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Hymn 18


Jam lucis orto sidere
Deum precemur supplices,
Ut in diurnis actibus
Nos servet a nocentibus.

s Linguam refraenans temperet
Ne litis horror insonet;

fovendo contegat Ne vanitates hauriat.

Now that the sun has risen, let us as suppliants ask of God that in today's acts He preserve us from all that may hurt us. May He check and restrain our tongue so that it be not an instrument of discord and strife. May He screen and protect our eyes so that they do not drink in vanities. May our inmost soul be pure and the folly of impurity find in us no place; may moderation in food and drink wear down the body's pride so that when day has gone and night, as God planned, has returned, we may be found free from sin through our self-restraint and thus sing praise to Him.

Sint pura cordis intima, 10 Absistat et vecordia,

Carnis terat superbiam
Potus cibique parcitas;

Ut, cum dies abscesserit

Noctemque sors reduxerit, Is Mundi per abstinentiam

Ipsi canamus gloriam.

Hymn 19


Nunc sancte nobis Spiritus,
Unum Patri cum Filio,
Dignare promptus ingeri
Nostro refusus pectori.

Holy Spirit, one with the Father and the Son, deign at this hour to come down on us without delay and pour out Your graces over our soul. Let mouth, tongue, soul, thought and strength make Your praise resound. Let our love be set aflame by the fire of Your love and its heat in turn enkindle love in our neighbours.

s Os, lingua, mens, sensus, vigor

Confessionem personent;
Flammescat igne caritas,
Accendat ardor proximos.

Author. ?St Ambrose. This and the next two are all' Ambrosian. W. hymns are certainly by the same author. If it was not 1. Nunc, i.e. at the hour when the Holy Ghost Ambrose, it must have been a very good imitator, came on the first Pentecost. for 'the prosody, the vocabulary, the concentrated 2. unum Patri, one (in essence) with the Father and force of the language, the thoughts, the theology, the Son. Patri; the dative expressing relationship, as it → Notes on Hymn 18

Author. Unknown. It is thought to be of the fifth keeping warm (tamquam si nutrix foveat filios suos, I or early sixth century, but some place it in the eighth Thess. 2, 7) and so gives the more general meaning of ,

. century.

protect. 1. lucis ... sidere, the sun; cf. 3, 10.

8. vanitatis; cf. averte oculos meos ne videant vanita3. diurnis actibus, the acts of the coming) day; cf. tem, Ps. 118, 37. 3, 7.

10. absistat=absit; vecordia, folly, madness, as often 4. nocentibus, from all that may hurt us; cf. ut in Latin of O.T. The folly here is that of impurity; noxia cuncta submoveas, Collect Seventh Sunday after cf. vecordem juvenem, Prov. 7, 7. Pentecost.

12. parcitas, abstinence from, sparing use of. 5. refraenans; cf. non refraenans linguam suam, James 14. sors, time in its allotted, ordered course; 1, 26; cf. also Ps. 33, 14 and 1 Peter 3, 10.

divine providence, ordinance. 6. ne litis; that grating strife (harsh note of strife, 15. mundi; probably an adjective like mundum in Blakeney) may not resound on it (the tongue), W. 13, 12; but it could be genitive after abstinentiam, as in Insonet understands the ablative lingua, as in calamis ceterarum rerum abstinentiam, Num. 30, 14. For the insonare, Ov. Met. 11, 161. Litis; cf. unde bella et lites in latter meaning, cf. James I, 27; for the general vobis?, James 4, 1.

meaning cf. 1 Thess. 4, 3 and S, 22. 7. Fovendo, instead of a present participle, cf. 14, 16. ipsi; either nominative, W, or dative, to Him, 11, and balancing refraenans. Fovere combines the B. ideas of nursing (nutrit et fovet eam, Eph. S, 29) and of

Notes on Hymn 19 Continued from the foot of p. 30 does after affinis, similis, etc.

sensus the complete transformation of soul and mind, 3. promptus, without delay; ingeri, practically and vigor the zeal of the apostolate. It is the result of equivalent to infundi.

refusus, just as the ringing announcement of salvation 4. refusus; a participle, but expressing the result of (personent) by the Apostles followed on the coming ingeri, namely the gradual working of the Spirit of the Spirit. through us and 'taking possession of our whole 6. confessionem, declaration of faith or thanks, cf. being, as explained in the next line.

5, 7, note; thus the Apostles were loquentes Effundere is the scriptural word for the coming of magnalia Dei, Acts 2, 11. For the accusative after the Spirit, Acts. 2, 33 and 10, 45; diffundere is the word sonare and its compounds, cf. 11, 31 and 90, 12—the used in Romans s, s (cf. note on line 7) for the former certainly and the latter almost certainly by charity of God being poured over our souls. Re- Ambrose. fundere here is the equivalent of diffundere, but also 7. igne; cf. linguae tamquam ignis, Acts 2, 3; fons hinting at the sobria ebrietas which results; cf. 11, 22 vivus, ignis, caritas, 64, 7. Caritas: cf. Caritas Dei and 12, 24.

diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum sanctum, qui 5. Os ... vigor. Mouth, tongue, soul, thought and datus est nobis, Rom. 5, s. strength. The line refers to the effects of the first 8. ardor, in good sense; cf. 3, 6, note. Pentecost and then to those desired by the singers- ‘And love light up our mortal frame os, lingua being the external signs and results, mens, Till others catch the living flame' (Newman).

