Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Creator of the starry height...

There is a paucity of hymns supplied in the English translation of the Roman breviary, including a sadly truncated version of the hymn below. As such, I thought it may be helpful to post this lovely Advent hymn which is typically sung to a simple but beautiful and distinctive plainsong tune. I first came across this tune and words in the delightful 'Echo Carol' by Philip Wilby when I was a choral scholar at Leeds Cathedral, in my undergraduate years. The hymn dates to the 6th - 7th century and is translated here by J.M. Neale and others. It is one of several hymns which we sing during Vespers throughout Advent here in our Priory.

"Conditor alme siderum,

aeterna lux credentium,
Christe, redemptor omnium,
exaudi preces supplicum.

Qui condolens interitu
mortis perire saeculum,
salvasti mundum languidum,
donans reis remedium.

Vergente mundi vespere,
uti sponsus de thalamo,
egressus honestissima
Virginis matris clausula.

Cuius forti potentiae
genu curvantur omnia;
caelestia, terrestria
nutu fatentur subdita.

Te, Sancte, fide quaesumus,
venture iudex saeculi,
conserva nos in tempore
hostis a telo perfidi.

Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen."

'Creator of the starry height
thy people's everlasting light,
Jesus, Redeemer, of us all,
hear thou thy servants when they call.

Thou, sorrowing at the helpless cry
of all creation, doomed to die,
didst save our fallen race
by healing gifts of heavenly grace.

When earth drew near its evening hour,
thou didst, in love's redeeming power,
like Bridegroom from his chamber, come
forth from a Virgin Mother's womb.

At thy great Name, exalted now,
all knees in lowly homage bow;
all things in heaven and earth adore,
and own thee Lord for evermore.

To thee, O Holy One, we pray,
our Judge in that tremendous day,
ward off, while yet we dwell below,
the weapons of our deadly foe.

All praise, eternal Son to thee,
whose advent sets thy people free,
whom with the Father, we adore,
and Holy Ghost, for evermore. Amen.'


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