Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis  

The Perennial Easter Joy
The Vespers Hymn for the Easter Season is a triumphant, power-packed chant. Although it is not directly attributed to Ambrose, it is “Ambrosian” in poetical form,and is most likely from around the 6th century.

The hymn consists of two musically balanced phrases, giving the perfect framework for the text which describes the mystery of the Redemption in dense imagery.  The range encompasses a full octave, which gives an expansive quality to the melody. Below is a literal translation of the remaining verses.

By tasting the most holy body and the rosy blood of him
who was parched on the altar of the cross, we live to God.

Protected on the evening of Passover from the destroying angel,
from Pharaoh’s harsh dominion we were delivered.

Now Christ is our Passover, the innocent Lamb is sacrificed:
unleavened bread of sincerity, he offered his own flesh.

 O true, worthy Host, by which hell was smashed,
a captive people redeemed, the gifts of life returned!
Christ rises from the grave;  the victor returns from the abyss,
driving the tyrant in chains, and unlocking paradise.

Be to our hearts the perennial Easter joy, O Jesus,
and gather us in your triumphs who are reborn of grace.

O Jesus, to you be glory, you who shine forth, death conquered,
with the Father and the kind Spirit, for everlasting ages. Amen.

This entry was posted in Easter, Gregorian Chant, Jesus, Joy, Liturgy of the Hours, Praise by Sr. Fidelis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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