What do saying a Catholic mass & a near-death experience have in common?

What do saying a Catholic mass & a near-death experience have in common?

kamloops kids

I’m sorry to say there is a sad answer to that, for many who went through the residential-school experience, but this article will go another direction.

I’ve been reporting to you about how I’m unexpectedly finding rich material in the religious articles of the Chinuk Wawa newspaper, Kamloops Wawa.

I had read through all 250-ish issues of K.W. a few years back, indexing all the material in a general way to use for my dissertation.

Now I’m getting to another stage in this vast research project, transcribing every single word of the shorthand writing in those issues.  And because I’ve achieved what I call better fluency in Chinook in the intervening years, a whole lot of fascinating aspects of the language are leaping to my attention now.

When you can get a speaker, or writer, to narrate a personal anecdote that they have strong feelings about, you get the best sample of spontaneous language as actually used — as opposed to stuffy literary composition.

And I’m finding this kind of spontaneity in sections of K.W. where I never thought I’d see it.  Today I’m going to reproduce a long selection that spans two “numbers” of K.W., telling altar boys how to do their job in a Catholic mass.  There is a lot here that isn’t standard Chinuk Wawa of any sort, but it’s fluent, and what it reflects is (A) informal “street” English and (B) informal “street” Chinook Jargon as really used around Kamloops, BC, circa 1893.  It also provides quite a degree of detail on the old-fashioned Latin mass that I’m too young to have been brought up with.

What I’ll try doing here is to bold the stuff that’s interesting in this way.

Now follow along…

KW #73 (9 April 1893), pages 58-59:

How to serve at mass first

Page 58

<How to serve at Mass.>

Kata pus mamuk hilp kopa liplit kopa lamas.

How to assist the priest at mass.

<1.> Ukuk iaka hilp liplit kopa lamas iaka nim sirvant.
Ilip iaka klatwa kopa Sondi haws, mamuk tanas styuil pus
ST hilp iaka pi wik iaka tsipi kopa iaka mamuk. Iawa iaka
klatwa kopa sakristi, pi iaka iskom iaka kasok pi iaka

  1.  This one who helps the priest at mass is called “the servant”.
    First he goes to the church, says a little prayer that
    God might help him and that he won’t make mistakes in his job.  Then he
    goes to the sacristy, and he takes his cassock and his

<2.> Iaka mamuk patl wain iht tanas botl, pi botl shok
hlwima tanas botl; iaka lolo ukuk mokst botl kopa iht
tanas latam kopa lotil iaka rait han; iaka mamuk mitlait kopa
lotil, lamas iaka kards [SIC?] pi buk; iaka siahus ukuk
buk nanish kopa sitkom lotil. Iaka mamuk lait iht kandl kopa
rait han pi iht kandl kopa lift han said.

2. He fills a little bottle with wine, and a bottle of water[,]
another little bottle; he carries these two bottles to a certain
little table at the altar’s right side; he places on
the altar the mass cards [?] and book; the front of this
book faces toward the center of the altar.  He lights one candle on
the right and one candle on the left-hand side.

< 3. > Pus liplit iaka tiki, sirvan [SIC, an Indian pronunciation] mamuk hilp iaka pus
iskom iaka iktas kopa lamas. Pus liplit kopit iskom kanawi
sirvan mamuk kikuli latit kopa lakrwa, pi iaka klatwa kopa
lotil, ilip kopa liplit.

3. If the priest wants, the servant helps him to
get his clothing for the mass.  When the priest is done getting all of it,
the servant bows his head to the cross, and he goes to
the altar, in front of the priest.

<4.> Pus k’o kopa lotil, sirvant shako kopa lipt [SIC] hand pi iaka
wit kopa liplit pus kanamokst liplit iaka mamuk ni kopa ilihi
kopit. Iaka ashnu kopa lift han kah alki liplit shako.

4. On arriving at the altar, the servant comes to the left side and he
waits for the priest, to genuflect along with the priest.
He kneels [a different verb!] at the left where the priest will be coming.

<5.> Iaka sain lakrwa kanamokst liplit pi iaka kilapai wawa
kopa liplit kopa ukuk styuil liplit mamuk kopa ki[k]uli.

5. He makes the sign of the cross together with the priest and he responds
to the priest in the prayer the priest makes down low [unclear; = in a low voice?].

