This hymn is used for the Vespers & Matins on the Feast of St. Michael (Sept. 29) in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Breviary . It is used for Lauds on the same Feast in the Ordinary Form. I was also used for Vespers I (what would be Vespers II was Vespers for St. Jerome) and Matins on the Feast of St. Michael in the Sarum Breviary.
This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in John Mason Neale’s Hymnal Noted (1851). This text appears with the minor difference noted below in The English Hymnal (1906) as the Office Hymn for Morning and Evening on Michaelmas:
Thee, O Christ, the Father’s Splendour,
Life and virtue of the heart,
In the presence of the Angels
Sing we now with tuneful art:
Meetly in alternate chorus
Bearing our responsive part.
Thus we praise with veneration
All the armies of the sky;
Chiefly him, the warrior Primate
Of Celestial chivalry:
Michael, who in princely virtue,
Cast Abaddon from on high.
By whose watchful cares(1) repelling,
King of everlasting grace!
Ev’ry ghostly adversary,
All things evil, all things base;
Grant us of Thine only goodness
In Thy Paradise a place.
Laud and honour to the Father,
Laud and honour to the Son:
Laud and honour to the Spirit,
Ever Three, and Ever One:
While unending ages run. Amen.
Words: attr. Rabanus Maurus, ca. 9th C.; tr. John Mason Neale, 1851.
Chant Tone: “Tibi Christe Splendor Patris” Gregorian Chant, Mode II, traditional.*
Tune (The English Hymnal): “Unser Herrscher” Joachim Neander, 1680.**
*Neale provides a tune from The Salisbury Hymnal for this text – so far I do not know of where I could find a sound file demonstrating this tune. The English Hymnal provides a chant tone in Mode II – I am uncertain where to find a recording of this tune.
**This tune is also called “Neander”
(1) “care” in The English Hymnal.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.