Whether to capitalize relative pronouns referring to God?

Note: relative pronouns are “who”, “whom” and “whose”.

For example, some books would write “Lamb of God Who takest away the sins…” or “Our Father Who art in heaven”.

As far as I can tell, it is a matter of style. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville Minnesota has a style guide that puts pronouns referring to God in lowercase except in the case of quoting sources that do otherwise.

My interest comes from my current pet project Draft Traditional Hymnbook and earlier work on the Christus Rex Pilgrim’s Primer back in 2004. So far I have been inconsistent and the time has come to make a stand one way or another. So first I pull out all the books I can lay my hands on (in person or via google books).

Missals/books that DO capitalise relative pronouns referring to God.
Who/Whom
Missals/books that DON’T capitalize relative pronouns referring to God.
who/whom
1868 Sarum missal in English (Thee/Thy) (funnily enough it has “Our Father which art in heaven and Lamb of God that takest…”)
1961 St Joseph’s Daily Missal (but has You/Your)
same as 1966 St Joseph Sunday Missal
1962 Official Handbook of the Legion of Mary (Thee/Thou)
2004 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, Angelus Press
2008 The Parish Book of Chant CMAA (Thee/Thy)
1815 The Roman Missal (thee/thy)
1848 The Missal for the use of the Laity (thee/thy)
1914 The Roman Missal (R&T Washbourne Ltd.) (also does Thee/Thy)
1959 St Joseph’s Children’s Missal (2000 edition, Neumann Press) (You/Your)
1962 St Andrew’s Daily Missal (You/Your)
2000 Pilgrim Prayers – Official Vatican Prayerbook (you/your)
2007 Daily Missal 1962 Baronius Press (Thee/Thy)
2008 The Order of Mass Michael Sternbeck (you/your)

Inconsistent:
1958 St John’s Sunday Missal. A G Younes, Melbourne (Australia!) but made in Belgium – “who” in the ordinary, “Who” in the propers
1959 My Catholic Companion, Good Will Publishers – “Who” in the ordinary, “who” in Last Rites and Various Prayers
2002 Sacred Triduum Missal by Neri Publications and Opus Mariae Mediatricis

So what do you think?

Trans Pacific relations

This post is putting together some bits and pieces resolving old grievances. Lots of people hate the spread of ‘American culture’ through television, internet, &c. That’s fair enough, but we must remember to keep things in perspective and not confuse the bad consumer culture which is not unique to America with the real living culture that comes from people pursuing good.

Recently I signed up for a certain US-based homeschool distance education thing. It’s a great course, but a couple of things jumped out.

Different Than/To/From

When young I was told that saying Different Than was illogical and a horrible Americanism and a betrayal of Good English. Different From was the correct phrase. Different To could be tolerated.

You may think this a persnicketty tiddly little point, but good to get it cleared up before it gets infected.

For treatment scroll down to the end of this Excerpt from Bill Bryson’s Book “Mothertongue” where he credits the stricture to one Rev Robert Lowth. The whole idea of a standardised, unchanging vernacular language seems to be an 18th century invention.

So don’t worry too much about the niceties of English grammar – English is renowned for not making sense. Learn Latin instead.

The Order of Declensions

When my parents learnt their Latin nouns they recited: mensa, mensa, mensam; mensae, mensae, mensa … Nominative, Vocative, Accusative; Genitive, Dative and Ablative. When their parents learnt Latin they did the same. When their parents learnt Latin, it was the same again, and so on out of living memory.

When I came to choose a Latin course, lo and behold, there was another word order out there: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Ablative. Mensa, mensae, mensae, mensam, mensa – losing the nice ternary rhythm. What’s this, said I, these Americans have the cheek to change the venerable declension order of my noble English ancestors?!?

Again, you may think it a persnicketty tiddly little thing, but good to get it sorted out before it can cause any trouble.

For treatment look at Wikipedia’s article on Instruction in Latin and Order of Declension.

Turns out my venerable declension order dates back only to 1866 when Benjamin Hall Kennedy rearranged the order to make them rhyme – a little like rearranging a library by the size and colour of the books. America’s order goes back to the Byzantine era. Trumped by a couple of thousand years.

So, in conclusion, I was a bigoted nationalistic idiot. Let this blog post help any other idiots like me find the truth.