Hymns for Sts. Peter and Paul
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    Some may be celebrating the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul with a sung Mass. Please find below my translations of two Long Meter office hymns. These may be used freely this year for any good liturgical purpose.

    Aurea luce,
    from the 8th or 9th century, calls St. Peter the “janitor”–the keeper of the keys–and St. Paul is as always the teacher of the whole world. The hymn plays continually upon the idea of doubling. These two great saints are both like, and equal, and yet unlike. They are equal in dignity, irreducible to one another, and always “at work” together for the good of the Church.

    And Apostolorum passio, attributed to St. Ambrose of Milan, like Aurea luce, attributes the dignity of Rome to these two saints, pre-eminently in their martyrs’ blood.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
    ***
    Blest day by suff’ring sanctified:
    Christ’s chosen high apostles died.
    Today St. Peter wins renown.
    Today St. Paul accepts the crown.

    Together, equally, they bled:
    Together: the victorious dead.
    They followed God and sacrificed
    And now their faith is crowned by Christ.

    St. Peter holds the highest place,
    Yet Paul is not the less by grace.
    An equal faith was giv’n to Paul:
    The chosen vessel of God’s call.

    St. Peter, downward crucified—
    To honor God in how he died—
    Securely tied, he sees unfold
    The death his Shepherd once foretold.

    On such foundations Rome may claim
    The highest service of God’s name.
    His noble blood has dignified
    The city where this prophet died.

    Let all the world, then, run to Rome.
    Let families of nations come!
    The head of nations teaches there
    Beside the nations’ teacher’s chair.

    O Lord, we ask that we may be
    In their exalted company,
    And with our princes sing Your praise
    Forever, to unending days.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,172
    I've taken the liberty (hopefully with Kathy's approval, otherwise I'll delete this post) of setting Kathy's translation of Aurea luce to my hymn tune MacKillop (which is either Long Metre (or 10 10. 10 10 with some removal of tied notes in each line). Since Kathy's original translation included all seven stanzas, with stanzas 4 & 5 in 10 10. 10 10 metre, I decided to set all seven stanzas, taking full advantage of the dual metre possibilities with MacKillop. A somewhat compressed "hymnal" version is included, together with a stanza-by-stanza full score (from which the mp3 audio file is taken), and this full score has little changes in voicing/harmonization which I would typically play/sing if performing it. Enjoy! Comments welcome.

    Thanked by 1Bombarde16