Friday, August 29, 2008

Beheading of St. John the Baptist Lauds

You make smooth the way to follow Christ

O nimis felix meritíque celsi,
O blessed saint, exceedingly deserving of high reward,
nésciens labem nívei pudóris,
knowing no fault, of white, unstained sense of honor,
praépotens martyr eremíque cultor,
very powerful martyr and dweller in the wilderness,
máxime vatum.
greatest of the prophets.

O more than blessed, merit high attaining,
Pure as the snow-drift, innocent of evil,
Child of the desert, mightiet of Martyrs,
Greatest of Prophets.

2. Nunc potens nostri méritis opímis
Now powerful for us by your rich merits
péctoris duros lápides repélle,
drive away the hard stones of [our] hearts,
ásperum planans iter, et refléxos
make smooth our rough road, and our bent
dírige calles,
rocky paths make straight,

2. O may the virtue of thine intercession,
All stony hardness from our hearts expelling,
Smooth the rough places, and the crooked straighten
Here in the desert.

3. Ut pius mundi sator et redémptor,
That the holy Founder and Redeemer of the world,
méntibus pulsa mácula polítis,
into our polished hearts, stains having been driven out,
rite dignétur véniens sacrátos
solemnly may deign, when He comes, to direct
pónere gressus.
His holy footsteps.

3. Thus may our gracious Maker and Redeemer,
Seeking a station for His hallowed footsteps,
Find, when He cometh, temples undefiléd,
Meet to receive Him.

4. Láudibus cives célebrant supérni
With praise let the citizens of heaven extol
te, Deus simplex paritérque trine;
Thee, God one and equally three;
súpplices ac nos véniam precámur:
suppliantly we pray for pardon:
parce redémptis.
spare Thy redeemed ones.

4. Now as the Angels celebrate Thy praises,
Godhead essential, Trinity co-equal;
Spare They redeemed ones, as they bow before THee,
Pardon imploring.

Attributed, with some doubt, to Paul the Deacon (720-799). Metric translation by M. J. Blackner and G. H. Palmer, found in Britt p 260. These are verses 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the hymn Ut queant laxis where we get Ut, re, mi or as we know it in America, do, re, mi...anyways, it comes from the beginning syllables of certain words in the first staza of the hymn, which is traditionally sung at Vespers on June 24, the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Since the hymn is so long, it is usually chopped up and sung at other hours. (verses 5-8 are sung at Matins under the title Antra desérti.

You may well wonder what happen to verse 10. Well, Fr. Lentini thought it was "a bit complicated" and so omitted it from the modern breviary. Thanks to Fr. Britt we still have it:

Serta ter denis álios corónant
Crowns thirty-fold crown some
Aucta creméntis, duplicáta quosdam;
enriched with increase, others double that;
Trina te fructu cumuláta centum
but a triple crown heaped with fruit a hundredfold
Néxibus ornant.
adorns thee.

Thirtyfold increase some with glory crowneth;
Sixtyfold fruitage prize for others winneth;
Hundredfold measure, thrice repeated, decks thee,
Blest one, for guerdon.

To quote Britt: "The stanza plainly refers to the Parable of the Sower, some of whose seed falling on good ground "brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixyfold and some thirtyfold" (Matt 13,8). Our Lord Himself explains the meaning of this parable (Matt. 13, 18-23). The triple crown ascribed to St. John is probably that referred to in the preceding stanza, viz., that of martyr, hermit, and prophet."

For good measure, Britt adds an extra translation of this verse by H. T. Henry (in meter no less):

Some crowns with glory thirtyfold are shining:
Others, a double flower and fruit combining:
Thy trinal chaplet bears an intertwining
Hundredfold fruitage.

I had the privelege of singing the first and last verse of this hymn at mass this morning, after communion.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

St. Augustine Lauds and Vespers

Admirable convert, monk, bishop and doctor

Fulget in cælis célebris sacérdos,
A celebrated priest shines in the heavens,
stella doctórum rútilat corúsca,
the brilliant star of all wise doctors glows red,
lumen intáctum fídei per orbis
scattering the intact light of faith
clímata spargens.
over every clime of the world.

