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.
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.
John Mason Neale
Eternal Glory of the sky,
Blest Hope of frail humanity,
The Father’s sole begotten One,
Yet born a spotless virgin’s Son!
Uplift us with Thine arm of might,
And let our hearts rise pure and bright,
And, ardent in God’s praises, pay
The thanks we owe him every day.
The day-star’s rays are glittering clear,
And tell that day itself is near:
The shadows of the night depart;
Thou, holy Light, illume the heart!
Within our senses ever dwell,
And worldly darkness thence expel;
Long as the days of life endure,
Preserve our souls devout and pure.
The faith that first must be possessed,
Root deep within our inmost breast;
And joyous hope in second place,
Then charity, Thy greatest grace.
All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete.
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.
John David Chambers (1805-1893)
MAKER of man, God, who dost alone order all things;
by whose decree the teeming earth
to reptile and to beast gave birth:
The mighty forms that fill the land,
instinct with life at Thy command,
are given subdued to humankind
for service in their rank assigned.
From all Thy servants drive away
whate'er of thought impure to-day
hath been with open action blent,
or mingled with the heart's intent.
In heaven Thine endless joys bestow,
and grant Thy gifts of grace below;
from chains of strife our souls release,
bind fast the gentle bands of peace.
Grant this, O Father, ever One
with Christ, Thy sole-begotten Son,
Whom, with the Spirit we adore,
one God, both now and evermore.