Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crux fidelis inter omnes. Text, translation, and music of Fulgentius' hymn

Bl. John XXIII venerates the cross
“Of faithful Cross above all other, one and only noble Tree!” These words, from the eighth stanza of Fulgentius’ hymn Pange, lingua, gloriosi direct us to the adoration of the Cross in the Good Friday commemoration of the Lord’s Passion.

The whole hymn is sung during the ceremony of the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday, immediately after the Improperia or "Reproaches", but in a peculiar manner, the hymn being preceded by the eighth stanza (Crux fidelis) while the stanzas are followed alternately by the first four and the last two lines of the (divided) eighth stanza.

Below, we include the text of the hymn (together with Fr. Caswall’s translation). Additionally, we have embedded a recording of a selection from the hymn. For an explanation of whether and why we worship the cross see our previous discussions here, here, and here.


PANGE, lingua, gloriosi
proelium certaminis,
et super Crucis trophaeo
dic triumphum nobilem,
qualiter Redemptor orbis
immolatus vicerit.  

De parentis protoplasti
fraude Factor condolens,
quando pomi noxialis
morte morsu corruit,
ipse lignum tunc notavit,
damna ligni ut solveret.

Hoc opus nostrae salutis
ordo depoposcerat,
multiformis proditoris
ars ut artem falleret,
et medelam ferret inde,
hostis unde laeserat.

Quando venit ergo sacri
plenitudo temporis,
missus est ab arce Patris
natus, orbis, Conditor,
atque ventre virginali
carne factus prodiit.

Vagit infans inter arcta
conditus praesepia:
membra pannis involuta
Virgo Mater alligat:
et manus pedesque et crura
stricta cingit fascia.

LUSTRA sex qui iam peracta
tempus implens corporis,
se volente, natus ad hoc,
passioni deditus,
Agnus in crucis levatur
immolandus stipite.

En acetum, fel, arundo,
sputa, clavi, lancea:
mite corpus perforatur,
Sanguis, unda profluit
terra, pontus, astra, mundus,
quo lavantur flumine!

CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.

Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,
fusus Agni corpore.

Aequa Patri Filioque,
inclito Paraclito,
sempiterna sit beatae
Trinitati gloria,
cuius alma nos redemit
atque servat gratia. Amen.
SING, my tongue, the Savior's glory;
tell His triumph far and wide;
tell aloud the famous story
of His body crucified;
how upon the cross a victim,
vanquishing in death, He died.

Eating of the tree forbidden,
man had sunk in Satan's snare,
when our pitying Creator did
this second tree prepare;
destined, many ages later,
that first evil to repair.

Such the order God appointed
when for sin He would atone;
to the serpent thus opposing
schemes yet deeper than his own;
thence the remedy procuring,
whence the fatal wound had come.

So when now at length the fullness
of the sacred time drew nigh,
then the Son, the world's Creator,
left his Father's throne on high;
from a virgin's womb appearing,
clothed in our mortality.

All within a lowly manger,
lo, a tender babe He lies!
see his gentle Virgin Mother
lull to sleep his infant cries!
while the limbs of God incarnate
round with swathing bands she ties.

THUS did Christ to perfect manhood
in our mortal flesh attain:
then of His free choice He goeth
to a death of bitter pain;
and as a lamb, upon the altar of the cross,
for us is slain.

Lo, with gall His thirst He quenches!
see the thorns upon His brow!
nails His tender flesh are rending!
see His side is opened now!
whence, to cleanse the whole creation,
streams of blood and water flow.

FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world's Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.

video

In this selection of the hymn, you will hear the eighth stanza (Crux fidelis inter omnes) sung, followed by the first stanza (Pange, lingua, gloriosi). Then, the first four lines of the eighth (Crux fidelisgermine) are sung, followed by the second stanza (De parentis protoplasti), and again the final two lines of the eighth (Dulce lignumsustinens). The same method continues through the third stanza.

We conclude with the words of St. Thomas Aquinas: “That man should be delivered by Christ's Passion was in keeping with both God's mercy and His justice. With His justice, because by His Passion Christ made satisfaction for the sin of the human race; and so man was set free by Christ's justice: and with His mercy, for since man of himself could not satisfy for the sin of all human nature, as was said above (Question 1, Article 2), God gave him His Son to satisfy for him, according to Romans 3:24-25: Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood. And this came of more copious mercy than if He had forgiven sins without satisfaction. Hence it is said (Ephesians 2:4): God, who is rich in mercy, for His exceeding charity wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ.” (ST III, q.46, a.1, ad 3)

0 comments:

Post a Comment

If you want your comment to be published: Use a name or pseudonym, and keep it short (generally, less than 100 words), to the point, and civil.

All comments must be approved by a blog-administrator.