Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Proficient Latin for Liturgists (and Canonists)

Covid-19 Response

Latin Fourth Experience = Advanced Latin

IL: L711; PIL:
KULeuven: B-KUL-A07E3A 4 study points

Taught by: Laura Pooley
with the moderation of Daniel McCarthy

We use the teaching method of Reginald Foster OCD, retired papal Latinist of forty years, directly from his book Ossa Latinitatis Sola: The Mere Bones of Latin. In this course we shall cover the main elements, but not all of the Fourth Experience from the same book. These include three major elements: the accusative with the infinitive; gerunds and gerundives; conditional sentences along with their various usages.

Students will encounter Latin liturgical texts and canonical texts on liturgy of different genres written by authors from many ages. They will develop a more comprehensive understanding of ideas expressed in Latin and greater ease and precision in expressing them in both Latin and English.

Dates: Enrol for both weeks 16-27 August 2021 (not Saturday – Sunday, 21-22 August).

Previous knowledge:

The material covered in the First and Third Experiences of the book Ossa Latinitatis Sola is presumed for this proficient or advanced course in Latin. Thus, the following material learned in the Third Experience, our Intermediate Latin, is presumed: an ability …

  1. of understanding of the principles of the subjunctive in Latin,
  2. to produce the forms of the subjunctive and to work with them,
  3. to discern among the numerous uses of the subjunctive and to render them accurately into English,
  4. to work with the sequence of tenses in Latin and English texts,
  5. to produce the forms of the participles and their natural meaning, and understand their different uses,
  6. to give first the natural meaning of the ablative absolute and then to discern its relation to the whole sentence.


We shall cover the main elements, but not all of the Fourth Experience from the Ossa book. These include three major elements: the accusative with the infinitive; gerunds and gerundives; conditional sentences along with their various usages.

By the end of the course, student will be prepared to:

  1. recognize and produce the accusative with the infinitive and discern its use in indirect discourse and as object sentences,
  2. distinguish between the gerund or gerundive and the participle of passive necessity; convert gerunds into gerundives and vice versa as possible,
  3. recognize and produce conditional sentences: factual, foggy-future and contrary to fact in the present and in the past.
  4. recognize and understand the 3% use of the sequence of tenses and verbs in the subjunctive mode due to modal attraction,
  5. recognize and produce the expressions that accompany verbs of doubting, fearing and prohibiting,
  6. recognize oblique complements of verbs, and produce their passive construction,
  7. recognize specific usages of the dative, genitive, ablative.
  8. provide an overview of: the fourteen ways to express purpose; the ten different usages of the relative pronoun; positive and negative commands,

Dates: Enrol for both weeks 16-27 August 2021 (not Saturday – Sunday, 21-22 August).

Hours:3 hours with a break, weekdays.
Precise schedule to be determined depending on the time-zones of participants.

Students wishing more instruction are encouraged to enrol also in Reading Cicero’s Letters, LA811

The course anticipates the student will spend 60 hours in personal reading and study.

Location: Benedictine Institute (at Ealing Abbey)
74 Castlebar Road Ealing London, W5 2DD, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8862 2156
For further details or to register contact the Institute at:
E-mail:  il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org

KU Leuven awards 4 study points to this graduate course.
This is an elective course towards the Institutum Liturgicum certificate.


In every session students encounter Latin liturgical texts and Latin authors writing on the liturgy from many ages. We shall consider texts from a different genres of liturgical Latin: Biblical, Patristic, Liturgical, Scholastic, Magisterial, Musical. We also consider canonical texts relating to liturgy such as Sacrosanctum Concilium, praenotanda, decreta and sententiae that involve liturgical law. Each daily session involves three elements:

i. reviewing together the personal study given the previous day.
ii. presenting and discussing an aspect of expression in the Latin language,
iii. encountering Latin authors and understanding their expression.

Required books

♦ Latin texts are distributed in class.

♦ LEWIS, C.T. – C. SHORT, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford UP, Oxford – New York 1879, reprinted 1995.

♦ GILDERSLEEVE, B.L, – G. LODGE, Gildersleeve’s Latin Grammar, Bolchazy-Carducci, Wauconda IL 2003, reprint of 31895 (GL).

♦ FOSTER, R.T. – D.P. MCCARTHY,  Ossa Latinitatis Sola ad mentem Reginaldi rationemqueThe Mere Bones of Latin according to the thought and system of Reginald, (Latinitatis Corpus 1), Catholic University of America Press, Washington DC 2016. Available from the publisher or from or from

image of Daniel McCarthyRecomended materials

♦ FOSTER, R.T. – D.P. MCCARTHY, “Collectarum latinitas”, in Appreciating the CollectAn Irenic Methodology, ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy (DREI, Liturgiam aestimare 1), St Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough 2008, 27-56 (more info here; available from the publisher).

♦ MCCARTHY, D.P., Listen to the Word, The Tablet Publishing, London 2009 (more info here; a few remaining copies are available on site).

♦ ROSE, E., “Medieval Latin”, in Missale gothicum, (Cod. Vat. Reg. Lat. 317) ed. E. Rose, (Corpus christianorum series Latina 159 D), Brepols, Turnhout 2005, 94-187.

♦ STELTON, L.F., Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA 1995.

♦ Participants with a personal computer, with a LAN cable or wireless connectivity and a UK plug-in adapter will benefit more readily from online resources.


Description of learning activities

The course has three daily activities.

  1. In preparation for each session daily the student reads for understanding the relevant encounters in the Ossa book.
  2. In class students sight-translate the Latin expressions of many authors from different ages and types of literature with the help of the teacher and the Lewis and Short dictionary. All discuss unfamiliar aspects of the Latin texts as they arise.
  3. The instructor presents daily specific ways in which Latin functions and is expressed. Examples are provided, from which students generate new examples. All discuss these Latin forms and expressions as they come up in the readings.
  4. Students prepare outside of class daily ludi domestici or “domestic games” (self-study) with which students teach themselves the Lain language by learning from the examples of Latin authors on which they base their personal Latin compositions. These are reviewed in class as time allows.


Evaluation description

Examination type: ongoing (100%): 30% from participation in daily sessions and 70% from the completion of daily ludi domestici (home games, self-study).

When: daily for the duration of this intensive summer course.

Explanation: Attendance and participation in the daily sessions count for 30% of the final mark, and the completion of the daily ludi domestici (home games, self-study) account for 70% of the final mark. As such, there is no final exam.

Criteria for evaluation: The ongoing assessment is based on the student’s demonstration of having read the assigned materials and contribution to class discussion. This includes preparing for each session by reading the relevant encounters in the book Ossa Latinitatis Sola. In class students sight-translate Latin texts and discuss unfamiliar aspects of the Latin expression and learn to play with the texts to create their own statements. Students also prepare the daily ludi domestici (home games, self-study) and these are discussed in class as time permits and then turned in to the instructor

Second opportunity to sit the exam: The ongoing evaluation is limited to the duration of this intensive summer course.

Note: Students must be over 18 years of age.

Students wishing to take both this course may also enrol in the reading course in Cicero’s letters.

Dates: 2021, Block III

16-20 August (Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August are free days) and
23-27 August 2020.


9.30-12.30 with a break
14.00-15.15 with a break
(16.45-18.30 Reading Cicero’s Letters)

Note: the morning sessions fulfill the requirements for contact hours for this course taken for credit at KU Leuven. But our other Latin courses meet for additional hours daily, so we have decided to offer the proficient Latin course for more hours daily. We now offer an  afternoon session from 14.00-15.15 in addition to the morning session. We require students who enrol for the morining session for credit in this course at KU Leuven to also enrol directly with the IL London for the afternoon session. Students not taking the course for credit are expected to enrol in the entire daily programme. All students of proficient Latin for liturgists are encouraged to also enrol with IL London in Reading Cicero’s Letters, LA811.

For credit students enrol for the entire daily session for both weeks in a two-step process:

First, enrol for the morning session for credit with KULeuven: B-KUL-A07E3A and
Second, enrol for the afternoon sessions with IL London (£160).

You may also enrol in Reading Cicero’s Letters (£240 discounted total for afternoon and Cicero)

Not-for credit students enrol directly with us:

Enrol for the whole daily session with IL London (£320).
You may also enrol in Reading Cicero’s Letters (£400 discounted total for both)

Limited accommodation is available for students enrolled for both weeks. Non-residential students may enrol in both weeks or for the first week only.

Students enrolling for ECTS credit at KU Leuven:

This course, Proficient Latin for Liturgists, is taught at Ealing Abbey, London from 17 to 28 August 2020 for academic year 2020-2021. This course is completed before enrolment at KU Leuven at the end of August. To enquire please write to:  il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org. After successfully completing this course at Ealing, you may thereafter enrol for this course at KU Leuven to receive KU Leuven study points / ECTS credits.

Canon law students of KU Leuven who are qualified may enrol in this course along with the course Reading Cicero’s Letters as a preparation for the advanced exam in Latin at KU Leuven. This course was originally designed for liturgists, but includes a consideration of canonical texts relating to liturgy such as Sacrosanctum Concilium, praenotanda, decreta and sententiae that involve liturgical law. They may take this course for credit by enroling at KU Leuven, or they may audit this course (no exam-no credit) yet study for the proficiency exam given at KU Leuven.


Non-residential day students are welcome.

Limited accommodation is available through Ealing Abbey house for guests or other religious houses or nearby.

Residential students may arrange to arrive on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 August or before the course begins at 9.30 on Monday 16 August 2020.

Residential students may arrange to depart depart after the session ends on Friday 27 or on Saturday 28 August 2020.

Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2021−2022

 Study points: 4

 Language: English

 Difficulty: Master’s level-Advanced

 Duration: 26.0 hours

 Periodicity: Taught annually in Block III

 POC: International Programmes Theology and Religious Studies


This course is included in

Research Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (120 ECTS)

Master of Theology and Religious Studies Study Abroad Programme in European Culture and Society (PECS)

A link to the course descriptor at KU Leuven is not yet available, but the course is based on one previously offered (link here).

Credit students are required to attend only 26 hours of instruction, and so may arrange to depart before the end of the course.

© D. McCarthy, updated 23 September 2020