2. Cive tam claro, Sion o supérna,
Of so illustrious a citizen, O heavenly Zion,
læta dic laudes Dómino salútis,
utter joyful praises to the Lord of salvation
qui modis miris sibi vinxit ipsum
who in His wonderful ways bound this saint
lúmine complens.
perfecting him by light.

3. Hic fidem sacram vigil usque firmat,
This vigilant sentry confirms the holy faith at every point,
arma et errórum súbigit poténter,
and powerfully subjugates the weapons of errors,
sórdidos mores lavat et repéllit
washes and repels sordid habits
dógmate claro.
by clear teaching.

4. Qui, gregis Christi speculátor almus,
Nourishing watcher of Christ's flock,
énites clero monachísque forma,
be an outstanding model of cleric and of monk,
tu Dei nobis fáciem benígnam
make favorable the face of God towards us
fac prece semper.
always by your prayer.

5. Laus, honor, virtus Triádi beátæ,
Praise, honor, power to the blessed Triad,
cuius in terris studuísti amánter
whose glory you lovingly desired on earth
alta scrutári nitidáque in astris
on high to examine carefully in the stars
luce potíris. Amen.
the shining light you have received and grasped.

Attributed to the monk Eckbert of Schönau, 12th century.

You might wonder why Augustine's name does not appear. Fr. Lentini explains: "Not finding a hymn proper to St. Augustine of elevated enough tailoring, this hymn has been used, composed in honor of St. Gregory the Great, but well adaptable with some retouch." Some of the retouch that Lentini did was because the meter was not consistent. However, he defends Eckbert: "The author, a demonstrable expert, has certainly intended to compose a metric hymn; perhaps the metric defects are attributable to later hands."

In the first strophe, I previously translated lumen intáctum as "a lamp untouched," which I noticed was different from the translation of the erudite Jesuit Martin O'Keefe, who opts for "light of faith undiminished". One of the meanings of intáctum is "virgin," which we know Augustine most certainly was not, having fathered a child by a relationship previous to his conversion. But intactum modifies lumen "the light" and not sacérdos or stella. I assume we are to marvel at the mystery of a light which is "scattered" but yet remains "intact."

The last two lines of verse 2 were originally:

iubila, terra, meritis protecta
rejoice, O earth, protect by the merit
praesulis almi.
of so kind a patron.

Lentini changed these lines especially in honor of Augustine. He replaced it with the present text to "mention Augustine attaining to the mysterious ways of God."

The doxology (last verse) is new as well, "the intent of which is to recall the admirable writings of the Saint on the august mystery of the Trinity."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

Chosen sheep, not rejected

Scientiárum Dómino,
To the Lord of knowledge,
sit tibi iubilátio,
to Thee be glad rejoicing,
qui nostra vides íntima
who sees our inmost secrets
tuáque foves grátia.
and still favors us with Thy grace.

Qui bonum, pastor óptime,
Thou art good, Shepherd most kind,
dum servas, quæris pérditum,
while Thou watchest over us, Thou seekest the lost,
in páscuis ubérrimis
in rich pastures
nos iunge piis grégibus,
unite us with Thy faithful flocks,

Ne terror iræ iúdicis
Let not the terror of an angry judge
nos hædis iungat réprobis,
consign us to the rejected goats,
sed simus temet iúdice
but rather let us, with Thee Thyself as our judge,
oves ætérnæ páscuæ.
be sheep in Thy eternal pasture.

Tibi, Redémptor, glória,
To Thee, Redeemer, be glory,
honor, virtus, victória,
honor, strength, victory,
regnánti super ómnia
to Thee reigning over all things
per sæculórum saécula. Amen.
throught all time.

The author of this 8th or 9th century hymn is unknown.

