[41]     Dum autem perfīnīssent dēbitum vespertīnāle, coepit sānctus Brendānus cōnsīderāre quōmodo illa ecclēsia erat aedificāta. [42] Erat enim quadrāta, tam longitūdinis quam lātitūdinis, et habēbat septem lūmināria, idest tria ante altāre quod erat in mediō, et bīna ante alia duo altāria. [43] Erant enim altāria dē cristāllō quadrātō facta, et eōrum vāscula similiter dē cristāllō, idest patēnae et calicēs et urceolī et cētera vāsa quae pertinēbant ad cultum dīvīnum; [44] et sedīlia vīgintī quātuor per circuitum ecclēsiae. Locus ubi abbās sedēbat erat inter duōs chorōs.

[45]      Incipiēbat enim ab illō ūna turma et in illum fīniēbat, et alia turma similiter. Nūllus ex utrāque parte ausus erat praesumere incohāre versum nisi praedictus abbās; nōn in monastēriō ūlla vōx aut ūllus strepitus. [46] Sī aliquod opus necesse fuisset alicui frātrī, ībat ante abbātem et genū flectēbat cōram illō, postulāns in corde suō quae necesse fīēbant. [47] Statim sānctus pater, acceptā tabulā et grafīō, per revēlātiōnem Deī scrībēbat, et dabat frātrī quī ab illō cōnsilium postulābat.

    The floor plan of the church is completely square. It has three altars, with three lamps on the central altar and two on each of the side altars. The altars and the utensils for Mass are made of crystal. The abbot sits in the middle, flanked by two choirs in a circular formation, of twelve monks each. There is no talking, and if a monk needs anything from the abbot the two communicate by a combination of telepathy (or gesture) and writing.

    [41] dēbitum vespertīnāle: i.e., Vespers; dēbitum = officium.

    [42] Erat enim quadrāta, tam longitūdinis quam lātitūdinis: appositional genitives (AG § 343.d), with quadrāta. A square church would be unusual; the description may reflect Revelation 21.16: “And the city lieth in a four-square, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth” (et civitas in quadro posita est, et longitudo eius tanta est quanta et latitudo).

    et habēbat septem lūmināria: Revelation 4.5: “And from the throne proceeded lightnings and voices and thunderings, and there were seven lamps burning before the throne” (et septem lampades ardentes ante thronum).  The "seven lamps" in Revelation are generally understood as the seven lamps on a single menorah; here they are imagined as separate candlesticks.

    tria ante altāre quod erat in mediō, et bīna ante alia duo altāria: Irish churches of this date had only a single altar; here too the description is of a fantasy church.  We are to imagine a main altar, in the middle at the east end of the church, and subsidiary altars to the two sides.

    [43] patēnae, et calicēs, et urceolī: patens (for the bread) and chalices and cruets (for the wine).

    [44] sedīlia vīgintī quātuor per circuitum: see on 12.30.

    [45] ab illō ... et in illum: Each of the two choirs was in a circle, and each began with the abbot (ab illō) and ended with him (ad illum). The circles may have been concentric or (perhaps more likely) each one had at its center one of the two side altars.

    Nūllus ... nisi praedictus abbās: The abbot sang all the verses of each psalm; the monks would have replied only with the Gloria Patri (“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen”). In modern practice the congregation typically responds to the celebrant by completing each individual verse of the psalm.

    [46] Sī aliquod opus necesse fuisset alicui frātrī: “if any brother needed anything”; literally “if any brother had had some thing (aliquod opus) that was essential” (dative of possession); in CL the verb would probably be esset. Necesse is called an adverb in recent dictionaries, but it functions like a (usually) indeclinable adjective, always in the predicative position.

    postulāns in corde suō: i.e., he didn’t actually speak.

    [47] per revēlātiōnem Deī: “in accordance with a revelation from God.”

    et dabat frātrī: = et dabat (opus) frātrī.

    perfiniō perfinīre perfinīvī  (perfiniī) perfinītus complete thoroughly 41
    vespertīnālis –e of the evening; relating to Vespers
    cōnsīderō cōnsīderāre cōnsīderāvī cōnsīderātus to consider
    ecclēsia –ae f. congregation, church (LL)
    aedificō aedificāre aedificāvī aedificātus to build, erect, establish
    quadrātus –a –um squared, square 42
    longitūdō longitūdinis f. length
    lātitūdō lātitūdinis f. breadth
    septem; septimus –a –um 7; 7th
    lūmināre –is n. lamp
    altāre –is n. altar
    medium –iī n. middle
    bīnī –ae –a 2 by 2
    altāre –is n. altar
    altāre –is n. altar 43
    cristallum –ī n. rock-crystal
    quadrātus –a –um squared, square
    faciō facere fēcī factus to do, make; to act, conduct oneself [OLD 28]
    vasculum (vāsculum) –ī n. small vessel or container; jar
    similiter similarly
    cristallum –ī n. rock-crystal
    patēna –ae f. paten used for the Mass (ML; CL pan, shallow dish)
    calix –icis m. cup, goblet, chalice
    urceolus –ī m. jug, cruet
    vās –is or
    vāsum –ī n.
    cultus cultūs m. cultivation, civilization, dress, mode of life
    dīvīnus –a –um divine
    sedīle –is n. bench, chair 44
    vīgintī; vīcēsimus –a –um 20; 20th
    per through; by means of [OLD 14]
    circuitus –ūs m. circuit, circle; outer edge, perimeter [OLD 5]
    ecclēsia –ae f. congregation, church (LL)
    abbās –ātis m. abbot, the head of a monastery
    chorus –ī m. a group of dancers and singers (CL); a church choir (ML)
    turma turmae f. troop (of cavalry); company, choir 45
    fīniō fīnīre fīnīvī fīnītus to finish
    turma turmae f. troop (of cavalry); company, choir
    similiter similarly
    praesūmō –ere –sūmpsī –sūmptus to anticipate [OLD 3]; (ML) presume on the basis of
    incohō –āre –āvī –ātum to start work on, begin
    versus versūs m. line (of poetry)
    praedīcō praedīcere praedīxī praedictus to say beforehand; mention
    abbās –ātis m. abbot, the head of a monastery
    monastērium –ī n. a monastery
    strepitus –ūs m. noise; an uproar; din
    abbās –ātis m. abbot, the head of a monastery 46
    genū (genus) genūs n. knee
    flectō flectere flēxī flexus to bend
    corām (adv. or prep. + abl.) face to face; in the presence of, in front of
    postulō postulāre postulāvī postulātus to demand
    tabula tabulae f. plank, (game) board; painting; writing tablet 47
    graphium –ī n. stylus
    per through; by means of [OLD 14]
    rēvēlātiō –ōnis f. uncovering, revelation
    postulō postulāre postulāvī postulātus to demand
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