Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Birth of St John the Baptist, 2017

A very nice recording of the famous Vespers hymn for today’s feast, and a clever English translation which preserves the Latin meter of the original.

Ut queant laxis resonáre fibris
Mira gestórum fámuli tuórum,
Solve pollúti labii reátum,
Sancte Joannes.

Nuntius celso véniens Olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nascitúrum,
Nomen, et vitae seriem gerendae
Ordine promit.

Ille promissi dubius superni,
Pérdidit promptae módulos loquélae;
Sed reformasti génitus peremptæ
Organa vocis.

Ventris obstrúso récubans cubíli
Sénseras Regem thálamo manentem;
Hinc parens nati méritis uterque
Abdita pandit.

Sit decus Patri, genitǽque Proli,
Et tibi, compar utriúsque virtus,
Spíritus semper, Deus unus omni
Témporis ævo. Amen.

O for thy spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by thy children might thy deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.

Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to thy father promise of thy greatness;
How he shall name thee, what thy future story,
Duly revealing.

Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at thy wondrous birth, again returneth
Voice to the voiceless.

Thou, in thy mother’s womb all darkly cradled,
Knewest thy Monarch, biding in his chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their children’s merits,
Mysteries uttered.

Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
Ever resoundeth. Amen.

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