medd in 1865. None of these translations were official, and they are of varying quality. The most highly regarded translation is that of Bright & Medd, which is the one used here. An alternative (if very wordy) view on the worthiness of this translation is given in a short text from Google Books.

The specific Bright & Medd text used here was the 5th (1910) edition, for which the title page may be seen at right. Comparison with an older, 1869 microfilmed edition indicates that minor changes were made over the years, including, of course, changes in the prayers for the ruling monarch. For this edition that person was George V; prayers for the king and royal family have not been changed to reflect the changes in monarchs since then. Older editions of this work are available as PDF graphics from Google Books: 2nd ed., 1869, and 3rd ed., 1877.

As I am not fluent in Latin by any means, I would very much like to hear of any errors you might find.

 

 

 

Main title page for Latin BCP

 

In Hoc Libro Contenta Sunt
The Contents of this Book
1. PRĈFATIO.   The Preface
2. DE OFFICIO DIVINO.   Concerning the Service of the Church
3. DE CĈREMONIIS, ET QUA RATIONE ALIĈ ABROGATĈ, ALIĈ RETENTĈ SUNT.   Of Ceremonies, why some be abolished and some retained
4. ORDO LEGENDI PSALTERIUM.   The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read
5. ORDO IN RELIQUA SACRA SCRIPTURA LEGENDA SERVANDUS.   The Order how the rest of the Holy Scripture is appointed to be read
6. TABULA LECTIONUM PROPRIARUM PSALMORUMQUE.   Table of proper Lessons and Psalms
7. TABULĈ FESTORUM ET JEJUNIORUM PER ANNUM.   Tables and Rules for the Feasts and Fasts through the whole Year
8. KALENDARIUM, CUM TABULA LECTIONUM FERIALIUM.   The Calendar, with the Table of Lessons
9. ORDO MATUTINARUM   Order for Morning Prayer
10. ORDO VESPERARUM.   Order for Evening Prayer
11. SYMBOLUM SANCTI ATHANASII.   Creed of St. Athanasius
12. LITANIA.   Litany
13. ORATIONES ET GRATIARUM ACTIONES AD DIVERSA.   Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several Occasions
14. ORATIONES, EPISTOLĈ ET EVANGELIA QUIBUS PER ANNUM UTI OPORTET IN ADMINISTRATIONE SACRĈ COMMUNIONIS.   Collects, Epistles, and Gospels, to be used at the ministration of holy Communion, throughout the Year
15. ORDO ADMINISTRANDI SACRAM COMMUNIONEM.   Order of the Adminstration of the holy Communion
16. ORDO BAPTISMI TUM PUBLICI TUM ETIAM PRIVATI.   Order of Baptism both Public and Private
17.  ORDO BAPTISMI ADULTORUM.   Order of Baptism for those of riper Years
18. CATECHISMUS ET ORDO CONFIRMATIONIS.    Catechism & Order of Confirmation
19. RITUS MATRIMONII.   Form of Solemnization of Matrimony
20. ORDO VISITATIONIS INFIRMORUM, NECNON COMMUNIONIS INFIRMORUM.   Order for the Visitation of the Sick, and the Communion of the Sick
21. ORDO SEPULTURĈ.   Burial of the Dead
22. GRATIARUM ACTIO MULIERUM POST PARTUM.   Thanksgiving of Women after Childbirth
23. COMMINATIO, SIVE DENUNTIATIO IRĈ JUDICIORUMQUE DEI CONTRA PECCATORES.   A Commination, or denouncing of God's anger and judgements against Sinners
24. PSALTERIUM.   Psalter

[The Vulgate (Latin) Psalter may be found at Fourmilab.]

25. ORATIONES IN USUM NAVIGANTIUM.   Forms of Prayer to be used at Sea
26. ORDO ET RITUS FACIENDI, ORDINANDI, ET CONSECRANDI EPISCOPOS, PRESBYTEROS, ET DIACONOS.   Forms and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons

 

Ad Lectorem.

DAMUS tibi in manus, Christiane lector, Librum Precum Publicarum, quo hodie Ecclesia Anglicana utitur, Latine redditum.

 

Versionem nostram juxta Exemplar Recensionis anno MDCLXI factĉ, vulgo appellatum ‘The Sealed Book,’ (in quo Articuli, quos vocant. Fidei et Religionis non inveniuntur,) fecimus; nisi quod placuit, primo, Regulas de Festis Mobilibus, utpote in hujusmodi opere minus necessarias, prĉtermittere; et secundo, mutationes, post eam Recensionem factam, auctoritate legitima sancitas observare. Quarum mutationum exemplo est juramentum de summa Regiĉ Majestatis in hoc regno potestate; quod, hucusque in ipso Ordinationis ritu ab omnibus ordinandis vel consecrandis exactum, hoc ipso anno Auctoritas, tam Ecclesiastica quam Civilis, alio seorsim tempore exigendum decrevit.

 

Psalterii, quod secundum “Usum insignis et prĉclarĉ Sarisburiensis Ecclesiĉ” distinximus, Epistolarum et Evangeliorum, cĉterorumque omnium Sacrĉ Scripturĉ locorum vel locutionum, Vulgatum Textum hodie receptum exhibuimus.

