Festis Læta Sonent Æthera Cantibus

This hymn was used as the hymn for Vespers I & II for the Common of Virgins when a Martyr in the Paris Breviary (1736).

Festis læta sonent æthera cantibus:
Nunc aptate tubas, sumite tympana,
Cœtus Angelici: dicite Virginem,
Christi dicite Martyrem.

Vestris illa ſuit debita cœtibus,
Quæ mortalis adhuc, nobilis æmula,
Ut vos exprimeret, dedidicit genus,
Virgo corporis immemor!

Sed quid cogis, amor? Fortiter ambiit
Sponso virgineum fundere sanguinem:
Obliti meminit tunc bene corporis,
Præclaræ sitiens necis.

Sic qua parte minor, vos supereminet,
Immortale genus, quæ potuit mori,
Et per damna sui corporis integram
Testari Domino fidem.

Patri maxima laus, maxima Filio,
Amborumque sacro maxima Flamini,
Per quem magnanimæ prælia sustinent,
Spreto funere, Virgines. Amen.

Words: Fr. Jean-Baptiste Santeul, 17th C.
Tune: Unknown.
Meter: 12.12.12.8

Here is Fr. de Santeul’s original text as it appeared in his Hymni Sacri et Novi of 1689:

Cælestes pueri, dulce sonantibus
Omnes nunc cytharis dicite Virginem;
Nunc aptate tubas, sumite tympana,
Christi dicite Martyrem.

Vestris illa ſuit debita cœtibus,
Quæ mortalis adhuc, nobilis æmula,
Ut vos exprimeret, dedidicit genus,
Virgo corporis immemor!

Sed quid cogis, amor? Fortiter ambiit
Sponso virgineum fundere sanguinem:
Obliti meminit tunc bene corporis,
Præclaræ sitiens necis.

Sic qua parte minor, vos supereminet,
Immortale genus, quæ potuit mori,
Et per damna sui corporis integram
Testari Domino fidem.

Patri maxima laus, maxima Filio,
Amborumque sacro maxima Flamini,
A quo magnanimæ prælia sustinent,
Spreto funere, Virgines.

This is the altered text of this hymn as it appears in Cardinal Newman’s Hymni Ecclesiae:

О vos cum citharis dulce sonantibus,
Cætus Angelici, dicite Virginem;
Nunc aptate tubas, sumite tympana,
Christi dicite Martyrem.

Vestris illa fuit debita coetibus,
Quæ mortalis adhuc, nobilis æmula,
Ut vos exprimeret, dedidicit genus,
Virgo corporis immemor.

Quid non cogis amor? Fortiter ambiit
Sponso virgineum fundere sauguinem:
Obliti meminit tunc bene corporis,
Præclaræ sitiens necis.

Sic qua parte minor, vos supereminet,
Immortale genus, quæ potuit muri,
Et per damna sui corporis, integram
Testari Domino fidem.

Patri maxima laus, maxima Filio,
Amborumque sacro gloria Flamini,
Cuius præsidio prælia sustinent,
Spreto funere, Virgines. Amen.

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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 Breviaries, Chant Tone Unknown, Commons of the Saints, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Holy Virgins, Hymns By The Greats, Jean-Baptiste de Santeul, Latin Hymns, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, Subsections of Breviaries, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church. Bookmark the permalink.

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