12 Weird Catholic Words (and How to Pronounce Them!)

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Catholics have a huge vocabulary that goes way beyond knowing Latin! Sure, words like “pulpit” and “ambo” are fairly easy. Words like “sacristan” and “thurible” are still intelligible, even if harder. But the great world of Catholic vocabulary goes so far beyond!

Here are 12 weird Catholic words and how to pronounce them:

 

1. Cuauhtlatoatzin

This is the last name of Saint Juan Diego. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan and gave him her image on his mantel.

Here’s how to pronounce it: coo-a-oo-tlaa-tot-sing

 

2. Filioque

This is a Latin word meaning “and from the son”. It refers to the addition in the Nicean Creed of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and from the son.

How to pronounce it: fee-lee-OH-kweh

 

3. Hypostatic

As in, the Hypostatic Union which is the union of the human and divine natures in Jesus Christ.

How do you pronounce it? Hy-poh-sta-tick

 

4. Oikonomia

This is the word used to describe the Economy of Salvation. It refers to God’s revelation and communication of Himself to the world in time for the sake of the salvation of all humanity.

How to pronounce it: oy-kon-om-ee-ah

Read more: Words That Have a Different Meaning to Catholics

 

5. Paraclete

This is the title of the Holy Spirit as counselor or advocate.

Pronounce it: PEHR-uh-kleet

 

6. Kyrie Eleison

This is a Greek phrase used during the mass which means “Lord, have mercy!”

Here’s how to pronounce it: kee-ree-eh ay-lay-ee-sohn

 

7. Parousia

This is a term for the Second Coming of Christ.

How to pronounce it: pahr-oo-SEE-uh

 

8. Tekakwitha

This is the birth name of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, “the Lily of the Mohawks”. There are two ways to pronounce her name, an anglicized one and a more authentic Mohawk pronunciation.

Anglicized: teck-a-KWEETH-ah

Mohawk: deh-gah-GWEE-tah

 

9. Prophecy

This is the foretelling or prediction of what is to come, declared by a prophet, especially a divinely inspired prediction, instruction, or exhortation. It is a noun.

Here’s how to pronounce it: prof-uh-see

 

10. Prophesy

This is the verb form of the word “prophecy”, meaning “to tell or predict.” It is pronounced differently than prophecy!

How to pronounce it: prof-uh-sahy

 

11. Viaticum

This is the Eucharist received by a dying person. Together with the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick, they are referred to as “Last Rites”.

Here’s how to pronounce it: vee-AT-i-kuhm

 

12. Catechesis

Finally, this term discusses the art of forming young people into disciples of Christ through personal encounter and knowledge of Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit in an organic and systematic way.

How to pronounce it: kat-i-KEE-sis

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