Lentini changed the original text in two places, one is insignificant (ætérnæ for tuæ in verse 3, to supply a syllable) and one is kind of funny. In the third verse, the orignal 2nd line was
nos hædis iungat faetidis,
consign us to the stinky goats

I am not around goats a whole lot, but I can imagine that being consigned to being a stinky goat is a fate worse than death.

With this hymn, I have looked at each of the hymns assigned to Lauds, Vespers and the Office of Readings (both noctu and diurno) during Ordinary Time, 14 of each, 56 in all. I have reached my goal of doing this in the summer. I would like to be able to now supply each one with a sound file. We will see if my busy school-teaching schedule which begins soon will allow me to add that.

I owe a special debt of thanks to Figulus, who by brief but informative comments has greatly helped me raise the level of these translations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Lauds Odd Week, revisited

Praying this hymn this morning with my previous translation in view, I realized how jumbled and confused my first attempt was. Now that I have a bit of experience and a few more tools, I'd like to try again:

Christ true Sun, make us sons of the light

Pergráta mundo núntiat
To the beautiful world the dawn announces
auróra solis spícula,
by the light of the dawn sun's ray
res et colóre véstiens
clothing things with color
iam cuncta dat nitéscere.
the dawn now make all things begins to shine

2. Qui sol per ævum praénites,
Thou shinest forth as the sun through the ages
o Christe, nobis vívidus,
O Christ, giving life to us
ad te canéntes vértimur,
we are turned to Thee chanting praise
te gestiéntes pérfrui.
eagerly exulting to enjoy Thee.

3. Tu Patris es sciéntia
Thou art knowledge of the Father
Verbúmque per quod ómnia
and the Word by which all things
miro refúlgent órdine
shine with wonderful order
mentésque nostras áttrahunt.
and attract our minds towards Thee.

4. Da lucis ut nos fílii
Make us sons of light that
sic ambulémus ímpigri,
we may walk with eagerness
ut Patris usque grátiam
that always the grace of the Father
mores et actus éxprimant.
our habits and actions may express.

5. Sincéra præsta ut prófluant
Grant that pure things may emanate
ex ore nostro iúgiter,
from our mouth continually,
et veritátis dúlcibus
and by the joys of delightful truth
ut excitémur gáudiis.
grant that we may be awakened.

6. Sit, Christe, rex piísime,
Christ, most loving King
tibi Patríque glória
to you and to the Father be glory
cum Spíritu Paráclito,
with the Spirit Paraclete
in sempitérna saécula. Amen.
unto endless ages.

This hymn is modern, written by the editor of the Liber Hymnarius, Dom Anselmo Lentini, of Monte Cassino, to whom I constantly refer in this blog.

Tuesday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

We sing to Thee, O Trinity, in adoration

O sacrosáncta Trínitas,
O most holy Trinity,
quæ cuncta condens órdinas,
Thou dost set in order all things Thou hast made
diem labóri députans
assigning labor to the day
noctem quiéti dédicas,
Thou dost dedicate the night for rest,

2. Te mane, simul véspere,
To Thee in the morning, also at evening,
te nocte ac die cánimus;
To Thee night and day do we sing;
in tua nos tu glória
do Thou in Thy glory
per cuncta serva témpora.
preserve us through all times/hours.

3. Nos ádsumus te cérnui
Here we are bowing before Thee
en adorántes fámuli;
behold Thy servants paying homage;
vota precésque súpplicum
offerings and prayers of suppliants
hymnis adiúnge caélitum.
add Thou to the hymns of the saints.

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

Verse 1-2 are from an unknown 11th century author. Verse 3 is from an unknown 10th century author. Verse three was added to this extremely short hymn (2 verses). The third verse was taken from the hymn Adesto, sancta Trinitas, which is sung during the Easter season
(after the octave, ad libitum) at the Office of Readings.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

The Trinity our love, desire and joy

Deus de nullo véniens,
God coming from nothing,
Deus de Deo pródiens,
God proceeding from God,
Deus ab his progrédiens,
God going forth from these
in nos veni subvéniens.
come among us, rescuing.

