Catholic CornucopiadCheney

Summæ Parens clementiæ

Great God of boundless mercy hear

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Summæ Parens clementiæ,
    Mundi regis qui machinam,
    Unius et substantiæ,
    Trinusque personis Deus:
  2. Nostros pius cum canticis
    Fletus benigne suscipe:
    Ut corde puro sordium
    Te perfruamur largius.
  3. Lumbos, jecurque morbidum
    Flammis adure congruis,
    Accincti ut artus excubent
    Luxu remoto pessimo.
  4. Quicumque ut horas noctium
    Nunc concinendo rumpimus,
    Ditemur omnes affatim
    Donis beatae patriæ.
  5. Præsta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Regnans per omne sæculum.
  1. Great God of boundless mercy hear;
    Thou Ruler of this earthly sphere;
    In substance one, in persons three,
    Dread Trinity in Unity!
  2. Do Thou in love accept our lays
    Of mingled penitence and praise;
    And set our hearts from error free,
    More fully to rejoice in Thee.
  3. Our reins and hearts in pity heal,
    And with Thy chastening fires anneal;
    Gird Thou our loins, each passion quell,
    And every harmful lust expel.
  4. Now as our anthems, upward borne,
    Awake the silence of the morn,
    Enrich us with Thy gifts of grace,
    From heaven, Thy blissful dwelling-place!
  5. Hear Thou our prayer, Almighty King!
    Hear Thou our praises, while we sing,
    Adoring with the heavenly host,
    The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Author: Ambrosian, 7th cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation a cento based on Chambers. There are sixteen translations. First line of Original Text: Summæ Deus clementiæ.
  1. “O Father of infinite mercy, Thou who rulest over the vast fabric of the universe, God of one substance, and three in person, graciously accept, O loving Father (pius), our tears with our hymns of praise, that with hearts free from sin we may enjoy Thee more abundantly.” Pius is here used for the vocative, supply Parens or Deus. Or it agrees with tu the subject of suscipe—O Parens, tu pins ( = benigne) suscipe. Puro, note the genitive sordium; the ablative is more common. Largius, adv., comp. of largus.
  2. “Burn Thou, with becoming (holy) flames, our reins and our depraved hearts, that our well girded limbs may watch, far removed from baneful luxury.” Lumbos: the loins, in which the ancients located the seat of the feelings or affections. Jecur: lit., the liver; considered formerly as the seat of the soul and affections. Accincti = præcincti: Sint lumbi vestri præcincti, et lucernæ ardentes in manibus vestris (Luke 12, 35). The girding of the loins signifies an instant willingness to do the will of God. In the East where men wore long flowing garments it was necessary to gird them up by means of a belt when about to begin some work or set out on a journey.
  3. “That all of us who now interrupt the hours of night with song, may be abundantly enriched with the gifts of the blessed land.”