Nostræ Salutis Nuntio

This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds for the feasts of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24) and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (August 29) in the Ambrosian Breviary (1830).

Nostræ salutis nuntio
Lætis canamus vocibus,
Clamore cuius excita
Iudæa somnum depulit.

Iussu Dei præmittitur
Solis recentis lucifer;
Verumque monstrat gentibus
Cælestis ortum luminis.

Censor futurus criminum
Rupes magistras quæsiit,
Ut pectus ex his disceret
Terrore nullo concuti.

Humor fluenti simplicis
Præbebat ultro pocula,
Silvestre mel convivium,
Pelles ferarum purpuram.

Mox inde genti redditus
Culpas Herodis increpat,
Regem nefandis clamitans
Contaminatum nuptiis.

Instemus ipsi semitis,
Quas iste rectas præstitit:
Nec callis asper terreat
Vitam beatam consequi.

Salve, Puer ter maxime,
Nostræ salutis signifer:
Signa vias errantibus,
Verumque Numen prædica.

Deo Patri sit gloria
Eiusque soli Filio
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Nunc et per omne sæculum. Amen.

Words: Ambrosian Breviary, 1830*.
Tune: Chant tone unknown.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

*This is according to the information on this hymn in the Repertorium Hymnologicum.

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Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, Chant Tone Unknown, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Latin Hymns, Major Feasts, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24), Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Saint John The Baptist, Subsections of Breviaries, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Aug. 29), The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legis Supernæ Nuntio

This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds for the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, First Bishop of Milan (June 11) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

Legis supernæ nuntio
Laudes canamus Barnabæ,
Qui missus urbem Numini,
Urbique Numen attulit.

Fundum paternum distrahit,
Emturus agro sidera:
Almoque plenus Spiritu
Verbum revelat gentibus.

Dum spargit ignes cælicos,
Incendit aras dæmonum:
Signisque et ore fulminans
Nomen Tonantis respuit.

Sedes deinde gestiens
Adit parentes Insubrum;
Intrare sed diis negat
Profana cultis mœnia.

Qua semen admittit solum,
Semen salutis iniicit;
Crucisque signa subrigens,
Ascribit axi milites.

Mox fonte sacro civium
Submissa mergit tempora;
Et primus aris immolat
Cælestis Agni victimam.

Nunc inter astra lumine
Gaudens bcato cælitum,
Tuere quos fons et tuus
Cinis sepultus consecrat.

Patri simulque Filio
Tibique, Sancte Spiritus,
Sicut fuit, sit iugiter
Sæclum per omne gloria. Amen.

Words: Ambrosian Breviary, 1830*.
Tune: Chant tone unknown.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

*This is according to the information on this hymn in the Repertorium Hymnologicum.

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, Chant Tone Unknown, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Feasts of the Apostles, Latin Hymns, Major Feasts, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, St. Barnabas (June 11), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Apostles, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regi Polorum Debitas

This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds for the feasts of the Translation of St. Dionysius of Milan, Bishop and Confessor (May 25) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

This is the older text as it appears in the Ambrosian Breviary of 1582 (courtesy of the Katholische Kirchengesange compilation):

Regi polorum debitas
Cuncti canamus gratias,
Opem aulæ qui contulit
Mediolani conditæ;

Quæ pietatis munere
Bonos alendo reficit,
Sancto munita Spiritu,
Fide coruscans fulgida.

Grex ille acceptus Deo,
Nutritus a pastoribus,
Vitæ perennis pascua
Dives sumendo permanet.

Magno quem auxit dogmate
Confessor Dionysius.
Fidem tenens catholicam
Turbam pavit credentium.

Sæva eundem concio
Arianorum comprimit:
Valvas tenentes delubri
Quærunt athletam capere.

At ille Christum obsecrans,
Vigil in aula extitit:
Divina cum orthodoxis
Patrat libans officia.

Tunc palatini comites
Vi rapueruut præsules,
Eusebium, Dionysium,
Cum iisdem et Luciferum.

Sanctos precemur sedule,
Christi captos pro nomine,
Sacris ut suis meritis
Cæli fruamur gaudiis.

Gloria tibi, Domine;
Gloria Unigenito;
Una cum sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

(1) The entry in Repertorium Hymnologicum indicates this word is “arma” instead of “alma.”

Words: Anonymous Medieval Latin, date unknown.
Tune: “Regi Polorum Debitas” Gregorian Chant.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

This is the text that appears in the Ambrosian Breviary. According to The Sounds of Milan, 1585-1650 by Robert L. Kendrick (pg. 126), the hymns in the Ambrosian Use at Milan underwent a massive change during the 17th Century and some were heavily altered:

Regi polorum debitas
Cuncti canamus gratias,
Opem tulit qui cælitus
Nostræ favens Ecclesiæ:

Quæ caritatis munere
Bonos alendo recreat,
Munita Sancto Spiritu,
Fide coruscans fulgida.

