This Day The Wond’rous Mystery

This hymn is a hymn for Matins on the Friday after the Second Sunday in Lent, dedicated to the Most Holy Winding Sheet of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The text was translated by Fr. Caswall for the Lyra Catholica in 1849. It may come from the Office of the Instruments of the Passion, or the Passion Offices, although the text of the Passion Offices I have come across do not contain the text of this hymn in its Latin form.

This day the wond’rous mystery
Is set before our eyes,
Of Jesus stretch’d upon the Cross
In dying agonies.

Oh, deed of love! the Prince becomes
A Victim for his slave;
The sinner an acquittal finds,
The innocent a grave.

Whereof, in many a gory stain,
The traces still are found
On yonder Winding Sheet, which wrapp’d
The sacred body round

Hail, trophies of our valiant Chief!
Hail, proofs of triumph won
Over the World, and Hell, and Death,
By God’s eternal Son!

Be these the colours under which
From this time forth we fight,
Against the depths of Satan’s guile,
And all the powers of night.

So, dead to our old life, may we
A better life begin;
And through the Cross of Christ at length
His Heavenly Crown attain.

Father of Mercies! hear our cry;
Hear us, coequal Son!
Who reignest with the Holy Ghost
While ceaseless ages run.

The original Latin text is as follows:

Mysterium mirabile
Hac luce nobis panditur,
Verus Dei cum Filius
Mortem cruentam sustinet.

Causam tuendo servuli,
Reique formam vestiens,
Pro servo Herus suspenditur,
Pro sonte Iustus plectitur.

Necis manent insignia,
Impressa Sacra in Sindone,
Quae post triumphum nobilem
Corpus cruentum involverat.

Sunt mortis haec, et tartari
Mundique victi insignia:
Trophaea sunt haec inclyta
Ductoris invictissimi.

Debemus ergo hanc gratiam
Nostrae salutis Vindicti,
Ut daemonis contra dolos
Hac militemus tessera.

Vitae vetustae mortui
Surgamus in vitam novam
Christum secuti: per Crucem
Christi fruemur gloria.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Regnans per omne saeculum. 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, Edward Caswall, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Latin Hymns, Lent, Non-English Hymns, Passion Offices/Office of the Instruments of the Passion, Roman Breviary, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Most Holy Winding Sheet, The Passion. Bookmark the permalink.

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