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Upcoming Performances

Voices Concerts

A Celestial Christmas

December 17th, 8:00 pm at The Carolina Theatre of Durham

Better is Peace

May 6th, 8:00 pm at UNC's Memorial Hall

Cantari Concerts

1685 was a very good year! Bach and Handel

November 6th, 4:00 pm at University United Methodist Church/ Chapel Hill

Music by Dan Locklair

March 4th, 3:00 pm at Chapel Of The Cross/ Chapel Hill

By Special Request!

May 22th, 7:30 pm at Church of the Holy Infant

Liturgical Latin

A Guide to
Liturgical Latin Pronunciation


is pronounced as in the word father.

E is pronounced as in red, men, met; never with the suspicion of a second sound  (diphthong) as in Ray.

I  is pronounced as ee in feet, never as i in milk or tin.

O is pronounced as in for, never as in go

U is pronounced as oo in moon, never as u in custom.

Y is pronounced and treated as a Latin I.

As a general rule when two vowels come together each keeps its own sound and constitutes a separate syllable. e.g. filii is fi-li-i; eorum is e-o-rum.

Note however: AE and OE are pronounced as one syllable, like E above. e.g. caelum.

U preceded by or NG and followed by another vowel as in words like qui and sanguis, keeps its normal sound and is uttered as one syllable with the vowel which follows: qui, quae, quod, quam, sanguis.

C coming before e, ae, oe, i , y  is pronounced like ch in Church.
    e.g. caelum = che-loom; Cecilia = che-chee-lee-a.

CC  before the same vowels is pronounced T-ch. (not a crisp T, more a stopped d)
    e.g. ecce = et-che; siccitas = seet-chee-tas. saccis = saht-chees

SC  before the same vowels is pronounced like Sh in shed.
    e.g. Descendit  = de-shen-deet

C Except for the cases mentioned above C  is always pronounced like the English K.
    e.g. caritas = kah-ree-tas.

CH is always like K (even before E or I)
    e.g. Cham = Kam, machini = ma-kee-na

G before e, ae, oe, i, y, is soft as in generous.
    e.g.  Magi, genitor, Regina.

is hard as in Government.  
e.g. Gubernator, Vigor, Ego, Agatur

GN has the softened sound given to these letters in French and Italian.
      e.g. Agneau, Signor, Monsignor. Nearest English equivalent is N followed by Y.
      e.g. magnificat = mah-nyee-fee-caht.   Or the word onion.

H is mute. Exception is the word mihi where it is pronounced mee-kee. This word sometimes appears spelled michi.  Also, the word nihil (nee-keel)

J often written as I, is treated a Y, forming one sound with the following vowel.
      Jam = Yam; alleluia = allelooya;  major = ma-yor

R flipped is preferred.
e.g. Caritas; Kyrie = Kee-ree-e

S is hard as in the English word sea but is slightly softened when coming between  two  vowels.
e.g. misericordia.

TI standing before a vowel and following any letter (except S, X T) is pronounced  tsee.
e.g. Patientia = pa-tsee-en-tsee-a; Gratia = Gra-tsee-a; Laetitia = lae-tee-tsee-a

the T is the the English T.

TH always simply T.
Thomas, catholicam.

X is pronounced ks, slightly softened when coming between two vowels.

XC before e, ae, oe, I, y = KSH.
e.g. Excelsis = ek-shel-sees

All the rest of the consonants
B, D, F, K, L , M, N, P, Q, V
are pronounced as in English.