Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
What fairer light is this than time itself doth own,
The golden day with beams more radiant brightening?
The princes of God's Church this feast day doth enthrone,
To sinners heavenward bound their burden lightening.
One taught mankind its creed, one guards the heavenly gate,
Founders of Rome, they bind the world in loyalty;
One by the sword achieved, one by the cross his fate;
With laurelled brows they hold eternal royalty.
Rejoice, O Rome, this day; thy walls they once did sign
With princely blood, who now their glory share with thee.
What city's vesture glows with crimson deep as thine?
What beauty else has earth that may compare with thee?
To God the three in one eternal homage be,
All honor, all renown, all songs victorious,
Who rules both heaven and earth by one divine decree
To everlasting years in empire glorious.
This beautiful hymn from Lauds took my breath away. I would pay my life savings to hear that in Gregorian Chant by a full-blown choir.
I noted with interest that the text comes from Elphis (Elpis), who I discovered (with some web research) is the first wife of Boethius, and whose epitaph, written by him personally, is recorded in his Consolation of Philosophy. She wrote not only this but several other beautiful hymns, which all seem to revolve around Sts. Peter and Paul. The text for the above hymn, incidentally, was translated only in the twentieth century by the great Ronald Knox.
Also of interest, Elpis is the name of a Japanese Anglican-Episcopalian rock band.
# posted by Jamie : 8:25 AM