<6.> Pus liplit wawa Gloria patri, sirvant mamuk kikuli latit.
Pus liplit wawa “Atshyutorom nostrom[”], sirvan sain lakrwa.

6. When the priest says the Gloria patri, the servant bows his head.
When the priest says the Adjutorum nostrum, the servant makes the sign of the cross.

How to serve at mass second

Page 59

<7.> Pus liplit kopit Konfitigo [SIC!], sirvan kilapai iaka siahus
kopa iaka pi iaka wawa: Misiriatyur tyui … Pus liplit wawa
Amin, sirvan mamuk drit kikuli iaka latit kopa lotil, pi iaka
kuli Konfitigo … Pus iaka wawa Tibi patir, pi Ti patir,
tanas iaka kilapai siahus kopa liplit. Pus iaka wawa Mia
kyulpa … tlun taim iaka tanas kakshit iaka tomtom kopa iaka
rait han; iaka lif
[SIC, an Indian pronunciation] han mitlait tanas kikuli kopa iaka tomtom.

7. When the priest finishes the Confiteor, the servant turns his face
to him and he says: Misereatur tui…  When the priest says
Amen, the servant bows his head low to the altar, and he
recites [literally “runs through”] the Confiteor… When he says Tibi pater, and Te pater, 
he slightly turns his face toward the priest.  When he says Mea
he lightly strikes his heart three times with his
right hand; his left hand stays a little below his heart.

<8.> Pus liplit wawa Misiriatyur … sirvan wiht kikuli
latit: pus iaka kopit iaka wawa Amin, pi iaka kopit kikuli latit
pus liplit wawa Indyulshinsiam. Sirvan mamuk sain lakrwa.
Pus liplit wawa Diyus tyu konvirsyus, sirvan iaka mamuk kikuli latit
k’o [SIC] kopa liplit wawa Orimyus.

8. When the priest says the Misereatur… the servant again
bows his head: when he is done he says Amen, and he is done bowing his head
when the priest says the Indulgentiam.  The servant makes the sign of the cross.
When the priest says the Deus tu conversus, the servant bows his head
until the priest says Oremus.  

<9.> Pus liplit klatwa sahali kopa stips, sirvan iskom
kopa lima iaka alb pus wik iaka klatwa kopa ilihi kikuli kopa iaka
lipii. Kopit, iaka shako ashnu kopa lif han kornir.

9. When the priest goes up the steps, the servant holds
up his alb so that it won’t drag along the ground under his
feet. After [this], he comes to kneel at the left-hand corner [of the altar].

<10.> Pus liplit k’o kopa buk, iaka sain lakrwa; pi sirvan
iaka sain lakrwa kanamokst liplit.

10. When the priest gets to the book, he makes the sign of the cross; and the servant
makes the sign of the cross with the priest.

<11.> Pus liplit wawa Kirii iliison sirvant kilapai wawa
kanamokst iaka. Ilip iaka wawa Kirii iliison, pi mokst taim
Kirii iliison, pi kimta iht taim Kirii iliison.

11. When the priest says Kyrie eleison the servant responds
along with him.  [A] first [time] he says Kyrie eleison, and a second time
Kyrie eleison, and afterward another time Kyrie eleison.

<12.> Pus liplit wawa Gloria in iksilsis sirvan mamuk
kikuli latit: Kopa <1o> Dio … <2o> Adoramyus ti.
<3o> Grasias ashimyus tibi … <4o> Shisyu Kristi …
<5o> Syus[i]pi [SIC?] diprikasionim nostrom. = <6o> Shisyu Kristi
= Pus liplit wawa Kom sankto spirityu, sirvan iaka sain lakrwa.

12. When the priest says Gloria in excelsis the servant
bows his head: during (1st) the Deo…, (2nd) the Adoramus te,
(3rd) the Gratias agimus tibi…, (4th) the Jesu Christi…,
(5th) the Suscipe deprecationem nostrum, (6th) the Jesu Christi.
= When the priest says Cum sancto spiritu, the servant makes the sign of the cross.

<13.> Pus liplit wawa Dominus vobiskom, sirvan wawa It kom
spirityu tyuo. = Pus liplit wawa Orimyus, sirvan mamuk
kikuli latit kopa lakrwa. Pus liplit kopit Orimyus, sirvant
wawa Amin. Pus kopit Ipistl, iaka wawa Dio grasias

13. When the priest says Dominus vobiscum, the servant says Et cum
spiritu tuo. 
= When the priest says the Oremus, the servant
bows his head to the cross.  When the priest finishes the Oremus, the servant
says Amen. When the epistle is done, he says Deo gratias. 

