4

I am writing a mass setting that I would like to call the "Mass of the Butterfly". Since it doesn't include all of the ordinary, it's a missa brevis.

I started with Google Translate, but it is convinced I mean "mass" in the physics sense and gives me constructions based around massa. The word I think I want is papilio, and I think it should be in the genitive, so papilionis.

How do I combine all of this? Is the complete phrase "Missa Brevis Papilionis" correct (and is it idiomatic to capitalize it)?

1 Answer 1

3

I looked up historical missae, and the custom seems to be to either name the piece short (missa brevis), or give the name in full without the length (missa <hoc nomen>). Though Haydn provides an example with de: Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo. In your case I'd go with missa brevis papilionis.

With regard to capitalisation I'd follow modern rules if you want a familiar feel, or none if you want to comply with Ancient Latin.

3
  • I'm not quite I understand your first paragraph. Do you think you could clarify it a bit, perhaps with some examples? Thanks!
    – cmw
    Jun 4, 2022 at 17:13
  • 1
    I was thinking of missa brevis versus missa <hic nomen>. Though on further looking I found adding a name to the brevis was in fact not unheard of. Haydn for instance called his short mass Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, so there is a pattern to follow. I've amended the original answer. Jun 4, 2022 at 17:44
  • 1
    I edited your post to include this information.
    – cmw
    Jun 4, 2022 at 20:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.