Monday, February 19, 2018

St. Peter Damian: “The Poetry of Asceticism” (Raby) repost

In the Liturgica Horarum there are ten hymns by Prudentius, nine by St. Peter Damian, and eight by St. Ambrose (Gabriel Diaz Patri in The Genius of the Roman Rite p. 80), which makes the 11th Century Camoldolese one of the major traditional contributors to the hymnody of the reformed office. To the extent that the Liturgy of the Hours represents a lessening of the burden of the Office on the clergy St. Peter Damian would have little sympathy with the project. He was not one to lessen burdens but rather to increase them.  Hellen Waddell writes that like Calvin Peter could be called “The Accusative Case” (The Wandering Scholars p. 94). St. Peter was  oppressed by "the terror of Judgement… the flames of the last day seemed to be already kindled against a world of sinners…He lived in a world of phantasms, where the natural order did not exist, where the devil went forth as a raging lion, and the wickedness of men was ripe for judgment” (Raby) Of course it is the quality of his poetry which earned Peter a place in Liturgica Horarum, not his invective. But how do we get this strange combination of elegant charm and opprobrium? A hideous childhood and a first rate education! In From Judgment to Passion Rachel Fulton (like Miss Waddell another Presbyterian medievalist) explains:

“The certainty of doom and the need to answer for one's sinfulness hung over Peter from the very moment of his birth, or so at least he (apparently) recalled in later life in conversations with his close friend, devoted disciple and fellow  hermit John of Lodi .  This is Peter's story as John tells it in the Vita that he wrote of his saintly master soon after his death. At his birth, one of Peter's brothers had berated his mother, "For shame! Look, there are already so many of us that the house is scarcely able to hold us, and see, how badly matched are the crowd of heirs and the straitened inheritance!" This outburst so enraged Peter's mother that, "inflamed by a fit of feminine malice" (possibly a post-partum depression, possibly a determined attempt at infanticide), she refused to feed the infant and, wringing her hands, declared herself unfit to live. Thus disinherited from the maternal breast that was then his only possession, the baby was on the verge of wasting away with hunger and cold, when one of the serving women (ironically, given Peter’s later career, the wife of a priest) intervened and rebuking his mother for risking her soul with the sin of infanticide, coaxed her into caring for him by nursing the baby herself. Thereafter, Peter's mother, restored to her maternal self, cared for the child lovingly, until her own death and that of his father left Peter at the mercy of his siblings.

Orphaned almost as soon as he was weaned, Peter was grudgingly raised by one his brothers (apparently the same one who had been so angered by his birth) and that brother's wife, who fed him with slops, clothed him with rags, kicked him and beat him, and eventually turned him out as a swineherd to live with the pigs. Peter’s  foster parents likewise seem to have raised him with the story of his unfortunate birth, thus reinforcing the sense of unworthiness and debt with which he would remember his childhood, He was rescued from this life of involuntary austerity at age twelve when he was placed in the care of another of his brothers, who lavished upon him such affection "that it seemed to exceed a father's”. This brother provided generously for his education in the best schools of the day, thus launching Peter on a promising secular career as a master of rhetoric. owing to the excellence of his teaching, Peter soon attracted many students and earned from their fees an abundance of money.  And yet he could not, it seems, shake the conviction that he was unworthy of the life of elegance and comfort that he now enjoyed, nor the certainty that judgment was near.”

It should go without saying that Dr. Fulton did not intend that any of this should reduce the sanctity of St. Peter Damian to childhood trauma. It is just another example of the Holy Spirit’s action: gratia non tollit naturam sed perficit.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Ad Officium lectionis: Elpis or Helpis

These stanzas are taken from a longer hymn, Aurea luce et dcore roseo for the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul. It "has been constantly assigned to a Sicilian lady,Elpis or Helpis. But we know nothing about her. Until recently she was said to be the wife of Boethius, and to have gone with him to prison, being the mother by him of two sons, Patricius and Hypatius. All this is pure invention. Boethius' wife was Rusticiana, daughter of the senator Symmachus Not to be beaten, the upholders of the Elpis-legend said either that Elpis was a byname of Rusticiana, or that she was Boethius' first wife. She is a part of the many puzzling legends that have grown up round the name of Boethius.Still an Elpis may quite well have written the hymn; for why should it be attributed to a name otherwise unknown, and to a woman". (Walpole)

Iam, bone pastor, Petre, clemens áccipe
vota precántum, et peccáti víncula
resólve, tibi potestáte trádita,
qua cunctis cælum verbo claudis, áperis.

