Q. sí ar lúmessë ya firuvammë: násië “now and at the hour of our death: Amen”

Q. sí ar lúmessë ya firuvammë: násië “now and at the hour of our death: Amen”

[< Previous Phrase] Aia María

The seventh line of Aia María, Tolkien’s translation of the Ave Maria prayer. The first few words are ar lúmessë “now and at [the] hour”, the last being a combination of the noun lúmë¹ “time” (“hour”) and the locative suffix -ssë¹ “at, in, on”. The next two words are a subordinate clause: ya firuvammë “*when we will die”, the latter being future 1st-person-plural-exclusive form of the verb fir- “to die”. The last word, násië “Amen”, is also used by Tolkien in the Quenya prayer Átaremma.

Decomposition: Broken into its constituent elements, this phrase would be:

sí ar lúme-ssë ya fir-uva-mmë: násië = “*now and time-at when die-(future)-we: amen”

Less literally: “*now and at the time when we will die”.

Conceptual Development: The first few words sí ar lúmesse are the nearly same in all versions of the prayer, except (a) the accents are omitted from si and lumesse in version I and (b) Tolkien considered and rejected a variant form are for ar “and” (as he did in line four).

In the first two versions of the prayer Tolkien used a Quenya word for “of our death”: fíriemmo (I) and effíriemmo (II). In both cases, the noun is (ef)fírie “death” with the first person plural exclusive possessive suffix -mma² “our” and the genitive suffix -o “of”. In the version I, these forms were preceded by some incomplete and difficult-to-decipher forms; for details see VT43/27, 34-35.

The word násië “Amen” appears only in the last two versions of the prayer (III-IV).

    I    II  III IV
ar {are >>} ar ar
lumesse lúmesse
{urtulm >> urt >> menya >>} i fíriemmo effíriemmo yá firuvamme ya firuvamme

References ✧ VT43/26-28



“now” ✧ VT43/34 (si); VT43/34
ar “and” ✧ VT43/34 (are); VT43/34
lúmë¹ “time, period of time, hour” locative ✧ VT43/34 (lúmesse)
“when” ✧ VT43/34; VT43/34 (ya)
fir- “to die, fade, †expire, breathe forth” future 1st-pl-exclusive ✧ VT43/34 (firuvamme)
násië “*amen, (lit.) may it be so” ✧ VT43/35
“the” ✧ VT43/35
?urtu “death” ? ✧ VT43/34 (urtulm)
menya “*our (exclusive)” ✧ VT43/35 (menya)
fírië “death (of Men), *natural death” 1st-pl-exclusive-poss genitive ✧ VT43/34 (fíriemmo); VT43/34 (effíriemmo)

Element In