29 June 2009

Decora lux

The beauteous light of God’s eternal Majesty
Streams down in golden rays to grace this holy day
Which crowned the princes of the Apostles’ glorious choir,
And unto guilty mortals showed the heavenward way.

The teacher of the world and keeper of heaven’s gate,
Rome’s founders twain and rulers too of every land,
Triumphant over death by sword and shameful cross,
With laurel crowned are gathered to the eternal band.

O happy Rome! Who in thy martyr princes’ blood,
A twofold stream, art washed and doubly sanctified.
All earthly beauty thou alone outshinest far,
Empurpled by their ourpoured life-blood’s glorious tide.

All honour, power, and everlasting jubilee
To Him who all things made and governs here below,
To God is essence One, and yet in persons Three,
Both now and ever, while unending ages flow.

Latin text by Elpis, 6th c.
Trans. by Msgr. Louis Hall (1844-1911)