Sunday, September 6, 2015

To Love With All Our Might

Today's hymn for morning worship (or gathering) comes from a fourth-century Latin text written by Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan who was later declared a Doctor of the Church. Ambrose is also remembered for his hymns (which inspired others to write texts in a similar form), and was said to have promoted the practice of antiphonal chant, where two sides of the choir sing different portions of the chant or psalm.

The Latin text beginning Splendor paternae gloriae has been translated by various people and even the Latin has been altered over the intervening centuries. This version draws from a few different translations and includes fewer stanzas than the original.

O splendor of God’s glory bright,
From light eternal bringing light;
O Light of light, the fountain spring,
O Day, all days illumining.

Come, very Sun of heaven's love,
In lasting radiance from above,
And pour the Holy Spirit's ray
On all we think or do today.

Teach us to love with all our might;
Drive envy out, remove all spite;
Turn to the good each troubling care,
And give us grace our name to bear.

All glory be to God Most High;
To Jesus Christ let praises rise;
Whom with the Spirit we adore
Forever and forevermore.

Ambrose of Milan, 4th cent.; tr.composite
Michael Praetorius, 1609
harm. George Woodward, 1901

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