This hymn is used for Vespers and Lauds on the Solemnity of the Ascension in the Extraordinary form. It is used for Vespers in the Ordinary Form on the same feast.
O Thou pure light of souls that love,
True joy of every human breast,
Sower of life’s immortal seed,
Our Maker, and Redeemer blest!
What wondrous pity Thee o’ercame,
To make our guilty load thine own,
And sinless, suffer death and shame,
For our transgressions to atone!
Thou, bursting Hades open wide,
Didst all the captive souls unchain;
And thence to thy dread Father’s side
With glorious pomp ascend again.
Jesu! may pity Thee compel
To heal the wounds of which we die;
And take us in thy Light to dwell,
Who for thy blissful Presence sigh.
Be Thou our guide, be Thou our goal;
Be Thou our pathway to the skies;
Our joy, when sorrow fills the soul;
In death our everlasting prize.
Words: Anonymous Latin*, 7th-8th C.; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, C.O., 1849.
Tune: “Iesu Nostra Redemptio” Gregorian Chant, Mode IV, traditional.
*This hymn has been attributed to St. Ambrose at times.
The original Latin text (Salutis Humanae Sator) of this hymn may be found here.