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Te, Joseph, celebrent

Let Angels chant thy praise

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina cœlitum,
    Te cuncti resonent christiadum chori,
    Qui clarus meritis, junctus es inclytæ
    Casto fœdere Virgini.
  2. Almo cum tumidam germine conjugem
    Admirans, dubio tangeris anxius,
    Afflatu superi Flamini Angelus
    Conceptum puerum docet.
  3. Tu natum Dominum stringis, ad exteras
    Ægypti profugum tu sequeris plagas;
    Amissum Solymis quæris, et invenis,
    Miscens gaudia fletibus.
  4. Post mortem reliquos mors pia consecrat,
    Palmamque emeritos gloria suscipit:
    Tu vivens, Superis par, frueris Deo,
    Mira sorte beatior.
  5. Nobis, summa Trias, parce precantibus,
    Da Joseph meritis sidera scandere:
    Ut tandem liceat nos tibi perpetim
    Gratum promere canticum.
  1. Let Angels chant thy praise, pure spouse of purest Bride,
    While Christendom’s sweet choirs the gladsome strains repeat,
    To tell thy wondrous fame, to raise the pealing hymn,
    Wherewith we all they glory greet.
  2. When doubts and bitter fears thy heavy heart oppressed,
    And filled thy righteous soul with sorrow and dismay,
    An Angel quickly came, the wondrous secret told,
    And drove thy anxious griefs away.
  3. Thy arms thy new-born Lord, with tender joy embrace;
    Him then to Egypt’s Land thy watchful care doth bring;
    Him in the Temple’s courts once lost thou dost regain,
    And ‘mid thy tears dost greet thy King.
  4. Not till death’s pangs are o’er do others gain their crown,
    But, Joseph, unto thee the blessed lot was given
    While life did yet endure, thy God to see and know,
    As do the Saints above in heaven.
  5. Grant us, great Trinity, for Joseph’s holy sake,
    In highest bliss and love, above the stars to reign,
    That we in joy with him may praise our loving God,
    And sing our glad eternal strain.
Author: Unknown 17th cent. Meter: Asclepiadic and Glyconic. Translation by Father Potter. There are seven translations. Liturgical Use: Vespers hymn on the Feast of St. Joseph. Of the three hymns given here for the Feast of St. Joseph, the first two are used also in the office of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, which is celebrated on the Wednesday before the third Sunday after Easter.
  1. “May the hosts of heavenly spirits praise thee, O Joseph; may all the choirs of Christendom resound with thy name, thou who, renowned for merits, wast united in chaste wedlock to the glorious Virgin.”
  2. “When thou didst wonder at thy bride grown great with her august Child, sorely wert thou afflicted with doubt; but an Angel taught thee that the Child was conceived by a breath of the Holy Spirit.” (Cf. Matt. 1, 18-21). Flaminis: flamen, from flo 1, to blow, just as spiritus is from spiro, to blow.
  3. “Thou dost embrace the new-born Lord, and dost follow Him, a fugitive, to remote parts of Egypt: lost in Jerusalem, thou dost seek and find Him, thus mingling joys with tears.” Solymæ, arum = Hierosolyma, orum, Jerusalem. (Cf. Luke 2, 48).
  4. “A pious death doth make other men happy after death, and glory awaiteth those who have merited a palm: but thou still living, in a wonderous manner more fortunate, dost, like the Blessed, enjoy thy God.” Emeritos, the p. part, of the deponent emereor.
  5. “O sovereign Trinity, have mercy on us Thy suppliants; grant that by the merits of St. Joseph we may enter heaven, and that finally we may be permitted to sing unto Thee forever a sweet canticle.”