Sit Trinitáti sempitérna glória,
honor, potéstas atque iubilátio,
in unitáte, cui manet impérium
ex tunc et modo per ætérna sæcula. Amen.

Now, good shepherd, Peter, mercifully accept the intention of our prayers and loosen the chains of sin by the power handed over to you, through which with a word you close and open heaven for all. Glory be to the eternal Trinity, honor, power and praise in the Unity, whose authority abides  now and for eternal ages. Amen.

Ad Laudes matutinas: Paulinus II aquileiensis

Petrus beátus catenárum láqueos
Christo iubénte rupit mirabíliter;
custos ovílis et doctor Ecclésiæ,
pastórque gregis, conservátor óvium
arcet lupórum truculéntam rábiem.

Quodcúmque vinclis super terram strínxerit,
erit in astris religátum fórtiter,
et quod resólvit in terris arbítrio,
erit solútum super cæli rádium;
in fine mundi iudex erit sæculi.

Glória Patri per imménsa sæcula,
sit tibi, Nate, decus et impérium,
honor, potéstas Sanctóque Spirítui;
sit Trinitáti salus indivídua
per infiníta sæculórum sæcula. Amen.

Blessed Peter, at Christ’s command, wondrously broke the trap of chains; Guardian of the fold and Teacher of the Church, Shepherd of the flock and Protector of the sheep he drives away the violent rage of the wolves.  Whatever he bounds with chains on earth will be firmly bound in heaven and what by his judgement is unloosed on earth will be unloosed in the height of heaven: in the end he will the judge of the world. Glory to the Father through infinite ages, praise and authority to you, O Son, honor and power to the Holy Spirit, undivided strength to the Trinity though the infinity of the ages. Amen.

Ad Vesperas: novus

Divína vox te déligit,
piscátor, ac pro rétibus
remísque qua tu glória
cæli refúlges clávibus!

Tenax amóris próferens
ac dulce testimónium,
omnes amor quos láverat
oves regéndas áccipis.

Lapsus, supérno róbore
tu petra stas Ecclésiæ,
qua splendet illa sæculis,
nullis subácta víribus.

Tu, Petre, Christi oráculo
luces magíster ómnium,
fratrésque firmas, próvidus
tu verba vitæ núntias.

Gregem fac unum, próspera
lætis in ævum frúctibus,
salvúmque ab hostis ímpetu
ad lucis adduc pábula.

Sit summa Christo glória,
qui nos det aulæ cælicæ
intráre per te iánuam
in sempitérna gáudia. Amen.

The divine voice chose you, O Fisherman, that instead of nets and oars your shining glory should be the keys of heaven. Firm confessor sweet witness of love, you receive all those whom love has washed as sheep of the kingdom. Although fallen, by heavenly strength you are the Rock of the Church, by which she shines through the ages and no power has overcome her. You, O Peter, by Christ’s command the Teacher of all and you strengthen your brothers, as you watchfully proclaim the words of life. Prosper and unite the flock that she might be joyously fruitful through the ages and safe from the enemy’s attack until she reach the pastures of light. To Christ be highest glory, who through you, O Peter, grants us to enter in endless praise the gate of the heavenly court. Amen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Behold now is the accepted time

Behold now is the accepted time.
Nunc tempus acceptábile and Dans tempus acceptábile two of the Lenten hymns proclaim. 

St. Thomas Aquinas in a Homily for the First Sunday in Lent says there are eight reasons for the commendation of the present time. 

1)      Time for seeking the Lord
2)     Time for reconciling with the Lord
3)     Time for correcting our ways
4)     Time for restraining unnecessary things and vices
5)     Time to receive divine compassion
6)     Time for suffering tribulation
7)     Time for acquiring salvation
8)    Time for doing good

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Farewell to Alleluia

This particular text is taken from The Canterbury Hymnal, edited by Gernot R. Wieland (Toronto Medieval Latin Texts)


Alleluia dulce carmen,
uox perhennis gaudii,
alleluia laus suauis
est choris crelestibus,
quam canunt dei manentes
in domo per saecula.

Alleluia leta mater,
conciuis Hierusalem,
alleluia uox tuorum
ciuium gaudentium;
exules nos flere cogunt
Babylonis flumina.

