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Ambrosian hymn for Vespers and Matins on Christmas Day, 6th century

lyrics

Jesu, Redemptor omnium,

Quem lucis ante originem

Parem paternæ gloriæ

Pater supremus edidit.

Tu lumen, et splendor Patris,

Tu spes perennis omnium,

Intende quas fundunt preces

Tui per orbem servuli.

Memento, rerum Conditor,

Nostri quod olim corporis,

Sacrata ab alvo Virginis

Nascendo, formam sumpseris.

Testatur hoc præsens dies,

Currens per anni circulum,

Quod solus e sinu
Patris
Mundi salus adveneris.

Hunc astra, tellus, æquora,

Hunc omne quod cœlo subest,

Salutis Auctorem novæ

Novo salutat cantico.

Et nos, beata quos sacri

Rigavit unda sanguinis;

Natalis ob diem tui

Hymni tributum solvimus.

Jesus, tibi sit gloria,

Qui natus es de Virgine,

Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu

In sempiterna sæcula.

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TRANSLATION
============

Jesus, redeemer of mankind,

Who before the light of day

Equal to the Father's glory

Begotten by the Father above.

You, the light and brilliance of the Father

You, the everlasting hope of mankind

Uphold the prayers your servants
Scattered throughout the earth.

Be mindful of the event:
That our Creator,
Who once assumed a human form
Was created and born in holiness in the Virgin's womb.

Bear witness on this day
and
Hastening through the cycle of the year:
He who alone, from the bosom of the Father of mankind
Brings salvation.

These heavenly bodies, these lands,
and the surface of the sea -
All things under the heavens
salute their new Creator
With a new song.

And we - blessed by that sacrifice,
Soaked in waves of blood,
Absolved on account of your birth this day -

Sing songs of praise

Jesus, to you be glory

You who were born to a Virgin

Together with the Father, and the nurturing Spirit

From age to everlasting age.

(Translation by Donna Stewart)

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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