JA (iohanne) wrote in linguaphiles,
JA
iohanne
linguaphiles

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Ecclesiastical Latin

I went to Mass today and after Mass, the congregation took part in Adoration of the Eucharist (-it was Catholic). While the priest was placing the Eucharist in the monstrance, the congregation fell to their knees and sang O Salutaris Hostia - a hymn written by St. Thomas Aquinas. At any rate, the Latin used during the song was pronounced differently from the Classical Latin pronunciation that I've learned in class.

Now, I am quite aware of the differences in pronunciation. However, it struck me today while I was singing: why is there a difference in pronunciation? Is it that the pronunciation is influenced by the Italian pronunciation since the Holy See is situated in Rome? Or is it because Latin was adopted at a time when the ecclesiastical pronunciation was common among the vulgar masses? What's the story behind this pronunciation?
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