Lo! The Dim Shadows of Night are Waning

A hymn by St. Gregory, sung at Lauds on Sundays between the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost until September 27th.

Lo the Dim Shadows pic

M.J. Blacker wrote a beautiful English translation, published in the “The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal” on page 53.  No ideas for music are given, but I found a traditional Cassinese melody used for another hymn, and I think it works well with this translation. Listen, and follow along!

Lo! The Dim Shadows of Night are Waning by erin.mcfarland.16

Here is the English text:

Lo, the dim shadows of the night are waning;
Radiantly glowing, dawn of day returneth;
Fervent in spirit, to the mighty Father
Pray we devoutly.

So shall our Maker, of His great compassion,
Banish all sickness, kindly health bestowing;
And may He grant us, of a Father’s goodness,
Mansions in heaven.

This He vouchsafe us, God for ever blessed,
Father eternal, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Whose is the glory which through all creation
Ever resoundeth. Amen.

Now, here is the original Latin, which comes to us from Pope St. Gregory the Great. The monks at Solesmes have revised the chant (or composed it, I can’t tell), for their Liber Hymnarius.

Ecce iam noctis


Listen to a mp3 recording by Solesmes here. (Click here to listen to all the verses, and follow along – if you can –  it was hard for me.)




  1. I love the Cassinese melody — very pretty. I love the jump from the d to the a and then the beautiful phrase: “dawn of day returneth.”

    • Hi Steve! I like the e down to a d for “waning” and “sighing”. I found the melody in the Westminster hymnal for “Jesu! the dying day hath left us lonely.” Thanks for visiting and listening!

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