O Christ Who Art The Light And Day

Here is an ancient Compline hymn for Lent. 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 :

Version I:

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.

Version II:

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.

Words: Attr. At. Ambrose, 4th Century; tr. William J. Copeland, 19th Century.
Tune:St. Gregory” Johann B. König, 1738.

Here is the original Latin text of the hymn:

Christe Qui Lux es et Dies,
Noctis tenebras detegis,
Lucisque lumen crederis,
Lumen beatum praedicans.

Precamur sancte Domine,
Defende nos in hac nocte,
Sit nobis in te requies,
Quietam noctem tribue.

Ne gravis somnus irruat,
Nec hostis nos surripiat,
Nec caro illi consentiens,
Nos tibi reos statuat.

Oculi somnum capiant,
Cor ad te semper vigilet,
Dextera tua protegat
Famulos qui te diligunt.

Defensor noster aspice,
Insidiantes reprime,
Guberna tuos famulos,
Quos sanguine mercatus es.

Memento nostri Domine
In gravi isto corpore,
Qui es defensor animae,
Adesto nobis Domine.

Praesta, Beata Trinitas,
Concede, Simplex Unitas,
Ut fructuosa sint Tuis
Ieiuniorum munera. Amen.

One version of the text had this as the final verse of the hymn- perhaps to make it an appropriate compline hymn outside of Lent:

Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc et in perpetuum. Amen.


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 Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Compline, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Lent, Nighttime, Non-English Hymns, St. Ambrose, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary. Bookmark the permalink.

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