Æterne Rex Altissime

This hymn is used for Matins/Office of Readings on the Solemnity of the Ascension in both Forms of the Roman Breviary. This hymn was also used for Vespers & Matins on the Solemnity of the Ascension in the Sarum Breviary.

Æterne Rex altissime,
Redemptor et fidelium,
Quo mors soluta deperit
Datur triumphus gratiæ.

Scandens tribunal dexteræ,
Patris potestas omnium
Collata Iesu cælitus,
Quæ non erat humanitus.

Ut trina rerum machina,
Cælestium, terrestrium,
Et inferorum condita,
Flectat genu iam subdita.

Tremunt videntes Angeli
Versa vice mortalium:
Culpat caro, purgat caro,
Regnat Deus, Dei caro.

Tu esto nostrum gaudium,
Manens olympo præditum;
Mundi regis qui fabricam,
Mundana vincens gaudia.

Hinc te precantes quæsumus,
Ignosce culpis omnibus,
Et corda sursum subleva
Ad te superna gratia.

Ut cum repente cœperis
Clarere nube iudicis,
Pœnas repellas debitas,
Reddas coronas perditas.

Gloria tibi Domine,
Qui scandis supersidera,
Cum Patre et sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

Words: Anon. Latin, 10th C.
Tune:Aeterne Rex Altissime” Gregorian Chant, Mode VIII, traditional.
Meter: 88.88

The hymn takes the following form in Pope Urban VIII’s 1632 reform of the Breviary:

Æterne Rex altissime,
Redemptor et fidelium,
Cui mors perempta detulit
Summæ triumphum gloriæ;

Ascendis orbes siderum,
Quo te vocabat cælitus
Collata, non humanitus
Rerum potestas omnium.

Ut trina rerum machina,
Cælestium, terrestrium,
Et interorum condita,
Flectat genu iam subdita.

Tremunt videntes angeli
Versam vicem mortalium:
Peccat caro, mundat caro,
Regnat Deus Dei caro.

*Sis ipse nostrum gaudium,
Manens olympo præmium;
Mundi regis qui fabricam,
Mundana vincens gaudia.

Hinc te precantes quæsumus,
Ignosce culpis omnibus,
Et corda sursum subleva
Ad te superna gratia:

Ut cum repente cœperis
Clarere nube Iudicis,
Pœnas repellas debitas,
Reddas coronas perditas.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui victor in cælum redis,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

*Hymns Ancient and Modern 1867 indicates that this verse reads thus (perhaps indicating an additional alteration at some point in the history of the hymn):

Sis Ipse nostrum Gaudium,
Qui es futurus Præmium,
Sit nostra in Te gloria
Per cuncta semper sæcula.

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in the Sarum Breviary:

Æterne Rex Altissime,
Redemptor et fidelium,
Quo mors soluta deperit,
Datur triumphus gratiæ.

Scandens tribunal dexteræ
Patris, potestas omnium
Collata est Iesu cælitus,
Quæ non erat humanitus.

Ut trina rerum machina,
Cælestium, terrestrium,
Et inferorum condita,
Flectat genu iam subdita.

Tremunt videntes angeli,
Versa vice mortalium;
Culpat caro, purgat caro,
Regnat Deus Dei caro.

Tu esto nostrum gaudium,
Qui es futurus præmium,
Sit nostra in Te gloria
Per cuncta semper sæcula.

Gloria Tibi, Domine,
Qui scandis supra sidera,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

This hymn has been translated into English as the following:
O Thou Eternal King Most High!
Eternal Monarch, King Most High

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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 Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Ascension, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, Easter, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Latin Hymns, Matins/Office of Readings, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Roman Breviary, Sarum Breviary, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Æterne Rex Altissime

  1. Pingback: O Thou Eternal King Most High! | Saint Augustine's Lyre

  2. Pingback: Eternal Monarch, King Most High | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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