Rerum Deus tenax vigor
O strength, and stay upholding all creation
Author: Possibly by St. Ambrose (340-397).
Meter: Iambic dimeter.
Translation By J. Ellerton and F. J. A. Hort.
There are about twenty translations.
Liturgical Use: Hymn for None daily throughout the year. None, or
the Ninth Hour (3:00 P. M.), corresponds to the hour of
Our Lord’s death. In this hymn we acknowledge the omnipotence
and providence of God; and we ask that eternal
glory be the reward of a holy death. Read the separate articles
on None and on this Hymn, in the Cath. Encycl. The
meter, iambic pentameter, in the above beautiful translation
is unusual in the translation of Latin hymns.
- Rerum Deus tenax vigor,
Immotus in te permanens,
Lucis diurnæ tempora
- Largire lumen vespere,
Quo vita nusquam decidat,
Sed præmium mortis sacræ
Perennis instet gloria.
- Præsta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
Regnans per omne sæculum.
- 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;
- 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 th’ eternal day.
- O Father, gracious and forgiving,
And thou, O Christ, the co-eternal Word,
Who, with the Holy Ghost, by all things living
Now and to endless ages art adored.
- “O God, the sustaining power of created things, who
in Thyself dost remain unmoved, and dost determine our
times by successive changes of the light of day:” Immotus,
unchanged. Tempora: The regular divisions of time as
marked off by the progress of the sun in the heavens. Successus,
progress, advance, a succession of time.
- “Bestow Thou upon us Thy light in the evening (of
life), that life may never fail us, but that eternal glory
may await us as the reward of a holy death.” Largire,
imper. of largior. Lumen, the light of glory.
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.