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."

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