Festum nunc celebre

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General information

Hymn for Ascension by Rabanus Maurus (c.776-856).

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

1  Festum nunc celebre magnaque gaudia
compellunt animos carmina promere
cum Christus solium scandit ad arduum
cælorum pius arbiter.

2  Conscendit jubilans lætus ad æthera
Sanctorum populus prædicat inclitum
Concinit pariter Angelicus chorus
Victoris boni gloriam.

3  Qui scandens superos, vincula vinxerat,
Donans terrigenis munera plurima
Districtus rediet arbiter omnium,
Qui mitis modo transiit.

4  Oramus Domine, Conditor inclite,
Devotos famulos respice, protege:
Ne nos livor edax dæmonis obruat,
Demergat vel inferos

5  Ut cum flammivoma nube reverteris,
Occulta hominum pandere judicans:
Ne des supplicia horrida noxiis:
Sed justis bona præmia

6  Præsta hoc Genitor optime, maxime
Hoc tu Nate Dei: & bone Spiritus,
Regnans perpetuo fulgida Trinitas
Per cuncta pie sæcula. Amen.

English.png English translation

1 Now the feast-day renowned, plenteous in joy, doth move
Swelling hearts to resound, mouths their anthems to prove;—
When o’er summits unknown up to the peerless throne
Passed our Advocate Christ alone.

2  Shouting round Him reply through the unclouded rays
Saints unnumbered on high, blending their songs of praise
From the least to the most with all the angel host,
Of the Victor’s acclaim to boast.

3  He who, scaling the height, captive the captor led,
Countless spoils of the fight over the earth-born spread,—
Yea, who comes again, zealous to judge all men,
Now goes tenderly to His reign.

4  We beseech Thee, O Lord, maker of great renown,
Watch Thy servants and guard, be Thou our Shield and Crown,
Lest the foe in his wrath draw us from heaven’s path
Or else drown us in depths of death.

5  When with fire on the cloud Thou Thy return shalt make,
Hidden things to unshroud, vengeance on sins to take,
Judge us then not as due; Lord, for Thy grace we sue:
Our petition in mercy view.

6  Hear, Good Father, our sigh, with Thy beloved Son
Reigning ever on high, and with the Spirit One;
Glorious God, unto Thee, Trinity, ever be
Laud and praise for eternity. Amen.

Translation by Matthew Carver © 2013

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