Monday, October 03, 2011

Iste Confessor Domini

Iste Confessor Domini (Confessor Bishop, Hymn) - YouTube

In honor of St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day began today at Vespers, here's a lovely version of Iste Confessor, sung by "the Choir of the Carmelite Priory, London." This Office hymn is dedicated to "confessors," and was originally written c. the 8th Century for St. Martin of Tours. The English words are below.

(The header reads "Confessor Bishop, Hymn," and I'm not sure exactly what difference there might be in the texts for Bishops vs. other "confessors." I don't see any, but then I'm not fluent in Latin, either; if anybody can point to something specifically Bishop-ish in this, please do, in the comments.)

This the Confessor of the Lord, whose triumph Now all the faithful celebrate, with gladness Erst on this feat-day merited to enter Into his glory.

Saintly and prudent, modest in behavior, Peaceful and sober, chaste was he, and lowly, While that life's vigor, coursing through his members, Quickened his being.

Sick ones of old time, to his tomb resorting, Sorely by ailments manifold afflicted, Oft-times have welcomed health and strength returning, At his petition.

Whence we in chorus gladly do him honor, Chanting his praises with devout affection, That in his merits we may have a portion, Now and forever.

Glory and virtue, honour and salvation, Be unto him that, sitting in the highest, Governeth all things, Lord and God Almighty, Trinity blessed.

Here's Giotto's "St. Francis preaching to the birds":

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