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Bulletin Insert on the Latin Titles for the Fifty Great Days

by Rev. Brian Hamer ~ May 21st, 2009


      A Layman’s Guide to the Latin Titles for the Fifty Great Days


Question: Why are there Latin titles for the Sundays after Easter and what do they mean?


Answer: As with the seasons of Advent and Lent, most of the Latin titles originated in the first word or phrase of the Introit or entrance Psalm, the first proper of the Divine Service.


Easter I

Quasi Modo Geniti — “As newborn babes: desire the sincere milk of the word.”


Easter II

Misericordias Domini — “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”


Easter III

Jubilate – “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.”


Easter IV

Cantate – “Oh, sing unto the Lord a new song.”


Easter V

Rogate – “Pray ye” (from the Gospel lesson, St. John 16:23-30)


Sunday After The Ascension

Exaudi – “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice.”


Whitsunday (Pentecost)

While it is tempting to identify the word “whit” as a somewhat antiquated reference to the white robes of baptism or confirmation, the more likely origin of this title is an old word for “wise.”  Hence, Whitsunday is a day that we are made wise unto salvation by the power of the Holy Spirit.


In addition to serving as an informal Latin primer, the Latin titles for the Fifty Great Days remind us of the value of being a liturgical church and of the gifts that we receive during the “week of weeks.”  Christ comes to His newborn babes to with the proof of His resurrection and the Office of the Keys (Easter I).  He lives and reigns as our Good Shepherd (Easter II) to bestow on us His lovingkindness or mercy (“goodness” is a weak translation in the English Bible).  We make a joyful noise unto God (Easter III) and sing a new song of Christ (Easter IV) as Easter hymns permeate this season of the church year.  And we learn to pray aright (Easter V), deeply rejoicing that the Lord hears our cry (Sunday after Ascension).

7 Responses to Bulletin Insert on the Latin Titles for the Fifty Great Days

  1. Petersen

    Why don't you come up with something like this for each season? And give it to me at the beginning not the end. Seriously, I love these. I've used your other inserts. I would have used this if I'd gotten before day 41 of 50. You should do the whole church year. These are very nice, succinct, helpful.

  2. Brian Hamer


    Yes, I'm happy to do this sort of thing for the whole church year. I think I've posted inserts for Pre-Lent, Lent, and the Fifty Great Days, right? I'm not sure about Lent. At any rate, I'll try to keep ahead of the pace and post one season in advance. Thanks for asking!


  3. Hamer

    Sorry! Not sure I've done this for ADVENT. Duh.

  4. ToddPeperkorn

    I agree. You do all the work, Brian, and we'll reap all the rewards.

  5. Christopher Esget

    Yeah. What Todd and David said.

  6. mirpornoo

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  7. SeoGraft

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