Kyrie eleison is not Latin

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Haruo's picture


"Kyrie eleison" is not in Latin even when used in the Roman Church, let alone when sung by the Russian Orthodox.


It is Greek text that has been so incorporated into a Latin mass that it can be considered Latin as well as Greek; in the same way that "Amen" has been incorporated into English hymns and "pizza" and "spaghetti" incorporated into the English language.

I think Kyrie eleison / Christe eleison, along with Amen, Hosanna, Alleluia/Hallelujah, Abba, and probably a few other words and phrases of Greek, Hebrew, Latin or Aramaic origin are so universally naturalized in Christian liturgy that they should not be considered "foreign language" items in a hymnic or liturgical context. To identify the language of the Kyrie as Latin, unless it is in the context of a Latin mass, seems specious to me. And a Russian Orthodox mass is not a Latin mass. Sorry about the rant. ;-) It's just the way I get sometimes.

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