What does "in illo tempore" mean?

I see it in the latin part of the Gospel, and follow the text fine. The phrase is spoken by the priest before he begins to read the text, but the missal does not have the meaning of the phrase in english at the beginning of the Gospel. Thanks for any help as I have been learning a bit more of Latin since I began attending a TLM. It is amazing how fast one can actually pick up another language by just listening and reading along with the translation. I tend to pick up words and phrases here and there when they stick in my mind.

It means ‘at that time’.

Common Latin phrases:

Technically it’s “*IN *that time”

In that time (literally) or in those days

Thanks to all!

In illo tempore is properly rendered “At that time.”

In diebus illis means “In those days,” with readings from Acts or certain historical books of the OT.

It’s the usual liturgical protocol for readings.

Of course, in my high school latin class we discussed it could colloquially be translated “Once upon a time”

(i expect to get hammered on this one) :slight_smile:

It means “At that time.”

I see in the the missal now. I use the 1962, with the latin and english side by side, and now that you have pointed it out, I see it at the beginning of the Gospel reading. It is one of those cases of the obvious being right in front of the eyes, but unable to see it for looking too hard! I have been attending a TLM for over a year, and little things like that will be noticable to me on an off. Thanks for everybody’s help and little lesson in latin. I am learning a great deal just by following along and seeing it in English. It works the same way as when one reads an opera libretto to know the action on the stage and what the singers are singing. It is not too difficult once you get the hang of it, you just have to have interest and dedication to do it.

Many people will not attend a TLM due to the mere fact they believe the Latin is too difficult to follow. They will often be the same persons who will challenge themselves with an often challenging word puzzle game that are often useless (brain exercise should at least gain something from the effort other than a fleeting feeling of accomplishment), but will not take the time to learn a little latin. The words are more familiar than one imagines as we use the derivations every day without knowing it.

On another note, as a musician myself, I have always thought that latin is more suitable for singing in than any vernacular tongue, especially english. It is the way the musicial stress points hit the syllables (as in the Gregorian Chant) in union with the intervals of the notes, in unison as a choir or in solo, that seem to create a very sublime beauty that cannot be explained. Other latin works of music in polyphonic form, only add to the beauty of the Holy Mass. And, of course, using latin creates a universality of understanding of the Sacrifice of Holy Mass.


Other common openings to scripture readings at Mass:

Dicit Dominus (Thus saith the Lord), at the beginning of prophetic OT readings.

*Fratres *(Brethren), at the beginning of general epistles or epistles to a group (Romans, Hebrews, Colossians, etc.).

Carissime (Beloved) in epistles to individuals (Timothy, Titus, Philemon)

Interestingly, the Latin editon for the current missal/lectionary, the Ordinary Form, still includes these openings, but the approved English translations do not. It will be interesting to see if that changes when the new translations come into use.

I wrote a bit about beginnings in the Traditional lections here.