"Jam Surgit Hora Tertia"
  • Maureen
    Posts: 616
    While the Kathleen's away, the mice will play. :)

    I'm probably not the first one to notice that this hymn by St. Ambrose is like two hymns in one. The patristics folks think this is a didactic hymn that tackles, in an oblique fashion, several heresies that were going around.

    Anyway, they used to sing it at Terce, beween Easter and Pentecost. There's a nice YouTube version from the folks in Milan. Didn't see any translations online, so here's mine. It's not super-literal, alas.

    Jam surgit hora tertia,
    Qua Christus ascendit crucem,
    Nil insolens mens cogitet,
    Intendat affectum precis.

    Now, in the third hour of the day,
    Christ took His Cross, as Mark did say.
    So think no thought of mocking pride;
    But pray to Him, the Crucified.

    Qui corde Christum suscipit,
    Innoxium sensum gerit:
    Votisque praestat sedulis,
    Sanctum mereri Spiritum.

    He who receives Christ will be kind
    And carry Him in heart and mind;
    And with attentive offered prayer,
    Will soon the Holy Spirit share.

    Haec hora qua finem dedit
    Diri veterno criminis,
    Mortisque regnum diluit,
    Culpamque ab aevo sustulit.

    This hour at which He ends our time
    Of stupor from that first bad crime,
    Destroys the world's guilt with His blood;
    Washed out death's kingdom with its flood.

    Hinc jam beata tempora
    Coepere Christi gratia:
    Fide replevit veritas
    Totum per orbem Ecclesias.

    Then at this blessed hour of day,
    The grace of Christ came into play
    And Truth made faith complete and full
    In all His churches, pole to pole.

    Celso triumphi vertice,
    Matri loquebatur suae:
    En filius, mater, tuus;
    Apostole, en mater tua.

    Then on His Cross, His triumph's peak,
    To His dear mother, hear Him speak:
    "O Mother, now behold your son.
    "Behold your mother," He told John.

    Praetenta nuptae foedera
    Alto docens mysterio;
    Ne virginis partus sacer
    Matris pudorem laederet.

    The bridal covenant's veiled to hide
    Deep mystery that's taught inside;
    For otherwise the sacred Child
    Might shame the virgin mother mild.

    Cui fidem coelestibus
    Jesus dedit miraculis:
    Nec credidit plebs impia;
    Qui credidit, salvus erit.

    Both times by signs celestial,
    Jesus gave faith by miracle
    Hardhearted folk would not believe.
    They will be saved who did believe.

    Nos credimus natum Deum,
    Partumque Virginis sacrae,
    Peccata qui mundi tulit,
    Ad dexteram sedens Patris.

    So we believe that God was born;
    His Virgin Birth we do not scorn.
    Sin of the world He took away;
    He's at the Father's right, today.

    Deo Patri sit gloria,
    eiusque soli Filio,
    cum Spiritu Paraclito!
    in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

    To God the Father, glory be,
    And glory to His only Son,
    And to the Spirit Paraclete,
    The One in Three and Three in One.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen expeditus1
  • Dear Maureen,
    Thanks for this translation! I just had one question. I noticed that your first three verses matched those in the Liber Hymnarius, but there were more verses and the Latin text of your last doxology was different from the Latin text in the Liber (typed below). In the Liber H., it shows only four verses for this hymn - and the last one says:

    "Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
    qui morte victa praenites,
    cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
    in sempiterna saecula. Amen."

    Do you suppose you could translate that for me? I'd really appreciate it! God bless!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,045
    The texts of the new(ish) Liber Hymnarius/Antiphonale Romanum II (2010) were often altered and abbreviated from those in the old Liber Usualis/Antiphonale Romanum. I don't have a copy with me, but I suspect that the version quoted and translated above is the Traditional version from the LU.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 946
    I can't find the text of this Hymn in "The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, Britt" it is mentioned in passing in "Hymns of the Roman Liturgy, Connelly" as a Hymn written by St. Ambrose for Terce. N.B. The above books are for the EF Roman Liturgy.

    I can't see it in the Dominican Books...

    I only have the Ambrosian Vesperale, so cannot check.

    But Cantus has it as a Hymn for Palm Sunday, see the link for the Manuscript;


    (Cistercian antiphonal from the Abbey of Salzinnes, Namur, in the Diocese of Liège. Manuscript produced on vellum and completed in 1554 and 1555)

    The Global Chant database has it as well;


    St Caesarius of Arles directed this hymn to be used c. 502 A.D.

    The text posted above is possibly the original text, I have found it in an unpublished work of the most popular Hymns c. 1000 A.D.

    Thanks to Google we have music in modern notation;


    N.B. While the Liber Hymnarius was "supposed" to restore the Hymns to their original form (before their Latin text was edited by a group of pedants, to make them more Classical in style), and also to bring in other ancient hymns.

    Sadly the compilers of the Liber Hymnarius, edited the hymns not to standardise the Latin as before, but to conform the text to modern ideas. In the end quite a few of the Hymns ended up being new compositions by Lentini.

    Edit: Spelling! Thanks Mr Copper!
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 639
    edited by a group of pendants

    Those hangers-on can be annoying.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,270


    I knew I liked you for some reason...