Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

O Truth, O Charity, O Final Goal and Happiness!

Ætérna lux, divínitas,
Eternal light, divinity,
in unitáte Trínitas,
in the unity of Trinity,
te confitémur débiles,
feeble though we be, we confess Thee
te deprecámur súpplices.
Thee we entreat on bended knee.

Eternal Light, Divinity,
O Unity in Trinity,
Thy holy name Thy servants bless,
to Thee we pray, and Thee confess.

2. Summum Paréntem crédimus
We trust in the greatest Father
Natúmque Patris únicum,
and the only Son of the Father,
et caritátis vínculum
and in the bond of charity
qui iungit illos Spíritum.
which joins them with the Spirit.

2.We praise the Father, mighty One;
we praise the sole-begotten Son;
we praise the Holy Ghost above,
who joins Them in one bond of love.

3. O véritas, o cáritas,
O Truth, O Charity,
o finis et felícitas,
O final goal and happiness,
speráre fac et crédere,
cause us to hope and to beleive,
amáre fac et cónsequi.
cause us to love and to follow.

3. O Verity! O Charity!
O Ending and Felicity!
in Thee we hope, in Thee believe,
Thyself we love, to Thee we cleave.

4. Qui finis et exórdium
The end and the beginning
rerúmque fons es ómnium,
and source of all things Thou art,
tu solus es solácium,
Thou alone art consolation,
tu certa spes credéntium.
Thou art the sure hope of the faithful.

4. Thou First and Last, from whom there springs
the Fount of all created things,
Thou art the Life which moves the whole,
sure hope of each believing soul.

5. Qui cuncta solus éfficis
Thou alone accomplishest all things
cunctísque solus súfficis,
Thou alone art sufficient for all,
tu sola lux es ómnibus
Thou are the only light for all,
et præmium sperántibus.
and reward to those who hope in Thee.

5. Thou who alone the world hast made,
art still its one sufficing aid,
the only Light for gazing eyes,
and, unto them that hope, the Prize.

6. Christum rogámus et Patrem,
This we ask of Christ and the Father,
Christi Patrísque Spíritum;
and of the Spirit of Christ and the Father;
unum potens per ómnia,
one God mighty throughout the universe,
fove precántes, Trínitas. Amen.
favor those praying (to Thee), O Trinity.

6. O Father, Source of God the Word,
O Word with Him co-equal Lord,
O Spirit of like majesty,
O Triune God, all praise to Thee. Amen.
Metrical translation by R. F. Littledale (1833-1890)

This hymn's author and date of compostion is unknown, according to Lentini. I wonder how this site knows the hymn is "18th century?" (For all I know it could be.)

Composer Abbie Betinis has recently (2004) set this text (with the verses in a different order: 1, 6, 4, 3, 5, omitting 2 but adding alleluias throughout) for 4-part chorus. Abbie, like me, graduated from St. Olaf --um, yah, yah! She writes about the piece at her site:
Because the text hails the unity of the Trinity, the piece modulates between two
primary tonalities, which combine to form a third. In the end, all modalities
combine into a canon which spirals on, encircling and unifying all voice parts
in its course. The Alleluia refrain is my own addition to this traditional
Catholic text.
That site has a link to an mp3 and also a pdf of the sheet music. It also has an audio intro in which she explains that she wrote this piece after studying counterpoint in Paris "in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger with faculty from Juilliard and the Paris Conservatory." The music is quite angular, ofter frenetic, and does not seem to throw much light on the text. It is paired with an "Angele Dei" (Guardian Angel prayer) with no apparent connection other that they are both Catholic prayers in Latin. It seems like a summer graduate school project to me: it has a disjointed, "here's what I came up with"-feeling to it. She is obviously very talented, but I wonder if she knows (or cares) about the context of this hymn in the Liturgia Horarum?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

"Diurno" is from the instruction in the Liturgia Horarum which reads: Quando Officium lectionis dicitur diurno tempore. "When the Office of Readings is said during the daytime." For the last two weeks, I have been translating the hymns which were designated Quando Officium lectionis dicitur noctu vel summo mane. "When the Office of Readings is said during the night or early morning." Traditionally, Matins, the office which became the Office of Readings, was always said during the night or early morning. The Second Vatican Council changed this in recognition of the fact that clergy in the 20th century (and beyond) were not required to live the same schedule as monks, who often went to bed at 7pm and rose at 3am. The Council Fathers also wanted to encourage lay people to pray the Liturgy of the Hours as well.

Regular readers of this blog will remember that most of the hymns I have been translating the last two weeks have had a noctural theme or at least written with the idea that the singers of the hymn would be singing in the middle of the night Apparently the Council Fathers envisioned that the Office formerly known as Matins would be able to be said at any other hour of the day, hence another set of hymns is needed. Fr. Anselmo Lentini, the editor of the Liber Hymnarius put together fourteen more hymns (two weeks' worth) in addition to the fourteen I've just translated. I am anxious to look at the character of these hymns.

Here is the first:
Memorial of the Resurrection

Dies ætásque céteris
Over days and other ages
octáva splendet sánctior
the eighth shines out more sacred
in te quam, Iesu, cónsecras,
which, Jesus, Thou consecratest for Thyself,
primítiæ surgéntium.
the first fruits of those who rise(from the dead).

Tu tibi nostras ánimas
Thou to Thee our souls
nunc primo conresúscita;
now first raise together from the dead;
tibi consúrgant córpora
may our bodies rise up also to Thee
secúnda morte líbera.
free from the second death.

Tibíque mox in núbibus,
To Thee also soon in the clouds,
Christe, ferámur óbviam
O Christ, let us be borne on the way
tecum victúri pérpetim:
to be conquering with Thee continually:
tu vita, resurréctio.
Thou our life, our resurrection.

Cuius vidéntes fáciem,
Thou whose face we will be seeing,
configurémur glóriæ;
may we be shaped into that glory;
te cognoscámus sicut es,
may we come to know Thee as Thou art,
lux vera et suávitas.
true Light and Sweetness.

Regnum, cum Patri tráditos,
Thy kingdom, when you deliver us to the Father,
plenos septéno chrísmate,
filled with the seven-fold annointing,
in temet nos lætíficas,
fill us with the joy that is Thee Thyself,
consúmmet Sancta Trínitas. Amen.
may the Holy Trinity bring it (Thy kingdom) to perfection.

This hymn is by a certain Aron of the twelfth century, not well identified. The hymn "concludes a cycle, in which every day one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is celebrated." I wonder whether we will get to see any of the other hymns in the cycle.

It seems to me excellently suited to Sunday, with its resurrection theme. If you look at the noctu hymn for today (found here), you will see that it starts out calling Sunday the "first of all days," whereas this hymn refers to Sunday as the "eighth day." Fr. Z at wdtprs speaks eloquently both in blog entries and in podcasts about octaves being days when time itself is suspended to celebrate a major feast like the Resurrection, the birth of Christ and (until the Council) the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Seen in this light, there is no confusion: Sunday is both the first day and the eighth day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday Office of Readings Even Week noctu


The light that has no more darkness

Lux ætérna, lumen potens,
Light eternal, Lamp most brilliant,
dies indefíciens,
Day unfailing,
bellátor atræ noctis,
Warrior against the deadly night,
reparátor lúminis,
Renewer of the light,
destructórque tenebrárum,
and the Destroyer of shadows,
illustrátor méntium:
the One who enlightens minds:

2. Quo nascénte suscitámur,
When You come forth we are awakened,
quo vocánte súrgimus;
when You call, we rise;
faciénte quo beáti,
when You act we are blessed,
quo linquénte míseri;
when You depart we are wretched;
quo a morte liberáti,
by You we are freed from death,
quo sumus perlúcidi;
by You we are filled with light;

3. Mortis quo victóres facti,
By you we are made triumphant over death,
nocti atque sáeculi;
over night, and over this age;
ergo nobis, rex ætérne,
therefore to us, O King eternal,
lucem illam tríbue,
bestow that light,
quæ fuscátur nulla nocte,
which darkens no night,
solo gaudens lúmine.
buy only makes glad by light.

4. Honor Patri sit ac tibi
Sancto sit Spirítui,
Deo trino sed et uni,
paci, vitæ, lúmini,
nómini præ cunctis dulci
divinóque númini. Amen.

This hymn, which is the second part of yesterday's hymn is by Gottschalk of Orbais, who died in 869. The doxology (last verse) is the same as yesterday's hymn.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Office of Readings Even Week noctu


Christ came to grant us life and light

Galli cantu mediánte
The rooster's song cuts in half
noctis iam calíginem
now the darkness of the night
et profúndæ noctis atram
and of the black depths of the night
levánte formídine,
(the song) alleviating dread (of the night)
Deus alme,te rogámus
we ask Thee, nurturing God,
supplicésque póscimus.
and bring our supplications.

