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Primo die, quo Trinitas

Hail Day! Whereon the One in Three

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Primo die, quo Trinitas
    Beata mundum condidit,
    Vel quo resurgens Conditor
    Nos morte victa liberat:
  2. Pulsis procul torporibus,
    Surgamus omnes ocyus,
    Et nocte quæramus Deum,
    Propheta sicut præcipit:
  3. Nostras preces ut audiat,
    Suamque dextram porrigat,
    Et expiatos sordibus
    Reddat polorum sedibus:
  4. Ut, quique sacratissimo
    Hujus diei tempore
    Horis quietis psallimus,
    Donis beatis muneret.
  5. Jam nunc, paterna claritas,
    Te postulamus affatim:
    Absint faces libidinis,
    Et omnis actus noxius.
  6. Ne fœda sit, vel lubrica
    Compago nostri corporis,
    Ob cujus ignes ignibus
    Avernus urat acrius.
  7. Mundi Redemptor, quæsumus,
    Tu probra nostra diluas:
    Nobisque largus commoda
    Vitæ perennis conferas.
  8. Præsta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Paraclito
    Regnans per omne sæculum.
  1. Hail Day! Whereon the One in Three
    First formed the earth by sure decree,
    The day its Maker rose again,
    And vanquished death, and burst our chain.
  2. Away with sleep and slothful ease!
    We raise our hearts and bend our knees,
    And early seek the Lord of all,
    Obedient to the Prophet’s call.
  3. That He may hearken to our prayer,
    Stretch forth His strong right arm to spare,
    And ev’ry past offense forgiven,
    Restore us to our home in heaven.
  4. Assembled here this holy day,
    This holiest hour we raise the lay;
    And O that He to whom we sing,
    May now reward our offering!
  5. O Father of unclouded light!
    Keep us this day as in Thy sight,
    In word and deed that we may be
    From ev’ry touch of evil free.
  6. That this our body’s mortal frame
    May know no sin, and fear no shame,
    Nor fire hereafter be the end
    Of passions which our bosoms rend.
  7. Redeemer of the world, we pray
    That Thou wouldst wash our sins away,
    And give us, of Thy boundless grace,
    The blessings of the heavenly place.
  8. Most Holy Father, hear our cry,
    Through Jesus Christ our Lord most High
    Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee
    Shall live and reign eternally.
Author: St. Gregory the Great (560-604). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation By J. M. Neale and others, from The New Office Hymn Book. There are about twenty translations. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Matins from the Octave of the Epiphany until the first Sunday of Lent, and from the Sunday nearest to the Calends of October until Advent. First line of Original Text: Primo dierum omnium.
  1. “On the first day, on which the Blessed Trinity created the world, and on which the Creator rising, after vanquishing death, liberated us,” Primo die = Sunday, the day on which God began the creation of the world. For the Work of each of the Six Days, see the Vespers Hymns of the Psalter, Nos. 23-28. Conditor: the Creator, God the Son, who rose from the dead on Sunday. In this stanza the creation of the world is ascribed to the Trinity, and then to the Son, or Word alone, of whom it was said: All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made (John 1, 3). The divine nature, the attributes, and the external works of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity are common to all of Them. However, the Redemption of the world is the personal work of the Son, in the sense that He alone became incarnate and suffered and died for us.
  2. “Banishing sloth afar, let us all rise quickly, and by night seek God as the Prophet commands,” Ocyus, comp. of ociter. Propheta: The Prophet referred to is David, the Royal Psalmist. Media nocte surgebam ad confitendum tibi (Ps. 118, 62). In noctibus extollite manus vestras in sancta, et benedicite Dominum (Ps. 133, 2).
  3. “That He may hear our prayers, and stretch forth to us His right hand, and restore us, purified from sin, to the abodes of heaven;” Dextram: The right hand is a symbol of power, strength; the stretching forth of the right hand signifies the exercise of power.
  4. “That He may reward with blessed gifts all of us who sing His praises in the most hallowed time of this day, in the hours of rest.” Constr.: Ut quique sacratissimo hujus diei tempore . . . . psallimus, (eos) donis beatis muneret. Quique: This use of quisque for quicunque or quisquis, whosoever, every one who, all that, is common in the Breviary and in ante- and post-classical Latin generally.
  5. “We now also earnestly entreat Thee, O Splendor of the Father, that the flames of lust, and every evil deed be far removed from us.” Paterna claritas, Christ, whom St. Paul styles, Splendor Patris (cf. Heb. 1, 3; see also the opening line of Hymn 12). Acius noxius, sin.
  6. “Lest the structure of our body become foul or defiled, and on account of its evil desires, hell with its flames should burn the more fiercely.” Ignes, the fires of the passions, the desires of the flesh.
  7. “We beseech Thee, O Redeemer of the world, that Thou wash away our sins, and generously bestow upon us the reward of eternal life.”