Aurea luce

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General information

Vespers hymn attributed to Elpis, wife of Boethius and revised in 1632 as Decora lux by Urban VIII. Typically 4 verses are sung for the feast of SS. Peter & Paul; or 2 verses (see Doctor egregie, also Egregie Doctor or Decus egregie) for the Conversion of Paul.

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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

1. Aurea luce et decore roseo,
Lux lucis, omne perfudisti saeculum:
decorans caelos inclito martyrio.
Hac sacra die, quae dat reis veniam.

2. Janitor caeli, doctor orbis pariter,
Judices saecli, vera mundi lumina:
Per crucem alter, alter ense triumphans,
Vitae senatum laureati possident.

3. O felix Roma, quae tantorum principum
es purpurata pretioso sanguine,
non laude tua, sed ipsorum meritis
excellis omnem mundi pulchritudinem.

4. Jam, bone Pastor Petre, clemens accipe
Vota precantum, et peccati vincula
Resolve, tibi potestate tradita,
Qua cunctis cœlum verbo claudis, aperis.

5. Doctor egregie, Paule, mores instrue,
Et mente polum nos transferre satage:
Donec perfectum largiatur plenus,
Evacuato quod ex parte gerimus.

6. Olivae binae pietatis unicae,
fide devotos, spe robustos maxime,
fonte repletos caritatis geminae
post mortem carnis impetrate vivere.

7. Sit Trinitati sempiterna gloria,
honor, potestas atque iubilatio,
in unitate, cui manet imperium
ex tunc et modo per aeterna saecula

German.png German translation

5. Herausragender Lehrer, Paulus, bilde die Sitten,
und im Geist zum Pol uns zu bringen mühe dich ab,
bis das Vollkomene reichlicher geschenkt wird,
nachdem abgelegt ist, was wir [nur] zum Teil tragen.

7. Der Dreifaltigkeit sei immerwährender Ruhm,
Ehre, Macht und Jubel,
[der Dreifaltigkeit,] der die Herrschaft in Einheit bleibt,
von jetzt an und ebenso durch ewige Zeiten.

English.png English translation

1. O light of dawn, O rosy glow,
O Light from Light, all ages show
Your beauty, and the martyrs fame,
That gain us pardon from our blame.

2. The heavens' porter, and earth’s sage,
The world’s bright lights who judge the age.
One wins by cross, and one by sword,
And life on high is their reward.

3. These are your princes, happy Rome!
Their precious blood clothes you, their home.
We praise not you, but praise their worth,
Beyond all beauty of the earth.

4. Kind Shepherd, Peter, unto thee was given
The keys to close and ope the gates of heaven;
Strike from our souls the galling chain of crime,
And gain the grace for which our hearts have striven.

5. O learned Paul, inspire us from above
With all the graces of the Heavenly Dove;
Bring us the faith to see the truth of God,
And brighten earth with the sweet reign of love.

6. One love, one faith, twin olive trees,
One great strong hope filled both of these.
Full fonts, in your matched charity,
Pray that we may in heaven be.

7. Give glory to the Trinity
And honor to the Unity,
And joy and pow’r, for their reign stays
Today and through all endless days.

Translation by Kathleen Pluth

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