How Bright Those Glorious Spirits Shine!

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

How bright those glorious spirits shine!
Whence all their white array?
How came they to the blissful seats
Of everlasting Day?

Lo, these are they from sufferings great
Who came to realms of Light:
And in the Blood of Christ have washed
Those robes which shine so bright.

Now with triumphal palms they stand
Before the Throne on high,
And serve the God they love amidst
The glories of the sky.

Hunger and thirst are felt no more,
Nor sun with scorching ray;
God is their Sun, Whose cheering Beams
Diffuse eternal Day.

The Lamb, Who reigns upon the Throne,
Shall o’er them still preside,
Feed them with nourishment Divine,
And all their footsteps guide.

‘Mid pastures green He’ll lead His flock,
Where living streams appear;
And God the Lord from every eye
Shall wipe off every tear.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom we adore,
Be glory, as it was, is now,
And shall be evermore. Amen.

Words: Isaac Watts, 1709, alt. by William E. Cameron, 1770.
Tune:Bromsgrove Psalmodia Evangelica, part II, 1789.
Meter: 8.6.8.6

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Posted in Christian Hope, Holy Mother Church, Hymns By The Greats, Isaac Watts, The Christian Life And Mission, The Church Triumphant/The Heavenly Jerusalem, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Come Pure Hearts, In Sweetest Measures

This text is a partial translation/paraphrase of, Iucundare, Plebs Fidelis, a medieval sequence for feasts of Evangelists.

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

Come pure hearts, in sweetest measures
Sing of those who spread the treasures
In the holy Gospels shrined;
Blessèd tidings of Salvation,
Peace on earth their proclamation,
Love from God to lost mankind.

See the Rivers four that gladden
With their streams the better Eden
Planted by our Lord most dear;
Christ the Fountain, these the waters;
Drink, O Sion’s sons and daughters,
Drink and find Salvation here.

O, that we Thy Truth confessing,
And Thy holy Word possessing,
Jesu, may Thy Love adore;
Unto Thee our voices raising,
Thee with all Thy ransomed praising,
Ever and for evermore. Amen.

Words: Adam of St. Victor (1112-1146); tr. Robert Campbell, 1850, alt.*
Tune: “Cobb Gerard F. Cobb (1838-1904).
Meter: 8.8.7.8.8.7

*Hymns Ancient & Modern (1867) lists the author as Anonymous.

Posted in Adam of St. Victor, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, Missals, Non-English Hymns, Pre-Tridentine Sequences, Sequences, The Communion of Saints, The Evangelists, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Iucundare, Plebs Fidelis

This is a medieval sequence hymn for feasts of the Evangelists. This is the text as it appears in the book “Sacred Latin Poetry: Chiefly Lyrical, Selected and Arranged for Use” by Richard Chenevix Trench (1874):

Iucundare, plebs fidelis,
Cuius Pater est in cælis,
Recolens Ezechielis
Prophetæ præconia:
Est Ioannes testis ipsi,
Dicens in Apocalypsi,
Vere vidi, vere scripsi
Vera testimonia.

Circa thronum maiestatis,
Cum spiritibus beatis,
Quatuor diversitatis
Astant animalia.
Formam primum aquilinam,
Et secundum leoninam,
Sed humanam et bovinam
Duo gerunt alia.

Formæ formant figurarum
Formas Evangelistarum,
Quorum imber doctrinarum
Stillat in Ecclesia:
Hi sunt Marcus et Matthæus,
Lucas, et quem Zebedæus
Pater tibi misit, Deus,
Dum laxaret retia.

Formam viri dant Matthæo,
Quia scripsit sic de Deo,
Sicut descendit ab eo,
Quem plasmavit, homine.
Lucas bos est in figura,
Ut præmonstrat in Scriptura,
Hostiarum tangens iura
Legis sub velamine.

Marcus leo per desertum
Clamans, rugit in apertum,
Iter fiat Deo certum,
Mundum cor a crimine.
Sed Ioannes, ala bina
Caritatis, aquilina
Forma, fertur in divina
Puriori lumine.

Ecce forma bestialis,
Quam scriptura prophetalis
Notat; sed materialis
Hæc est impositio.
Currunt rotis, volant alis;
Inest sensus spiritalis;
Rota gressus est æqualis,
Ala contemplatio.

Quatuor describunt isti
Quadriformes actus Christi,
Et figurant, ut audisti,
Quisque sua formula.
Natus homo declaratur,
Vitulus sacrificatur,
Leo mortem deprædatur,
Et ascendit aquila.

Paradisus his rigatur,
Viret, floret, fœcundatur,
His abundat, his lætatur
Quatuor fluminibus:
Fons est Christus, hi sunt rivi,
Fons est altus, hi proclivi,
Ut saporem fontis vivi
Ministrent fidelibus.

Horum rivo debriatis
Sitis crescat caritatis,
Ut de fonte pietatis
Satiemur plenius.
Horum trahat nos doctrina
Vitiorum de sentina,
Sicque ducat ad divina
Ab imo superius.

Words: Adam of St. Victor (1112-1146).
Tune: Unknown.
Meter: 8.8.8.8.8.8.8.7

This hymn has been translated into English as the following:
Come Pure Hearts in Sweetest Measures (Partial)

Posted in Adam of St. Victor, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Chant Tone Unknown, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Missals, Non-English Hymns, Pre-Tridentine Sequences, Sequences, The Communion of Saints, The Evangelists, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Behold The Messengers Of Christ

This hymn was used for Vespers I & II and Nocturns on the Feasts of St. Mark and St. Luke in the Paris Breviary (1736). Cardinal Newman’s Hymni Ecclesiae has it listed for the same hours as the Common of Evangelists in the Paris Breviary (presumably a later recension).

