O Christ Who Art The Light And Day

This is an ancient Compline hymn for Lent sometimes attributed to St. Ambrose. This hymn was used for Compline during Lent in the Sarum Breviary.
I am unsure as to which is closer to the original translation as both were altered by the compilers of the respective hymnals, so I’m including both. First up is the one from Hymns Ancient and Modern 1867, followed by the version from the 1906 English Hymnal:

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

O Christ, Who art the Light and Day,
Thy Beams chase night’s dark shades away:—
The very Light of Light Thou art,
Who dost that blessèd Light impart.

All-Holy Lord, to Thee we bend,
Thy servants through this night defend,
And grant us calm repose in Thee,
A quiet night from perils free.

Let not dull sleep the soul oppress,
Nor secret foe the heart possess,
Nor Satan’s wiles the flesh allure,
And make us in Thy Sight impure.

Light slumber let our eyelids take,
The heart to Thee be still awake;
And Thy Right Hand protection be
To those who love and trust in Thee.

O Lord, our strong Defense be nigh!
Bid all the powers of darkness fly;
Preserve and watch o’er us for good,
Whom Thou hast purchased with Thy Blood.

Remember us, dear Lord, we pray,
Whilst burdened in the flesh we stay;—
Thou only canst the soul defend;
Be with us, Savior, to the end.

Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness. Amen.

Words: Attr. At. Ambrose, 4th Century; tr. William J. Copeland, 19th C., altered by the compilers of Hymns Ancient & Modern.
Tune:St. Gregory” Johann B. König, 1738.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

This is the text of this hymn as it appears in Hymns Ancient & Modern (1903):

O Christ, who art the light and day,
Thou drivest darksome night away!
We know Thee as the Light of light
Illuminating mortal sight.

All holy Lord, we pray to Thee,
Keep us tonight from danger free;
Grant us, dear Lord, in Thee to rest,
So be our sleep in quiet blest.

Let not the tempter round us creep
With thoughts of evil while we sleep,
Nor with his wiles the flesh allure
And make us in Thy sight impure.

And while the eyes soft slumber take,
Still be the heart to Thee awake,
Be Thy right hand upheld above
Thy servants resting in Thy love.

Yea, our defender, be Thou nigh,
To bid the powers of darkness fly;
Keep us from sin, and guide for good
Thy servants purchased by Thy blood.

Remember us, dear Lord, we pray,
While in this mortal flesh we stay:
’Tis Thou who dost the soul defend—
Be present with us to the end.

Blest Thee in One and One in Three,
Almighty God, we pray to Thee,
That Thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
Our fast with fruits of righteousness.

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

 

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Breviaries, Compline, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, Lent, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), Sarum Breviary, St. Ambrose, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to O Christ Who Art The Light And Day

  1. Pingback: Christe Qui Lux Es Et Dies | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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