• Sunday Sermon 2B

    Well, I’m not sure that I learned anything useful in church today, but here goes…

    It’s an odd Sunday school I go to. Very casual. And the pastor is not exactly the stuffiest bird in the chicken coop. For example, today when discussing the role of a priest as a mediator between God and man (and why we don’t, generally, see the need for one in Protestant churches), he tossed out that the magician’s phrase hocus pocus comes from a corruption of a Latin phrase used in Catholic mass–Hoc est corpus… That’s where the bread is transformed into the body of Christ.

    He wasn’t saying this as a condemnation of Catholic faith, just as an interesting tidbit. I’d never heard that before, so I looked it up. Apparently, that’s one origin. The other is that it comes from the name of an ancient magician named Hocus-Pocus.

    Sunday, January 4th, 2004 at 14:45
  • Sunday, January 4th, 2004 at 15:59 | #1

    Hmmm…don’t know about that one…

  • Sunday, January 4th, 2004 at 16:11 | #2

    It obviously came from a non-Catholic source.

    I’m afraid I may have to modify this post, too. I re-read it, and it sounds like I’m bashing Catholics or that my pastor was, and that’s so far from the truth it’s not even funny. I just pulled something out of context.

  • Sunday, January 4th, 2004 at 17:56 | #3

    Oh, I don’t know. You might even find a few Catholic priests (not the Vatican, Lord knows) who would be open to the idea.

  • Monday, January 5th, 2004 at 09:45 | #4

    According to The Word Detective (scroll down the page a bit) he concurs with the origin being the stage name of a magician of some renown way back in 1567-1625 in England. Same basic origin is recounted at the Word Origins.org website which also casts doubt on the explanation of it being a corruption of the phrase used by the Roman Catholic church. Again, scroll down the page a bit to see it. Quite a few interesting word origins on that page for that matter. I hadn’t realized that the word “hello” wasn’t any older than the telephone.

    Not that I find linguistic studies to be fascinating or anything…

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