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

Behold the messengers of Christ,
Who sow in every place
The unveiled mysteries of God,
The Gospel of His Grace.

The things through mists and shadows dim
By holy prophets seen,
In the full Light of Day they saw
With not a cloud between.

What Christ, true Man, divinely wrought,
What God in Manhood bore,
They wrote, as God inspired, in words
That live for evermore.

Although in space and time apart,
One Spirit ruled them all;
And in their sacred pages still
We hear that Spirit’s call.

To God, the blessèd Three in One,
Be glory, praise, and might,
Who called us from the shades of death
To His Own glorious Light. Amen.

Words: Fr. Jean-Baptiste Santeul, 17th C.; tr. compilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861.
Tune: “Tiverton Rev. J. Grigg, circa 1791.
Meter: 8.6.8.6

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Breviaries, Commons of the Saints, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Feasts of the Apostles, Hymns By The Greats, Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, Major Feasts, Matins/Office of Readings, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, St. Luke The Evangelist (Oct. 18), St. Mark the Evangelist (Apr. 25), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Evangelists, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Captains Of The Saintly Band

This hymn was used as the hymn for Lauds in the Common of the Holy Apostles in the Paris Breviary (1736).

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

Captains of the saintly band,
Lights who lighten every land,
Princes who with Jesus dwell,
Judges of His Israel;

On the nations sunk in night
Ye have shed the Gospel Light;
Sin and error flee away,
Truth is shining on our way.

Not by warrior’s spear and sword,
Not by art of human word,
Preaching but the Cross of shame,
Rebel hearts for Christ ye tame.

Earth, that long in sin and pain
Groaned in Satan’s deadly chain,
Now to serve its God is free
In the Law of Liberty.

Distant lands with one acclaim
Tell the honour of your name,
Who, wherever man has trod,
Teach the mysteries of God.

Glory to the Three in One
While eternal ages run,
Who from deepest shades of night
Called us to His glorious Light. Amen.

Words: Fr. Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, 17th C.; tr. Henry W. Baker, 1861.
Tune: “University College Henry J. Gauntlett, 1848.
Meter: 7.7.7.7

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Breviaries, Commons of the Saints, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Henry W. Baker, Hymns By The Greats, Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, Subsections of Breviaries, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Apostles, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disposer Supreme

This hymn was used as the hymn for Nocturns in the Common of the Holy Apostles in the Paris Breviary (1736).

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

Disposer Supreme,
And Judge of the earth,
Who choosest for Thine
The weak and the poor;
To frail earthen vessels
And things of no worth,
Entrusting Thy Riches
Which aye shall endure;

Those vessels soon fail,
Though full of Thy Light,
And at Thy decree
Are broken and gone;
Thence brightly appeareth
Thy Truth in its might,
As through the clouds riven
The lightnings have shone.

Like clouds are they borne
To do Thy great Will,
And swift as the winds
About the world go;
The Word with His Wisdom
Their spirits doth fill—
They thunder, they lighten,
The waters o’erflow.

Their sound goeth forth,
“Christ Jesus the Lord:”
Then Satan doth fear,
His citadels fall:
As when the dread trumpets
Went forth at Thy Word,
And one long blast shattered
The Canaanite’s wall.

O loud be their trump,
And stirring their sound
To rouse us, O Lord,
From slumber of sin;
The Lights Thou hast kindled
In darkness around,
Oh, may they illumine
Our spirits within.

All honour, and praise,
Dominion, and might,
To God Three in One
Eternally be,
Who round us hath shed
His Own marvellous Light,
And called us from darkness
His Glory to see. Amen.

Words: Fr. Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, 17th C.; tr. Isaac Williams, 1839.
Tune: Old 104th Thomas Ravenscroft, 1621.
Alternate Tune:Hanover attr. William Croft, 17th C.
Meter: 5.5.5.5.6.5.6.5 (10.10.11.11)

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in Breviaries, Commons of the Saints, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, Isaac Williams, Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, Matins/Office of Readings, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, Subsections of Breviaries, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Apostles, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who Are These Like Stars Appearing

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

Who are these like stars appearing,
These, before God’s Throne who stand?
Each a golden crown is wearing,
Who are all this glorious band?
Alleluia!—hark, they sing,
Praising loud their heavenly King.

Who are these in dazzling brightness,
Clothed in God’s Own Righteousness?
These, whose robes of purest whiteness
Shall their lustre still possess,
Still untouched by time’s rude hand,
Whence come all this glorious band?

These are they who have contended
For their Saviour’s Honour long,
Wrestling on till life was ended,
Following not the sinful throng;
These, who well the fight sustained,
Triumph by the Lamb have gained.

These are they whose hearts were riven,
Sore with woe and anguish tried;—
Who in prayer full oft have striven
With the God they glorified;—
Now, their painful conflict o’er,
God has bid them weep no more.

These, the Almighty contemplating,
Did as priests before Him stand,
Soul and body always waiting
Day and night at His Command:
Now in God’s most holy Place
Blest they stand before His Face. Amen.

Words: Heinrich Theobald Schenk, 1719; tr. Frances Elizabeth Cox, 1841.
Tune: “All Saints Old Darmstadt Gesangbuch, 1698.
Meter: 8.7.8.7.7.7

The original German text of this hymn may be found here.

Posted in All Saints (November 1), English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Frances Elizabeth Cox, Holy Mother Church, Hymns By The Greats, Major Feasts, Non-English Hymns, The Church Triumphant/The Heavenly Jerusalem, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment