Ad tantæ Nativitatis, Morales - how to translate for a worship aid...
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,655
    Ad tantæ Nativitatis
    invitemur lætitia
    cum lætatur et concinit
    angelorum exercitus.


    How would you translate this for a worship aid to sound elegant and not awkward/disjointed?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,349
    It's tricky (or perhaps the grammar is unusual), but I'd go for this:

    To the joy of such a great Nativity
    let us be invited
    while the host of angels
    rejoices and joins in singing.
  • From Christóbal Morales? (edit: stupid question now that I read the title of the post!)

    I agree that it appears odd. My one reservation is taking laetitia as the object of 'ad'. I'm not aware of that usage (but please correct me if I'm just ignorant).

    At least in ancient texts ad + 'some divine thing in the genitive' could refer elliptically to the 'place' (e.g., temple) of the divine thing. Given the Renaissance love of things ancient (and assuming -- but it is an assumption -- that the text is Renaissance), the 'ad tantæ Nativitatis" could refer to something like "the place of the holy nativity". And just for fun let's take "lætitia" to be vocative (it could be). Then (taking some liberties) we might get something like:

    May we be welcomed to such a Nativity -- oh Joy! -- with hosts of angels, gladdened and singing praise.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,141
    Please consider posting here.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,349
    My version above is making an assumption that the text is "off" slightly, because there's nothing obviously accusative to be the object of "ad". If the "laetitia" is really meant to be "laetitiam", then my version is a reasonable rendering.

    But I like Michael's colorful word choices.
  • Please consider posting here.


    @Richard I did click the link and attempted to make an account (required for posting, apparently), but was asked an inscrutable question involving numbers, a question mark (in the middle, not the end) and a double-arrow. I don't speak whatever language that was.

    Anybody who wants to post what I wrote, or any variation on it, is welcomed to do it, without attributing it to me. (If you prefer to attribute it, please note that it is adapted, if you change it.)

    @chonak Thanks. I think that no matter what, unless I'm missing something, we have to get a little creative with the text. My method was to take laetitia to be vocative and read "ad + genitive" as "to the (place) of". (The latter is attested in ancient texts, at least.) Yours also makes sense. Both translations get at the main idea, I think.
    Thanked by 1matthewj
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Another possibility, which would preserve the "ad laetitia", would be to assume that the accusative ending has dropped off, as it apparently did in colloquial speech. This is attested in texts going back all the way to Pompeiian inscriptions, and I recall some editions of the "Dies Irae" which ended with the verse "Pie Jesu Domine, done eis requie".
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    I think there are two words that are missing, but understood, in the Latin:

    Ad (festum) tantæ Nativitatis
    invitemur (cum) lætitia
    cum lætatur et concinit
    angelorum exercitus.


    Ad festum Nativitatis or ad festum Assumptionis or ad festum sancti (name of saint) is a very common expression in Latin. The (cum) before laetitia is not really necessary, since two other cum's are in the text (concinit, to sing with, is formed from cum + cano). The suggested Invitemur ad laetitia(m) (may we be invited to joy) doesn't make sense to me.

    The Latin text has four lines of eight syllables, so a bit of paring down is not surprising in the poetry. My rendering, based on Chonak's:

    With joy may we be welcomed guests
    to celebrate so great a birth
    while all the angel host of heav'n
    together joins in gladsome song.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,655
    Many thanks to all who have participated. These are all better than my disjointed original translation.