This is a syndicated post from The Chant Café. [Read the original article...]
Ever wonder what Roman Catholics sang on Easter mornings during the centuries before Charles Wesley appeared on the scene? Here is my translation of Aurora lucis rutilat, a 5th century Lauds hymn for Eastertide from the Liturgy of the Hours. Like many Office hymns, this text is written in Ambrosian, or Long Meter (iambic).
Office hymns are not shy about using words like “triumph” and “victory.” They often begin by setting a scene of cosmic dimensions, an exultation of praise that involves not only earth, but includes the natural world and the citizens of heaven.
Ultimately, there will be a victory, a direct result of Christ’s victory on that Easter morning.
dawn is reddening,
morning praises spring,
exults: “The morning! Hail!”
sad dwellers groan and wail.
the victor in the strife,
was smashed apart by life,
whose barricade of stone
kept sharp eyes upon
conquers through that gate
forth in pomp and state.
angel loudly said.
evermore left free
in its misery.
thought through all life’s days,
joy, our Paschal praise:
which we are reborn
triumph on that morn.
let glory rise,
vanquished death and won the prize;
and the Spirit blest,
ages’ praise addressed.
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