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Nox atra rerum contegit

The dusky veil of night hath laid

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Nox atra rerum contegit
    Terræ colores omnium:
    Nos confitentes poscimus
    Te, juste judex cordium:
  2. Ut auferas piacula,
    Sordesque mentis abluas:
    Donesque Christe gratiam,
    Ut arceantur crimina.
  3. Mens ecce torpet impia,
    Quam culpa mordet noxia;
    Obscura gestit tollere,
    Et te Redemptor quærere.
  4. Repelle tu caliginem
    Intrinsecus quam maxime,
    Ut in beato gaudeat
    Se collocari lumine.
  5. Præsta, Pater piissime,
    Patrique compar Unice,
    Cum Spiritu Parælito
    Regnans per omne sæculum.
  1. The dusky veil of night hath laid
    The varied hues of earth in shade;
    Before Thee, righteous Judge of all,
    We contrite in confession fall.
  2. Take far away our load of sin,
    Our soiled minds make clean within:
    Thy sov’reign grace, O Christ, impart,
    From all offence to guard our heart.
  3. For lo! our mind is dull and cold,
    Envenomed by sin’s baneful hold:
    Fain would it now the darkness flee,
    And seek, Redeemer, unto Thee.
  4. Far from it drive the shades of night,
    Its inmost darkness put to flight;
    Till in the daylight of the Blest
    It joys to find itself at rest.
  5. Almighty Father, hear our cry,
    Through Jesus Christ, our Lord most High,
    Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
    Doth live and reign eternally.
Author: Ascribed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation By J. W. Chadwick. There are twelve translations.
  1. “Dark night hath concealed the colors of all things on earth; praising Thee we pray, O just Judge of hearts, that Thou take away our sins, and wash away the stains of the soul; and grant us, O Christ, Thy grace that sin may be kept afar off.”
  2. “Lo, the guilty soul which mortal sin holds fast is torpid; still it longs, O Redeemer, to put away its evil deeds and seek Thee.” “Drive out, as much as possible, the darkness that is within, that the soul may rejoice to be established in blessed light.” Mens from the preceding stanza is the subject of gaudeat. Se collocare, to establish one’s self, to dwell permanently,