Ut Queant Laxis

This hymn is used for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in both Forms. Part I is used for Vespers, Part II for Matins/Office of Readings, and Part III for Lauds.

Here is the original, full text of the hymn so far as I have been able to determine:

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Ioannes.

Nuntius celso veniens olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nasciturum,
Nomen, et vitæ seriem gerendæ
Ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni,
Perdidit promptæ modulos loquelæ,
Sed reformasti genitus peremptæ
Organa vocis.

Ventris obstruso positus cubili,
Senseras Regem thalamo manentem,
Hinc parens nati meritis uterque
Abdita pangit.

Antra deserti teneris sub annis,
Civium turmas fugiens, petisti,
Ne levi saltem maculare vitam
Famine posses.

Præbuit hirtum tegimen camelus,
Artubus sacris strophium bidentes,
Cui latex haustum, sociata pastum
Mella locustis.

Cæteri tantum cecinere vatum
Corde præsago iubar adfuturum,
Tu quidem mundi scelus auferentem
Indice prodis.

Non fuit vasti spatium per orbis
Sanctior quisquam genitus Ioanne,
Qui nefas sæcli meruit lavantem
Tingare lymphis.

O nimis felix meritique celsi,
Nesciens labem nivei pudoris,
Præpotens martyr eremique cultor,
Maxime vatum.

Serta ter denis alios coronant
Aucta crementis, duplicata quosdam,
Trina centeno cumulata fructu
Te sacer ornant.

Nunc potens nostri meritis opimis
Pectoris duros lapides repelle,
Asperum planans iter, et reflexos
Dirige calles.

Ut pius mundi sator et redemptor,
Mentibus pulsa livione puris,
Rite dignetur veniens sacratos
Ponere gressus.

Laudibus cives celebrant superni
Te Deus simplex pariterque trine,
Supplices et nos veniam precamur,
Parce redemptis.

Gloriam patri resonemus omnes,
Et tibi Christe genite superne,
Cum quibus sanctus simul et creator
Spiritus regnat. Amen.

Words: Paul the Deacon, 8th C.
Tune (Part I):Ut Queant Laxis” Gregorian Chant, Mode II, traditional.
Tune (Parts II):Antra Deserti Teneris” Gregorian Chant, Mode IV, traditional.
Tune (Parts III):O Nimis Felix” Gregorian Chant, Mode IV, traditional.
Meter: 11.11.11.5

This is the hymn as it appears Breviary:

PARS I

Ut queant laxis resonare fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Ioannes.

Nuntius celso veniens olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nasciturum,
Nomen, et vitæ seriem gerendæ
Ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni,
Perdidit promptæ modulos loquelæ:
Sed reformasti genitus peremptæ
Organa vocis.

Ventris obstruso recubans cubili,
Senseras Regem thalamo manentem:
Hinc parens, nati meritis, uterque
Abdita pandit.

PARS II

Antra deserti, teneris sub annis,
Civium turmas fugiens, petisti,
Ne levi posses maculare vitam
Crimine linguæ.

Præbuit durum tegumen camelus,
Artubus sacris, strophium bidentes;
Cui latex haustum, sociata pastum
Mella locustis.

Cæteri tantum cecinere Vatum
Corde præsago iubar affuturum:
Tu quidem mundi scelus auferentem
Indice prodis.

Non fuit vasti spatium per orbis
Sanctior quisquam genitus Ioanne,
Qui nefas sæcli meruit lavantem
Tingare lymphis.

Sit decus Patri, genitæque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriusque virtus
Spiritus semper, Deus unus, omni
Temporis ævo. Amen.

PARS III

O nimis felix, meritique celsi,
Nesciens labem nivei pudoris,
Præpotens Martyr, nemorumque cultor,
Maxime Vatum.

Serta ter denis alios coronant
Aucta crementis, duplicata quosdam,
Trina te fructu cumulata centum
Nexibus ornant.

Nunc potens nostri meritis opimis
Pectoris duros lapides revelle,
Asperum planans iter, et reflexos
Dirige calles.

Ut pius mundi Sator et Redemptor,
Mentibus culpæ sine labe puris,
Rite dignetur veniens beatos
Ponere gressus.

Laudibus cives celebrant superni
Te Deus simplex, pariterque trine,
Supplices et nos veniam precamur,
Parce redemptis. Amen.

This hymn has been translated into English as the following:
Part I: Unloose, Great Baptist, Our Sin-Fetter’d Lips
Part II: In Caves of the Lone Wilderness Thy Youth
Part III: O Blessed Saint, of Snow-White Purity!

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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 Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, Latin Hymns, Major Feasts, Matins/Office of Readings, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24), Non-English Hymns, Paul the Deacon, Roman Breviary, Saint John The Baptist, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Hours of the Day, The Proper of Saints. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ut Queant Laxis

  1. Pingback: Unloose, Great Baptist, Our Sin-Fetter’d Lips | Saint Augustine's Lyre

  2. Pingback: In Caves Of The Lone Wilderness Thy Youth | Saint Augustine's Lyre

  3. Pingback: O Blessed Saint, Of Snow-White Purity! | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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