Weekly Vocab Builder: Catholic Terms

The Roman Catholic Church has a rich vocabulary, some of which it has loaned into everyday use. This week, we look at some specialized terms and some that have become generalized.

  • Angelus: a prayer said three times a day; the bell ringing that announces the times of the angelus.
  • Vulgate: the vernacular of a people; the Latin translation of the Bible made in the 4th century
  • Credo: a creed; the Nicene Creed in the Roman Catholic Church
  • Ecclesiastical: of or relating to a church
  • Requiem: a hymn or prayer for the dead; a Roman Catholic mass for a deceased

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  • Vestibule: the entryway between a building’s outer doors and inner ones; the entryway between a church’s outer doors and the doors to the main body of the church
  • Venerable: worthy of respect due to a specific quality; title for a person on the first step to canonization (sainthood)
  • Benedictus: “A canticle that begins Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini (“Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”) that forms the end of the Sanctus in the Roman Catholic Mass”
  • Miserere: a prayer for mercy; the 51st Psalm (Vulgate version)
  • Complin: last seven canonical hours in which evening prayers are said

You can find more Catholic terms at CatholicReference.net.

About Erin Brenner

With a BA and an MA in English, Erin has been an editing professional for 15 years, working on a variety of media, especially online. Her niche is business/marketing and online. In addition, she has experience teaching editing to non-editors and coaching writers. In 2008, Erin was bitten by the social media bug...hard. Follow her on Twitter, @ebrenner, and get a daily vocabulary word, a link to the article of the day, and much more. You can also find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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