KW #74 (16 April 1893), pages 62-63:

How to serve at mass third

Page 62

<Serving at Mass. Contd.>

<14.> Kopit iaka wawa “Dio grasias, iaka mituit. Iaka klatwa
kopa sitkom, iaka mamuk ni kopa ilihi, iaka klatwa kopa liplit iaka
rait han. Pus liplit klatwa kopa sitkom, sirvan iskom buk.
Pi iaka chako kikuli drit kopa sitkom, iaka mamuk ni kopa ilihi,
klatwa sahali drit kopa gospil kornir, iaka mash buk kopa
lotil, buk iaka bak nanish kopa kornir. Iawa sirvan klatwa
kikuli, pi iaka kilapai wawa kopa liplit It kom spirityu tui pi …
Gloria tibi domini. Iaka sain lakrwa kopa iaka for hid, kopa
iaka labush pi kopa iaka tomtom, kanamokst liplit. Pus iaka kolan
liplit mamuk nim Shisyu, iaka mamuk kikuli latit kopa buk. [Ia]ka
kilapai kah ilip iaka mitlait. Pus iaka shako kopa sitkom lotil
iaka mamuk ni kopa ilihi, pi iaka klatwa mituit kopa kah
iaka ilip mitlait. Iaka siahus nanish kopa liplit. Pus kopit
gospil, iaka wawa “Los tibi Kristi,” pi iaka ashnu.

14. [When] finished saying Deo gratias, he stands. He goes
to the center [of the altar], he kneels, [then] he goes to the priest’s
right side. When the priest goes to the center, the servant gets the book.
And he comes down right at the center, he genuflects,
[then] goes up right to the gospel [N.W.] corner, he places the book on
the altar, [with] the book’s back facing the corner. Then the servant goes
down, and he responds to the priest Et cum spiritu tui and … [sic]
Gloria tibi domine.  He makes the sign of the cross at his forehead, at
his mouth and at his heart, together with the priest.  When he hears
the priest call the name of Jesu, he bows his head to the book. He
goes back to where he was before. When he comes to the middle of the altar
he genuflects, and [then] he goes to stand where
he was before. His face is turned toward the priest. When
the gospel is finished, he says Laus tibi Christe, and he kneels.

<15.> Pus liplit kuli Krido … sirvan mamuk
kikuli latit: <1o> kopa Diom … <2o> kopa Shisom Kristom
<3o> kopa Inkarnatyus ist … pi k’o kopa Omo faktyus ist. <4o> kopa
Adoratyur … = Pus liplit wawa It vitam vintyuri
sikyuli, sirvan mamuk sain lakrwa kanamokst.

15. When the priest recites the Credo… the servant
bows his head: (1st) for the Deum…, (2nd) for the Jesum Christum,
(3rd) for the Incarnatus est… through to the Homo factus est, (4th) for
the Adoratur… = When the priest says Et vitam venturi
, the servant makes the sign of the cross with [him].

<16.> Liplit wawa: Dominyus vobiskom[,] sirvant: It kom spirityu tyuo
Liplit wawa Orimyus. = Iawa sirvan mituit, iaka mamuk ni kopa
ilihi, pi iaka klatwa iskom wain pi chok kopa iht tanas latam. Iaka
iskom wain kopa iaka rait han pi chok kopa lif han iaka iskom ukuk
mokst botl drit kopa kikuli. Iaka lolo ukuk mokst botl pi shako wik saia
lotil. Pus liplit chako iaka mamuk kikuli latit kopa iaka. Iaka kis
wain botl, pi patlach [NULL] kopa liplit. Alta iaka iskom chok botl kopa iaka rait han
Pus liplit mamuk kilapai wain botl, iaka iskom [NULL] kopa lif han. Iaka kis
iaka [SIC]. Kimta iaka kis chok botl pi patlach [NULL] kopa liplit. Pus liplit mamuk[…]