 

Orationes, aliasque formulas, quas, e Breviariis vel Missalibus, aliisve Libris olim apud majores nostros in re Divina facienda usitatis, desumptas, Ecclesia in recensione antiquorum suorum Officiorum conservavit, omnes secundum textum veterem Latinum reddidimus.

 

Quodcunque recentioris addidit, in sermonem veteri Ecclesiĉ Occidentalis linguĉ quam proxime consentaneum redegimus.

 

Librum Latinum Publicarum Precum, anno MDLXo, ad usum “Collegiorum Cantabrigiĉ, Oxoniĉ, Wintoniĉ, et Etoniĉ,” primo editum, in nostra versione conficienda non negleximus; nec tamen omnino imitandum putavimus, quippe qui nec publicam Ecclesiĉ auctoritatem prĉ se ferret, nec, novis postea recensionibus factis, cum hodierno Libro satis consentiret.

 

Verbum 'Priest' visum est verbo ‘Presbyter’ eis in locis reddere ubi de ordine eorum ageretur qui in Ministerio Christi inter Episcopos et Diacanos locum habent ; ubi autem de ipsa ministerii earum exsecutione, verbo ‘Sacerdos.’

 

Non possumus nobis persuadere quin permultis e Clero Anglicano pergratum foret, multis etiam piis studiosisque in Universitatibus et Collegiis nostris commorantibus, immo laicis nonnullis pie ac liberaliter in simu Ecclesiĉ nostre educatis, quotidianas Ecclesiĉ psallendi et orandi formulas, in linguam tot per sĉcula apud Occidentales vigentem redditas, manibus versare. Gratum etiam fore putavimus ea ipsa verba, (id quod plurimis in formulis accidit,) ante oculos habere quĉ a Doctoribus clarissimis, (quales fuere Leo ille Magnus, Evangelicĉ veritatis propugnator illustris, et Gregorius, Magnus et ipse, qui gentem Anglorum Christo mancipavit,) originem ducentia, antecessoribus nostris, Bedĉ Venerabili, Ĉlfredo Magno regi, sanctis episcopis Osmundo et Anselmo, cĉterisque multa per sĉcula, in pio cum cœlis commercio cordi fuere.

 

Speramus etiam hoc opus nostrum, si quorum doctiorum in manus venerit Christianorum, aut ex eis qui Ecclesiĉ vel Latinĉ vel Orientali aggregati sunt, aut cx aliis, quicunque sint, qui “ĉternĉ Trinitatis gloriam agnoscunt et in potentia Majestatis adorant Unitatem,” qui “Unigenitum Dei Filium in veritate nostri corporis natum de Matre Virgine confitentur,” veriorem Ecclesiĉ Anglicanĉ imaginem eorum charitati oblaturum esse, et demonstraturum eam tum Fidem vere Catholicam, tum regimen vere Apostolicum et primitivum, fideliter conservasse.

 

Misereatur Deus, precamur, universĉ Ecclesiĉ suĉ; et omni, quantuluscunque sit, faveat conatui, qui faustum illum felicemque diem, tot votis, tot suspiriis exoptatum, maturare possit, cum iterum fideles totius Orbis Christiani “cum omni humilitate et mansuetudine, cum patientia, supportantes invicem in charitate, solliciti sint servare unitatem Spiritus in vinculo pacis.”

 

Restat ut viris reverendis Joanni Jebb, Gulielmo J. Blew, et R. F. Littledale, qui huic versioni corrigendĉ lubenti animo operam dederunt, amplissimas gratias referamus.

 
GUL. BRIGHT.
P. G. MEDD.
Oxonii.   MDCCCLXV.
To the Reader

 In hac tertia Edition; novas pro veteribus substitui Tabulas Lectionum. Subjunxi etiam, in Appendice, Versiones Latinas
 (a) Liturgiĉ primĉ Reformatrĉ anno MDXLIX editĉ;
 (b) Liturgiĉ Scoticanĉ;   (c) Liturgiĉ Americanĉ.

P. G. MEDD.
North Cerney, Cirencester.   MDCCCLXXVII.

Additions in the Third Edition

 In quarta Editione fere nihil in Textu immutavimus. Punctorum tamen notationem propius ad Anglicum usum correximus.

P. G. MEDD.
North Cerney, Cirencester.  MDCCCXC.


Changes in the Fouth Edition (1890)

 In quarta Editione, post Accessionem clementissimi Regia nostri Edvardi Septimi, quem Deus semper salvum faciat, denuo recognita, neccssarias correctiones feci nominum et titulorum Regis et Reginĉ et Principis et Principisse Walliĉ: et Versionem Latinam Ordinum gratiarum actionis in Die Anniversario Accessionis ad finem subjunxi.

P. G. MEDD.
North Cerney, Cirencester.   MCMII.

Changes in the Fourth Edition (1902).

Many thanks to the Episcopal Divinity School Library for providing a copy of an earlier edition of this book from their microfiche.

Web author: Charles Wohlers U. S. EnglandScotlandIrelandWalesCanadaWorld