2. Tu nostrum desidérium,
Be Thou our desire,
tu sis amor et gáudium;
be Thou our love and delight;
in te nostra cupíditas
May our passion be for Thee
et sit in te iucúnditas.
and may our happiness be in Thee.

3. Pater, cunctórum Dómine,
Father, Lord of all,
cum Génito de Vírgine,
together with He-who-was-begotten-of-a-virgin,
intus et in circúitu
within and all around
nos rege Sancto Spíritu.
direct us by the Holy Spirit.

4. Meménto, sancta Trinitas,
Remember, Holy Trinity,
quod tua fecit bónitas,
what Thy goodness has done,
créando prius hóminem,
first creating man,
recreándo per sánguinem.
then restoring him through Thy blood.

5. Nam quo creávit Unitas,
For that which Unity has created,
redémit Christi cáritas;
the charity of Christ has redeemed;
patiéndo tunc díligens,
may the One who suffered then in His love,
nunc díligat nos éligens.
now love us as His chosen.

6. Tríadi sanctæ gáudium,
To the Holy Triad be joy,
pax, virtus et impérium,
peace, strength and authority,
decus, omnipoténtia,
glory, almighty power,
laus, honor, reveréntia. Amen.
praise, honor, reverence.

The author of this (at least) 14th century hymn is unknown.

One verse was omitted in this hymn, for brevity, but also because Fr. Lentini thought it "plays too much with the words and the alliterations, and it preempts the 5th verse." I'll let you decide:

Regendo clemens corrige
By merciful rule correct us
et corrigendo dirige,
and by correcting direct us
diligendo nos eligas
by holding us dear choose us
et cum electis colligas
and with the chosen unite us

[Yeah, I kinda it was OK to omit that verse...]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

The soul, flood of the Spirit, brings God with itself

Adésto, rerum cónditor,
Be present, Creator of all things,
patérnæ lucis glória,
glory of Fatherly light
cuius amóta grátia
when Thy grace is taken away
nostra pavéscunt péctora.
our souls become alarmed.

Tuóque plena Spíritu,
And (our souls) filled with Thy Spirit,
secum Deum gestántia,
carrying God with them,
nil rapiéntis pérfidi
to nothing of the destroying faithless (one)
diris patéscant fráudibus,
may they be open by awful fraud

Ut inter actus saéculi
That among the deeds of the world
vitæ quos usus éxigit,
which making use of life requires,
omni caréntes crímine
may we be free from all sin
tuis vivámus légibus.
may we live by Thy laws.

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

The author of the (earlier than) sixth century hymn is unknown, according to Fr. Lentini.

He also says that this hymn is made up of verses 4, 5, and 6 of the hymn Lucis largitor splendide which we sing on Even Mondays at Morning prayer. If you follow that link, you find out that others think this hymn was written by St. Hilary of Potiers.

The 2nd and 3rd stanzas of this hymn were exceedingly difficult. I hope I did them justice. When I go back and read through my translation of the hymn and the thoughts seems to hang together...this makes me think that I got the sense of the writer. Here is a quick schematic of each verse as I see it:

1. Be present O Lord, because our hearts are distressed without your grace,
2. but when you fill them with the Spirit, God is within us and nothing bad can harm us
3. so that even as we go about tasks which may be worldly, we can live by Your principles and stay free from sin.

A very cool prayer on this Queenship of Mary. Fiat, fiat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

The felicitous love which thirsts for Truth

1. Amóris sensus érige
Arouse the feelings of love
ad te, largítor véniæ,
toward Thee, O generous Giver of pardon,
ut fias clemens córdibus
that Thou mayest bring about mercy to hearts
purgátis inde sórdibus.
cleansed therein from sin.

5. Extérni huc advénimus
As strangers we come here
et éxsules ingémimus;
and as exiles we groan;
tu portus es et pátria,
Thou art both refuge and fatherland,
ad vitæ duc nos átria.
lead us to Thy palace of life.

