Larry J. Swain x99swain at wmich.edu
Wed Jul 14 22:56:08 EDT 1999

Jim West wrote:

> At 07:40 AM 7/15/99 +1200, you wrote:
> >>Well actually that song is based on the latin phrase "kyrie eleison"- from
> >>the latin mass wherein the mercy of God is invoked through Christ.
> >
> >ummm are you sure??  The phrase appears in  MT 17.15.  (GNT) and don't sound
> >very latin
> >to me.  It is also part of the *Jesus prayer* used in Taise and
> >contemplative prayer.
> I am 100% positive.  First, it is a latin phrase, and second, the writer of
> the song was intereviewed and said as much.

Actually you're both right.  The phrase itself is very Greek and does indeed appear
in Matthew 17:15.  It is taken up into the Latin liturgy as early as can be traced
and was taken over wholesale as the West adopted Latin as its official language as
were many other Greek terms and phrases taken into Christian Latin.  So from a
certain perspective it is indeed "Latin" since most folks who know the Latin mass
or hours and are familiar with the phrase know it only from Latin, not Greek.  But
in origin it is indeed a Graecism.

Hope that helps a mite or two,

Larry Swain

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