2. Vigil, potens, lux venísti
Watchful, powerful, Light Thou hast come
atque custos hóminum,
and protector of men,
dum tenérent simul cuncta
while all things simultaneously kept
médium siléntium,
the middle-of-night silence
rédderent necnon mortálem
nor did they render human
mórtui effígiem,
the likeness of a corpse,

3. Excitáres quo nos, Christe,
Whence may you awaken us, O Christ,
de somno malítiæ,
from a wicked sleep,
atque gratis liberáres
and may you freely liberate us
noctúrno de cárcere,
from the slavery of night
redderésque nobis lucem
and may you bring back the light to us
vitæ semper cómitem.
forever the companion of life.

4. Honor Patri sit ac tibi,
Honor be to the Father and to Thee
Sancto sit Spirítui,
and to the Holy Spirit
Deo trino sed et uni,
God three but also one,
paci, vitæ, lúmini,
who is peace, life, light,
nómini præ cunctis dulci
whose name is sweet above all
divinóque númini. Amen.
and who is Godhead divine.

This was a rush job. I will have to return to it again. Math League coach's conference today at Macalester college.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Office of Readings Even Week noctu

I am bit late posting this today. My son wanted the computer last night at bedtime, and my wife needed the computer early this morning to take a test for her online class. She is studying to become a medical assistant.

Lentini's title: Rising from sleep to a new life in Christ

Ales diéi núntius
The winged messenger of the day
lucem propínquam praécinit:
proclaims the approaching light:
nos excitátor méntium
to us, the awakener of souls
iam Christus ad vitam vocat.
Christ now calls us to life

The winged herald of the day
proclaims the morn's approaching ray,
and Christ the Lord our soul excites,
and so to endless life invites.

2. «Auférte--clamat,--léctulos
"Take up," he cries, "your bed
aegros, sopóros, désides:
sick ones, sleepy ones, lazy ones:
castíque recti ac sóbrii
you who are chaste, upright and sober
vigiláte, iam sum próximus.»
watch, for I am very near."

2. "Take up thy bed," to each He cries,
"who sick, or wrapped in slumber lies:
and chaste, and just, and sober stand
and watch; my coming is at hand."

3. Ut, cum corúscis flátibus
That, when with quivering breath
auróra cælum spárserit,
the dawn strews the heavens,
omnes labóre exércitos
all who have labored with toil
confírmet ad spem lúminis.
it(the dawn) may strengthen by the hope of light.

3. - (see below to explain omission)

4. Iesum ciámus vócibus
With our voices we invoke Jesus by name
flentes, precántes, sóbrii;
weeping, imploring, though sober;
inténta supplicátio
intense prayer
dormíre cor mundum vetat.
forbids the pure heat to fall asleep.

4. With earnest cry, with tearful care,
call we the Lord to hear our prayer:
while supplication, pure and deep,
forbids each chastened heart to sleep.

5. Tu, Christe, somnum dísice,
Thou, O Christ, dispel our sleep,
tu rumpe noctis vincula,
break Thou the chains of night,
tu solve peccátum vetus
loosen Thou our chronic sin
novúmque lumen íngere.
and cast the fresh light upon us.

5. Do Thou, O Christ, our slumbers wake:
do Thou the chains of darkness break:
purge Thou our former sins away,
and in our souls new light display.

6. Sit, Christe, rex piíssime,
tibi Patrique glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna sæcula. Amen.

6. All laud to God the Father be;
all praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
all glory as is ever meet,
to God the Holy Paraclete. Amen.

Author: Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, d. 405. Metrical Translation by the great J. M. Neale.

These are verses chosen from the Cathemerinon, or The Daily Round, which is a collection of early Christian hymns. Two other hymns, Wednesday and Thursday Lauds for odd weeks are also taken from this work. (See the Thursday link for more about it.) Today's hymn contains the actual opening lines from the first of two Morning Hymns Prudentius wrote.

In the Roman Breviary, this hymn is used as the Lauds hymn for Tuesdays. Lentini says "it was observed that (the hymn) fits more the Office of Readings." I am guessing this is because of all the references to sleeping and waking. But like the other Lauds hymns, (and unlike the other Matins hymns)there seems to be more references to dawn. Indeed the opening lines of the hymn celebrate the ales, who is clearly the rooster, (symbol of the preacher of the gospel) whom the monks would not hear until way after Matins in finished.

Lentini also introduces verse 3, "a beautiful stanza" which was not traditionally included with this hymn in the past. It is taken from the same Prudentius work as the rest of the hymn. I agree, the images are beautiful, but I think verse 3 steers it once again back in the direction of a morning hymn rather than one to be sung by lamplight at 3 a.m.

In any case, this explains why J.M. Neale did not include this verse in his wonderful metrical translation. At the time he translated, this verse was still buried in Prudentius' work, not part of the hymn Ales diéi núntius.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Office of Readings Even Week noctu


Lentini's title: With the night chant, we implore thanks also for the day

O sator rerum, reparátor ævi,
O founder of all things, renewer of time,
Christe, rex regum, metuénde censor,
Christ, King of kings, fearful magistrate,
tu preces nostras paritérque laudes
Thou our prayers and equally our praises
súscipe clemens.
receive with mercy.

2. Noctis en cursu tibi vota laudum
Lo, through the course of the night to Thee vows of praise
pángimus; præsta tibi sint ut apta,
we compose; grant that they may be suitable to Thee,
nosque concéntu réfove perénni,
and refresh us by our continual singing,
lúminis auctor.
Author of light.

3. Da dies nobis probitáte faustos
Grant to us in uprightness prosperous days
mortis ignáram tribuéndo vitam,
granting us a life ignorant of death,
semper ut nostros tua sit per actus Update: (Thanks again, Figulus)
That always unending glory may be thine
glória perpes.
through our actions.

4. Ure cor nostrum, pius ure lumbos
Burn our heart, in your love burn our loins
igne divíno vigilésque nos fac,
with fire divine and make us vigilant,
semper ardéntes mánibus lucérnas
that always, burning lamps in our hands
ut teneámus.
we may hold.

5. Æqua laus summum célebret Paréntem
Let equal praise glorify the highest Father
teque, Salvátor, pie rex, per ævum;
and Thou, Savior, Holy King, through all time;
Spíritus Sancti résonet per omnem
and let the glory of the Holy Spirit resound through
glória mundum. Amen.
all the universe.

Though the tenth century author is unknown, according to Lentini, this hymn "was very widespread in the middle ages, for the Feast of the Transfiguration, remembered in vs. 3, here omitted." These are verses 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the hymn, with a doxology for the last verse.

In verse 4, pius ure is a replacement for iecur atque. Again with the liver as the seat of feelings. Iecur atque lumbos: the liver and the loins. This is the second hymn I have encountered (the first being Saturday's Office of Reading noctu hymn (Odd week)) in which these two terms appear together, both times asking God to "burn" them with holy, cleansing fire. Yet Lentini, the modern editor, takes out iecur (liver) but leaves in lumbos (loins). I guess with Vatican II, there was an attempt to bring the details of the Church's teaching in line with modern medical science and psychology, a laudable intention in and of itself. Perhaps he reasoned, correctly, that we have no scientific evidence that the human liver is the "seat of feelings." (A surgeon, however gives a compelling description of handling a liver that might convince you otherwise.)

Linguists tell us many indigenous languages still today describe the liver as the seat of volitile emotions like anger or sadness. Alice Gaby of the Univ. of Melbourne describes some of the best examples(and perhaps why they don't always translate to English well):
A furious person is described in Kuuk Thaayorre as 'hot-livered'. The Papua New
Guinean language Mbula also uses the compound 'hot-liver' to describe someone
who's very angry. Similarly, in Turkmenistan, people describe making somebody
angry as 'burning their liver'...In Kambera, spoken on Sumba Island in
Indonesia, a pounding liver is a symptom of worry...In Kuuk Thaayorre, for
example, a brave person is strong-livered. Although this doesn't really
translate into English, we nevertheless have a negative association between the
liver and bravery, lexicalised in the antonym of bravery: 'lily-livered'.
What about the "loins" then? I think there might be more general agreement, if not scientific evidence, about the pelvic region being the location of sexual excitement, (despite what Dr. Oz might say to Oprah about the brain being the biggest sex organ).

Hence, Lentini's imperitive: lumbos can stay, but iecur has got to go. In any case, we are still asking God to burn our bodies and souls with his holy fire, because these urges and feelings and rages and passions that come over us all feel so strong and compelling, that it must take something as strong and painful as the fire of God to burn them out and cleanse them, so that our bodies and souls might be pure vessels once again.

My own experience of the Holy Spirit's fire is this: the fire is warm, but can be powerfully hot, to the point where it can be painful, but is always gentle, and it heals you to an incredible degree. It is spiritual in origin, but can have mental, emotional and even physical effects. You can ask for it, but it doesn't come "on demand." Occasionally it shows up even if you don't specifically ask for it. I don't seek out charismatic spiritual experiences as I once did, but I cannot deny the reality of the fire of God which still visits me now and again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday Office of Readings Even Week noctu


Nocte surgéntes vigilémus omnes,
Rising by night, let us all keep watch
semper in psalmis meditémur atque
and ever devote our minds to psalmody
víribus totis Dómino canámus Update: Thanks Figulus!
and with all our strength let us sing to the Lord
dúlciter hymnos,
sweet hymns,

Now from the slumbers of the night arising,
chant we the holy psalmody of David,
hymns to our Master, with a voice concordant,
sweetly intoning.