16. The priest says: Dominus vobiscum, the servant: Et cum spiritu tuo.
The priest says Oremus. = Then the servant stands, he genuflects,
and he goes to get the wine and water from the one little table.  He
gets the wine with his right hand and the water with his left hand; he holds
both these bottles quite low.  He carries both these bottles and comes near
to the altar.  When the priest comes he bows his head to him.  He kisses
the wine bottle, and gives [it] to the priest.  Then he takes the water bottle in his right hand.
when the priest returns the wine bottles, he take [it] with his left hand.  He kisses
it [literally “him”!].  After [this], he kisses the water bottle and gives [it] to the priest.  When the priest[…]

How to serve at mass fourth

Page 63

[…] kilapai ukuk chok, iaka wiht kis iaka [SIC]: Iaka mamuk kikuli latit
kopa liplit pi iaka kilapai kopa tanas latam.

[…] returns this water, he again kisses it [literally “him”]: He bows his head
to the priest and he goes back to the little table.

<17.> Iaka mash wain botl kopa latam. Iaka iskom tanas
sil pi iaka mash [NULL] kopa iaka lift arm: Iaka iskom
tanas bisin kopa iaka lift han pi iaka iskom shok botl kopa
iaka rait han pi iaka kilapai kopa wik saia lotil. Pus liplit
shako iaka kikuli latit kopa iaka. Iaka wah chok kopa
iaka lima. Pus liplit kopit wash iaka lima, sirvan mamuk
sahali iaka lift arm pus liplit iskom ukuk tanas sil.
Pus liplit mamuk kilapai ukuk tanas sil, sirvan mamuk kikuli
latit kopa iaka, pi kilapai kopa tanas latam. Iaka wah
ukuk chok mitlait kopa bisin kopa iht lpot. Iaka mamuk drai
bisin. Iaka mash kopa bisin wain botl pi chok botl. Iaka mash
tanas sil sahali kopa kanawi: pi iaka kilapai kah ilip iaka
mitlait pi iaka ashnu.

17. He places the wine bottle on the table.  He takes a small
cloth and he puts [it] on his left arm: He takes
a small basin in his left hand and he takes the water bottle with
his right hand and he returns to near the altar.  When the priest
comes he [has his] head bow[ed] to him. He pours water over
his hands. When the priest finishes washing his hands, the servant
raises his left arm for the priest to take the small cloth.
When the priest returns this small cloth, the servant bows
his head to him, and goes back to the little table.  He pours
the water remaining in the basin into a pot.  He dries off
the basin.  He puts into the basin the wine bottle and water bottle.  He places
the little cloth over it all: and he returns to where he first
was and he kneels.

<18.> Pus liplit wawa: “Orati fratris, pi iaka kilapai
siahus kopa lotil, sirvan wawa “Syusipiat ItS.”
Iaka mamuk kikuli aktit [SIC!] kopa Grasias agamyus ItS …

18. When the priest says: “Orate fratres…” and he turns
[eyes] toward the altar, the servant says “Suscipiat etc.”
He bows his head for the Gratias agamus etc.

<19.> Pus liplit wawa Sanktyus …. sirvan mamuk
kikuli iaka latit, pi iaka shik tintin tlun taim. Pus liplit
wawa “Binidiktyus kwi vinit ItS., iaka sain lakrwa.

19. When the priest says the Sanctus… the servant
bows his head, and he rings [lit. shakes] the bell three times.  When the priest
says “Benedictus qui venit etc.”, he makes the sign of the cross.

<20.> Pus liplit halak iaka lima pi mamuk klaska mitlait
kopa likalis, sirvan wi[ht?] shik tintin, pi iaka mituit.
Iaka shako kopa sitkom, iaka mamuk ni kopa ilihi pi iaka
ashnu kopa ilip sahali stip. Pus liplit mamuk ni kopa
ilihi, sirvan shik tintin tlun taims. Wiht iaka
mamuk drit kikuli iaka latit. Ukuk tlun iaka shik tintin
iht pus liplit ilip mash ni kopa ilihi, iht pus liplit
mamuk sahali Å, pi iht pus liplit wiht mash
ni kopa ilihi.

20. When the priest opens his hands and places them
on the chalice, the servant again shakes the bell, and he stands.
He comes to the center [of the altar], he genuflects and he
kneels on the top step.  When the priest genuflects,
the servant shakes the bell three times.  Again he
bows his head deeply.  These three [times] that he shakes the bell,
one is when the priest first genuflects, one when the priest
raises the host, and one when the priest again genuflects.