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Latin/Translating a prayer properly


Hello. I am getting completely opposite ideas as to what this translates to.

"Flammas eius lúcifer matutínus invéniat:
ille, inquam, lúcifer, qui nescit occásum.
Christus Fílius tuus,
qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit,
et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum."

I don't want to tell you what the two reported translations are. I would rather know from a fresh and studied source. Thank you in advance.


first of all I have to tell you that there is a literal translation of the prayer that you mention and a free translation where the English version occurs as a result of adaptation to the Latin text so that the English version can sound better in a language which is obviously different from Latin, since every language has its peculiarities.

That being stated, here’s the literal translation of the last stanza of the prayer “Exsultet” (“Exult, let them exult”), which is the hymn  sung by a deacon, a priest  or a cantor before the paschal candle during the Easter Vigil in the Roman Rite of Mass as well as in Anglican and various Lutheran churches:

“May the morning star find its  flames(see note below)
that morning star, I say,  which does not know setting.
Christ your Son,
who, having come back from death's domain,
has given a peaceful  light to the human race,( see note below)
and lives and reigns for the centuries of the centuries (i.e. for ever and ever)”.

Note that: the first line the words "flammas eius", i.e. its flames", refer to the flame of “cereus iste” “("this candle") which is mentioned in the previous stanza of this hymm where we read:"Oramus ergo te, Domine,ut cereus iste..." meaning:"Therefore, O Lord,we pray you that this candle...". the fourth line  the Latin adjective “serenus”, meaning “peaceful”, grammatically  refers to the nominative "Christus" (Christ).

As for a free translation, here it is:

“May this flame be found still burning
by the morning star:
the one morning star who never sets.
Christ your Son,
who, coming back from death's domain,
has shed his peaceful light on humanity,
and lives and reigns for ever and ever”.

Here is another free translation:

"May the morning star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that morning star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever".          

As for  machine automatic  translations, please note that they are often inaccurate, especially in the case of a translation from Latin which is an inflected language with five declensions, six cases, four conjugations and many syntax rules.

Hope this can be helpful to you. Feel free however to ask me again.

Best regards,

Grammatical parsing.

-Flammas (direct object, accusative plural of "flamma", 1st declension)=the flames
-eius (genitive singular of the pronoun "is")=its
-lúcifer (subject in the nominative singular, 2nd declension) = morning star
-matutínus (adjective, nominative masculine agreeing with "lucifer") = morning-
-invéniat (hortatory subjunctive present of "invenio")= may...find
-ille (demonstrative adjective in the nominative masculine agreeing with "lucifer")= that
-inquam (1st person singular of this verb) = I say
-lúcifer (see above)=morning star
-qui (relative pronoun, nominative singular agreeing with "lucifer") = who
-nescit (3rd person singular, present indicative of "nescio") = does not know
-occásum (direct object, accusative singular of "occasus",4th declension)= setting
-Christus (nominative case,2nd declension) = Christ
-Fílius (nominative case, 2nd declension) =son
-tuus (possessive adjective, nominative masculine) =your
-qui (see above) =who
-regressus (nominative masculine, past participle of "regredior")= having come back
-ab ínferis (ablative of place from which of the noun "inferi", 2nd declension) =from death's domain
-humáno (dative singular of the adjective "humanus" agreeing with "generi")= to human
-géneri (dative singular of the neuter noun "genus") = race
-serénus (nominative masculine singular agreeing with "Christus") =peaceful
-illúxit (past tense of "illucesco")=has given ligth
-et = and
-vivit (3rd person singular, present indicative of "vivo")= lives
-et = and
-regnat (3rd person singular, present indicative of "regno") reigns
-in (preposition which takes the accusative) = for
-sæcula (accusative plural of the neuter noun "saeculum") = the centuries
-sæculórum (genitive plural of "saeculum") = of the centuries  


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