Church Latin for the Third Millennium is a 10-lesson step-by-step introduction to Church Latin. The focus is on developing fluency in reading, and on easily recognizing Latin grammatical forms in Vulgata, Latin prayers, hymns, the Latin Mass, and other Church Latin texts. It is a self-study textbook for an absolute beginner. No dictionary or supplemental materials are needed.
This book is streamlined in its presentation of Latin grammar. It focuses only on features that appear consistently in Church Latin. The book is richly illustrated to make your learning experience more interesting than the laborious ploughing through black-and-white small type that we have all come to expect from a traditional Latin textbook. It is also designed for easy visual reference and intuitive learning. For example, all Latin cases are color-coded and every instance of each case is underlined with its own color throughout the book to help you memorize case endings through visual recognition. We start with the utmost basics. You will gradually build your vocabulary and command of grammar to arrive at a point where you have a good picture of the Latin grammatical system, and enough skill to venture further reading on your own, with a dictionary or a parallel text.
Methodologically, this textbook is based entirely on reading practice. Wherever new grammatical material or vocabulary is introduced, its use is demonstrated through an assortment of short passages from the Vulgata, prayers, quotes from Church fathers, and other sources. All case forms are identified with color assigned to each case, and all verbal forms are identified in the glossaries following each reading passage. At the end of each lesson 2 or 3 longer reading texts are provided, again with color-coding, glossaries, and English translations.
When introducing grammar, this textbook comments on differences between Classical Latin and the Latin of the Vulgata. To promote understanding and appreciation of the style of early Christian sources, I list frequently used words together with their synonyms or antonyms in special insets. In addition, a lot of vocabulary is presented in pictorial format, through illustrations portraying gospel scenes with captions and speech. The Latin texts in these pictorial sections come directly from the Vulgata, and are presented without translation - so you can figure them out on your own!