Grex iste carus Numini,
Nutritus a pastoribus,
Vitæ perennis pascua
Sumendo dives permanet.

Hunc firmat ad Christi fidem
Confessio Dionysii;
Legem tuendo cælicam
Plebs pascitur credentium.

Petit scelesti præsulem
Sequax Arii concio;
Templique valvas obsidens,
Feros minatur compedes.

At ille Christum deprecans,
Insomnis aras protegit;
Divina cum fidelibus
Exercet Antistes sacra.

Exin Comes Palatii
Abducit æde præsules;
Eusebius, Dionysius
Diris ligantur vinculis.

Captos precemur sedule,
Verbi Dei pro nomine,
Ut nos beatis siderum
Tandem fruamur gaudiis.

Deo Patri sit gloria
Eiusque soli Filio
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Nunc et per omne sæculum. Amen.

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Bishops, Breviaries, Confessors, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Latin Hymns, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, St. Dionysius of Milan (May 25), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There Is A Green Hill Far Away

This hymn was originally written for Cecil Frances Alexander’s 1848 hymnal “Hymns for Little Children” and is listed in the section on the Creed under the header “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.” It is listed in The English Hymnal for Passiontide.

This is the original text of the hymn as it appears in Hymns for Little Children. It is also how the text appears in The English Hymnal:

There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified
Who died to save us all.

We may not know, we cannot tell
What pains He had to bear,
But we believe it was for us,
He hung and suffered there.

He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to Heaven,
Saved by His precious Blood.

There was no other good enough
To pay the price of sin,
He only could unlock the gate
Of Heaven, and let us in.

O, dearly, dearly has He loved,
And we must love Him too,
And trust in His redeeming Blood,
And try His works to do.

Words: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1847.
Tune:Horsley” William Horsley, 1844.
Meter: 8.6.8.6

Posted in Cecil F. Alexander, Good Friday, Holy Week, Hymns By The Greats, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Lent, The Church Year, The Passion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacri Triumphale Tui

This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds for the feasts of the Translation of St. Nazarius, martyr (May 10) and Sts. Nazarius and Celsus, martyrs (July 28) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

This is the older text as it appears in the Ambrosian Breviary of 1582 (courtesy of the Katholische Kirchengesange compilation):

Sacri triumphale tui,
Christi bellator inclite,
Quo alma(1) fides et crucis
Trophæum vernat prælii.

Modis canora mysticis
Nunc turba laudem concinit,
Nazari, lux, vitæ decus,
Apostolorum particeps.

Petri coronaris fide,
Paulique dogma nobili,
Ungente Lino præsule
Sancto muniris spiritu.

Celsum, hæredem sanguinis,
Hæredem tanti nominis,
Pari coronatum fide,
Christo libasti victimam.

Cælo locans substantiam,
Ærugo quam non devorat,
Gentes trahens ad gratiam,
Talenta sacra duplicas.

Sic elementum liquidum
Fixis premens vestigiis,
Reddis ereptos patriæ
Morti tributos æquoris.

His ita gestis, inclite,
Sancto recisus vertice,
Coronam insignem ferens,
Vitæ nitescis præmio.

Vota precantum suscipe,
Precator o egregie,
Amator et verbi Dei,
Ac doctor evangelice.

Gloria tibi, Domine;
Gloria Unigenito;
Una cum sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

(1) The entry in Repertorium Hymnologicum indicates this word is “arma” instead of “alma.”

Words: Anonymous, 12th C.*.
Tune: Chant tone unknown.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

*If I am reading the Reportorium Hymnologicum entry correctly, the earliest entry looks like an 1132 manuscript of a Cistercian Breviary.

This is the text that appears in the Ambrosian Breviary. According to The Sounds of Milan, 1585-1650 by Robert L. Kendrick (pg. 126), the hymns in the Ambrosian Use at Milan underwent a massive change during the 17th Century and some were heavily altered:

Sacri triumphales tui ,
Dux magne, palmas dicimus,
Quos arma, virtus, et Crucis
Vernet trophæum prælii.

Modis canora mysticis
Nunc turba laudem concinit,
Nazare, lux, vitæ decus,
Apostolorum particeps.

Petri coronaris fide,
Sacroque Pauli dogmate:
Ungente Lino præsule,
Muniris almo Spiritu.

