July 24, 2013

O God, Creation's Secret Force / Rerum, Deus, Tenax Vigor

Thyself Unmoved, All Motion's Source

O God, Creation's Secret Force is a translation of the 4th century Latin hymn, Rer­um De­us Ten­ax Vi­gor attributed to St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397). Rer­um De­us Ten­ax Vi­gor (see 2nd video) is the traditional hymn at None (Mid-Afternoon Prayer) in the Roman Breviary. Like the other hymns for the daytime hours of Terse and Sext, this brief hymn concludes with a doxology that would change throughout the year to reflect the liturgical season or Feast Day. In 1852 it was translated into English by the Anglican clergyman, John M. Neale (1818-1866). In the Divine Office, his hymn: O God, Creation's Secret Force is set to the tune: Splendor Paternae Gloriae, based upon the anonymous 13th century plainsong melody of the same name. In the Divine Office it is used with the Office of Readings. For an alternative translation, see: O Strength and Stay.

Tune: Splendor Paternae Gloriae

O GOD, CREATION’S SECRET FORCE by John M. Neale, 1852 (Public Domain)

O God, creation’s secret force,
Thyself unmoved, all motion’s source,
Who from the morn till evening ray
Through all its changes guid’st the day:

Grant us, when this short life is past,
The glorious evening that shall last;
That, by a holy death attained,
Eternal glory may be gained.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.

Ambrosian Chant

RERUM, DEUS, TENAX VIGOR - attributed to St Ambrose (Public Domain)

Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor,
immotus in te permanens,
lucis diurnae tempora
successibus determinans,

Largire clarum vespere,
quo vita numquam decidat,
sed praemium mortis sacrae
perennis instet gloria.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans er omne saeculum. Amen.

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