Latin’s Not Your Second Language

Lambrick Park ChoirAnd it’s not mine either. Most people’s exposure to Latin falls somewhere between reading it on the back of a coin and watching a certain Russell Crowe movie featuring lions. That is, unless you’re a member of the Lambrick Park Church Choir.

The choir (led by Simon Prittie) will sing my Laudate Dominum on Easter Sunday this year, and rehearsals have begun. When I introduced the music to the singers last season, we spent a large amount of time on the text. That is, how to enunciate properly. (Tall vowels, guys, tall vowels.) They took up the challenge, and it’s sounding great!

Working with an ancient language is rewarding, in part because it makes me think differently. Mixing old with new often causes inspiration. The Latin words are unfamiliar to most people who will hear this music, but they express the same faith preached centuries ago by others who used these words.

That’s a perspective worth thinking about.

Have you ever learned or wanted to learn a dead language?

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