Stephano, Primo Martyri

This hymn is used for Vespers for the Feast of St. Stephen (Dec. 26) and for Vespers and Lauds on the Feast of the Finding of the Relics of St. Stephen (Aug. 3) in the Ambrosian Breviary.

This is the older text as it appears in the Ambrosian Breviary of 1582 (courtesy of the Katholische Kirchengesange compilation):

Stephano(1), primo martyri,
Cantemus novum canticum,
Quod dulce sit psallentibus,
Opem ferat credentibus.

Psallamus hoc discipuli,
Laudem dicamus martyri,
Qui primus post redemtorem
Christi secutus est crucem.

Hic enim per Apostolos
Probatus in laude Dei;
Vexilla morte rapuit,
Ut præferretur omnibus.

O præferenda gloria,
O beata victoria,
Hoc meruisse Stephanum,
Ut sequeretur Dominum!

Ipse martyr egregius,
Amore Christi prædicans,
Sancto repletus Spiritu
Vultum gerens angelicum.

Ille levatis oculis
Vidit Patrem cum Filio,
Monstrans in cælis vivere,
Quem plebs quærebat perdere.

Iudæi magis saeviunt,
Saxaque prensant manibus:
Currebant, ut occiderent
Sacratum Christi militem.

Iste paratus, vertice
Gaudens suscepit lapides:
Rogans pro eis Dominum,
Gaudens tradidit spiritum.

Gloria tibi, Domine;
Gloria Unigenito;
Una cum sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

(1) It appears this may be “Stephani” in some versions of this hymn based on the entries in the Repertorium Hymnologicum.

Words: Anonymous Ambrosian hymn, ca. 12th C.
Tune: Unknown.
Meter: 8.8.8.8

*The authorship and date is according to the information on this hymn in the Repertorium Hymnologicum, though for the date it is difficult to tell if I am reading the entry correctly.

This is the text that appears in the Ambrosian Breviary (1830). According to The Sounds of Milan, 1585-1650 by Robert L. Kendrick (pg. 126), the hymns in the Ambrosian Use at Milan underwent a massive change during the 17th Century and some were heavily altered:

Duci cruento martyrum
Novum canamus canticum,
Quod dulce sit psallentibus,
Opem ferat credentibus.

Dicamus hymnum supplices,
Palmas canendo militis,
Qui primus inter martyres
Christi secutus est crucem.

Aris dicant apostoli
Dei probatum laudibus:
Ut signa mortis conterens
Ferret coronas nominis.

O præferenda gloria,
O nobilis victoria!
Levita fuso cælicas
Rigat cruore laureas.

Sancto repletus Spiritu,
Vultuque compar Angelis,
Iesu fidem dum nuntiat,
Emit triumphum sanguine.

Ut lætus axem suspicit,
Videt Patrem cura Filio,
Monstrans in astris vivere
Quem Plebs volebat perdere.

At tota saxis durior
Iudæa saxa coniicit,
Simul sepulchro et funeri
Datura Christi militem.

Levita gaudens vertice
Ictus furentes excipit:
Rogansque Numen iugiter
Ad astra mittit spiritum.

Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

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 Ambrosian Breviary, Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, Chant Tone Unknown, Christmas, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Feast of St. Stephen (December) 26th, Latin Hymns, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Feast Days, Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Finding of the Relics of St. Stephen (Aug. 3), The Holy Martyrs, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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