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Aurora lucis rutilat

Light's Glittering Morn Bedecks the Sky

This hymn is from the 4th or 5th century and is often ascribed to St. Ambrose (340-
397). Whether it really is his or not, it is certainly worthy of his name. The complete
hymn is composed of 44 lines and is given below. In the Liturgy it is broken up in
multiple hymns. In the past it was broken into three hymns, Aurora lucis rutilat,
Tristes erant Apostoli, and Claro Paschali gaudio, which were altered by Pope Urban
VIII to Aurora caelum purpurat (Lauds), Tristes erant Apostoli (Vespers and Matins
for Apostles and Evangelists in Eastertide), and Paschale mundo gaudium (Lauds for
Apostles and Evangelists in Eastertide). Today parts of it are in the hymn for Laudes.

AURORA lucis rutilat, LIGHT'S glittering morn bedecks the sky,


caelum laudibus intonat, heaven thunders forth its victor cry,
mundus exultans iubilat, the glad earth shouts its triumph high,
gemens infernus ululat, and groaning hell makes wild reply:

Cum rex ille fortissimus, While he, the King of glorious might,
mortis confractis viribus, treads down death's strength in death's despit
pede conculcans tartara and trampling hell by victor's right,
solvit catena miseros ! brings forth his sleeping Saints to light.

Ille, qui clausus lapide Fast barred beneath the stone of late
custoditur sub milite, in watch and ward where soldiers wait,
triumphans pompa nobile now shining in triumphant state,
victor surgit de funere. He rises Victor from death's gate.

Solutis iam gemitibus Hell's pains are loosed, and tears are fled;
et inferni doloribus, captivity is captive led;
<<Quia surrexit Dominus!>> the Angel, crowned with light, hath said,
resplendens clamat angelus. 'The Lord is risen from the dead.'

TRISTES erant apostoli THE APOSTLES' hearts were full of pain


de nece sui Domini, for their dear Lord so lately slain:
quem poena mortis crudeli that Lord his servants' wicked train
servi damnarant impii. with bitter scorn had dared arraign.

Sermone blando angelus With gentle voice the Angel gave


praedixit mulieribus, the women tidings at the grave;
<<In Galilaea Dominus 'Forthwith your Master shall ye see:
He goes before to Galilee.'
videndus est quantocius>>

Illae dum pergunt concite And while with fear and joy they pressed
apostolis hoc dicere, to tell these tidings to the rest,
videntes eum vivere their Lord, their living Lord, they meet,
osculant pedes Domini. and see his form, and kiss his feet.

Quo agnito discipuli The Eleven, when they hear, with speed
in Galilaeam propere to Galilee forthwith proceed:
pergunt videre faciem that there they may behold once more
desideratam Domini. the Lord's dear face, as oft before.

CLARO PASCHALI gaudio IN THIS our bright and Paschal day


sol mundo nitet radio, the sun shines out with purer ray,
cum Christum iam apostoli when Christ, to earthly sight made plain,
visu cernunt corporeo. the glad Apostles see again.

Ostensa sibi vulnera The wounds, the riven wounds he shows


in Christi carne fulgida, in that his flesh with light that glows,
resurrexisse Dominum in loud accord both far and nigh
voce fatentur publica. ihe Lord's arising testify.

Rex Christe clementissime, O Christ, the King who lovest to bless,


tu corda nostra posside, do thou our hearts and souls possess;
ut tibi laudes debitas to thee our praise that we may pay,
reddamus omni tempore! to whom our laud is due for aye.

Translation by J. M. Neale (1818-1866).