September 18, 2016

Salutis Aeternae Dator (Giver of Life, Eternal Lord)

Salutis Aeternae Dator is attributed to the Archbishop of Mainz, Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is traditionally sung at Lauds on the Feast of All Saints (November 1) in the Roman Breviary. The English translation: Giver of Life, Eternal Lord is by Fr. Edward Caswall (1814-1878). It can be sung to any hymn tune with 86.86 metre such as: St Peter (Reinagle) by Alexander Robert Reinagle (1799-1877).


1. Salutis aeternae dator,
Iesu, redemptis subveni;
Virgo, parens clementine,
dona salutem servulis.

2. Vos, Angelorum milita,
Patrumque coetus, agmina
canora Vatum; vos,
reis precamini indulgenti. 

3. Baptista Christi praevius,
Summique caeli Claviger
cum ceteris Apostolis
nexus resolvant criminal.

4. Cohors triumphans Martyrum,
almus Sacerdotum chorus,
et virginalis castitas
nostros reatus abluant.

5. Quicumque in alta siderum
regnatis aula principes,
favete votis supplicum,
qui dona caeli flagitant.

6. Virtus, honor, laus, gloria
Deo Patri cum Filio,
Sancto simul Paraclito
in saeculorum secular.


1. Giver of life, eternal Lord,
Thy own redeemed defend;
Mother of grace, thy children save,
and help them to the end.

2. Ye thousand thousand Angel hosts,
assist us in our need;
Ye Patriarchs, with the Prophet choir,
for our forgiveness plead.

3. Forerunner blest, and Thou who still
dost heaven's dread keys retain;
Ye glorious Apostles all,
unloose our guilty chain.

4. Army of Martyrs, holy Priests,
in beautiful array;
Ye happy troops of Virgins chaste,
wash all our stains away.

5. All ye who high above the stars
in heavenly glory reign,
May we through your prevailing prayers
unto your joys attain.

6. Praise, honor, to the Father be,
praise to His only Son;
Praise, Holy Paraclete, to Thee,
while endless ages run.

Tune: St. Peter

September 3, 2016

Placare, Christe, Servulis (O Christ, Thy Guilty People Spare!)

Placare, Christe, Servulis is attributed to the Archbishop of Mainz, Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is traditionally sung at Vespers on the Feast of All Saints (November 1) in the Roman Breviary. The english translation: O Christ, Thy Guilty People Spare! is by Edward Caswall (1814-1878). It can be sung to any hymn tune with metre such as the 7th century Latin hymn: Creator Alme Siderum.


1. Placare, Christe, servulis,
Quibus Patris clementiam
Tuae ad tribunal gratiae
Patrona Virgo postulat.

2. Et vos beata, per novem
Distincta gyros agmina,
Antiqua cum praesentibus,
Futura damna pellite. 

3. Apostoli cum Vatibus,
Apud severum Judicem,
Veris reorum fletibus
Exposcite indulgentiam.

4. Vos purpurati Martyres,
Vos candidati praemio
Confessionis, exsules
Vocate nos in partriam. 

5. Chorea casta Virginum,
Et quos eremus incolas
Transmisit astris, coelitum
Locate nos in sedibus.

6. Auferte gentem perfidam
Credentium de finibus,
Ut unus omnes unicum
Ovile nos pastor regat.

7. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Natoque Patris unico,
Sancto simul Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula.

O CHRIST, THY GUILTY PEOPLE SPARE! (translated by Fr. Edward Caswall)

1. O Christ, Thy guilty people spare!
Lo, kneeling at Thy gracious throne,
Thy Virgin-Mother pours her prayer,
Imploring pardon for her own.

2. Ye Angels, happy evermore!
Who in your circles nine ascend,
As ye have guarded us before,
So still from harm our steps defend.

3. Ye Prophets and Apostles high!
Behold our penitential tears;
And plead for us when death is nigh,
And our all-searching Judge appears.

4. Ye Martyrs all! a purple band
And Confessors, a white-robed train;
Oh, call us to our native land,
From this our exile, back again.

5. And ye, 0 choirs of Virgins chaste!
Receive us to your seats on high;
With Hermits whom the desert waste
Sent up of old into the sky.

6. Drive from the flock, 0 Spirit blest!
The false and faithless race away;
That all within one fold may rest,
Secure beneath one Shepherd's sway.

7.  To God the Father glory be,
And to His sole-begotten Son;
And glory, Holy Ghost, to Thee,
While everlasting ages run.

May 29, 2016

O Ignis Spiritus Paracliti (O Fire of the Spirit)

O Ignis Spiritus Paracliti is a sequence for the Holy Spirit by the German mystic Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). It begins: "O ignis Spiritus paracliti, vita vite omnis creature, sanctus es vivificando formas (O fire of the Spirit and Defender, the life of every life created: Holy are you—giving life to every form)". Complete Latin text, English translation, musical score, and commentary can be found here (opens in new window). Approved by her contemporaries: St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Pope Eugene III, in 2012 Benedict XVI declared Hildegard a Doctor of the Universal Church, citing this 12th century Benedictine abbess as "an authentic teacher of theology and a profound scholar of natural science and music."