Alleluia non meremur
nunc perhenne psallere,
alleluia nos reatus
cogit intermittere;
tempus instat quo peracta
lugeamus crimina.

Unde laudando precamur
te, beata trinitas,
ut tuum nobis uidere
pascha des in ethere,
quo tibi leti canamus
alleluia perpetim.

Alleluia, sweet song, sound of eternal joy, the alleluia is sweet praise to heavenly choirs, which those who abide in the house of God sing throughout the ages. Alleluia, our joyful mother, fellow citizen of Jerusalem, alleluia, the cry of your rejoicing citizens, the rivers of Babylon force us exiles to weep. We are not worthy to sing alleluia  forever yet. Our sin compels us to interrupt our alleluia. It is the time when we should mourn the sins we have committed. Therefore we petition you with praise, O blessed Trinity, and that you may grant us to see your Easter in heaven, where we shall gladly sing alleluia to you forever. Amen.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Preces cum Flétibus

It is no surprise that the Lenten hymn Audi, benígne Cónditor combines ‘prayers and tears’ but this  combination is found in many Latin hymns throughout the year. “Tears dissolve guilt” (Aeterne rerum conditor). Prudentius writes of prayers joined to singing (Nox et tenebrae et nublia). “Hear our prayers with tears” ( Lucis creator optime). “Our evil deeds are diluted by tears” (Telluris ingens conditor).

St. Augustine, however, makes note of the moral ambiguity of tears. When he was an infant, he used tears as a weapon: “I would take my revenge on them by bursting into tears” (conf. 1.6.8). The encounter with the grace of conversion culminated in “a heavy rain of tears” (conf. 8.12.28). Tears could also be a response to beauty: “I wept the more abundantly, later on, when your hymns were sung …” (conf. 9.7.16).

William of Tocco, one of the earliest biographer of St. Thomas Aquinas, reported that he often saw St. Thomas weeping, when he was singing the psalm verse during Compline in Lent: “Do not reject us in old age, when my strength is failing,” enraptured and consumed in piety, tears streaming down his face that seemed to be bursting forth from the eyes of the pious soul.” (David Berger Thomas Aquinas and the Liturgy pp. 14-15).

St. Thomas in fact explains ‘tears’ in the Article: Whether pain or sorrow is assuaged by tears? (ST I IIae 38.2):

Tears and groans naturally assuage sorrow: and this for two reasons. First, because a hurtful thing hurts yet more if we keep it shut up, because the soul is more intent on it: whereas if it be allowed to escape, the soul's intention is dispersed as it were on outward things, so that the inward sorrow is lessened. This is why men, burdened with sorrow, make outward show of their sorrow, by tears or groans or even by words, their sorrow is assuaged. Secondly, because an action, that befits a man according to his actual disposition, is always pleasant to him. Now tears and groans are actions befitting a man who is in sorrow or pain; and consequently they become pleasant to him. Since then, as stated above (Article 1), every pleasure assuages sorrow or pain somewhat, it follows that sorrow is assuaged by weeping and groans.

The tradition insists that ‘tears’ are a gift and as such it cannot be acquired on demand.  It is also something, like any gift, which can be misused. Further, it is a gift we should not refuse. When it comes, if it comes, it deepens, much like song, our prayers.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Ad Vesperas: in Officio dominicali: Gregorius Magnus?

Generally appointed for Vespers, sometimes Lauds, even in one case for Terce (Walpole).

Audi, benígne Cónditor,
nostras preces cum flétibus, (1)
sacráta in abstinéntia
fusas quadragenária.

Scrutátor alme córdium, (2)
infírma tu scis vírium;  (3)
ad te revérsis éxhibe
remissiónis grátiam.

Multum quidem peccávimus,
sed parce confiténtibus,
tuíque laude nóminis (4)
confer medélam lánguidis.

Sic corpus extra cónteri (5)
dona per abstinéntiam,
ieiúnet ut mens sóbria
a labe prorsus críminum.

Præsta, beáta Trínitas,
concéde, simplex Unitas,
ut fructuósa sint tuis
hæc parcitátis múnera. Amen.

1.       Cf. Ambrose, Aeterne rerum conditor: fletuque culpa solvitor; Prudentius, Nox et tenebrae et nublia: flendo et canendo quaesumus; Rex aeterne Domine: hymnum deflentes canimus; Christe, precamur adnue: mixtaque voces fletibus; Summae Deus clementiae: fletus, benigne, suscipe; Lucis creator optime: audi preces cum fletibus; Telluris ingens conditor: ut facta fletu diluat; Vox clara ecce intonate: vocem demus cum lacrimis (Walpole).
2.      Scutator cordium: Rom. 8:27: “[God] that searches hearts” (scrutatur corda) (Walsh and Husch); Ambrose, Hex. VI.44: scrutator cordis occulta (Walpole); Ps. 7:10: scrutans corda.
3.      Oxymoron: infirma cordium: ‘weakness of our strength’ (Walpole).
4.      Altered from: ad laudem tui nominis.
5.      “By afflicting our bodies with fasting we starve our minds from committing sin” (Walsh and Husch).

O Kind Creator, hear our prayers mixed with tears poured out in this holy forty-day fast.  O sustaining Searcher of hearts, you know the weakness of our strength; show to us who have turned back to you the remission of our sins. Indeed we have sinned much but spare those who confess their sins; to the praise of your name grant healing to the sick. Grant that our bodies may be outwardly broken through abstinence that a temperate mind may fast from falling headlong into sin. Grant, O Blessed Trinity, give, O simple Unity, to those who are yours the fruitful rewards of fasting. Amen.

In Officio feriali: saec. X

Iesu, quadragenáriæ
dicátor abstinéntiæ, (1)
qui ob salútem méntium (2)
præcéperas ieiúnium,

Adésto nunc Ecclésiæ, (3)
adésto pæniténtiæ,
qua supplicámus cérnui (4)
peccáta nostra dílui.

Tu retroácta crímina
tua remítte grátia
et a futúris ádhibe
custódiam mitíssime,

Ut, expiáti ánnuis
compunctiónis áctibus,
tendámus ad paschália
digne colénda gáudia.

Te rerum univérsitas,
clemens, adóret, Trínitas,
et nos novi per véniam
novum canámus cánticum. Amen.

1.       Dicator = ‘magistrate, one who dictates’;
2.      ‘who with a view to the health of the soul didst in the days of old hallow this fast’ (Walpole)
3.      The second stanza of the original has been dropped: quo paradiso redderes/servata parsimonia/ quos inde gastrimargiae/ huc inlecebra depulit.
4.      The final two lines of this stanza are altered from the original: quae pro suis excessibus/ orat profusis feltibus.

O Jesus, who established these forty days of abstinence, who decreed this fast for the salvation of souls: Be present with thy Church, assist our penitence, by which, we humbly pray, that our sins may be washed away. By your grace forgive us our past sins and gently guard us against future sins.: that cleansed by these yearly acts of contrition we may be prepared to celebrate Easter with worthy joy.  All things worship you, O merciful Trinity, and made new by your pardon we sing a new song. Amen.

 Ad Officium lectionis: in Officio dominicali: Gregorius Magnus?

Generally appointed for Nocturns, sometimes Vespers (Walpole).

Ex more docti mýstico (1)
servémus abstinéntiam, (2)
deno diérum círculo
ducto quater notíssimo.

Lex et prophétæ prímitus (3)
hanc prætulérunt, póstmodum
Christus sacrávit, ómnium
rex atque factor témporum.

Utámur ergo párcius (4)
verbis, cibis et pótibus,
somno, iocis et árctius
perstémus in custódia.

Vitémus autem péssima
quæ súbruunt mentes vagas,
nullúmque demus cállido  (5)
hosti locum tyránnidis.

Præsta, beáta Trínitas, (6)
concéde, simplex Unitas,
ut fructuósa sint tuis
hæc parcitátis múnera. Amen.

1.       Ex more = ‘by the custom’ (Walpole); mystico because the forty days of Lent are associated
 with cleansing and purifying: the forty days of the flood, Moses fasting forty days before
 meeting God, Elijah’s fast and that of Jesus ((Walsh and Husch).
2.      Original: servemus en ieiunium: denum for deno.
3.      Lex et prophetae … Christus sacravit: Gen. 7:12; Ex. 34:28; 3 Kings 19:8; Mk. 1:13.
4.      Rule of St. Benedict 49: abstention from food, drink, sleep, conversation, joking
5.      Cf. Eph. 4:27: nolite locum dare diabolo.
6.      Four stanzas are omitted from the original:

Instructed by the spiritual life we persevere in abstinence in the familiar cycle of four times ten days. The Law and the Prophets first taught this; afterwards Christ himself sanctified it, he who is the ruler and creator of all things. Therefore let us use sparingly words, food and drink, sleep and jokes and be more careful in keeping guard. Let us shun wicked things, which sabotage our wandering minds and not give place to our crafty enemy in his tyranny. Grant, O Blessed Trinity, give, O simple Unity, to those who are yours the fruitful rewards of fasting. Amen.

Ad Laudes matutinas: in Officio dominicali: Gregorius Magnus?

This hymn consists of the second part of Ex more docti mýstico. (Milfull)

PRECEMUR omnes cernui, (1)
clamemus atque singuli,
ploremus ante iudicem,
flectamus iram vindicem

Nostris malis offendimus
tuam, Deus, clementiam;
effunde nobis desuper,
remissor, indulgentiam.

Memento quod sumus tui,
licet caduci, plasmatis; (2)
ne des honorem nominis (3)
tui, precamur, alteri.

Laxa malum quod fecimus,
auge bonum quod poscimus,
placere quo tandem tibi
possimus hic et perpetim.

1.       precemur originally dicamus.
2.      plasmatis from the Greek with the meaning of ‘fashioning anything, e.g. a statue but in Christian Latin the divine creation of the human body (Walsh and Husch).
3.      Isaiah 48:11: “I shall not give my glory to another”.

Let us all pray on bended knee and each of us cry out, imploring and weeping before the angry and avenging judge. With our evil ways e have offended your mercy, O God; O Redeemer pour out on us your pardon from above.  Remember that we belong to you, although we are weak, you made us; we pray do not give the honor of your name to another.  Forgive the evil we have done, increase the good we seek and by which we are able to please you here and always.  Grant, O Blessed Trinity, give, O simple Unity, to those who are yours the fruitful rewards of fasting. Amen.

In Officio feriali: saec. X

Nunc tempus acceptábile (1)
fulget datum divínitus,
ut sanet orbem lánguidum
medéla parsimóniæ. (2)

Christi decóro lúmine
dies salútis émicat,
dum corda culpis sáucia
refórmat abstinéntia.

Hanc mente nos et córpore,
Deus, tenére pérfice,
ut appetámus próspero
perénne pascha tránsitu.

Te rerum univérsitas,
clemens, adóret, Trínitas,
et nos novi per véniam
novum canámus cánticum. Amen.

1.       2 Cor. 6:2
2.      parsimóniæ = fast.

Now the acceptable time, given by God, flashes forth to heal the infirm world with the remedy  of frugality. The day of salvation glimmers with the beautiful light of Christ, while abstinence restores hearts wounded by guilt. O God, keep us perfect in soul and body, that we may ever hunger for the coming of the happy paschal feast. All things worship you, O merciful Trinity, and made new by your pardon we sing a new song. Amen.

In Officio feriali: saec. VI

Iam, Christe, sol iustítiæ, (1)
mentis dehíscant ténebræ, (2)
virtútum ut lux rédeat,
terris diem cum réparas.

Dans tempus acceptábile (3)
et pænitens cor tríbue,
convértat ut benígnitas (4)
quos longa suffert píetas;

Quiddámque pæniténtiæ
da ferre, quo fit démptio,
maióre tuo múnere,
culpárum quamvis grándium.

Dies venit, dies tua,  (5)
per quam reflórent ómnia;
lætémur in hac ut tuæ (6)
per hanc redúcti grátiæ.

Te rerum univérsitas,
clemens, adóret, Trínitas,
et nos novi per véniam
novum canámus cánticum. Amen. (7)

1.       Mal. 4:2: orietur vobis timentibus nomen meum sol iustitiae
2.      Dehíscant = ‘part, sunder’ (Walpole)
3.      2 Cor. 6.2
4.      Rom. 2:4: the goodness of God leads you to penance.
5.      Dies = Easter
6.      Ps. 117:24: haec est dies quam fecit Dominus, exultemus et laetemur in ea.
7.      Apoc. 14:3: cantabunt quasi canticum ante sedem.

Now, O Christ, Sun of righteousness,  let the darkness of the mind be rent,  that the light of the virtues may return, when you restore day to the world. You grant the acceptable time; give us  a penitent heart, that your kindness may convert those whom your love has long endured. Grant us to bear some penitential severity that our sin, however great, be removed by your greater gift. The day comes, your day, through which all things flourish; we rejoice in that day through which we are returned to your grace.  All things worship you, O merciful Trinity, and made new by your pardon we sing a new song. Amen.

Ad Tertiam: saec. VIII

Dei fide, qua vívimus, (1)
qua spe perénni crédimus,
per caritátis grátiam
Christi canámus glóriam,

Qui ductus hora tértia (2)
ad passiónis hóstiam,
crucis ferens suspéndia
ovem redúxit pérditam. (3)

Precémur ergo súbditi,
redemptióne líberi,
ut éruat a sæculo
quos solvit a chirógrapho.

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

1.       Three theological virtues: 1 Cor. 13:13:  Nunc autem manent fides, spes, caritas, tria hæc: major autem horum est caritas. Cf. Aeterna Christi munera:

devote sanctorum fides,
invicta spes credentium,
perfecta Christi caritas
mundi triumphat principem.

Fulgentis auctor aetheris:

Sed sol diem dum conficit,
fides profunda ferveat,
spes ad promissa provocet,
Christo conjungat caritas.

2.      Mk 15:25: erat autem hora tertia et crucifixerunt eum.
3.      Reference to the penitent thief: Lk. 23:43.

4.      a chirógrapho: Col. 2:14: delens quod adversum nos erat chirografum decretis quod erat contrarium nobis

Faith in God, by which we live, in eternal hope by which we believe, through the grace of love we sing the glory of Christ.  Who was lead at the third hour to the sacrifice of the passion,  bearing the gibbet of the cross he returned the lost sheep.  We humbly pray therefore that delivered by his redemption he would rescue from the world those he freed from the charge. We ask Christ and the Father and the Spirit of Christ and the Father, one power through all things, O Trinity, cherish those who pray to you. Amen.

Ad Sextam: saec. VIII

Qua Christus hora sítiit (1)
crucem vel in qua súbiit,
quos præstat in hac psállere
ditet siti iustítiæ.

Simul sit his esúries,
quam ipse de se sátiet,
crimen sit ut fastídium (2)
virtúsque desidérium.

Charísma Sancti Spíritus
sic ínfluat psalléntibus,
ut carnis æstus frígeat
et mentis algor férveat.

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

1.       Walpole says that the ‘thirst’ may refer to Joh. 4:6: erat autem ibi fons Iacob Iesus ergo fatigatus ex itinere sedebat sic super fontem hora erat quasi sexta or to Joh. 19.28: postea sciens Iesus quia iam omnia consummata sunt ut consummaretur scriptura dicit sitio. In any case the hymn prays that ‘he may enrich us with a thirst for righteousness”.
2.      fastidium = ‘a loathsome thing’ (Walpole)

The hour when Christ thirsted or submitted himself to the cross, when he grants those who sing this hour to be enriched with a thirst for righteousness.  At the same time may they hunger that Christ might fill them with himself that wearied by sin they may desire virtue.  May the gifts of the Holy Spirit so pour down upon those who praise you that the heat of flesh may grow cold and cold souls might  become fervent.  We ask Christ and the Father and the Spirit of Christ and the Father, one power through all things, O Trinity, cherish those who pray to you. Amen.

Ad Nonam: saec. VIII

Ternis ter horis númerus
nobis sacrátus pánditur, (1)
sanctóque Iesu nómine
munus precémur véniæ.

Latrónis, en, conféssio (2)
Christi merétur grátiam;
laus nostra vel devótio
mercétur indulgéntiam. (3)

Mors per crucem nunc ínterit
et post tenébras lux redit;
horror dehíscat críminum,
splendor nitéscat méntium.

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

1.       The number ‘three’ is holy because it refers to the Trinity.
2.      Walpole: “the robber’s acknowledgement wins Christ’s grace, may our praise and devotion procure us pardon”.
3.      Mercétur = ‘procure’ not ‘purchase’ (Walpole)

The holy number of the third of the three hours is reached and by the holy name of Jesus we beg the gift of pardon. Behold the confession of the thief merited the grace of Christ; may our praise and devotion purchase forgiveness. Now death perishes through the cross and after darkness light returns;  the fear of sin is purged, the splendor of souls shines.  We ask Christ and the Father and the Spirit of Christ and the Father, one power through all things, O Trinity, cherish those who pray to you. Amen