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Æterna cœli gloria

O Christ, whose glory fills the heaven

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Æterna cœli gloria,
    Beata spes mortalium,
    Summi Tonantis Unice,
    Castæque proles Virginia:
  2. Da dexteram surgentibus,
    Exsurgat et mens sobria,
    Flagrans et in laudem Dei
    Grates rependat debitas.
  3. Ortus refulget lucifer,
    Præitque solem nuntius:
    Cadunt tenebræ noctium:
    Lux sancta nos illuminet.
  4. Manensque nostris sensibus,
    Noctem repellat sæculi,
    Omnique fine temporis
    Purgata servet pectora.
  5. Quæsita jam primum fides
    In corde radices agat:
    Secunda spes congaudeat,
    Qua major exstat caritas.
  6. Deo Patri sit gloria,
    Ejusque soli Filio,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
    Nunc, et per omne sæculum.
  1. O Christ, whose glory fills the heaven,
    Our only hope, in mercy given;
    Child of a Virgin meek and pure;
    Son of the Highest evermore:
  2. Grant us Thine aid Thy praise to sing,
    As opening days new duties bring;
    That with the light our life may be
    Renewed and sanctified by Thee.
  3. The morning star fades from the sky,
    The sun breaks forth; night’s shadows fly:
    O Thou, true Light, upon us shine:
    Our darkness turn to light divine.
  4. Within us grant Thy light to dwell;
    And from our souls dark sins expel;
    Cleanse Thou our minds from stain of ill,
    And with Thy peace our bosoms fill.
  5. To us strong faith forever give,
    With joyous hope, in Thee to live;
    That life’s rough way may ever be
    Made strong and pure by charity.
  6. All laud to God the Father be,
    All praise, Eternal Son, to Thee:
    All glory, as is ever meet,
    To God the holy Paraclete.
Author: Ambrosian, 5th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by John Julian. There are twelve translations.
  1. “Eternal Glory of heaven, blessed hope of mortals, the only-begotten Son of the most high Thunderer, the offspring of a chaste Virgin,” Tonantis (tono 1) “The Sovereign Thunderer’s only Son.”—Abp. Bagshawe. Tonabit de cœlo Dominus (II Kings 22, 14). Cf. also I Kings 2, 10; Ps. l7, 14; Ps. 28, 3.
  2. “Give Thy right hand to those who rise; sober also may the soul arise, and zealous in the praise of God, return Him due thanks.” Sobria, thoughtful, recollected. Grates = gratias.
  3. “The risen morning star shines forth, and as a herald precedes the sun; the darkness of night disappears; may the holy light illuminate us.” Lovers of allegory see in John the Baptist “the morning star,” “the herald” that went before the rising Sun of Justice.
  4. “And dwelling in our hearts, may it dispel the darkness of the world, and may it preserve our hearts unsullied till the end of time.” Lux sancta is the subject of the whole stanza. Noctem sæculi, spiritual darkness, sin.
  5. “First may faith long-sought strike deep its roots in our hearts; secondly, may hope rejoice us; but greater still than these is charity.” Qua refers grammatically to spes, but in sense also to fides, and is therefore equivalent to quibus. Nunc autem manent fides, spes, caritas, tria hæc; major autem horum est caritas (I Cor. 13, 13). In heaven faith will be changed into vision, hope into fruition, but charity will remain forever,