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4. VESPERS AND COMPLINE The next division of the day after None is the hour when the sun sets, the evening star, Vesper, appears and the lamps are lit, Lucernarium. It thus marks the beginning of the first watch of the night, and the prayer of Vespers was once classed as a night one—St Benedict being the first to place it among the day Hours. This change was one of classification and did not change the essential character of Vespers. Lauds, after all, is a morning hour and yet, historically

Notes on Hymn 20

Author. See 19.

unelided before a vowel. The revisers' illuminas suits 1. verax, God of truth, faithful to His promises; splendore better than ignibus. W suggested splendore cf. Deus verax est, John 3, 33. The promises are (1) mane qui instruis, which is better, for instruis suits such as that made to Noe in Gen. 8, 22 for the both nouns. Mane; noun as in 17, 9 and 22, s. physical order and (2) those of help and grace in the 5. Exstingue. The idea of temperas is applied in this spiritual order.

verse to the life of grace in which, as in the physical 2. rerum vices, i.e. changes from morning to noon, order, God is verax. Flammas litium; suggested by from summer to winter; cf. qui certis vicibus tempora ignibus above and homo iracundus incendit litem, Ecclus. dividis, Prud. Cath. V, 2 and 11, 3.

28, 11. Litium; cf. litis, 18, 6. 3. splendore. Original: splendore mane instruisma 6. calorem, heat of passion; for calor in a good poor line, where a short unaccented syllable is left sense, cf. 12, 19.

Notes on Hymn 21

clarum vespere,

Author. See 19.

vespere, where vespere is a noun as in 22, S. 1. Rerum ... vigor. O God who art the strength 6. quo, whereby, introducing decidat and instet. which sustains all creation from day to day, W; or, Nusquam, at no point in its activity. W. Decidat, though with less emphasis on the element of time, 'O fail, decay; cf. 17, 5, note, and vespere decidat Ps. 89, 6. Strength and Stay upholding all creation'. Rerum Lumen and vita are thought of spiritually, but after tenax like Horace's tenacem propositi.

vespere seems to be taken in its ordinary meaning. B 2. immotus, unchanged, unmoved; cf. Ps. 101, 27; and the translation mentioned above interpret James 1, 17. In te permanens; cf. (sapientia) in se vespere of the evening of life, but this is implicit in the permanens, Wisdom 7, 27.

next lines. 3. tempora; cf. 11, 3.

7. praemium ... sacrae; predicate after instet, as the 4. successibus, progress, succession of time. Am- reward of.... brose often uses this word in the plural.

8. instet, follow hard upon, immediately; cf. 7, 14. s. vespere, adv., in the evening. Original: largire

and chorally, it is the conclusion of the night office. In the same way Vespers could be considered either as the prayer which finished the day or the one which began the night. This point is of some importance in relation to the question of the authorship of these hymns. All of them, save that for Saturday, are attributed to St Gregory, a follower of St Benedict; and scholars, looking for signs of the author, have looked to see whether the author thought of Vespers as a day or night hour. The hymns which are said to have been written for Vespers as

a night office are considered by some as variations on the lines of St Ambrose:

Ut cum profunda clauserit
Diem caligo noctium,
Fides tenebras nesciat

Et nox fide reluceat. With such hymns they contrast those of the Breviary, and say that the latter make no mention of night or nightly rest. And yet perhaps a case could be made out that these hymns too, but in their own way, are variations on the same theme; cf. e.g. 22, 7; 23, 13; 25, 13.

But, if they are variations, they are only so as far as the main subject of creation will allow. The opening verses give, in order, the work of each day of creation and, by their use at Vespers, suggest God looking back over each day's work and ‘seeing that it was good’. Man also, as the Psalmist says, goes out each day to his work and labours until the evening, Ps. 103, 23. But when he comes to examine the day's work and sees its imperfections, he cannot, as God did, delight in it; moreover night and darkness, symbols of sin, are near at hand. He therefore turns to God for forgiveness and

Lucis creator optime,
Lucem dierum proferens,
Primordiis lucis novae
Mundi parans originem,

s Qui mane junctum vesperi

Diem vocari praecipis,
Illabitur tetrum chaos;
Audi preces cum fletibus,

Hymn 22
Sunday Vespers

Beneficent creator of light, You brought forth the light of day, furnished the world at its start with the first beginnings of new light and commanded that morning joined to night be called Day. Night with all its fears is now coming down on us; hear our prayers and heed our sorrow that our soul does not become weighed down with sin and deprived of the grace of life while it has no thought for things eternal and entangles itself with sin after sin. Grant that the soul knock on heaven's gate and that it win life as its prize. May we avoid all sin and atone the evil we have done.

Ne mens gravata crimine 10 Vitae sit exsul munere,

Dum nil perenne cogitat
Seseque culpis illigat.

Caeleste pulset ostium,

Vitale tollat praemium; IS Vitemus omne noxium,

Purgemus omne pessimum.

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