Saturday, June 28, 2008

Felix per omnes festum mundi cardines

As I wrote in the previous post about the hymns for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul:
The book Pange Lingua: Breviary Hymns of Old Uses with an English Rendering (a large PDF!), says of Felix per omnes festum mundi cardines (the hymn itself is found on page 52 by page number of that document) that:
"This hymn was sung at First Vespers of SS. Peter and Paul according to the use of the Church of York, which was followed of old throughout the north of England as that of Sarum was in the south. The seventh verse, in a slightly altered form, now forms part of the Breviary Vesper hymn for the feast, and the fourth and fifth verses are also retained in the Breviary for use on the lesser feasts of St. Peter."

So I think we might find this one listed in the Anglican Breviary; the ones above are obviously from the Roman one.

Interestingly, two of the above hymns were written by a woman, according to Wikipedia:
H. Elpis, wife of Christian philosopher poet Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, wrote the lyrics to two hymns for the feast of St. Peter and Paul: "Aurea luce et decore roseo" and "Felix per omnes festum mundi cardines".

Well, it's definitely worth putting up another post with the translation of this hymn from that book; it's terrific. Here are the words, in Latin and English:

Felix per omnes festum mundi caardines
Apostolorum praepollet alacriter
Petri beati, Pauli sacratissimi,
Quos Christus almo consecrauit sanguine,
Ecclesiarum deputauit principes.

Hi sunt oliuae duae coram Domino,
Et candelabra luce readiantia,
Praeclara coeli duo luminaria,
Fortian soluunt peccatorum unicula,
Portas Olympi resurent fidelibus.

Habent supernas potestatem claudere
Sermone sedes, pandere splendentia
Limina poli super alta sidera,
Linguae eorum claues coeli factae sunt,
Laruas repellunt ultra mundi limitem.

Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos
Christo iubente rupit mirabiliter,
Custos ouilis, et doctor Ecclesiae,
Pastorquen gregis, conseruator ouium,
Arcet luporum truculentam rabiem.

Quodcumque uinclis super terram strinxerit
Erit in astris religatum fortiter;
Et quod resoluit in terries arbitrio
Erit solumtum super coeli radium;
In fine mundi iudex erit saeculi.

Non impar Paulus huic, doctor gentium,
Electionis templum sacratissiumum,
In morte compar, in corona particeps,
Ambo lucernae et decus ecclesiae,
In orbe claro coruscant uibramine.

O Roma felix, quæ duorum Principum
Es purpurata pretioso sanguine
Excellis omnem mundi pulchritudinem
Non laude tua sed sanctorum meritis,
Quos cruentatis iugulasti gladiis.

Vos ergo modo gloriosi martyres,
Petre beate, Pauli mundi lilium,
Coelestis aulae triumphales milites
Precibus almis uestris nos ab omnibus
Munite malis, ferte super aethera.

Gloria Deo per immense sæcula
Sit tibi Nate decus et imperium,
Honor, potestas, sanctoque Spiritui;
Sit Trinitati salus indiuiduae
Per infinita sæculorum sæcula.
This holy feast through all the quarters of the world
Proclaims the Apostolic might magnifical
Of blessed Peter and of Paul the saint of God,
Whom Christ hath sanctified with his most sacred blood
And made them princes of the churches of the earth.

These are two olive-trees that stand before the Lord,
And candlesticks that shine with never-failing light,
Twin radiant lamps of heaven burning endlessly,
Who loose the heavy chains of sin upon the earth,
And to the faithful rend the great celestial gates.

They have the power to close the halls most excellent
Of heaven by a word, the shining gates to ope
High o’er the shimmering stars that guard the spotless skies;
Their tongues are made the keys of the fair land of God,
They drive the demons past the limits of the world.

Holy Saint Peter breaketh at the Lord’s command
With wondrous power the snares and fetters of the earth;
The guardian of the fold and doctor of the church,
The shepherd of the flock and keeper of the sheep,
He from the cruel rage of wolves doth them protect.

Whate’er upon the earth with chains he shall have bound
Shall be more strongly bound within the halls on high;
And what on earth is loosed by his prevailing word
Shall be made free for aye in heaven’s perfect light;
He shall the world’s end be judge of quick and dead.

Nor is less might to Paul, the teacher of the earth,
A vessel of election holy to the Lord,
Companion in the death, partaker in the crown;
These twain, the light and glory of the church of God,
Shine forth with purest radiance through the whole round world.

O Happy Rome, who are encarnadined and blest
With these thy holy martyrs’ very precious blood,
Who thus excellest every beauty of the earth,
Not by thine own praise, but by merit of the saints
Whom once thou slewest, smiting with the sanguine sword.

So may ye therefore now, ye martyrs glorious,
Peter most blessed, Paul the lily of the world,
Triumphant warriors of the palaces of heaven,
With your most holy intercessions guard us well
From every evil, raising us above the skies.

Glory to God through ages that have never end;
To thee, O Son, be everlasting might and praise,
And power and honour to the Hoy Paraclete;
And to the Undivided Perfect Trinity
Laud through the endless ages of eternity.

"These are two olive-trees that stand before the Lord." "Paul the lily of the world."

Isn't that great?


RFSJ said...

I agree, the text of this hymn is really very nice! Thanks for all you do - your entry on SS Peter and Paul is dissertation quality!


Anonymous said...

Thanks, RFSJ!

Keith said...

About the authorship of "Felix per omnes" . . . the back of my Liber Hymnarius ascribes it to Paulinus of Aquileia, and this source corroborates that:

(But obviously I love your blog, or I would not be here!)

bls said...

Hi Keith - thanks for commenting.

The Google link names Paulinus of Aquileia as "composer" - but I was speaking here of the lyrics, so I think we both can be right on this one.


(Still, I'll do a little more research if I can, just to see....)

Thanks much for the compliment, and thanks for stopping by!


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