November 24, 2013

O Strength and Stay / Rerum, Deus, Tenax Vigor

Grant to Life's Day a Calm Unclouded Ending

O Strength and Stay, Upholding All Creation is a translation of the 4th century Latin hymn: Rerum Deus Tenax Vigour, composed in the Ambrosian tradition, but not likely by St. Ambrose (c.340-397) himself. In the Breviarium Romanum it is used throughout the year as the hymn for None (Mid-Afternoon). In 1871, the ancient text was translated into English by John Ellerton (1826-1893) and Fenton J. A. Hort (1828-1892). In 1875, John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876) composed the tune: Strength and Stay specifically for their words. In the Divine Office, O Strength and Stay is sung during Evening Prayer. For an alternative translation, see: O God, Creation's Secret Force.

Tune: Strength and Stay

O STRENGTH AND STAY by Ellerton/Hort, 1871 (Public Domain)

1. O Strength and Stay upholding all creation,
who ever dost thyself unmoved abide;
yet day by day the light in due gradation
from hour to hour through all its changes guide.

2. Grant to life's day a calm unclouded ending,
An eve untouched by shadows of decay,
the brightness of a holy deathbed blending
With dawning glories of the eternal day.

3. Hear us, O Father, gracious and forgiving,
through Jesus Christ thy co-eternal Word,
who, with the Holy Ghost, by all things living
Now and to endless ages art adored.

Ambrosian Chant


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

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

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


  1. I personally prefer the tune of psalm 12 from the genevan psalter for this hymn.

  2. Good suggestion, If I come across a good video of Genevan 12 (that's easy to sing along with) - I will add that to the post.

    I like the work that Ernst Stolz (@ernststolz) has done with the Genevan Psalter:

  3. Thanks for the link to my YouTube video!


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