6. Felix quæ sitit cáritas
Happy the love that thirsts for Charity
te fontem vitæ, o Véritas;
Thou fountain of life, O Truth;
beáti valde óculi
most blessed the eyes
te speculántis pópuli.
of those who gaze on Thee.

7. Grandis est tibi glória
It is a great glory to Thee
tuæ laudis memória,
the recollection of Thy praise
quam sine fine célebrant
which without ceasing they glorify Thee
qui cor ab imis élevant.
those who raise up their heart from the lowest.

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

The author of this (at least) 10th century hymn is unknown. Lentini omitted verses 2-4 and 8 with the comment that they were "less meaningful." I wonder why? Can anyone find these lost verses?

Wednesday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

Give us love and faith, victory against Satan

Christe, lux vera, bónitas et vita,
O Christ, true light, goodness and life,
gáudium mundi, píetas imménsa
joy of the world, holiness immeasurable
qui nos a morte vívido salvásti
Thou who hast saved us from a living death
sánguine tuo,
by Thy blood,

2. Insere tuum, pétimus, amórem
Plant thy love, we beg,
méntibus nostris, fídei refúnde
in our minds, pour forth faith's
lumen ætérnum, caritátis auge
eternal light, increase charity's
burning love.

3. Procul a nobis pérfidus absístat
May deceitful Satan go far away from us
Satan, a tuis víribus confractus;
by Thy strength destroyed;
Sanctus assístat Spíritus, a tua
Let the Holy Spirit stand by us, from Thy
sede demíssus.
Throne sent down.

4. Glória Deo sit ætérno Patri,
sit tibi semper, Genitóris Nate,
cum quo per cuncta Spíritus æquális
sæcula regnat. Amen.

The author of this (circa) 10th century hymn is unknown. See yesterday's diurno hymn for more details.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

Always awaiting Thee with lamps burning

Ad preces nostras deitátis aures,
To our prayers, the divine ears,
Deus, inclína pietáte sola;
O God, incline who alone art holy;
súpplicum vota súscipe, precámur
receive our prayer, offered on bended knee, we beg
fámuli tui.
from thy servants.

Réspice clemens sólio de sancto
Merciful One, gaze from Thy holy throne
vultu seréno, lámpadas illústra
with tranquil face, light up our lamps
ólei nostri, ténebras depélle
filled with our oil, drive away all the darkness
péctore cunctas.
from our hearts.

Crímina laxa pietáte multa,
Forgive our crimes by Thy great love,
áblue sordes, víncula disrúmpe,
wash away the filth, burst our chains,
parce peccátis, réleva iacéntes
spare us our sins, reveal those who lie in ruins
déxtera tua.
bring them to Thy right hand/side.

Glória sit ætérno Patri,
Glory be to the eternal Father,
sit tibi semper, Genitóris Nate,
and always to Thee, O Son of the Father,
cum quo per cuncta Spíritus æquális
who reigns with the equally divine Spirit
sæcula regnat. Amen.
through all ages.

The author of this c. 10th century hymn is unknown. This hymn was very widespread in the middle ages, especially used for Lent, preserved also from the Breviary of Pius V. These are verses 1, 2, 3 and 9 of a longer hymn. Verses 5, 6 and 8 appear in tomorrow's diurno hymn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

Invocation of help

Vita sanctórum, via, spes salúsque,
Life of the saints, the Way, and Hope of salvation,
Christe largítor probitátis atque
O Christ, generous giver of uprightness and
cónditor pacis, tibi voce, sensu,
Author of peace, to Thee with song and with feeling,
pángimus hymnum:
we compose a hymn:

2. Cuius est virtus manifésta totum
Manifest (O Christ) that it is by your strength
quod pii posunt quod habent, quod ore,
all that the faithful are able (to do), all they have, whether by word,
corde vel factis cúpiunt, amóris
in the heart or by deed they desire,
igne flagrántes.
while burning with the fire of love.

3. Témporum pacem, fídei tenórem,
Peace in our time, steady course of faith
lánguidis curam veniámque lapsis,
cure for the sluggish and pardon for the fallen,
ómnibus præsta páriter beátæ
these grant to all equally, the gifts
múnera vitæ.
of the saintly life.

4. Æqua laus summum célebret Paréntem
Let equal praise honor the highest Father
teque, Salvátor, pie rex, per ævum;
and Thee, Savior, Holy King, through all time;
Spíritus Sancti résonet per omnem
may the glory of the Holy Spirit resound
glória mundum. Amen.
through all the universe.
Text: Walafrid Strabo ['squinter'] German monk and poet, d. 849

This was a difficult hymn to translate, especially the 2nd verse. I wish to acknowledge the help of Fr. Martin O'Keefe, S.J. from his book Exultemus: Rejoicing with God in the Hymns of the Roman Breviary, sent to me most kindly by bluejeepsiamese. [I'll have to get on the stick and send him back his Lentini this week, and start making a copy of the Neale translations he sent me!]

By the way, Walafrid the Squinter, who wrote this hymn, seems like a really interesting character. According to this article by Arthur Remy in the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia, he penned a popular (in its time) commentary on Scripture, the Glosa Ordinaria, as well as a life of St. Gall. He also wrote a kind of precursor to Dante's Divine Comedy called The Vision of Wettin. All of his [extant]works in Latin can be found here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Office of Readings Even Week diurno

Today's hymn is a barn burner. The melody goes quite high and varies like a sequence. For those who are not familiar with the structure of the melody in a sequence such as Victimae Paschali Laudes at Easter or Lauda Sion at Corpus Christi, the verses are grouped in twos. Verses one and two have the same melody. Verses three and four then share a different melody from verses one and two, and so on through the end of the piece. It helps if you don't know the piece to listen to the odd-numbered verses and sing only the even-numbered verses. Try it!

Triumphal day of the Resurrection

Salve dies, diérum glória,
Hail the day, the glory of days,
dies felix Christi victória,
happy day of Christ's victory,
dies digna iugi lætitia,
day worthy of overflowing joy,
dies prima.
the first day.

HAIL, day, the glory of all days, to thee !
Thrice happy day, Christ's day of victory !
The first day ! day most fit continually
Our joy to show !

2. Lux divína cæcis irrádiat,
Light divine beams forth upon the blind,
in qua Chrístus inférnum spóliat,
by which Christ despoils hell,
mortem vincit et reconcíliat
conquers death and reconciles
summis ima.
from top to bottom.

2. This day divine illuminates blind eyes,
Upon which Christ of hell's dark realms makes prize,
O'ercometh death and joins in one the skies
And earth below.

3. Sempitérni regis senténtia
The sentence of the eternal King
sub peccáto conclúsit ómnia;
has confined all men under sin;
ut infirmis supérna grátia
but so that heavenly grace the weak
might rescue,

3. The judgment of the everlasting King
Hath under sin concluded everything,
That heavenly grace the weak and wavering
Might come to aid.

4. Dei virtus et sapiéntia
God's strength and wisdom
temperávit iram cleméntia,
has tempered wrath with mercy,
cum iam mundus in præcipítia
when already the world headlong over a cliff,
totus iret.
the whole, was marching.

4. God's goodness and His wisdom from on high
His wrath hath tempered with His clemency,
Now when all earth was being rapidly
In ruin laid.

9. Resurréxit liber ab inferis
He has risen, free from death
restaurátor humáni géneris,
Renewer of the human race,
ovem suam repórtans úmeris
His sheep carrying back on His shoulders
ad supérna.
to heaven.

9. Free hath He risen from depths of hell below,
Who hath the human race re-fashioned so,
And, on His shoulder borne, His sheep He now
To heaven doth raise.

10. Angelórum pax fit et hóminum,
Peace arises among angels and men,
plenitúdo succréscit órdinum,
its fullness swells up through the ranks,
triumphántem laus decet Dóminum,
praise befits our triumphant conquering Lord,
laus ætérna.
praise eternal.

