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.


sacred heart said...

Great to see your blog!!!! This is exactly the thing I am looking for!!! I am a musician in London, who likes to sing from the Liber Hymnarium but half the time doesn't know what it means! Alas, my Latin is not as good as your, but it is improving!

I am linking to your blog on mine (

Keep in touch!!

Geometricus said...

Thanks for stopping by, sacred heart. I always wanted to learn more Latin, but looking up words was always too tiresome for me, lazy bum that I am. But once I learned how to use this program
it became more possible for a busy husband and dad to get some fast translation done. The program will give you all the possible cases, tenses, moods, persons, numbers, etc. for any word you plug in. An earlier version of the program I had often came up empty for some words, but I recenly downloaded the latest version and I haven't had an unrecognized word yet. Apparently this William Whitaker really updates his stuff!

Thanks for linking!