Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Intermediate Latin

Covid-19 Response

Latin Third Experience = Intermediate Latin

Latin Summer Term

17-28 August 2020

cover image The Mere Bones of Latin

click image to watch video

This intermediate Latin course is suitable for people wanting to continue from the beginners’ course or for re-establishing a past knowledge of Latin. Both people studying for general interest and students preparing to sit a proficiency exam in liturgy or canon law will benefit from this course. Classes are held both weekly during the academic term and daily during the summer term. 

We use the teaching method of Reginald Foster OCD, retired papal Latinist of forty years, directly from his book Ossa Latinitatis SolaThe Mere Bones of Latin.

Previous knowledge: The intermediate course presumes an understanding and use of the material presented in the First Experience of Ossa Latinitatis Sola, in particular:

• the verb in all times of the indicative, both active and passive and deponent; 
• nouns and adjectives of all groups in five of their functions (subject; object; of-possession; by-with-from-in; to-for-from)
• commands, active, passive, deponent; 
• personal and reflexive pronouns, conjunctions, relatives, prepositions.

Content: Students learn two main elements of Latin expression: the four participles  and the subjunctive with their very many respective usages. The forms and natural meaning of the four participles are clearly presented along with their several usages especially in the ablative absolute. The principles of the subjunctive and their super-easy forms are presented along with their at times difficult to discern very many usages to express purpose, result, circumstance, cause, concession, characteristic. Relative expressions of each are also considered.

Each day involves three elements:

1) personal reading of the relevant encounters in the Ossa book,
2) shared encounter with Latin  texts and Latin authors from many ages and
3) the ludi domestici (domestic games = self-study) completed privately and reviewed in common.

No vocabulary cards! No paradigms to memorize! Just the human, Latin language to understand, write and speak. Learn  to pronounce and read Latin from original texts, both ancient, medieval and modern. Learn to compose your own sentences. Instruction given in English. Working patiently, we strive for a clear understanding of what the author originally said. No rushing to impress others, just clear concise understanding.

: By the end of this course students will:

i. be familiar with the principles of the subjunctive mood of speaking in the Latin language and their corresponding expressions in English;
ii. recognize and produce the forms of the subjunctive in Latin and be able to work with them;
iii. understand numerous uses of the subjunctive and render each accurately in English vernacular.
iv. recognize the sequence of tenses in Latin texts;
v. produce the forms of the participles and their natural meaning;
vi. understand the natural meaning of the ablative absolute and in relation to the whole sentence.

Required book:

♦ SIMPSON, D.P. Cassell’s latin Dictionary, Macmillan, New York 1959 or equivalent, including a small English to Latin section. A pocket dictionary is not sufficient.

♦ 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 in October from the publisher or from or from

Recommended chapter:

FOSTER, R.T. – D.P. MCCARTHY, “Collectarum latinitas”, Appreciating the Collect: An Irenic Methodology (DREI, AL : LA 1), ed. J.G. Leachman – D.P. McCarthy, St. Michael’s Abbey Press, Farnborough, England 2008.Foster, R.T. – D.P. McCarthy, “Collectarum latinitas”, 27-56. Available from the publisher.


Summer Term, 2021

Intermediate Latin

We read together Latin texts from all ages and very many authors, including texts suitable for people studying Canon Law at KU Leuven and students of liturgy from the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Rome.

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

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

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

Activities. Daily sessions are dedicated to the presentation of Latin and reading Latin texts together. One session daily is dedicated to the ludus domesticus (domestic game = self-study). This homework is given daily and is intended especially for people preparing to take a proficiency exam in Latin.

Tutor: Daniel Vowles

This course is not offered for credit, so there is no exam, just the enjoyment of learning the Latin language.

Canon Law Students at KU Leuven may take these summer courses and study Latin online in two sessions weekly throughout the academic term to prepare for two proficiency exams at KU Leuven. Intermediate Latin, will prepare them to take the sufficiency exam for Christian Latin (A08A0A), which covers about the first 25 chapters of Collin’s Primer of Ecclesiastical LatinProficient Latin for Liturgists, which also considers canonical texts regarding liturgy, along with Readings Cicero’s Letters will prepare students for the advanced Latin exam at KU Leuven.

Students for personal interest: There are no exams, just the enjoyment of learning Latin.

Enrol: Enquire and Enrol by contacting the Registrar by e-mail at il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org or by phone or post available below and here.

Location and Contact:To schedule a visit write to the Registrar and Course Coordinator:

Clare Cogswell
Benedictine Institute
74 Castlebar Road, Ealing, London W5 2DD, UK

enquiries: +44 (0)20 8194 2320
E-mail: il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org
Location on Google Maps is found here.

Note: Students must be over 18 years of age.

Travel – Accommodation:

More information on travel to Ealing by air, train or metro and on accommodation at or near Ealing Abbey is available on this web-site under the button: “Registragion”.

Non-residential day students are welcome.

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

Summer Term 2021:
Residential students may arrange to arrive on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 August or before the course begins at 10.00 on Monday 16 August 2020.

Residential students may arrange to depart depart after their last session on  Friday 27 August or on the next day, Saturday 28 August.

© D. McCarthy, updated 19 September 2020  by DM.