Celsum sequacem prælii,
Tanti sequacem nominis,
Pari coronatum fide,
Christo sacrasti victimam.

Cælo locans substantiam,
Ærugo quam non devorat,
Gentes trahens ad gratiam,
Talenta sacra duplicans.

Sic fluctuantes vortices
Fixis premens vestigiis,
Donas ademtos patriæ,
Morti tributos æquoris.

His rebus actis inclite,
Sancto recisus vertice,
Cæli coronam præferens,
Vitæ nitescis præmio.

Attende vota supplicum,
Potens precator Numinis,
Amator et verbi Dei,
Legisque doctor cælicæ.

Deo Patri sit gloria
Eiusque soli Filio
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Nunc et per omne sæculum. Amen.

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, Chant Tone Unknown, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Latin Hymns, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, Sts. Nazarius & Celsus (Jul. 28), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints, Translation of St. Nazarius (May 10) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let Earth And Heaven To Dearest Philip

I decided to translate this wonderful hymn to my beloved patron saint, St. Philip Neri, from the Ambrosian Breviary. This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds on the feast of St. Philip Neri (May 26) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

Let earth and heaven to dearest Philip
A sacred hymn in concert sing;
For He hath filled the earth with virtues
And Heaven’s tiers with new-born saints!

He of the Narrow Way a teacher,
Whose light hath brightened all of Rome;
The people’s bulwark, pauper’s refuge,
A blazing lamp in Israel!

Amid the tombs of blessèd Martyrs,
He hides himself in watchful prayer;
Then from these tombs proceeds he forward,
Resuming now the heavenly life.

The honor of the Roman purple
He shunneth, seeking greater worth;
And, greater than both dye or vestment
He shines, alone by virtue clothed.

A holy fire from heaven descendeth,
And Love Divine ignites his heart;
The heart it finds too small a vessel,
And, bursting forth, his ribs divides.

So higher flies his heart toward heaven,
Now aided by this wound of Love,
And, flowing out to all his neighbors,
The Charity Divine burns on.

These wounds made by that Love most holy
Coequal those the Martyrs bore;
And like the flames of holy Seraphs,
The fire in Philip’s heart doth blaze.

Therefore, we beg thee humbly kneeling,
O Philip, do thou open wide
Our hearts unto the Lord, the Highest,
That they might catch afire like thine.

All glory be to God the Father,
And likewise to His only Son,
Who with the Holy Spirit reigneth
One only God while ages run. Amen.

Words: Ambrosian Breviary, 1830* (according to the Repertorium Hymnologicum); tr. Noah Townsend, copyright 2019.
Tune: “Les Commandments de Dieu” Louis Bourgeois, 1543.
Meter: 9.8.9.8

*Dating is according to the information provided in the Repertorium Hymnologicum.

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

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Founders of Orders, Hymns I Wrote, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, St. Philip Neri, St. Philip Neri (May 26.), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Victor, Nabor, Felix, Pii

This hymn is used for Vespers I & II and Lauds for the feasts of St. Victor the Moor, martyr (May 8) and Sts. Nabor and Felix, martyrs (July 12) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

Victor, Nabor, Felix, pii
Mediolani martyres,
Solo hospites, Mauri genus,
Terrisque nostris advenæ.

Torrens arena quos dedit,
Anhela solis æstibus,
Extrema terræ finium,
Exulque nostri nominis.

Suscepit hospites Padus
Mercede magna sanguinis;
Sancto replevit Spiritu
Almæ fides Ecclesiæ:

Et se coronavit trium
Cruore sacro Martyrum,
Castrisque raptos impiis
Christo sacravit milites.

Profecit ad fidem labor;
Armisque docti bellicis
Pro Rege vitam pomere,
Decere pro Christo pati.

Non tela quærunt ferrea,
Non arma Christi milites:
Munitus armis ambulat
Veram fidem qui possidet.

Scutum vero sua est fides,
Et mors triumphus, quem invidens
Nobis tyrannus, ad Oppidum
Laudense misit Martyres.

Sed reddiderunt hostias,
Raptis quadrigis, corpora,
Revecti in ora principum
Plaustri triumphalis modo.

Patri simulque Filio
Tibique, Sancte Spiritus,
Sicut fuit , sit iugiter
Sæclum per omne gloria. Amen.

Words: attr. St. Ambrose, 4th C.*.
Tune: “Victor, Nabor, Felix, Pii” Gregorian Chant.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

*This is according to the information on this hymn in the Repertorium Hymnologicum.

Posted in Ambrosian Breviary, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Breviaries, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. Ambrose, St. Victor the Moor (May 8), Sts. Nabor & Felix (July 12), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment