All Those Thee’s and Thou’s

The Ordinariate Liturgy preserves much of the elevated English from the Book of Common Prayer dating back to the 16th century (Divine Worship: The Missal). This means there are lots of thee’s and thou’s and ye’s and so forth which may sound unfamiliar to many modern English-speakers.

Yet people for whom English is a second language may find these archaic pronouns somehow familiar, for these Old English pronouns correspond directly to pronouns used in many other modern languages but which have nevertheless disappeared from modern English. The result is that the elevated language of the Ordinariate Liturgy may actually be more precise and perhaps evocative than modern English equivalents, which I think is a good thing indeed!

To learn more, Wikipedia has a very good article explaining all the fascinating details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *