Quenya 

alcar mi tarmenel na erun

Alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun

Tolkien’s translation of the Gloria in Excelsis Deo prayer into Quenya, composed sometime in the 1960s (VT44/31), first published in the “Alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun” article in Vinyar Tengwar #44. Tolkien only translated the first two lines of the prayer. Tolkien did not provide an English translation of the prayer; following the editor of the “Alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun” article, I used a modern English (King James) translation of the prayer (VT43/31).

Tolkien made three translations of the lines; the version presented here is Arden Smith’s “reconstructed” version, which is version II with corrections from the incomplete version III. Note that Arden Smith was uncertain of the order of composition of the versions, suggesting that version I might have followed II and III, but his analysis (and mine) assumes that the versions were created in the order they appeared on the page (VT44/32).

Further discussion can be found in the analysis of the individual phrases. My analysis largely follows that of the “Alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun” section (VT44/31-7).


alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun“glory [be] to God in the highest”
ar mi cemen rainë i hínin“and on earth peace, good will toward men”

alcar mi tarmenel na erun

glory [be] to God in the highest

The first line of Alcar mi Tarmenel na Erun, Tolkien’s translation of the Gloria in Excelsis Deo prayer. The first word is alcar “glory”, followed by mi Tarmenel “in the highest”, more literally “✱in High-heaven”. The fourth na word is the imperative of the verb ná- “to be”. The last word Erun “to God” is the dative form of Eru “God”.

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

> alcar mi Tar-menel na Eru-n = “✱glory in High-heaven be God-to”

Conceptual Development: In version I, Tolkien first wrote tarmenissen, apparently the locative plural of tarmen “?high place”, perhaps meaning “?in high places”. He revised this into an assimilated locative tarmenelde of Tarmenel.

In version II he first wrote the allative form Erunna “✱towards God” before changing to the dative form Erun “to God”, also used in version II.

In version III he only wrote the word alcar. For this reason, the phrase in this entry is derived from version II.

|  I  |II|III| |alcar| |{tarmenissen >>} tarmenelde|mi tarmenel|...| |na Erun|{Erunna >>} na Erun| |

Element in


alcar“glory, splendour, radiance, brilliance”
mi“in, in, [ᴹQ.] within”
Tarmenel“High Heaven”
ná-“to be, to be, [ᴱQ.] exist”
Eru“The One, God”


  • Alcar mi tarmenel na Erun ✧ VT44/32 (Alcar mi tarmenel na Erun)
  • alkar {tarmenissen >>} tarmenelde na Erun ✧ VT44/32
  • alkar mi tarmenel {Erunna >>} na Erun ✧ VT44/32
  • alcar ... ✧ VT44/33
Quenya [VT44/32; VT44/33] Group: Eldamo. Published by