Phos hilaron/Iucunda lux tu gloriae
  • Does anyone know if Phos hilaron/Iucunda lux tu gloriae was ever set to Gregorian chant? I'm looking for this for a friend. Thanks.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,069
    Undoubtedly, although I can't put my finger on a link just now.

    This hymn is somewhat obscure, simply because it never became part of Roman Catholic liturgy.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,155
    Φῶς ἱλαρὸν (Phos hilaron) - Iucunda Lux (Latin) - Свете Тихий (Slavonic/Russian transliteration) - Hail Gladdening Light:

    This ancient hymn, in New Testament Greek, is by an unknown author, found in the late 3rd or early 4th century Apostolic Constitutions. This "lamp-lighting hymn" has been widely translated and used in the various Orthodox/Eastern/Slavic churches, as well as in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. This is the first Christian song to be considered as a "hymn" as we known it. The earliest known music is from Byzantine chant in the Greek Orthodox church is somewhat of a tour-de-force, possessing an ambitus of almost two octaves. It is a fixed hymn in the Orthodox Vespers service.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    Probably not what you're looking for, but there are tons of English (chant and otherwise) settings of it, as it is a part of the Anglican Vespers service.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,155
    In the Latin translation, which is Long Metre, I've heard it sung to Jesu dulcis memoria.
  • In the Latin translation, which is Long Metre, I've heard it sung to Jesu dulcis memoria.


    That's a good idea. I'll try that.

    Thanks to all!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,155
    Here is an Orthodox version O Joyous Light, in the second mode, adapted from ancient melody (abbreviated) by Socrates Papadopoulos, from The Divine Music Project of the St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery.
  • Pretty cool. Thank you!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,155
    Ken Peterson, of the Compline Choir (St. Mark's Epsicopal Cathedral, Seattle) just posted the second of two articles on Phos hilaron at his Compline Underground blog. They are well worth reading.
  • "Iucunda lux tu gloriae"

    There is absolutely certaily no connection and history of the "Phos hilaron" used in the Latin Church, whatso-ever. NOT EVER, not in latin.

    It is also not a traditionally a metrical hymn, and it sounds very dumb when it is converted into a metrical hymn, I think.
    Someone named John Kleble I believe was responsible for converting it into a metrical hymn, circa 1834. But only in the english language, it's use among protestants eventually spread among a few catholics as something to sing during masses or devotions.

    It's official "proper" use for episcopalians came solely from the ecumenical movement in the 20th century, and for that reason some people, especially the majority of anglican converts (and soon to be converts) in the USA have deep dark feelings against it's usage in evensong, as it was imposed on them through ecumenicist heretics.

    That being said, it is a very beautiful terrific hymn in its original greek catholic/orthodox melody. When using the original eastern melodies it also sounds quite marvelous in english and is about as well known and beloved in Eastern Byzantine christianity, as the hymns of Thomas Aquinas and Prudentius in western christianity.

    The version of it in english that is most commonly used in "modern" anglican (and a few anglican-use papal catholic) evensongs, uses the melody of the "Great 'O' " antiphons for advent, this was actually adapted by Bruce Ford in the early 1980's, who is a prestigious elder member of this very message board.

    If one were to adapt it into latin, it would make sense to use the melody of some historical latin antiphon or else use one of it's native eastern melodies.
    It does not sound good with "modern" contemporary music, it is too venerable and too ancient. It needs something very high quality as a melody.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Alexei
    Posts: 2
    Sorry for my bad English.
    This hymn is known also as "Lumen hilare" (translation is close to the Greek original and Church Slavonic). It performed Schola cantorum Karolus Magnus & Stan Hollaardt. CD called IMAGO CHRISTI. Images of Christ in Gregorian Chants (brilliant classics 93001). "The gregorianising melody dates back to first half of the 20th century and was composed by Dom Lucien David, a monk of the Abbey of Saint Wandrille (Normandy) and right hand of Dom Porthier, when preparing the Vatican publication of the hymnbooks with the resived Gregorian" (Brilliant Classics).
  • Very cool!
  • Is the music available anywhere? I'd hate to have to transcribe it.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    John Keble was a prominent Anglo-Catholic in the 19th century. Keble College of the University of Oxford, where one of my professors received a master’s in ancient philosophy, is named for him. FWIW!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn