November 10, 2012

Hear the Herald Voice Resounding / Vox Clara Ecce Intonat

Welcome Christ, the Light of Day!

Hear the Herald Voice Resounding is based upon the 6th century Latin hymn, Vox Clara Ecce Intonat (see 2nd video), sung in the Roman Breviary at the Hour of Lauds during Advent. This version was translated by Edward Caswall (1814-1878) and included in his 1849 collection, Lyra Catholica. Caswall was a friend Cardinal John Newman (1801-1890). He followed Blessed Newman into the Catholic Church in 1850. Newman himself wrote a poem based upon the original latin text, Hark, A Joyful Voice is Thrilling. Caswall's hymn is set to the 1850 tune, Merton by William Henry Monk (1823-1889). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Hear the Herald Voice Resounding is used during Advent.

Tune: Merton

HARK! A HERALD VOICE IS CALLING by Edward Caswall, 1849 (Public Domain)

1. Hark! a herald voice is calling:
'Christ is nigh,' it seems to say;
'Cast away the dreams of darkness,
O ye children of the day!'

 2. Startled at the solemn warning,
 Let the earth-bound soul arise;
Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling,
 Shines upon the morning skies.

 3. Lo! the Lamb, so long expected,
Comes with pardon down from heaven;
Let us haste, with tears of sorrow,
One and all to be forgiven;

 4. So when next he comes with glory,
Wrapping all the earth in fear,
May he then as our defender
Of the clouds of heaven appear.

 5. Honour, glory, virtue, merit,
To the Father and the Son,
With the co-eternal Spirit,
While unending ages run.

Gregorian Chant (Begins at 00:25)


1. Vox clara ecce intonat,
obscura quaeque increpat:
procul fugentur somnia;
ab aethere Christus promicat.

2. Mens iam resurgat torpida
quae sorde exstat saucia;
sidus refulget iam novum,
ut tollat omne noxium.

3. E sursum Agnus mittitur
laxare gratis debitum;
omnes pro indulgentia
vocem demus cum lacrimis.

4. Secundo ut cum fulserit
mundumque horror cinxerit,
non pro reatu puniat,
sed nos pius tunc protegat.

 5. Summo Parenti gloria
Natoque sit victoria,
et Flamini laus debita
per saeculorum saecula. Amen.


  1. Here's another version -- very close to what's in the breviary: :)

  2. The link for HARK! A HERALD VOICE IS CALLING is not working because the uploader's Youtube account is closed.

  3. Thanks Gail for catching that. I have replaced the video and the links in the post now go to the one you suggested. - God Bless


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