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Alto ex Olympi vertice

From highest heaven

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Alto ex Olympi vertice
    Summi Parentis Filius,
    Ceu monte desectus lapis
    Terras in imas decidens,
    Domus supernæ, et infimæ,
    Utrumque junxit angulum.
  2. Sed ilia sedes cœlitum
    Semper resultat laudibus,
    Deumque Trinum et Unicum
    Jugi canore prædicat:
    Illi canentes jungimur
    Almæ Sionis æmuli.
  3. Hæc templa, Rex cœlestium,
    Imple benigno lumine:
    Huc o rogatus adveni,
    Plebisque vota suscipe,
    Et nostra corda jugiter
    Perfunde cœli gratia.
  4. Hic impetrent fidelium
    Voces precesque supplicum
    Domus beatæ munera,
    Partisque donis gaudeant:
    Donec soluti corpore
    Sedes beatas impleant.
  5. Decus Parenti debitum
    Sit usquequaque Altissimo,
    Natoque Patris unico,
    Et inclyto Paraclito,
    Cui laus, potestas, gloria
    Æterna sit per sæcula.
  1. From highest heaven, the Father’s Son,
    Descending like that mystic stone
    Cut from a mountain without hands,
    Came down below, and filled all lands;
    Uniting, midway in the sky,
    His house on earth, and house on high.
  2. That house on high,—it ever rings
    With praises of the King of kings;
    Forever there, on harps divine,
    They hymn th’ eternal One and Trine;
    We, here below, the strain prolong,
    And faintly echo Sion’s song.
  3. O Lord of lords invisible!
    With Thy pure light this temple fill:
    Hither, oft as invoked, descend;
    Here to Thy people’s prayer attend;
    Here, through all hearts, forevermore,
    Thy Spirit’s quickening graces pour.
  4. Here may the faithful, day by day,
    Their hearts’ adoring homage pay;
    And here receive from Thy dear love
    The blessings of that home above;
    Till loosened from this mortal chain,
    Its everlasting joys they gain.
  5. To God the Father, glory due
    Be paid by all the heavenly host;
    And to His only Son most true;
    With Thee, O might Holy Ghost!
    To whom, praise, power, and blessing be,
    Through th’ ages of eternity.
This is a continuation of the preceding hymn. Translation by Father Caswall. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Lauds on the Feast of the Dedication of a Church.
  1. “From the highest heights of heaven came the sovereign Father’s Son, like the stone riven from the mountain descending to the lowest plains, and He joined together the two corners of the earthly and heavenly dwelling places.” Venit is understood in the first two lines. Christ is the stone that came down from on high. He is also the cornerstone that makes both one, Jews and Gentiles, or the heavenly and the earthly kingdom (Cf. I Pet. 2, 6; Eph. 2, 20). The figure of the stone riven from the mountain is probably an allusion to the dream of Nabuchodonosor (Cf. Dan. 2, esp. 34-45).
  2. “But that abode of the Blessed ever resounds with praises, and extols with ceaseless song the Triune God; to it we rivals of holy Sion are joined in song.” Illi, sc. sedes Cœlitum. Jugi, adj., perpetual. Sion ordinarily stands for the Church Militant; it is here used for the Church Triumphant.
  3. “These temples, O king of the Blessed, fill with Thy kindly light; hither, come Thou when invoked, and receive the prayers of Thy people, and fill our hearts forever with the grace of Heaven.”
  4. “Here may the voices of the faithful and the prayers of Thy suppliants obtain the rewards of the heavenly home; and may they enjoy the gifts acquired, till, freed from the body, they take possession of the blessed abodes.”