Monday, April 28, 2014

50 Days of Easter - Day 9

[Travel and the weekend intervened, so I missed out on Days 7 & the Octave, Day 8!]

Today, we'll look at a classic Easter hymn from the Church's treasury of Latin chant: Ad coenam agni providi. It is a 6th century Ambrosian hymn (that is either composed by St. Ambrose or written in his style) and has been the prescribed hymn for Paschaltide in the Roman Breviary (the Liturgy of the Hours, the daily official prayer of the Church) from Easter Sunday until Ascension Day.

Preces Latinae has a full transcript and translation:
AD cenam Agni providi,
stolis salutis candidi,
post transitum maris Rubri
Christo canamus principi.
THE Lamb's high banquet we await
in snow-white robes of royal state:
and now, the Red Sea's channel past,
to Christ our Prince we sing at last.
Cuius corpus sanctissimum
in ara crucis torridum,
sed et cruorem roseum
gustando, Dei vivimus.
Upon the Altar of the Cross
His Body hath redeemed our loss:
and tasting of his roseate Blood,
our life is hid with Him in God.
Protecti paschae vespero
a devastante angelo,
de Pharaonis aspero
sumus erepti imperio.
That Paschal Eve God's arm was bared,
the devastating Angel spared:
by strength of hand our hosts went free
from Pharaoh's ruthless tyranny.
Iam pascha nostrum Christus est,
agnus occisus innocens;
sinceritatis azyma
qui carnem suam obtulit.
Now Christ, our Paschal Lamb, is slain,
the Lamb of God that knows no stain,
the true Oblation offered here,
our own unleavened Bread sincere.
O vera, digna hostia,
per quam franguntur tartara,
captiva plebs redimitur,
redduntur vitae praemia!
O Thou, from whom hell's monarch flies,
O great, O very Sacrifice,
Thy captive people are set free,
and endless life restored in Thee.
Consurgit Christus tumulo,
victor redit de barathro,
tyrannum trudens vinculo
et paradisum reserans.
For Christ, arising from the dead,
from conquered hell victorious sped,
and thrust the tyrant down to chains,
and Paradise for man regains.
Esto perenne mentibus
paschale, Iesu, gaudium
et nos renatos gratiae
tuis triumphis aggrega.
We pray Thee, King with glory decked,
in this our Paschal joy, protect
from all that death would fain effect
Thy ransomed flock, Thine own elect.
Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui morte victa praenites,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
To Thee who, dead, again dost live,
all glory Lord, Thy people give;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
The incomparable Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis has a beautiful recording of the hymn at YouTube. Happy Easter!  

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