Prayer by Prayer, Part 9

“To learn a prayer is to pray,” mused my most frequent commenter Brandon, on his own blog (Link). Praying has been a great part of my language learning from the beginning. Just as I don’t always learn as well as I’d like, I don’t always pray as well as I’d like. But I hope that never stops me from learning and praying.

Before I name the challenges for this month, I want to review the previous month.

January Report

My first “Prayer by Prayer” project of 2018 was very humble: Only two prayers to learn (Link). And the result was very humbling: I only memorized one of them.

The sad trend of failing to learn songs has continued. I know the first three lines of Alma Redemptoris Mater, but still easily forget the rest. Nevertheless, I choose not to feel discouraged. With my “wow brain” (Link), I choose to compare the present with the past. When I took my first Latin class over ten years ago, I knew almost nothing about the Traditional Latin Mass. Today, I am more familiar with the liturgy than I ever imagined. And so far, I know about the Marian antiphons, I can sing the whole Salve Regina, and I know three lines from Alma Redemptoris Mater. My past self would be very, very impressed with me!

February’s Latin: Ave Regina Caelorum

The Marian antiphon for Lent is Ave Regina Caelorum or Hail Queen of Heaven. Since my parish priest made sure, during Advent and Christmas, that we sang Alma Redemptoris Mater at the end of every Mass, I’m sure he will Lent’s Marian antiphon similar treatment. And this time, I will be prepared!

Ave, Regina Caelorum,
Ave, Domina Angelorum:
Salve, radix, salve, porta
Ex qua mundo lux est orta:
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa,
Vale, o valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.

I’m already familiar with the melody (Link) and the first few lines. I predict a very good result in next month’s February report!

February’s French: Gloire au Père et au Fils et au Saint Esprit

Now that I know both the Notre Père and the Je vous salus, Marie, I sometimes say a few decades of my daily Rosary in French. But I can’t do a full decade until I also learn the Gloire au Père.

Gloire au Père et au Fils et au Saint-Esprit, comme il était au commencement, maintenant et toujours, dans les siècles des siècles. Amen.

It’s short and easy. If I learn only one new prayer for February 2018, it will be this one!

February’s Italian: Padre Nostro

Last December, France changed the wording of its Notre Père. This coming December, Italy will make a similar change to its Padre Nostro (Source). This means I have ten more months to learn the traditional formula; but of course, I’d rather start immediately.

Padre nostro, che sei nei cieli, sia santificato il tuo nome, venga il tuo regno, sia fatta la tua volontà, come in cielo così in terra.

Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano, e rimetti a noi i nostri debiti come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori, e non ci indurre in tentazione, ma liberaci dal male. Amen.

The way I learned the Notre Père was so successful that I will repeat it for the Padre Nostro. Instead of trying to memorize the whole prayer at once, I will learn one line at a time. And I will say the lines I know during my daily rosary. (This means six repetitions a day!) If I forget a line, I will just keep going in another language, and look the line up again later. (I’m starting to think this would also be a good way to learn poetry!)

What is your favorite method for memorizing prayers or poetry?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *