Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tears, Sign of the Cross, Faith, Hope, Love, and Creeping Things: Friday: Weeks 1 & III

Image result for st gregory the great



When the Office of Readings is said in the daytime: The Venerable Bede

Used in the Mozarabic Breviary.

Adésto, Christe, córdibus,
celsa redémptis cáritas;
infúnde nostris férvidos
fletus, rogámus, vócibus.

Ad te preces, piíssime
Iesu, fide profúndimus;
dimítte, Christe, quæsumus,
factis malum quod fécimus.

Sanctæ crucis signáculo,
tuo sacráto córpore,
defénde nos ut fílios
omnes, rogámus, úndique.

NB: alliteration between Christe and cordibus in the first line, between celsa and caritas in the second, between in-funde and fervidos in the third, and between fletus and vocibus. Manuel pratique de latin médiéval by Dag Norberg (Paris, 1980)

O Christ, the heavenly love which redeems, be present in our hearts; fill our voices, we pray, with fervent tears. Most holy Jesus, to you we faithfully pour forth prayers; forgive, O Christ, we beseech you, the evil deeds we have done. By the sign of the holy Cross, by sacred body, we ask, defend us all as sons in very circumstance.


Lauds: The 7th-8th Century:
Walpole: This is the hymn for Lauds on Fridays at ferial seasons. This hymn is alphabetic. Notice that the C-stanza is duplicated and that the alphabetic sequence does not go beyond T ; The Latin alphabet contained 23 letters and the redoubling of particular lines is common in these acrostic hymns. The revised version does not entirely preserve the acrostic pattern.

Ætérna cæli glória, (1)
beáta spes mortálium,
celsi Paréntis Unice
castæque proles Vírginis,

Da déxteram surgéntibus,
exsúrgat et mens sóbria
flagrans et in laudem Dei
grates repéndat débitas.

Ortus refúlget lúcifer (2)
ipsámque lucem núntiat,
cadit calígo nóctium, (3)
lux sancta nos illúminet, (4)

Manénsque nostris sénsibus
noctem repéllat sæculi (5)
omníque fine témporis (6)
purgáta servet péctora.

Quæsíta iam primum fides (7)
radícet altis sénsibus, (8)
secúnda spes congáudeat;
tunc maior exstat cáritas.

1.       The hymn is addressed to Christ ; gloria and spes are vocatives. The thought in this line
seems to be that of Christ as the subject of the praises sung by the heavenly choirs.
2.      Lucifer morning star, not sun, as is usually the case.
3.      Noctem ‘of night’ not ‘of the night just past’.
4.      Here begins the spiritual application of the hymn.
5.      ‘the night of the world’ the darkness of sin.
6.      ‘preserve from any close of day’
7.      The three theological virtues.
8.     Radicet ‘take root’



Eternal glory of heaven, blest hope of mortal men, Only-begotten of the Father, offspring of a chaste Virgin: give your right hand to those who are rising, let a sober mind arise, anxious to praise God and give him the thanks he is due. The morning star rising and shining announces the Light himself, the cloud of night falls, may holy light shine upon us. Abiding upon our senses may this light drive away the night of the world and until the end of time purify and preserve our hearts. Seek first the faith which is rooted in our minds; second let hope rejoice; then stands love, the greater virtue.

Vespers: St. Gregory the Great ?

Appointed for Vespers on Friday, based on Gen. i. 24-31, the sixth day of creation.

Plasmátor hóminis, Deus, (1)
qui, cuncta solus órdinans,
humum iubes prodúcere
reptántis et feræ genus; (2)

Qui magna rerum córpora, (3)
dictu iubéntis vívida, (4)
ut sérviant per órdinem
subdens dedísti hómini:

Repélle a servis tuis
quicquid per immundítiam (5)
aut móribus se súggerit,
aut áctibus se intérserit.

Da gaudiórum præmia,
da gratiárum múnera; (6)
dissólve litis víncula, (7)
astrínge pacis fœdera.

1.       Plasmator ‘creator’ ‘maker’.
2.      ‘the race of the creeping thing and of the beast’
3.      Contrasts the great bulk of beasts with their subservience to men.
4.      Dictu ‘at the bidding’
5.      This hymn rather unkindly views these creatures as unclean.
6.      Gratiarum ‘of grace’ as often plural for singular.
7.      ‘Free from the power of strife’.



O God, the fashioner of man, who alone orders all things, you command the earth to bring forth creeping things and wild beasts. By word of your command the huge animals have life that you might subdue and give them to man to serve him according to their order. Drive from your servants whatever is unclean, which either seduces our habits or inserts itself in our actions, grant the rewards of gladness, give the gift of grace, loosen the chains of strife, strengthen the bonds of peace.



Thursday: Week I & III


Image result for Lux ecce surgit aurea.

When the Office of Readings is said in the daytime: 7-8th century

Walpole provides a hymn with the same incipit, but the rest of the that hymn is entirely different. However, in #50 under a different incipit, Diei luce reddita, beginning with the fourth stanza all the verses of the hymn in the revised Breviary may be found.

Christe, precámur ádnuas
orántibus servis tuis,
iníquitas hæc sǽculi (1)
ne nostram captívet fidem.

Non cogitémus ímpie,
invideámus némini,
læsi non reddámus vicem,
vincámus in bono malum. (2)

Absit nostris e córdibus
ira, dolus, supérbia;
absístat avarítia,
malórum radix ómnium.

Consérvet pacis fœ́dera
non simuláta cáritas; (3)
sit illibáta cástitas
credulitáte pérpeti.

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

1.       'Grant... that this iniquity of the world may not bring our faith into captivity.'
2.      Rom. xii. 21.
3.      Cf. 2 Cor vi. 6; 1 Tim i.5.


O Christ, we ask, favor your servants as they pray and let not the wickedness of the world take our faith captive. Let us not think in evil ways, let us envy no one, wounded let us not repay each other, let us conquer ill with good. May anger, deceit, and pride be absent from our hearts, may greed, the root of all evils, depart. May the bond of peace be preserved and love not be a pretense, chastity maintain purity through perpetual faith. Glory to you, O Christ, most holy King, and to the Father, with the Spirit Paraclete for eternal ages. Amen.



At Lauds: Prudentius

Sol ecce surgit ígneus: (1)
piget, pudéscit, pænitet,
nec teste quisquam lúmine
peccáre constánter potest.

Tandem facéssat cæcitas,
quæ nosmet in præceps diu
lapsos sinístris gréssibus
erróre traxit dévio.

Hæc lux serénum cónferat (2)
purósque nos præstet sibi;
nihil loquámur súbdolum,
volvámus obscúrum nihil.

Sic tota decúrrat dies,
ne lingua mendax, ne manus
oculíve peccent lúbrici,
ne noxa corpus ínquinet.

Speculátor astat désuper,
qui nos diébus ómnibus
actúsque nostros próspicit
a luce prima in vésperum.

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

1.       original = Lux ecce surgit aurea. 2. Walpole: "this hymn also comes from Cathemerinon II. 2. haec lux =Christ

Behold the fiery sun arises, which grieves, shames and causes repentance and by the witness of this light no one can continue to sin. Finally blindness gives way, which for long had kept us on edge and dragged the fallen with evil steps and devious error. This Light brings peace and renders us pure; May we speak no fraud, nor hatch devious plots. So may our whole day pass with no deceit of tongue that hands and wandering eyes may not sin, no harmful things corrupt the body. The divine watchman sees from above, who observes our deeds all our days from first light to evening. To God the Father be glory and to his only Son, with th Spirit Paraclete, in eternal ages. Amen.

At Vespers: St. Gregory the Great (?):

Magnæ Deus poténtiæ,
qui ex aquis ortum genus (1)
partim remíttis gúrgiti,
partim levas in áera,

Demérsa lymphis ímprimens,
subvécta cælis irrogans,
ut, stirpe una pródita,
divérsa répleant loca:

Largíre cunctis sérvulis,
quos mundat unda sánguinis, (2)
nescíre lapsus críminum
nec ferre mortis tædium,

Ut culpa nullum déprimat,
nullum levet iactántia,
elísa mens ne cóncidat,
eláta mens ne córruat.

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

1. Genesis 1:21:  Creavitque Deus cete grandia, et omnem animam viventem atque motabilem, quam produxerant aquæ in species suas, et omne volatile secundum genus suum.
2. John 19:34: sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua.

O God of great power, who of those born from the waters, part you return to the depths, part you raise up into the air. You press down those submerged in the sea and raise up to the skies from those brought from below in order that coming from one source they may fill different places. Grant to all your servants, whom the flow of blood has cleansed, to know no fall into crime, nor to bear the weariness of death. That guilt may depress none, nor haughtiness exalt any, lest the despondent mind be overcome, the proud mind be corrupted. Grant, O Father most holy, only Son equal to the Father, with the Spirit Paraclete, ruling through all time. Amen. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Universalis now provides English prose translations for Latin hymns in LH

This is a very good development, not only because these translations appear to excellent but it removes me from any responsibility for and need of this blog.

Ave et Vale

Saturday, April 7, 2018

THE OCTAVE OF EASTER



Deus misericordiae sempiternae, qui in ipso paschalis festi recursu fidem sacratae tibi plebis accendis, auge gratiam quam dedisti, ut digna omnes intellegentia comprehendant, quo lavacro abluti, quo spiritu regenerati, quo sanguine sunt redempti.

God of everlasting mercy,
who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people you have made your own,
increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed,
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.

From the Missale Gothicum beginning 8th century, Saturday in Paschal Octave

This prayer is notable in that the petition asks that we be given grace that we might have a proper understanding of the sacrament of Baptism, the Spirit by which are reborn, and the redemption of the sacrifice of the Cross. We might expect that the prayer would be edited or a new prayer created to ask for the experience of the paschal mystery. However, something cannot be experienced unless there is first an understanding of the thing and not just any understanding but a digna intelligentia. St. Thomas the Apostle is not simply being skeptical about the Resurrection but is seeking understanding of it, fides quaerens intellectum.