Sunday, 14 April 2013

Latin Prayer of the week: Act of Faith

Continuing my series of Latin prayers to learn in this Year of Faith, today the Act of Faith.

Faith is, of course one of the three 'theological' virtues, originating from 1 Corinthians 13:13.  It is worth noting that reciting 'any legitimate formula' of the act of faith carries a partial indulgence in combination with an act of contrition.

Actus Fidei

There are actually several different versions of the act of faith around.

All the same, it is rather curious that the Latin version given in the Compendium to the Catechism does not line up with the English given there.

Here is the Latin version as given in the Compendium:

Dómine Deus,
firma fide credo et confíteor 
ómnia et síngula quæ 
sancta Ecclésia Cathólica propónit, 
quia tu, Deus, ea ómnia revelásti, 
qui es ætérna véritas et sapiéntia 
quæ nec fállere nec falli potest.
In hac fide vívere et mori státuo. 

And here is the English translation it provides:

O my God, I firmly believe 
[that you are one God in three divine Persons,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
I believe that your divine Son became man 
and died for our sins and that he will come 
to judge the living and the dead.] 
I believe these and all the truths 
which the Holy Catholic Church teaches
because you have revealed them 
who are eternal truth and wisdom, 
who can neither deceive nor be deceived. 
In this faith I intend to live and die. 

How do they differ?

The main difference between the two versions is that the English adds a section, which I have put in brackets above.  In fact the text omitted from the Compendium's Latin is the section many may be more familiar with, since it is closer to the version contained in the Baltimore Catechism (No 3):

O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to, judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

Looking at the Latin

Let's take a look at the Latin of the Catechism's version though, word by word:

Dómine (O Lord) Deus (God), firma (firm) fide (with faith) credo (I believe) et (and) confíteor (I confess)  ómnia (all/everything) et (and) síngula (each separately/one at a time) quæ (that) sancta (Holy) Ecclésia (Church) Cathólica (Catholic) propónit (proposes/teaches), quia (because) tu (you), Deus (God), ea (them) ómnia (all) revelásti (you have revealed), qui (who) es (you are) ætérna (eternal) véritas (truth) et (and) sapiéntia (wisdom) quæ (who) nec (neither) fállere (to deceive) nec (nor) falli (to be deceived) potest (he is able). In (in) hac (this) fide (faith) vívere (to live) et (and) mori (to die) státuo (I am resolved/determined). Amen.

Here is a complete translation based on the Latin:

Oh Lord God, with a firm faith I believe and confess each and every thing that the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because You, God, have revealed all these things, who is eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In this faith, I resolve to live and to die. Amen. 

1 comment:

Joshua said...

I long ago learnt short versions of the Act of Faith, and the parallel Acts of Hope, Love and Contrition -these four I still often say each morning (and the last whenever conscious of sin):

O my God, I believe in thee, and in all that thy holy Church teacheth: for thou hast said it, and thy word is true.

O my God, I hope in thee for grace and for glory: because of thy promises, thy mercy, and thy power.

O my God, I love thee with all my heart: and, for thy sake, I love my neighbour as myself.

O my God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against thee, * because thou art so good: and with thy help I will not sin again.

(* here strike thy breast thrice)