Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Rerum Creator optime

Who madest all and dost control

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Rerum Creator optime,
    Rectorque noster, adspice:
    Nos a quiete noxia
    Mersos sopore libera.
  2. Te, sancte Christe, poscimus,
    Ignosce culpis omnibus:
    Ad confitendum surgimus,
    Morasque noctis rumpimus.
  3. Mentes manusque tollimus,
    Propheta sicut noctibus
    Nobis gerendum prsecipit,
    Pauluaque gestis censuit
  4. Vides malum quod fecimus:
    Occulta nostra pandimus:
    Preces gementes fundimus,
    Dimitte quod peccavimus.
  5. Præsta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Regnans per omne sæculum.
  1. Who madest all and dost control,
    Lord, with Thy touch divine,
    Cast out the slumbers of the soul,
    The rest that is not Thine.
  2. Look down, Eternal Holiness,
    And wash the sins away,
    Of those, who, rising to confess,
    Outstrip the lingering day.
  3. Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord,
    We lift them in our need;
    As holy Psalmists give the word,
    And holy Paul the deed.
  4. Each sin to Thee of years gone by,
    Each hidden stain lies bare;
    We shrink not from Thine awful eye,
    But pray that Thou wouldst spare.
  5. Grant this, O Father, Only Son
    And Spirit, God of grace,
    To whom all worship shall be done
    In every time and place.
Author: Ascribed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540- 604. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Cardinal Newman. There are thirteen translations. There is an article on this hymn in the Cath. Encycl.
  1. “Look down, O sovereign Creator of the world, and our Ruler, and deliver us, overwhelmed by sleep, from a sinful rest.” The time of rest, by affording occasions of sin and temptation, may become harmful or sinful.
  2. “Thee, all-holy Christ, we implore that Thou forgive all our sins: to praise Thee, we rise and interrupt the lingering hours of the night.” Moras, variously rendered—hours, rest, etc.; lit., a delay, a space of time.
  3. “By night we lift up our hands and hearts, as the Prophet commands us to do, and as Paul, by his deeds, sanctioned.” St. Paul put into practice the precept of the Prophet. The Prophet is David, the Royal Psalmist, who says: In noctibus extollite manus vestras in sancta, et benedicite Dominum (Ps. 133, 2). Paulus: A reference to St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles: Media autem nocte, Paulus et Silas orantes laudabant Deum (Acts 16, 25). The following is Father Caswell’s translation of this stanza:
    Who, as the holy Psalmist bids,
    Our hands thus early raise;
    And in the morning sing with Paul
    And Silas hymns of praise.
  4. “Thou seest the evil that we have done; we lay bare our secret faults; sighing we pour forth our prayers; pardon what we have done amiss.”