10. 'Twixt men and angels is there perfect peace ;
The ranks of heaven now swell to full increase ;
Praise to the Lord Who maketh wars to cease,
Eternal praise !

11. Harmoníæ cæléstis pátriæ
With the melodies of our heavenly fatherland
vox concórdet matris Ecclésiæ,
let the voice of Mother Church harmonize,
« Allelúia » frequéntet hódie
let the faithful people sing today repeatedly
plebs fidélis.

11. O let the voice of Mother-Church agree
With heaven, our fatherland's, bright harmony,
And alleluias from the faithful be
Countless to-day !

12. Triumpháto mortis império,
Having completely conquered the regime of death,
triumpháli fruámur gáudio;
let us enjoy triumphal delight;
in terra pax, et iubilátio
on earth, peace, and rejoicing
sit in cælis.
let be in heaven.

12. The power of death o'ercome effectually,
Let us enjoy the joys of victory :
On earth be peace and jubilee on high
In heaven for aye !
Non dicitur Amen in fine.
The "Amen" is not said at the end.
Very probably composed by Adam of St. Victor (d. after 1150).

These are verses 1-4 and 9-12 of a longer hymn. Lentini calls it a "splendid composition" which could also serve well at the Paschal time.

I personally first came in conscious contact with the hymns of Adam of St. Victor through the recording The Age of Cathedrals done by Theatre of Voices directed by Paul Hilliard. Reading the liner notes of the CD while listening to the recording make you feel like you are standing in Notre Dame cathedral with sunlight pouring through the stained-glass windows, your heart filled with holy joy as you listen to the glorious chant. Adam of St. Victor's hymns were especially vivid and filled with wonderful images. I love the triumphant melodies of today's hymn.

Poking around online I found that the entire text (look on page 64) of The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor By Adam L. Gautier on Google Books! That is the source of the metrical translation above. Included below are the four "missing" verses with their metrical translations. [The text on Gautier's book included an "Amen" at the end, so I'm interested to know why Lentini omitted it.]

5. Insultabat nostrae miseriae,
Vetus hostis, auctor malitiae,
Quia nulla spes erat veniae
De peccatis ;

5. The father of all lies, man's ancient foe,
Was trampling on us in our bitter woe,
Because no hope of pardon here below
For sin was left ;

6. Desperante mundo remedium,
Dum tenerent cuncta silentium,
Deus Pater emisit Filium

6. When thus the earth despaired of cure for sin,
And silence reigned o'er it and all therein,
Forth God the Father sent His Son to men
Of hope bereft.

7. Praedo vorax, monstrum tartareum,
Carnem videns, nec cavens laqueum,
In latentem ruens aculeum
Aduncatur ;

7. The insatiate robber, monster hell did bear,
Seeing the bait, but heedless of the snare,
Rushing upon the hook's point hidden there,
On it is caught ;

8. Dignitatis primae conditio
Reformatur nobis in Filio
Cujus nova nos resurrectio

8. The dignity of man, as first begun,
Is now re-fashioned for us in the Son,
By Whose new resurrection to each one
Comfort is brought.

I'd sure like to know the melodies for these verses as well!

UPDATE: here is a recording with mostly different melodies (different from what's in Liber Hymnarius) for you to listen to if you have a "Rhapsody 25" account. It has all twelve verses though.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

Final invocation of help

Auctor perénnis glóriæ,
Founder of perennial glory,
qui septifórmis grátiæ
who with seven-fold graces
das Spíritum credéntibus,
Thou dost give the Spirit to believers,
assíste mitis ómnibus.
defend us all with mercy.

Expélle morbos córporum,
Expel the diseases of our bodies,
mentis repélle scándalum,
drive away the stumbling block from our minds,
exscínde vires críminum,
destroy the power of sin,
fuga dolóres córdium.
put to flight the anguish of our hearts.

Serénas mentes éffice,
Produce tranquil minds,
opus honéstum pérfice,
accomplish the upright work,
preces orántum áccipe,
accept our beseeching prayers,
vitam perénnem tríbue.
grant us life eternal.

Septem diérum cúrsibus
Running over the course of seven days
nunc tempus omne dúcitur
all time is now led
octávus ille últimus
that eighth and last one
dies erit iudícii.
will be the day of judgement.

In quo, Redémptor quæsumus,
In view of this, O Redeemer we beg,
ne nos in ira árguas,
lest Thou convict us in Thy wrath,
sed a sinístra libera,
rather absolve us from your left,
ad déxteram nos cólloca,
and position us at your right.

Ut, cum preces suscéperis
So that when Thou receivest the prayers
clemens tuárum plébium,
of Thy people with mercy,
reddámus omnes glóriam
may all of us return the glory
trino Deo per sæcula. Amen.
to our Triune God forever.

The author of this hymn is unknown, and the century of its composition uncertain.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

The shield with the sign of the cross

Adésto, Christe, córdibus,
Be present, O Christ, to our souls,
celsa redémptis cáritas;
by noble charity redeemed;
infúnde nostris férvidos
pour Thou into us fervent
fletus, rogámus, vócibus.
weeping, we beg, in our song.

Ad te preces, piísime
To Thee prayers, most holy
Iesu, fide profúndimus;
Jesus, with faith we pour out;
dimítte, Christe, quaésumus,
forgive, O Christ, we ask Thee
factis malum quod fécimus.
the evil deeds which we have done.

Sanctæ crucis signáculo,
By the seal of Thy holy cross,
tuo sacráto córpore,
consecrated by Thy body,
defénde nos ut fílios
defend us as sons
omnes, rogámus, úndique.
all of us, we beg, in every place.

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

Attributed, perhaps in error, to St. Bede the Venerable (d. 735).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Office of Readings Odd Week diurno

Prayer against the passions

Christe, precámur ádnuas
Christ, we pray that Thou wouldst smile upon
orántibus servis tuis,
the prayers of Thy servants,
iníquitas hæc saéculi
lest this iniquity of the world
ne nostrum captívet fidem.
take our faith captive.

Non cogitémus ímpie,
Let us not think wicked thoughts,
invideámus némini,
let us envy no one,
læsi non reddámus vicem,
let us not repay injuries,
vincámus in bono malum.
let us conquer evil with good.

Absit nostris e córdibus
Let (these) be far from our hearts:
ira, dolus, supérbia;
anger, deciet, arrogance;
absístat avarítia,
let greedy avarice depart
malórum radix ómnium.
(greed being)the root of all evils.

Consérvet pacis foédera
Let the bond of peace stay intact
non simuláta cáritas;
with unfeigned charity;
sit illibáta cástitas
let chastity remain intact
credulitáte pérpeti.
with lasting trustfulness.

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

The author of this 7th-8th century hymn is unknown. This hymn contains verse 4,5,6, & 8 of the hymn Diei luce reddita, most of the rest of which is sung at Lauds on Even Saturdays. Verses 1, 2, 3 & 10. Of the original hymn, verse 7 , "against wine and drunkenness" and verse 9 "against the misuse of goods" were omitted for the modern office. I guess these kinds of passions are either less dangerous to moderns(ha ha), or maybe they still are but the hymn was getting too long.

If anyone wants to work on the Latin subjunctive, let them sing (ha ha) this hymn.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I have had to take a break from blogging this past week. My plan was to finish up these two weeks of hymns in the diurno section of the Office of Readings, but things are getting too busy at home here, so these might have to get done piecemeal as I have time.

After these were finished, I was planning to go back and add information to each hymn or perhaps revise my translations in light of what I have learned since I last took a look at each one. My responsibilities as a husband and a dad come first, however, so we'll see if I can actually get to this.

In any case, thank you to all who read the blog and especially those who have added comments. It has been a fun summer project. (That makes it sound like it's over. I hope not!!!) Please stop back from time to time.