Saturday, November 28, 2009

Conditor Alme Siderum

ADVENT BEGINS tonight at First Vespers. Following is an Advent hymn, Conditor Alme Siderum:

CONDITOR alme siderum,
aeterna lux credentium,
Christe, redemptor omnium,
exaudi preces supplicum.
CREATOR of the stars of night,
Thy people's everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
and hear Thy servants when they call.
Qui condolens interitu
mortis perire saeculum,
salvasti mundum languidum,
donans reis remedium,
Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
should doom to death a universe,
hast found the medicine, full of grace,
to save and heal a ruined race.
Vergente mundi vespere,
uti sponsus de thalamo,
egressus honestissima
Virginis matris clausula.
Thou camest, the Bridegroom of the Bride,
as drew the world to evening tide,
proceeding from a virgin shrine,
the spotless Victim all divine.
Cuius forti potentiae
genu curvantur omnia;
caelestia, terrestria
nutu fatentur subdita.
At whose dread Name, majestic now,
all knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
and things celestial Thee shall own,
and things terrestrial Lord alone.
Te, Sancte, fide quaesumus,
venture iudex saeculi,
conserva nos in tempore
hostis a telo perfidi.
O Thou whose coming is with dread,
to judge and doom the quick and dead,
preserve us, while we dwell below,
from every insult of the foe.
Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
To God the Father, God the Son,
and God the Spirit, Three in One,
laud, honor, might, and glory be
from age to age eternally. Amen.
Advent begins a new liturgical year. ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word adventus meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’, and the word was most specifically used to describe a visit by a king or emperor. The end of the liturgical year invites us to consider the Four Last Things of Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell, and recognizes the Kingship of Christ over all creation. We wait in fear and hope for the Return of the King who will judge the nations: this theme is continued at the beginning of the new liturgical year; only later does the emphasis changes to the first Advent, the coming of the Christ Child in Bethlehem.

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