December 29, 2013

Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise / A Solis Ortus Cardine

Painting by Lorenzo Lotto - Courtesy Wikipedia
Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise is a translation by the Catholic Priest and theologian, Msgr. Ronald A. Knox (1888-1957) of the Latin hymn: A Solis Ortus Cardine by the 5th century Christian poet, Coelius Sedulius (d.450?). This Latin hymn is composed of the first 7 verses of a much longer poem: an abecedarius, in which each verse begins with a consecutive letter of the alphabet (Latin, in this case). Also known as the Paean Alphabeticus de Christo, the poem consisting of 23 quatrains of iambic dimeters recounts the life of Christ from birth to resurrection. These 7 verses with added doxology (by an anonymous author), have been used since the early Middle Ages as a Christmas hymn. In the Roman Breviary A Solis Ortus Cardine is sung at Lauds during the Christmas season. Verses 8, 9, 11, and 13 of this same poem by Sedulius also comprise another hymn: Hostis Herodes Impie, which is sung at Epiphany. In the Divine Office (1974), Afar from Where the Sun Doth Rise is sung with Morning Prayer on Christmas Day, and is an optional hymn for use through the Christmas season up until Epiphany. It is set to the tune: St. Venantius, first published in the Paris Antiphoner of 1681. An alternative tune that can also be used is Winchester New, as featured in the following video.

Alternative Tune: Winchester New


1. A solis ortus cardine
adusque terrae limitem
Christum canamus Principem,
natum Maria Virgine.

2. Beatus auctor saeculi
servile corpus induit,
ut carne carnem liberans
non perderet quod condidit.

3. Clausae parentis viscera
caelestis intrat gratia;
venter puellae baiulat
secreta quae non noverat.

4. Domus pudici pectoris
templum repente fit Dei;
intacta nesciens virum
verbo concepit Filium.

5. Enixa est puerpera
quem Gabriel praedixerat,
quem matris alvo destines
clausus Ioannes senserat. 

6. Feno iacere pertulit,
praesepe non abhorruit,
parvoque lacte pastus est
per quem nec ales esurit.

7. Gaudet chorus caelestium
et Angeli canunt Deum,
palamque fit pastoribus
Pastor, Creator omnium.

8. Iesu, tibi sit gloria,
qui natus es de Virgine,
cum Patre et almo Spiritu,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

Performed by Schola Gregoriana Monostorinensis

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome, but they won't be published immediately. I moderate them first, just to weed out spam etc.

- Thanks