Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Hymn from the Vespers for St. Patrick

Behold the shining brightness
of the solemnity of Patrick
when, having laid aside his body,
he happily ascends to heaven.

Already from his boyhood
he was filled with divine grace
and began to love the life
of angelic dignity.

This man of a blessed lineage
was born in Britain
and after receiving baptism
strove to attain the heights.

But the merciful and upright Lord
knowing the shape of future things
directed this apostle
to the people of Ireland.

For this island was
fruitful with the earth’s good things
yet dragged down to the lowest point
by its idolatrous worship.

When he arrived here
the distinguised teacher, Patrick,
preached to the heathens
that which he lived in his life.

The heathens assented
to his sacred warnings
and spitting out the devil
worshipped the King of all.

And rejoicing to be free
they returned to their homeland
from which they had once been expelled
through the serpent’s cunning.

Therefore, most beloved,
let us in turn sing psalms
with heart and voice to Christ
in praise of this bishop,

So that with his help,
freed from vice,
we may fully enjoy
the angelic vision in glory.

Praise be to the Father, in the Son
with the Spirit Paraclete,
who by his gift of grace
has shown mercy to Ireland. Amen

Hat tip to Under the Oak for posting this beautiful hymn from the Roman Rite's Sarum Use first!

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