Quicumque Christum quaeritis

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The Vesper Hymn Quicumque Christum quaeritis is the twelfth and last poem in the Cathemerino of Prudentius, originally written in honour of the Epiphany. It is sung at both Matins and Second Vespers on the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6, observed by modern Lutherans on the last Sunday before Lent). The same gospel is read on Lent II.

The Liber Usualis uses verses 1,10,11 and 22 of the original 52-verse poem. The last two lines of verse 22 are altered from the original, and a doxology is added. Numerous English versions include that of R. Martin Pope (1905), "Lift up your eyes, who e'er ye be".


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Text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

As given in Liber usualis
1. Quicumque Christum quaeritis,
oculos in altum tollite:
illic licebit visere
signum perennis gloriae.

2. Illustre quiddam cernimus
quod nesciat finem pati,
sublime, celsum, interminum,
antiquius caelo et chao.

3. Hic ille rex est gentium
populique rex Iudaici,
promissus Abrahae patri
eiusque in ævum semini.

4. Hunc et prophetis testibus,
Iisdemque signatoribus,
Testator et Pater jubet
Audire nos et credere.

5. Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui te revelas parvulis,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Doxology in Palestrina:
5. Gloria tibi Domine,
qui apparuisti hodie,
cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula.

German.png German translation

1. Ihr alle, die ihr Christus sucht,
erhebt Eure Augen zum Himmel -
dort könnt ihr sehen
das Zeichen der ewigen Herrlichkeit.

2. Ganz klar erkennen wir hier jenes,
das kein Ende kennt,
das Erhabene, Höchste, Unendliche,
älter als der Himmel und das Chaos.

3. Dieser da ist der König der Völker
und der König der Judäer,
der versprochen war dem Vater Abraham
und seinen Nachkommen auf ewig.

4. Ihn haben die Propheten bezeugt,
daß er aus eben dieser Bund,
wie es der Stifter und Urheber befahl,
die Macht und Herrschaft antreten sollte.

English.png English translation

1. Lift up your eyes, whoe'er ye be
That fare the glorious Christ to see:
For yonder is the shining sign
Of grace perennial and divine.

2. Sure 'tis the sign most reverend
Of Being that doth know no end:
Of One in state sublime arrayed
Ere sky and chaos yet were made.

3. This is the King of Israel,
Of all in Gentile lands that dwell:
The King to Abram and his seed
Throughout all ages erst decreed.

4. The prophets witnessed to the bond
Which sealed to Him the realm profound:
The Father's Kingdom He received
And the vast legacy perceived.
R. Martin Pope, 1905

5. All glory be to you O Lord,
Son of the Virgin, blessed Word,
With Father and Blest Spirit One
Until the ages’ course is done.

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