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Aurora cœlum purpurat

The morn had spread her crimson rays

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Aurora cœlum purpurat,
    Æther resultat laudibus,
    Mundus triumphans jubilat,
    Horrens avernus infremit:
  2. Rex ille dum fortissimus
    De mortis inferno specu
    Patrum senatum liberum
    Educit ad vitæ jubar.
  3. Cujus sepulchrum plurimo
    Custode signabat lapis,
    Victor triumphat, et suo
    Mortem sepulchro funerat.
  4. Sat funeri, sat lacrimis,
    Sat est datum doloribus:
    Surrexit exstinctor necis,
    Clamat coruscans Angelus.
  5. Ut sis perenne mentibus
    Paschale Jesu gaudium,
    A morte dira criminum
    Vitæ renatos libera.
  6. Deo Patri sit gloria,
    Et Filio, qui a mortuis
    Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
    In sempiterna sæcula.
  1. The morn had spread her crimson rays,
    When rang the skies with shouts of praise;
    Earth joined the joyful hymn to swell,
    That brought despair to vanquished hell.
  2. He comes victorious from the grave,
    The Lord omnipotent to save,
    And brings with Him to light of day
    The Saints who long imprisoned lay.
  3. Vain is the cavern’s three-fold ward—
    The stone, the seal, the armed guard;
    O death, no more thine arm we fear,
    The Victor's tomb is now thy bier.
  4. Let hymns of joy to grief succeed,
    We know that Christ is risen indeed;
    We hear His white-robed Angel’s voice,
    And in our risen Lord rejoice.
  5. With Christ we died, with Christ we rose,
    When at the font His name we chose;
    Oh, let not sin our robes defile,
    And turn to grief the Paschal smile.
  6. To God the Father let us sing,
    To God the Son, our risen King,
    And equally let us adore
    The Spirit, God forevermore.
Author: Ambrosian, 4thth or 5thth cent. Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Robert Campbell. Liturgical Use: Hymn at Lauds from Low Sunday to the Ascension. In its complete form this hymn comprises forty-four lines. For Breviary use it is divided into three parts. These parts are given here as Hymns 62, 63 and 64. In each hymn the stanza beginning Tu sis perennis mentium and the doxology form no part of the original hymn. The hymn was greatly altered by the revisers under Urban VIII (1632). The first lines of the three parts of the Original Text and of the Roman Breviary Text are as Follows:

Roman Breviary Text Original Text
62 Aurora coelum purpurat Aurora lucis rutilat
63 Tristes erant Apostoli Tristes erant Apostoli
64 Paschale mundo Gaudium Claro Paschali gaudio

Including both texts, there are twenty-seven translations of No. 62; there are about fifteen translations each of the Nos. 63 and 64. The Annus Sanctus contains four translations, one of which is from the Original Text. It also contains two translations of Sermone blando angelus, which begins with the sixth stanza of the Original Text. There is an article on Aurora lucis rutilat in the Cath. Encycl. It is worthy of note that this is the only instance in the Cath. Encycl. in which the first line of the Original Text is used as a title instead of the first line of the Revised Text of Urban VIII—the Roman Breviary Text. LITURGICAL USE: No. 62 is the hymn for Lauds from Low Sunday to the Ascension. No. 63 is assigned to Vespers and Matins, and No. 64 to Lauds, in the Common Office of Apostles and Evangelists during Paschal Time.

  1. “The dawn is purpling the sky; the air resounds with hymns of praise; the exulting earth shouts for joy; trembling hell rages.”
  2. “While He the almighty King leads forth the liberated host of the fathers from the darksome cavern of death to the light of life.” Inferno specu = Limbo. There is an article on Limbo in the Cath. Encycl. Senatus, a council of elders; a body of venerable and distinguished persons such as the patriarchs, prophets, etc., who awaited in Limbo the coming of the Messias.
  3. “Whose sepulcher, surrounded by an ample guard, a stone seals; (nevertheless) as a conqueror He triumphs, and He buries death in His own sepulcher.” Illi autem abeuntes munierunt sepulchrum, signantes lapidem cum custodibus (Matt. 27, 66). Absorpta est mors in victoria. Ubi est, mors, victoria tua? Ubi est, mors, stimulus tuus? (I Cor. 15, 54-55).
  4. “Enough of death, enough of tears, enough of sorrows! The conqueror of death has risen, the resplendent Angel cries.” Sat = satis: Enough time have ye given to death, to weeping and to sorrows. Exstinctor, destroyer, annihilator.
  5. “That Thou, O Jesus, mayest be the everlasting Paschal joy of our hearts, deliver us re-born to life, from a dire death of sin.”