The Dawn Was Purpling O’er The Sky

This hymn is broken into three parts historically. In the Extraordinary Form the first part is used for Lauds in Eastertide from Low Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday) until Ascension; the second part is used for Vespers and Matins for the Commons of the Apostles in Eastertide; and the third part is used for Lauds and throughout the hours for the Commons of the Apostles in Eastertide.

PART I,

The dawn was purpling o’er the sky;
With alleluias rang the air;
Earth held a glorious jubilee;
Hell gnash’d its teeth in fierce despair:

When our most valiant mighty King
From death’s abyss, in dread array,
Led the long-prison’d Fathers forth,
Into the beam of life and day:

When He, whom stone, and seal, and guard,
Had safely to the tomb consign’d,
Triumphant rose, and buried Death
Deep in the grave He left behind.

“Calm all your grief, and still your tears;”
Hark! the descending angel cries;
“For Christ is risen from the dead,
And Death is slain, no more to rise.”

*O Jesu! from the death of sin
Keep us, we pray; so shalt Thou be
The everlasting Paschal joy
Of all the souls new born in Thee.

*Now to the Father, and the Son
Who rose from death, be glory given;
With Thee, O holy Comforter!
Henceforth by all in earth and Heaven.

PART II

When Christ, by his own servants slain,
Had died upon the bitter Cross,
Th’ Apostles, of their joy bereft,
Were weeping their dear Saviour’s loss:

Meanwhile, an Angel at the tomb
To holy women hath foretold,
“The faithful flock shall soon with joy
Their Lord in Galilee behold.”

Who, as they run the news to bring,
Lo, straightway Christ Himself they meet,
All radiant with heavenly light,
And falling, clasp his sacred feet.

To Galilee’s lone mountain heights
The Apostolic band retire:
There, blest with their dear Saviour’s sight,
They taste in full their soul’s desire.

*O Jesu! from the death of sin
Keep us, we pray; so shalt Thou be
The everlasting Paschal joy
Of all the souls new-born in Thee.

*Now to the Father, and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given ;
With Thee, O holy Comforter,
Henceforth bv all in earth and Heaven.

[Within the Octave of the Ascension.]

*Glory to Jesus, who returns
In pomp triumphant to the sky,
With Thee, O Father, and with Thee,
O Holy Ghost, eternally.

PART III

Now daily shines the sun more fair,
Recalling that blest time,
When Christ on his Apostles shone,
In radiant light sublime.

They in his Body see his wounds
Like stars divinely glow;
Then forth, as his true Witnesses,
Throughout the world they go.

O Christ! thou King most merciful!
Our inmost hearts possess;
So may we with due songs of praise
Thy name for ever bless.

*Keep us, O Jesu! from the death
Of sin; and deign to be
The everlasting Paschal joy
Of all new-born in Thee.

*Praise to the Father, and the Son,
Who from the dead arose;
Praise to the blessed Paraclete,
While age on ages flows.

Words: Ascr. St. Ambrose, 4th Century; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, 1849.
Tune: “Aurora Lucis Rutilat” Gregorian Chant, Mode VIII, traditional.

*These closing doxologies only occur in the broken up form of the hymn after each section. They are included here in each section because Fr. Caswall translated the one in part III somewhat differently than in the first two parts.

The original Latin text (Aurora Cælum Purpurat) 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 1. The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Commons of the Saints, Easter, Edward Caswall, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Feasts of the Apostles, Hymns By The Greats, Major Feasts, Matins/Office of Readings, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Roman Breviary, Saints of the Church (Canonized or Beatified), St. Ambrose, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Glorious Mysteries, The Holy Rosary, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Dawn Was Purpling O’er The Sky

  1. Pingback: Aurora Lucis Rutilat | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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