Ut, pio regi páriter canéntes,
That singing to the loving King,
cum suis sanctis mereámur aulam
together with His Saints, we may merit
íngredi cæli, simul et beátam
to enter the royal court of heaven, and with them (at the same time)
dúcere vitam.
to lead a blessed life

So may our Monarch pitifully hear us,
that we may merit with His Saints to enter
mansions eternal, there withal possessing
joy beatific.

Præstet hoc nobis Déitas beáta
May He grant us this, the blessed Deity
Patris ac Nati, paritérque Sancti
of the Father, Son and likewise of the Holy
Spíritus, cuius résonat per omnem
Spirit, whose glory resounds throughout
glória mundum. Amen.
the whole world.

This be our portion, God forever blessed,
Father eternal, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Whose is the glory, which through all creation
ever resoundeth. Amen.

Lentini's title: Let us keep vigil (now) in song to sing then in heaven

I pretty much just copied Britt's translation today(hymn number 7 in his book). I guess going to the beach with the kids made me feel all lazy and relaxed.

Not much to say about this Sapphic-and-Adonic-metered hymn. Britt says it's by Gregory the Great, while Lentini says "Author unknown, Carolingian Age, 8th-9th century." (I lean toward Lentini.) Britt says that Nocte Surgentes (today's hymn) is the "companion hymn" to Ecce iam noctis, the hymn for morning prayer on Even Sundays. My post for that hymn has more about the "Sapphic and Adonic" meter as well, so check it out if you missed that one.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Office of Readings Even Week noctu

Lentini's title: Keeping vigil, with lamps lit

Ipsum nunc nobis tempus est
The time is now for us that very hour
quo voce evangélica
when, as the gospel voice tells
ventúrus sponsus créditur,
the bridegroom was supposed to have come,
regni cæléstis cónditor
who is the founder of the heavenly kingdom.

Occúrrunt sanctæ vírgines
The holy virgins ran to meet
óbviam tunc advéntui,
the way toward the arrival (the Bridegroom) at that time ,
gestántes claras lámpadas,
bearing gleaming lanterns,
magno lætántes gáudio.
rejoicing with great joy.

Stultæ vero quæ rémanent
Yes, the foolish ones who stay behind
exstínctas habent lámpadas,
have extinguished lamps,
frustra pulsántes ianuam,
knocking in vain upon the door,
clausa iam regni régia.
for now the kingdom is closed tight.

Nunc vigilémus sóbrii
Now let us who are sober keep watch
gestántes mentes spléndidas,
bearing souls gleaming like lamps,
ut veniénti Dómino
that to the coming Lord
digni currámus óbviam.
we may worthily run the way towards (Him).

Dignos nos fac, rex óptime,
futúri regni glória,
ut mereámur láudibus
æternis te concínere. Amen.

This is part 2 of a longer hymn, part 1 of which formed yesterday's Office of Reading hymns. (Hence the doxology is the same as yesterday.) Remember that these hymns were historically sung at like three A.M. when the monks got up to read Scripture and Patristic readings.

This is significant for this hymn, which refers to the gospel story of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, waiting for the Bridegroom. Matthew 25:6 says "in the middle of the night" the cry goes up that the Bridegroom has arrived. So when Jesus returns, will it be "in the middle of the night?" (Well, literally, anytime is the middle of the night somewhere in the world.)

In any case let us carry around "souls gleaming like lamps."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Office of Readings Even Week noctu

Today's mp3 has the kind of imperfection that shows I'm human. I messed up a syllable on the second to last verse, so I recorded it over--slightly flat. If I hadn't said anything, non-musicians probably wouldn't have noticed.

I encourage you to learn the tune and sing along with me. Canamus in the title of this blog is 3rd person plural subjunctive, and means "let us sing."

Mediæ noctis tempus est;
It is the middle of the night;
prophética vox ádmonet
the prophetic voice admonishes
dicámus laudes ut Deo
that we should utter praises to God
Patri semper ac Fílio,
the Father and always to the Son

Sancto quoque Spirítui:
and also to the Holy Spirit:
perfécta enim Trínitas
for the complete Trinity
uniúsque substántiæ
and of one substance
laudánda nobis semper est.
we must always praise.

Terrórem tempus hoc habet,
This time holds terror,
quo, cum vastátor ángelus
for it is the hour when the destroyer angel
Ægýpto mortem íntulit,
brought death in Egypt,
delévit promogénita.
wiped out the first-borns.

Hæc iustis hora salus est,
This hour is salvation to the just,
quos tunc ibidem ángelus
to those at that time the angel
ausus puníre non erat,
did not dare to punish
signum formidans sánguinis.
dreading the sign of the blood.

Ægýptus flebat fórtiter
Egypt was weeping profusely
tantórum diro fúnere;
at so horrible a calamity of death;
solus gaudébat Israel
Israel alone was rejoicing
agni protéctus sánguine.
protected by the blood of the lamb.

Nos verus Israel sumus:
We are the true Israel:
lætámur in te, Dómine,
Let us rejoice in Thee, O Lord,
hostem spernéntes et malum,
and spurning the wicked enemy,
Christi defénsi sánguine.
defended by the blood of Christ.

Dignos nos fac, rex óptime,
Make us worthy, King Most High,
futúri regni glória,
of Thy future reign in glory,
ut mereámur láudibus
that we may deserve to sing together
æternis te concínere. Amen.
praises to Thee eternally.

This author of this 5th century hymn is unknown.

Lentini's "title" is Joy for us, saved by the blood of Christ
Lentini also says "This hymn is mentioned by S. Cesario [whoever that is]. According to the ancient tradition, for its Paschal flavor, it is appropriate for Sunday. Here, for brevity, are only the first 6 verses, and the 13th that can be considered a doxology." It turns out that we get verses 7-10 as part of tomorrow's hymn. Thus we sing it to the same tune.

Tune in tomorrow and canamus.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

No mp3 (yet) today. But if you wish to sing it, use the same tune as yesterday's hymn. Update: here is the mp3.

Summae Deus cleméntiae
God of greatest compassion
mundíque factor máchinae,
Maker of the whole scheme of the universe,
qui trinus almo númine
who, nurturing triune Deity
unúsque fírmas ómnia,
is also One, Thou establish all things,

Great God of boundless mercy hear;
Thou Ruler of this earthly sphere;
in substance one, in Persons three,
dread Trinity in Unity!

2. Nostros piis cum cánticis
Our holy songs with
fletus benígne súscipe,
tears graciously accept,
quo corde puro sórdibus
that with a heart clean of sin
te perfruámur lárgius.
we may enjoy Thee more abundantly.

2. Do Thou in love accept our lays
of mingled penitence and praise;
and set our hearts from error free,
more fully to rejoice in Thee.

3. Lumbos adúre cóngruis
Burn our loins with suitable (holy)
tu caritátis ígnibus,
flames of Thy charity
accíncti ut adsint pérpetim
that they may be continually girded
tuísque prompti advéntibus,
and ready for Thy appearance,

3. Our reins and hearts in pity heal,
and with Thy chastening fire anneal;
gird Thou our loins, each passion quell,
and every harmful lust expel.

4. Ut, quique horas nóctium
That, whatever hours of the night
nunc concinéndo rúmpimus,
we now interrupt with our singing
donis beátæ pátriæ
by gifts of the blessed fatherland
ditémur omnes áffatim.
may we all be amply enriched.

4. Now as our anthems, upward borne,
awake the silence of the morn,
enrich us with Thy gifts of grace,
from heaven, Thy blissful dwelling place!

5. Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum. Amen.

5. Hear Thou our prayer, Almighty King;
hear Thou our praises, while we sing,
adoring with the heavenly host
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Author of this 7th century hymn is unknown. English translation by John David Chambers (1805-1893).

Lentini's "title": Purification of the spirit

At the beginning of verse 2, Lentini modified the original word pius to become piis. "...a concept that would recur with the following benigne; therefore I prefer the reading of the Carmelite Breviary (Breviarium Fratrum... de Monte Carmelo, 1938), which attatches the piis to the cánticis, with the sense modified." In other words, it is simpler to figure out what pius means if you change it to piis, and since there is a precedent for this reading printed in a well-known Breviary, let's change it!

Britt, working with pius, goes through much explanation of how you have to supply Parens or Deus. This is much more complicated to interpret.

Verse 4 has been much changed. I have two different former versions, one from Britt...

Lumbos, iecurque morbidum
Our reins and our depraved hearts
Flammis adure congruis,
burn Thou with becoming (holy) flames,
Accincti ut artus excubent
that our well-girded limbs may watch
Luxu remoto pessimo.
far-removed from baneful luxury.

...and one from Lentini:

Lumbos iecurque morbidum
Our diseased loins(seat of sexuality) and liver(seat of feelings)
adure igni congruo,
burn Thou with becoming fire,
accincti ut sint perpetim
that they(our loins) be girded continually
luxu remoto pessimo
removed from the worst excesses

Lentini says that these are "terms and concepts that today annoy or clash (urtano) in a liturgical hymn." Wow. Is he saying that this kind of earthy language is not fit for polite company? That hymns which make reference to reining in our sexual impulses with the help of the Holy Spirit's fire of holiness are too jarring for mixed congregations? Perhaps he is right. But I think I prefer the prayer of the older Latin hymn. I think Lentini's "solution" is very Scriptural (using images from Holy Scripture, especially the gospel passages about girding our loins) but omits the part about leaving behind luxu pessimo (the worst excesses.)

What do you think?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

Here is an mp3 of me singing this hymn. If you heard yesterday's mp3, you will recognize the tune: it's the same one. In fact, the Office of Readings hymn (for the night or early morning) has the same tune in the Liber Hynarius for the whole week, Sunday through Saturday. The Even Week features several different tunes though, so stayed tuned if you like variety!

Tu, Trinitátis Unitas,
Thou Unity in Trinity,
orbem poténter qui regis,
Thou who dost mightily rule the world,
atténde laudum cántica
harken to the canticle of praise,
quæ excubántes psállimus.
which we, risen from sleep, sing.

O Three in One, and One in Three,
Who rulest all things mightily,
bow down to hear the songs of praise
which, freed from bonds of sleep, we raise.

2. Nam léctulo consúrgimus
For we rise from our beds
noctis quiéto témpore,
in the quiet time of the night,
ut flagitémus vúlnerum
that we may ask, for our wounds
a te medélam ómnium.
ask of Thee a remedy for all of them.

2. While lingers yet the peace of night,
we rouse us from our slumbers light;
that might of instant prayer may win
The healing balm for wounds of sin.

3. Quo fraude quicquid daémonum
That whatever, by the deception of the evil spirits,
in nóctibus delíquimus,
we have failed in during the night,
abstérgat illud caélitus Update:
from heaven may blot it out
tuæ potéstas glóriæ.
by the might of Thy glory.
[Let the might of thy glory wipe it [whatever was our failure] away from heaven.]
Thanks, Figulus.

3. If, by the wiles of Satan caught,
this nighttime we have sinned in aught,
that sin Thy glorious power today,
from heaven descending, cleanse away.

[4. Ne corpus astet sórdidum,
Lest the body become defiled,
nec torpor instet córdium,
and torpor of heart threaten,
ne críminis contágio
and by the touch of sin
tepéscat ardor spíritus.
the fervor of the soul be chilled.

4. Let naught impure our bodies stain,
no laggard sloth our souls detain,
no taint of sin our spirits know,
to chill the fervor of their glow. ]

5. Te corde fido, quaésumus,
With trusting heart we ask Thee then,
reple tuo nos lúmine,
fill us with Thy light,
per quod diérum círculis
that in the cycle of days
nullis ruámus áctibus.
we may fail in none of our actions.

5. Wherefore, Redeemer, grant that we
fulfilled with Thine own light may be:
that, in our course. from day to day,
by no misdeed we fall away.

6. Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
regnans per omne saéculum.

6. Grant this, O Father ever One
with Christ, Thy sole-begotten Son,
and Holy Ghost, whom all adore,
reigning and blest forevermore.

Today I received a wonderful "loan" from a reader, bluejeepsiamese: three books which will add immensely to my understanding of these hymns. The most revealing of these is Te Decet Hymnus: L'Innario della "Liturgia Horarum" by Dom Anselmo Lentini himself, the presumed editor of the Liber Hymnarius.

Here are a few things I found out about today's hymn from Lentini:
1) Lentini includes a "title" or description of each hymn, much like the Liturgia Horarum does for each of the Psalms. Today's description reads "A Prayer for the Wounds of the Soul."
2) You may have noticed I have bracketed the 4th verse, which means it has been omitted in the modern Office. Lentini explains why he took it out: "The 4th verse has been omitted, again for brevity:" (He then quotes it in full, and adds), "which stresses, with the usual anxiety, the nocturnal miseries of the flesh."
3) Te corde fido, quaésumus in the 5th verse is his replacement for the original Ob hoc, Redemptor, quaesumus: (We therefore beseech Thee, O Redeemer). He explains: "This final prayer now only to Christ seems harmful to the organic unity of the hymn as a whole, directed to the Trinity; Hence the replacement inspired by Analecta hymnica, Vol 51, No 30: "Te puro corde quaesumus."

I have a few observations on these points.

1) I now love these little titles: they are tiny summaries to help me prepare for the meaning of the hymn. They used to annoy me ("Those aren't in the original text!"), but as I get older, I find I am grateful for any assistance to my slowing mind. The descriptions act as runway lights to help my understanding land in the right place so I don't go completely astray on the meaning of the text.
2) One of Fr. Z's pet peeves about ICEL translations of the proper prayers at Holy Mass is that the translations remove certain "outmoded" concepts like grace, sacrifice, our total dependence on God, etc. One might look at Fr. Lentini's omission of verse 4 and put it in that category, as if Lentini was saying, "Oh, we don't believe all that old stuff about keeping the flesh pure. Why should it be harder to remain pure at night than during the day? What's the big deal anyway? We all have our urges, God knows this, so relax and blah, blah, blah..."

Is it possible to give him the benefit of the doubt on this? Perhaps priests of his generation (he died in 1989) experienced a particularly harsh type of discipline or formation early on which over-emphasized avoiding the dangerous sins of the flesh, even to an unhealthy or unbalanced degree? I have heard that the aggiornamento for this generation often included a kind of catharsis when these kinds of teachings became more balanced, putting them in perspective, perhaps taking modern psychology more into account.

I hasten to add that I did not know the man. Also, I know that many poor, misguided souls took this "balancing" of emphasis as an excuse for pulling out all the stops, so to speak, and giving in to their every fleshly impulse. Somehow I believe that such a learned man as Lentini was not one of those low kind of people.

On the other hand, could Lentini possibly have known how immersed in sins of the flesh we would be today? Perhaps if he knew the torpor of the 21st century heart "touched by sin" and suffering such massive spiritual wounds caused by today's casual attitude toward sins of the flesh, he would put that verse back in, despite the fact that it make the hymn a tiny bit longer.

3) I personally have no problem with Lentini's scholarly replacement in the 5th verse. It's not like he just arbitrarily threw it in to fix some rhyme scheme or make it "sound nicer." He was actually trying to tighten up the focus of the hymn as a whole. "Didn't we start out this hymn addressing ourselves to Trinitatis Unitas? When did we focus our gaze on the 2nd person alone?" And if I understand the scholarly apparatus correctly, the replacement phrase was "inspired" by a similarly ancient hymn to this one. (Incidentally, this hymn was written by one of my favorites: "Author Unknown, 6th or 7th century.")

Thanks again, bluejeepsiamese. God reward you for making the effort to help me out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

I am attempting to include an mp3 of today's hymn which I sang into a cheap microphone (so don't expect great sound). UPDATE: I guess you can't see the link unless you use an RSS reader or something like that. Try clicking on this to hear the mp3 file.

Nox atra rerum cóntegit
Black night conceals
terræ colóres ómnium:
the colors of all things on earth
nos confiténtes póscimus
confessing Thee we ask
te, iuste iudex córdium,
just Judge of our hearts,

The dusky veil of night hath laid
the varied hues of earth in shade;
before Thee, righteous Judge of all,
we contrite in confession fall.

2. Ut áuferas piácula
that Thou take away our sins
sordésque mentis ábluas,
and wash away the stains of the soul,
donésque, Christe, grátiam
and grant us, O Christ, grace
ut arceántur crímina.
that sin may be kept away.

2. Take far away our load of sin,
Our soiléd minds make clean within
Thy sov'reign grace, O Chirst, impart,
From all offence to guard our heart.

3. Mens, ecce, torpet ímpia,
Behold, the wicked soul is numb
quam culpa mordet nóxia;
which noxius error (mortal sin) stings;
obscúra gestit tóllere
It wishes passionately to put away its darkness
et te, Redémptor, quaérere.
and to seek Thee, O Redeemer.

For lo! our mind is dull and cold,
Envenomed by sin's baneful hold:
Fain would it now the darkness flee,
And seek, Redeemer, unto Thee.

4. Repélle tu calíginem
Push back the gloomy darkness
intrínsecus quam máxime,
within to the maximum degree possible,
ut in beáto gáudeat
that it (the soul) may rejoice
se collocári lúmine.
to establish itself in blessed light.

Far from it drive the shades of night,
Its inmost darkness put to flight;
Till in the daylight of the Blest
It joys to find itself at rest.

5. Sit, Christe, rex piíssime,
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna saécula. Amen.

5. Almighty Father, hear our cry,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord most High,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

Again, Britt was a huge help. Verses 3 and 4 were really tough, and I'm not sure I agree completely with Britt. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

Rerum Creátor óptime,
Most noble Creator of all things
rectórque noster, réspice;
and our Ruler, look down on us;
nos a quiéte nóxia
from a sinful rest
mersos sopóre líbera.
free us who are immersed in sleep.

Who madest all and dost control,
Lord, with Thy touch divine,
cast out the slumbers of the soul,
the rest that is not Thine.

Te, sancte Christe, póscimus;
Thou, O Holy Christ, we ask;
ignósce tu crimínibus,
forgive Thou our offenses,
ad confiténdum súrgimus
we rise to confess
morásque noctis rúmpimus.
and we interrupt the lingering hours of the night.

Look down, Eternal Holiness,
and wash the sins away,
of those, who, rising to confess,
outstrip the lingering day.

Mentes manúsque tóllimus,
We raise our minds and hands,
Prophéta sicut nóctibus
by night as the Prophet (David)
nobis geréndum praécipit
commands us to do
Paulúsque gestis cénsuit.
and as Paul, by his deeds, sanctioned.

Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
we lift them in our need;
as holy Psalmists give the word,
and holy Paul the deed.

Vides malum quod géssimus;
Thou seest the evil we have done;
occúlta nostra pándimus,
we spread out our hidden (sins),
preces geméntes fúndimus;
groaning we pour out our prayers;
dimítte quod peccávimus.
forgive what we have done wrong.

Each sin to Thee of years gone by,
each hidden stain lies bare;
we shrink not from Thine awful eye,
but pray that Thou wouldst spare.

Sit, Christe rex piissime,
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna saécula. Amen.

Grant this, O Father, Only Son
and Spirit, God of grace,
to whom all worship shall be done
in every time and place. Amen.
Ascribed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). Metrical translation by Cardinal Newman.

There is an article about this hymn in the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia, written by Hugh Henry, which is mostly about variants in the text and what a French author (Pimont) has to say about which of the nine variants of the text he thinks are the Original Text. One wonders why this hymn in particular has an entry in that venerable old encyclopedia, but precious few other Matins hymns (or few other hymns at all) get their own article.

We also see Propheta referring to David making another appearance in this hymn, this time with Paulus who, according to Maureen , (commenting on Sunday's Matins hymn) is often just called "the Apostle." That particular phrase contains a gerundive (or is it a gerund? all I know is it has the form of a future passive participle) geréndum which caused me to look up the difference between the two. I remember seeing a movie on TV in which a crotchety old Latin master at some private school would always ask students, "Gerund or gerundive?" (I guess the movie was this one.) Anyways, after all that, I still tranlated geréndum simply "to do."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

Consors paterni luminis,
O Sharer in the Father's light
lux ipse lucis et dies,
Thyself Light of lights and the Day
noctem canendo rumpimus:
we interrupt the night with singing
assiste postulantibus.
attend to our praying.

O Light of light, O Dayspring bright,
coequal in Thy Father's light:
assist us, as with prayer and psalm
Thy servants break the nightly calm.

Aufer tenebras mentium,
Take away the darkness of our minds
fuga catervas daemonum,
drive away the swarm of evil spirits
expelle somnolentiam
expel our drowsiness
ne pigritantes obruat.
lest it bring ruin to us who hesitate continually.

All darkness from our minds dispel,
and turn to flight the hosts of Hell:
bid sleepfulness our eyelids fly,
lest overwhelmed in sloth we lie.

Sic, Christe, nobis omnibus
Thus, O Christ, to us all
indulgeas credentibus,
be lenient to your faithful
ut prosit exorantibus
that (it) may profit us who are pleading
quod praecinentes psallimus.
what we chant before Thee in song.

Jesu, Thy pardon, kind and free,
bestow on us who trust in Thee:
and us Thy praises we declare,
O with acceptance hear our prayer.

Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

O Father, that we ask be done,
through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
doth live and reign eternally.

Attributed to St. Ambrose 340-397. Translation by Joseph William Chadwick (1841-1882) and John David Chambers (1805-1893). Historically the concluding doxology "Praesta, Pater piissime" was used with this hymn and hence the above metrical translation's mis-match with the Latin.

Britt was a ton of help today. This hymn was in fact the Matins hymn for Tuesdays, so if you go to that link, just find hymn number 13 or look in the index for "Tuesday at Matins."

Pigritantes comes from pigror, pigrari, pigratus sum (hesitate, hang back), but it has been intensified by the addition of "-it" after the root. The "-it" apparently can also signify iteration, hence I have opted for "the continually hesitating." Britt just says "slothful." I guess that is a good definition of sloth: you just keep hesitating until inaction forces you into laziness, even if you started out determined not to be lazy. I guess the "hang back" meaning could also result in a translation something like "the continual non-starters."

I have experienced this often when trying to pray while sleepy. The prayer just pauses, and then pauses again, and then again for longer, and pretty soon I am not praying anymore. Which is fine if I'm trying to pray myself to sleep like I did last night, but terrible when I am trying to get up early to pray.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Office of Readings Odd Week noctu

Somno reféctis ártubus,
By sleep our limbs restored
Spreto cubíli, súrgimus:
having spurned our bed, we arise:
Nobis, Pater, canéntibus
to us who are singing, Father
Adésse te depóscimus.
we earnestly request you to be near.

Te lingua primum cóncinat,
Let the tongue first sing to Thee,
Te mentis ardor ámbiat:
let the intensity of our mind embrace Thee,
Ut áctuum sequéntium
that of the actions that follow
Tu, Sancte, sis exórdium.
you, Holy One, may be the beginning.

Cedant tenébræ lúmini,
Let darkness yield to light
Et nox diúrno síderi,
and night to the day-star,
Ut culpa, quam nox íntulit,
that sin, which the night has brought in,
Lucis labáscat múnere.
may fall to pieces by your gift of light.

Precámur iídem súpplices,
We beseech Thee by these same prayers,
Noxas ut omnes ámputes,
that Thou eradicate all crimes,
Et ore te canéntium (Update: thanks, Figulus)
by the mouth of those who sing to thee
Laudéris omni témpore.
may you be praised at all times.

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
Cum Spíritu Paráclito
Regnans per omne sæculum.

Anonymous, 6th or 7th century.

When I found out that monks got up at three in the morning to pray this office, I was flabbergasted. What discipline! What craziness! How did they stay awake? Especially during the long readings from the Scriptures and the Fathers?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Office of Readings Sunday Odd Week noctu

When the Office of Readings is said at night or early morning:

Primo diérum ómnium,
On the first of all days
quo mundus exstat cónditus
on which the universe stands forth, having been created
vel quo resúrgens Cónditor
or on which the Creator rising again
nos, morte victa, líberat.
frees us, having conquered death.

HAIL day! whereon the One in Three
first formed the earth by sure decree,
the day its Maker rose again,
and vanquished death, and burst our chain.

2. Pulsis procul torpóribus,
Having banished sloth away,
surgámus omnes ócius,
let us all rise quickly,
et nocte quærámus pium, (Update: see comments)
and by night let us seek after the Holy One,
sicut Prophétam nóvimus.
as we know (David)the Prophet (did).

2. Away with sleep and slothful ease!
We raise our hearts and bend our knees,
and early seek the Lord of all,
obedient to the Prophet's call:

3. Nostras preces ut áudiat
That He may hear our prayers
suámque dexteram pórrigat,
and stretch out his right hand,
et hic piátos sórdibus
and cleansed of filth here
reddat polórum sédibus,
he may deliver us to heavenly homes,

3. That He may hearken to our prayer,
stretch forth His strong right arm to spare,
and every past offense forgiv'n,
restore us to our homes in heav'n.

4. Ut quique sacratíssimo
That all of us who, in this most holy
huius diéi témpore
time of the day,
horis quiétis psállimus,
sing his praise in the hours of rest
donis beátis múneret.
He may reward with blessed gifts.

4. Assembled here this holy day,
this holiest hour we raise the lay;
and O that He to whom we sing,
may now reward our offering!

[5. Iam nunc, Patérna cláritas,
Now today, Splendor of the Father,
te postulámus áffatim:
we earnestly pray you
absit libído sórdidans,
that the baseness of lust be far removed,
omnísque actus nóxius.
and every evil deed.

5. O Father of unclouded light,
keep us this day as in Thy sight,
in word and deed that we may be
from every touch of evil free.

6. Ne foeda sit, vel lúbrica
lest it should become foul or defiled
compágo nostri córporis,
the framework of our body,
per quam avérni ígnibus
so that, by the very fires of hell
ipsi crèmémur ácrius.
we should be burned severely

6. That this our body's mortal frame
may know no sins, and fear no shame,
nor fire hereafter be the end
of passions which our bosoms rend.

7. Ob hoc, Redémptor, quaésumus,
On account of this, Redeemer, we ask,
ut probra nostra díluas:
that Thou wash away our shame:
vitæ perénnis cómmoda
and that the gifts of life eternal
nobis benígnus cónferas.
Thou kindly would bestow upon us.

7. Redeemer of the world, we pray
that Thou wouldst wash our sins away,
and give us, of Thy boundless grace,
the blessings of the heavenly place.

8. Quo carnis actu éxsules
That exiled by an act of the flesh
effécti ipsi caélibes,
having made ourselves celibate
ut praéstolamur cérnui,
we await prostrate
melos canámus glóriæ.
that we might sing the hymn of glory.

8. That we, thence exiled by our sin,
hereafter may be welcomed in:
that blessed time awaiting now,
with hymns of glory here we bow. ]

9. Deo Patri sit glória
eiúsque soli Fílio
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna saécula. Amen.

9. Most holy Father, hear our cry,
through Jesus Christ our Lord most High
who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee
doth live and reign eternally.

Verse 5-8 are not in Liber Hymnarius. Verse 8 is not even in Britt. I found it at this site.

Sunday 2nd Vespers Odd Week

This hymn is the first in a series of hymns each of which feature one of the seven days of creation. I blogged the six other Vespers hymns earlier (where I said I should have started with this one). The theme of this hymn is the work of the first day of Creation.

Lucis Creátor óptime
O august Creator of the light,
lucem diérum próferens,
who didst bring forth the light of day,
primórdiis lucis novae,
and with the creation of new light
mundi parans oríginem:
didst begin the origin of the world:

O blest Creator of the light,
Who mak'st the day with radiance bright,
and o'er the forming world didst call
the light from chaos first of all;

2. Qui mane iunctum vesperi
that morning joined with evening
diem vocári praécipis:
be called Day, Thou didst command:
tætrum chaos illábitur,
foul darkness descends,
audi preces cum flétibus.
hear Thou our prayers with our weeping.

2. Whose wisdom joined in meet array
the morn and eve, and named them Day:
night comes with all its darkling fears;
regard Thy people's prayers and tears.

3. Ne mens graváta crímine,
Lest the soul burdened with sin
vitæ sit exsul múnere,
be deprived of the gift of life,
dum nil perénne cógitat,
while it thinks of nothing eternal,
seséque culpis ílligat.
and fetters itself with sins.

3. Lest, sunk in sin, and whelmed with strife,
they lose the gift of endless life;
while thinking but the thoughts of time,
they weave new chains of woe and crime.

4. Cælórum pulset íntimum,
Let it knock at the heavenly portal
vitale tollat praémium;
and bear away the prize of life;
vitémus omne nóxium:
let us avoid everything harmful,
purgémus omne péssimum.
and purge out everything sinful.

4. But grant them grace that they may strain
the heavenly gate and prize to gain:
each harmful lure aside to cast,
and purge away each error past.

5. Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum.

5. O Father, that we ask be done,
through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

The author of this hymn is Gregory the Great, maybe. The index in the Liber Hymnarius has a question mark by his name.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sunday 1st Vespers Odd Week

Deus creátor ómnium
God, creator of all things
políque rector, véstiens
and heaven's guide, clothing
diem decóro lúmine,
the day with glorious light
noctem sopóris grátia.
the night with the grace of sleep.

God that all things didst create
and the heavens doth regulate,
Who doth clothe the day with light,
and with gracious sleep the night.

2. Artus solútos ut quies
Limbs unburdended that rest
reddat labóris usui
might restore us from the experience of labors
mentésque fessas állevet
and alleviate our tired minds
luctúsque solvat ánxios.
and loosen our troublesome sorrows.

3. Grates perácto iam die
The day now having been completed, thanks
et noctis exórtu preces,
and night prayers begin
voti reos ut ádiuves,
that Thou mayest aid consecrated sinners
hymnum canéntes sólvimus.
singing we release our hymns

3. Day sinks; we thank Thee for thy gift,
night comes; to Thee again we lift
our prayers and vows and hymns, that we
against all ills defended be.

4. Te cordis ima cóncinant,
To Thee let our inmost heart sing as one,
te vox canóra cóncrepet,
to Thee let the melodious voice sound,
te díligat castus amor,
for Thee let love esteem chasity,
te mens adóret sobria.
let the sober mind worship thee.

5. Ut cum profúnda cláuserit
That when the boundless depths conclude
diem calígo nóctium,
the day by the gloom of the nights
fides tenébras nésciat
may our faith not know darkness
et nox fide relúceat.
and may the night shine out by faith.

5. That so, when shadows round us creep
and all is hid in darkness deep,
faith may not feel the gloom; and night
borrow from faith's clear gleam new light.

[6. Dormíre mentem ne sinas,
Permit not our mind to sleep,
dormíre culpa nóverit;
let it learn to let our faults go idle;
castos fides refrígerans
our pure faith, cooling down
somni vapórem témperet.
let it temper the fever of dreams.]

[6. From snares of sense, Lord, keep us free
and let our hearts dream but of thee.
Let not the envious foe draw near
to vex our quiet rest with fear. ]

[7. Exúta sensu lúbrico
Having cast off evil thoughts(feelings)
te cordis alta sómnient,
raise our hearts that they may dream of Thee,
ne hostis invídi dolo
let not the trick of our hateful foe
pavor quiétos súscitet.
rouse fear in those in restful peace.]

8. Christum rogámus et Patrem,
This we ask Christ and the Father
Christi Patrísque Spíritum;
and the Spirit of Christ and the Father;
unum potens per ómnia,
that the one God, almighty over all things
fove precántes, Trínitas. Amen.
who is the Trinity, may favor our entreaties.

8. Hail we the Father and the Son
and Son's and Father's Spirit, one
blest Trinity who all obey;
guard Thou the souls that to Thee pray. Amen.

Here we have another Ambrosian hymn, with the distinction that Ambrose actually wrote this one, as opposed to it being written by someone else in "his style."

Here I include the two verses left out in the Liber Hymnarium. According to this site, this was an ancient hymn sung at Saturday vespers, but yet it doesn't appear in the Roman Breviary. The hymn for Saturday Vespers in the Roman Breviary is a version of this hymn.

Perhaps someone who has a copy of Te Decet Hymnus: L'Innario della "Liturgia Horarum" by Don Anselmo Lentini could translate the Italian for us and tell us 1)why a beautiful hymn with such a estemed pedigree (Ambrose himself!) doesn't appear in the Roman Breviary and 2) why Lentini left out verses 6 & 7. (I'm guessing the omission has to do with length. Needless to say, I really have no idea why.)

Thanks to all the new commenters! This is great fun. Again, I am learning much more than I ever imagined. Only one more vespers hymn to go for Ordinary Time, then I will start the Matins (Office of Readings) hymns, of which there are two sets.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Vespers Even Week

Horis peráctis úndecim
Having completed eleven hours Thanks for the correction, mrjdempsey
ruit dies in vésperum;
the day rushes on to evening;
solvámus omnes débitum
let us all pay back a debt
mentis libénter cánticum.
of the mind willingly in song.

Labor diúrnus tránsiit
Our daily labor has passed
quo, Christe, nos condúxeras;
for which, O Christ, you had employed us;
da iam colónis víneæ
so now grant to the farmer of the vine
promíssa dona glóriæ.
the promised gifts of glory.

Mercéde quo nunc ádvocas,
Now you call for the pay
quos ad futúrum múneras,
which you present towards the future,
nos in labóre ádiuva
Aid us in our labor
et post labórem récrea.
and restore us after our work.

Sit, Christe, rex piíssime,
tibi Patríque glória
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
in sempitérna saécula.

The Liber Hymnarius is silent on the identity of the author of this hymn. Therefore we can probably guessed it, Father Lentini of blessed memory, the hymnist of Monte Cassino. UPDATE: According to suburbanbanshee at Aliens in This World, this is a Mozarbic hymn by an anonymous writer. Not only that, suburbanbanshee did a singable translation! It's quite amazing. I am amazed at people who can do that.

I like the imagery of us as workers in the vineyard, all receiving the same pay no matter when we started work, as Jesus told in the gospel story.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Vespers Even Week

I am still reeling from my discovery that many of the hymns I am working with here are *gasp* modern, perhaps even recently written. Not written by a monk with no name or one name (I've been through the desert with a monk with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain...sorry, couldn't resist) but by Dom Anselmo Lentini, OSB, died 1989.

I gotta believe Fr. Lentini would be somehow pleased that I (and perhaps many others) could not tell the difference between his modern Latin hymns, cleverly composed to appear medieval, and the one which actually were composed in the middle ages. I guess living in Monte Cassino itself kind of helps to absorb the ambience and all so you can get the feeling right.

Today's offering however, actually does come from the 7th or 8th century.

Deus, qui claro lúmine
God, who with bright light
diem fecísti, Dómine,
hast made the day, O Lord,
tuam rogámus glóriam
we ask for Thy glory
dum pronus dies vólvitur.
while (we are)prone(kneeling) the day is wrapped up.

Iam sol urgénte véspero
Alreday evening is following hard on the heels of the sun
occásum suum gráditur,
His (light) having fallen, it advances,
mundum conclúdens ténebris,
darkness concealing the world
suum obsérvans órdinem.
His order observing.

Tu vero excélse Dómine,
Thou Lord truly preeminent
precántes tuos fámulos
Thy servants imploring
diúrno lassos ópere
tired from daily work
ne sinas umbris ópprimi,
that you not allow the shadows to oppress,

Ut non fuscátis méntibus
that our minds may not be darkened
dies abscédat saéculi,
let the day depart to the ages,
sed tua tecti grátia
yet covered by your grace
cernámus lucem prósperam.
may we discern the favorable light.

Præsta, Pater, piísime,
Patríque compare Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum. Amen.

