Lingua Angelica

Christian Latin Reading Course
Book cover: 'Lingua Angelica: Christian Latin Reading Course'
Cheryl Lowe
Memoria Press
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There are several components of this Latin/Music Appreciation Program. Materials may be purchased individually or in sets, depending on where you purchase them from.

Song Book and Audio CD: A lovely, six voice polyphonic choir performs twenty-four Latin songs and hymns a capella (without accompaniment) on this professionally-recorded CD. Not only is this a beautiful way to present this type of music, but it also makes the music easier to learn for children and families. These songs represent some of the most beautiful musical treasures of the Church - from Gregorian Chant ( e.g. Mass of the Angels and Adoro Te ) to classic four-part hymns (e.g. Panis Angelicus and Stabat Mater). Singing can be a great component of your Latin curriculum. It aids pronunciation, provides additional (and fun) practice and helps students make connections to Latin used outside of class.

The CD alone is a wonderful complement to a Catholic education and a simple way to introduce your children to the beauty of our Catholic heritage. I found my two year old singing snatches of the Ave Maria when we had only listened to the CD a few times. The song book includes four part harmonies and extensive verses all written in modern musical notation (if you'd like the Gregorian Chant notation for the appropriate songs, you will find those in the Adoremus Hymnal). In addition to the more "serious" selections, this set also includes some fun-to-sing songs like the traditional German Student Song Gaudeamus Igitur.

Even on their own, the Lingua Angelica CD and Song Book will make an excellent addition your Latin curriculum, a beautiful component of family devotions and an excellent resource for music history and appreciation. The song book also includes historical notes on the songs and offers some related topics for further research. Every Catholic family - even those not yet studying Latin formally - will enjoy and benefit from this musical set.

Student Book and Teacher Manual (Level I): The first level Lingua Angelica text gently guides student and teacher through sixteen Latin prayers and songs through the study of vocabulary and grammar. While this is not intended as a complete Latin program in and of itself, it will reinforce grammar components learned elsewhere and help interconnect Latin studies with related subjects. Ideally, this supplement would be started once the student has completed about three quarters of Latina Christiana I. Each lesson covers a song or a part of a song; offering new vocabulary and practicing noun, verb and adjective endings. The back of the text includes thirteen pages of Grammar Charts for easy reference.

The Introduction to the Teacher's Manual gives a great overview of the reasons why Christian Latin can be so helpful and formational on many levels - both as a foundation of "real" Latin for students to build their later studies upon and as a beautiful and worthy subject matter for our children to memorize and learn to appreciate for their own sake. This manual also includes a detailed schedule (with varying levels of learning activities which are easily adaptable for different abilities) and grammar and vocabulary notes on each song.

The entire Lingua Angelica - the Song Book, audio CD and two levels of Texts (with teacher's manuals) provides a well-planned six-year Latin supplement based on these songs and prayers. These six years are specifically intended to complement the two years of Latina Christiana and four years of Henle.

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