Hmmm. That seemed easier somehow. Way easier than yesterday's, which was modern. But also eaiser than Tuesday's which was also 7th-8th century.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Vespers Even Week

Sol, ecce, lentus óccidens
Behold, the sun slowly dying
montes et arva et aéquora
over mountains and fields and plains
mæstus relínquit, innovate
leaves them sad, renewed
se lucis omen crástinæ,
light is itself a harbinger of tomorrow,

Mirántibus mortálibus
to wondering mortals
sic te, Creátor próvide,
so provide Thou, Creator,
leges vicésque témporum
laws and alternations of the times
umbris dedísse et lúmini.
you have given shadows and lights.

Ac dum, tenébris æthera
and as long as, the skies of darkness
siléntio preméntibus,
overwhelmed by silence
vigor labórum déficit,
the liveliness of labors flag,
quies cupíta quæritur,
desired quiet is sought after

Spe nos fidéque dívites
we with the riches of hope and faith
tui beámur lúmine
let us be blessed by means of your light
Verbi, quod est a saéculis
of the Word, who from ages past
splendor patérnæ glóriæ.
is the brilliance of the Father's glory.

Est ille sol qui nésciat
He is that Sun which knows not
ortum vel umquam vésperum;
any sunrise or evening;
quo terra gestit cóntegi,
whom the earth is eager to have hidden
quo cæli in ævum iúbilant.
whom the heavens rejoice in for all time.

Has nos seréna pérpetim
we these bright continually
da luce tandem pérfrui,
grant that by light at length we may completely enjoy,
cum Nato et almo Spíritu
with the Son and the nuturing Spirit
tibi novántes cántica. Amen.
renewing the song to you.

OK this one was a watershed for me, not because I think I nailed the translation (I am still unsure of a lot of it) but because the search for help led me to discover something very surprising about this and other hymns I have struggled with.

This hymn is of recent origin. It was not (as I imagined) penned by some monk of past centuries, just past decades. It is the work of Dom Anselmo Lentini of Monte Cassino, presumably the editor of the Liber Hymnarius. He died in 1989. Many of the hymns I have been struggling with are by him. I have struggled mostly because the hymns are not ancient and so there are not ten or twelve translations which have accrued through the ages for me to cheat and look them up, like I have been doing with the other hymns.

Fully forty-three hymns in the Liber Hymnarius are works of Fr. Lentini.

There is a lot more to read about this here at the Musica Sacra forum. It seems that around the beginning of this year, someone there asked about singing the post Vatican II Divine Office. The responses, especially the ones by William Mahrt himself (the president of CMAA) led to the revelation about Lentini writing these Latin hymns, admittedly in a medieval style. Many of the people there have a definite preference for the Pre- Vatican II Divine Office, especially if you want to sing it as a ceremonial in a parish, cathedral or oratory. It's not just nostalgia either, there are historical reasons about how the new LotH was structured, and the (ostensible) assumed intentions of the Reformers (Bugnini especially). They have concluded that the modern LotH was composed for private recitation and not really ever intended to be sung by groups, despite what the introduction to that Breviary says about itself!

Incidentally I was led to this by finding a Catalan translation of this hymn here , which I then put through one of those free automatic translators. The result was suprisingly coherent:

The sun, dying slowly,
it leaves mountains, fields and seas with sorrow;
but he renews the appointment
of the light of the following day.

Thus, Creative oh proseer,
you have fixed, with admiration of the mortals,
the laws and the alternation of the times
between the light and the darkness.

When the darkness submerges
the space in the silence,
the vigor of the works declines
and one looks for the wished rest.

And we, rich people for the faith and the hope,
we enjoy the light of your Verb,
that it is from always
shining of the glory of Pare.

This is the sun
that it never has dawn nor lay;
the earth, with pleasure, wants it to cover it
and the skies praise it eternally.

Grant us, Pare, that finally
we can enjoy this serene light forever;
as long as we renew the canticles of praise to you,
to the Son and to the Saintly Spirit. Amen.

This has all been a real revelation. I never dreamed I would learn so much when I started this project.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Vespers Even Week

Thanks to Quantitative Metathesis, who mentioned this blog in a post last night. She has also started a new project: translating the patristic reading from the Office of Readings in the Latin breviary. Just a lil' project to "keep her out of trouble." Awesome cool stuff. She debuts with Clement to the Corinthians.

Sator princépsque témporum,
Sower and master of times,
clarum diem labóribus
the bright day with labors
noctémque qui sopóribus
and the night which with sleep
fixo distínguis órdine,
you separate in fixed order,

Mentem tu castam dírige,
Direct Thou the chaste mind
obscúra ne siléntia
conceal not silences (by silence?)
ad dira cordis vúlnera
toward dreadful wounds of the heart
telis patéscant ínvidi.
that they may reveal the hateful spears.

Vacent ardóre péctora,
May our souls be free from passions,
faces nec ullas pérferant,
may they not bear any torch
quæ nostro hæréntes sénsui
which, clinging to our senses
mentis vigórem sáucient.
would wound the life of the mind.

Præsta, Pater piísime,
Patríque compare Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum. Amen.

Short and sweet today. I love the imagery of hateful darts, wounds in the soul, torches and the like. It's not that I love the darts and torches: my own cor et pectus et mens have suffered these (too-oft self-inflicted) attacks. I just love seeing my everyday experience reflected in a medieval hymn.

I long to really enter into the meaning of obscúra ne siléntia. I'm not understanding it in the context of that stanza right now, and I suspect some hidden, wonderful truth in the meaning of this prayer. Can anyone help?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Vespers Even Week


Luminis fons, lux et orígo lucis,
Source of light, THE light and origin of light,
tu pius nostris précibus favéto,
Thou loving (Trinity) favor our prayers
luxque, peccáti ténebris fugátis,
and, the shadows of sin having been chased away,
nos tua adórnet.
let thy Light equip us.

2. Ecce transáctus labor est diéi,
Behold the day's work is complete,
teque nos tuti sumus adnuénte;
and we have been protected by thy gaze;
en tibi grates ágimus libéntes
See, to thee we give glad thanks
tempus in omne.
at all times.

3. Solis abcéssus ténebras redúxit:
The setting sun brings back the darkness:
ille sol nobis rádiet corúscus
Let that brilliant Sun shine for us
luce qui fulva fovet angelórum
the light which warms with reddish glow
ágmina sancta.
the holy crowd of angels.

4. Quas dies culpas hodiérna texit,
The Day covers whatever be the day's faults
Christus deléto pius atque mitis,
Christ, upright and merciful, having wiped away
pectus et puro rútilet nitóre
and may the blameless soul glow brightly
témpore noctis.
through the nighttime.

5. Laus tibi Patri decus atque Nato,
Praise to Thee, Father, and honor to the Son,
Flámini Sancto párilis potéstas,
to the Holy Breath equally powerful,
cuncta qui sceptro régitis suprémo
Thou who rulest over all with highest scepter,
omne per ævum. Amen.
through all time.

I was totally on my own for this one. I have no idea where this hymn comes from. The meter is Sapphic and Adonic. I could find out nothing else about this hymn. I am pretty shaky about most of this translation. I suspect that the first line refers to the Trinity.

  • Luminis fons source of light the Father
  • lux the Light the Son (Iesus dicens "ego sum lux mundi..."
  • et orígo lucis, origin of Light the Holy Spirit...? the only Person left, but I couldn't figure out a reference from Scripture or Tradition identifying the Holy Spirit as the "origin of Light."

Also, these morning and evening hymns are so filled with references to LIGHT that I am starting to wonder about the difference between the Latin words lux and lumen. I know there is a lot of overlap in their meanings (light, day, daylight, etc.) but lumen could mean "torch" or "lamp" even sometimes refering to the sun.

I am going to need lots of help understanding the Vespers hymns this week, the Even Week, so all you legions of readers chime in!!!

Saints and angels, pray for me. All you holy monks and nuns who sang these hymns on earth, whether you completely understood them or not, pray for us who strive to enter into the traditional Mind of Holy Mother Church.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunday 2nd Vespers Even Week


O Lux beáta Trínitas,
O Blessed Trinity-Light
et principális Unitas,
and chief Oneness
iam sol recédit ígneus,
now the fiery sun retreats
infúnde lumen córdibus.
pour light into our hearts.

O Trinity of blessed Light,
O Unity of princely might,
The fiery sun now goes its way;
Shed Thou within our hearts Thy ray.

Te mane laudum cármine,
We glorify Thee in the morning with a hymn of praise,
te deprecémur véspere:
we entreat Thee in the evening
te nostra supplex glória
begging, that Thou, our glory,
per cuncta laudet sáecula.
be praised through all ages

To Thee our morning song of praise,
to Thee our evening prayer we raise;
Thy glory suppliant we adore
Forever and forevermore.

Christum rogámus et Patrem,
Christi Patrísque Spíritum;
unum potens per ómnia,
fove precántes, Trínitas.

This hymn was originally the Vespers hymn for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, celebrated the Sunday after Pentecost. Its text was revised at some point for use every Saturday night under the title Iam sol recedit igneus.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sunday 1st Vespers Even Week

Rerum, Deus, fons ómnium,
God, the source of everything that is,
qui, rebus actis ómnibus,
who, the cause of every action
totíus orbis ámbitum
the circle of the complete orbit
censu replésti múnerum.
Thou hast completed with a wealth of gifts

2. Ac, mole tanta cóndita,
And, having built so great a complex,
tandem quiétem díceris
Thou at last declarest a rest
sumpsísse, dans labóribus
to have begun, delivering from toils
ut nos levémur grátius.
that we may be thankfully relieved

3. Concéde nunc mortálibus
Grant now to mortals
deflére vitæ crímina,
weeping over lives of sin,
instáre iam virtútibus
that they may now pursue virtues
et munerári prósperis,

and be given success [in that pursuit]

4. Ut cum treméndi iúdicis
That when awesome judge's
horror suprémus coéperit,
greatest shivering (horror) begins
lætémur omnes ínvicem
may we all rejoice in turn
pacis repléti múnere.

filled with the gift of peace.

5. Præsta, Pater piíssime,

Grant this, most loving Father,
Patríque compar Unice,
and the co-equal Unique Son of the Father

cum Spíritu Paráclito
with the Spirit Paraclete
regnans per omne saéculum.

reigning through every age.

This was a tough hymn to translate. It took me a while, but I believe that I have the sense of the hymn, with the exception of the end of the first stanza. I translated censu as "a wealth". But I'm still not sure.

I sure love to sing the hymn. The melody found in the Solemnes Liber Hymnarius is profound, stately, mysterious and beautiful. Soon I will figure out a way to post sound on this blog.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Vespers Odd Week

This hymn tells of the sixth day of creation, when the "brute animals" were created, and then man.

Plasmátor hóminis, Deus,
O God, the creator of man,
qui cuncta solus órdinans,
who alone dost dispose all things,
humum iubes prodúcere
Thou didst command that the earth bring forth
reptántis et feræ genus:
reptiles and beasts:

Maker of man, who from Thy throne
dost order all things, God alone;
by whose decree the teeming earth
to reptile and to beast gave birth:

Qui magna rerum córpora,
who the huge bodies of created beings (things)
dictu iubéntis vívida,
became instinct with life at your (spoken) command
ut sérviant per órdinem
that they may serve in assigned rank
subdens dedísti hómini:
Thou didst give to men, placing them under

The mighty forms that fill the land,
instinct with life at Thy command,
are given subdued to humankind
for service in their rank assigned.

Repélle a servis tuis,
Drive from thy servants
quicquid per immundítiam,
evertything which is dirty/lustful
aut móribus se súggerit,
whether it attaches itself to our morals
aut áctibus se intérserit.
or intertwines itself with our actions.

From all Thy servants drive away
whatéer of thought impure to-day
hath been with open action blent,
or mingled with the heart's intent.

Da gaudiórum praémia,
Grant us the reward of heavenly joys;
da gratiárum múnera:
bestow upon us gifts of grace;
dissólve litis víncula,
rend asunder the chains of strife;
astrínge pacis foédera.
draw closer the bonds of peace.

In heaven Thine endless joys bestow,
and grant Thy gifts of grace below;
from chains of strife our souls release,
bind fast the gentle bands of peace.

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum.

Grant this, O Father, ever One
with Christ, Thy sole-begotten Son,
Whom, with the Spirit we adore,
one God, both now and evermore.

So this hymn is asking God to place our passions under control just as he once place brute beasts in ordered rank, subdued to human beings. Now I get it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thursday Vespers Odd Week

The work of the fifth day of creation: when God created the birds and fishes, both of which sprang from a common source, that is, water.

Magnæ Deus poténtiae,
O God of great power,
qui ex aquis ortum genus
who the offspring born out of waters,
partim remíttis gúrgiti,
in part dost send back to the deep
partim levas in áera.
and in part dost raise them aloft in the air.

O Sovereign Lord of Naturés might,
Who bad'st the water's birth divide;
part in the heavens to take their flight,
and part in ocean's deep to hide;

Demérsa lymphis ímprimens,
Thou dost consign(print?) the fishes to the waters
subvécta cælis írrogans,
and liftest up the birds on high
ut, stirpe una pródita,
that (animals) proceeding from one stock
divérsa répleant loca:
might occupy different places:

These low obscured, on airy wing
exalted those, that either race,
though from one element they spring,
might serve Thee in a different place.

Largíre cunctis sérvulis,
Grant to all Thy servants,
quos mundat unda sánguinis,
whom the stream of Thy blood hath cleansed,
nescíre lapsus críminum,
to know not sinful falls,
nec ferre mortis taédium.
nor suffer the loathsomeness of spiritual death.

Grant, Lord, that we Thy servants all,
saved by Thy tide of cleansing Blood,
no more 'neath sin's dominion fall,
nor fear the thought of death's dark flood!

Ut culpa nullum déprimat,
Let guilt depress no one;
nullum levet iactántia,
let pride exalt no one,
elísa mens ne cóncidat,
lest the despondent soul be disheartened,
eláta mens ne córruat.
and the proud soul be ruined.

Thy varied love each spirit bless,
the humble cheer, the high control;
check in each heart its proud excess,
but raise the meek and contrite soul!

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum. Amen.

This boon, O Father, we entreat,
this blessing grant, Eternal Son,
and Holy Ghost, the Paraclete,
both now, and while the ages run. Amen.

Wow, now that I have looked up some of the vocab and have looked at what the Latin really says, I now understand this metrical translation a lot more...without the Latin meanings this hymn translation was almost inscrutable!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday Vespers Odd Week

The fourth-day-of-Creation hymn:


Cæli Deus sanctíssime,
Most Holy God of heaven,
qui lúcidum centrum poli
who the lightsome regions of the universe
candóre pingis ígneo
Thou dost adorn with fiery brilliancy
augens decóri lúmina,
embellishing them with becoming splendor,

O God, whose hand hath spread the sky,
and all its shining hosts on high,
and painting it with fiery light,
made it so beauteous and so bright:

Quarto die qui flámmeam
Thou, on the fourth day with flame
solis rotam constítuens,
didst light up the disk of the sun
lunæ minístras órdini
didst appoint the orbit of the moon,
vagos recúrsus síderum,
and the wandering courses of the stars,

Thou, when the fourth day was begun,
didst frame the circle of the sun,
and set the moon for ordered change,
and planets for their wider range:

Ut nóctibus vel lúmini
That to nights and days
diremptiónis términum,
a boundary-line of separation,
primórdiis et ménsium
and for the beginning of the months
signum dares notíssimum:
a conspicuous sign Thou mightest give

To night and day, by certain line,
their varying bounds Thou didst assign;
and gav'st a signal, known and meet,
for months begun and months complete.

Illúmina cor hóminum,
Enlighten the heart of men,
abstérge sordes méntium,
wipe away the defilements of our souls;
resólve culpæ vínculum
loosen the chains of guilt;
evérte moles críminum.
overturn the great load of our sins.

Enlighten Thou the hearts of men:
polluted souls make pure again:
unloose the bands of guilt within:
remove the burden of our sin.

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne sæ’culum. Amen.

Grant this, O Father, ever One
with Christ, Thy sole-begotten Son,
Whom, with the Spirit we adore,
one God, both now and evermore.

Again, when I have the metrical translation (today done again by J. M. Neale) most of the English literal translation comes directly from Britt, unless there has been a variation in the text, then I actually look up the words.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday Vespers Odd Week


Tellúris ingens Cónditor,
Uncreated creator of the world,
mundi solum qui éruens,
who digging up the surface of the earth,
pulsis aquae moléstiis,
and driving off the troubled waters
terram dedísti immóbilem,
didst firmly establish the land,

Earth's mighty Maker, whose command
raised from the sea the solid land;
and drove each bill'wy heap away,
and bade the earth stand firm for aye:

Ut germen aptum próferens,
That it might bring froth appropriate produce,
fulvis decóra flóribus,
be adorned with golden flowers,
fecúnda fructu sísteret
become prolific in fruits,
pastúmque gratum rédderet:
and yield agreeable sustenance.

That so, with flowers of golden hue,
the seeds of each it might renew;
and fruit-trees bearing fruit might yield,
and pleasant pasture of the field:

Mentis perústae vúlnera
The wounds of the sin-parched soul
munda viróre grátiae,
cleanse by the freshness of Thy grace,
ut facta fletu díluat,
that it may wash way with tears its evil deeds,
motúsque pravos átterat,
and suppress sinful emotions.

Our spirit's rankling wounds efface
with dewy freshness of Thy grace:
that grief may cleanse each deed of ill,
and o'er each lust may triumph still.

Iussis tuis obtémperet,
May it obey Thy commands;
nullis malis appróximet,
may it draw nigh nothing sinful;
bonis repléri gáudeat,
that it may rejoice to be filled with good,
et mortis actum nésciat.
and know not the act of death.

Let every soul Thy law obey,
and keep from every evil way;
rejoice each promised good to win,
and flee from every mortal sin.

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,
cum Spíritu Paráclito
regnans per omne saéculum.Amen.

Hear Thou our prayer, Almighty King!
hear Thou our praises, while we sing,
adoring with the heavenly host,
the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

This hymn tells of the third day of Creation from the first chapter of Genesis.