“O Splendor of God’s Glory” is a hymn written originally in Latin (Splendor Paternæ gloriæ) by St. Ambrose (340-397). It is used for Monday Lauds, and is “a beautiful morning hymn to the Holy Trinity, but especially to Christ as the Light of the world, and a prayer for help and guidance throughout the day.” (Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, p. 57)
The text is truly a prayer. As you read and sing, pray the words. We all need to pray “to banish sin from our delight”, and “guide whatever we nobly do,” and “give us grace our wrongs to bear.” A sobering way to start the week, but at the same time, if we are honest with ourselves, the help we are asking for in this hymn, addresses the crosses we all face.
Sheet Music (English)
Click here for the sheet music I made (perfect for your family hymnal.)
Click here to see the original sheet music at Hymnary.org. (has accompaniment)
English translation by Robert Bridges (1844-1930):
O splendor of God’s glory bright,
O Thou that bringest light from light,
O Light of Light, light’s Living Spring,
O Day, all days illumining.
O Thou true Sun, on us Thy glance
Let fall in royal radiance,
The Spirit’s sanctifying beam
Upon our earthly senses stream.
The Father too our prayers implore,
Father of glory evermore,
The Father of all grace and might,
To banish sin from our delight:
To guide whate’er we nobly do,
With love all envy to subdue,
To make ill-fortune turn to fair,
And give us grace our wrongs to bear.
Our mind be in His keeping placed,
Our body true to Him and chaste,
Where only faith her fire shall feed
To burn the tares of Satan’s seed.
And Christ to us for food shall be,
From Him our drink that welleth free,
The Spirit’s wine, that maketh whole,
And mocking not, exalts the soul.
Rejoicing may this day go hence,
Like virgin dawn our innocence,
Like fiery noon our faith appear,
Nor know the gloom of twilight drear.
Morn in her rosy car is borne:
Let Him come forth our Perfect Morn,
The Word in God the Father One,
The Father perfect in the Son. Amen.
Wondering how to remember and actually USE and SING the hymns when you say Morning Prayer? I print out the music and add it to our Family Hymnal. Click here to print the PDF of the score I made at Musescore! Or, if you prefer to print out the Latin chant, keep reading!
Click here to listen and follow along as a monk from Solesmes sings the neumes above, or simply listen and pray the words as he sings.
Sheet Music (Latin)
Splendor Paternæ gloriæ
Learn the to sing the Latin hymn by clicking the links below.
Click here to download the above image from GregoBase. Another image with the verses is at the bottom of this post.
Splendor paternae gloriae,
de luce lucem proferens,
lux lucis et fons luminis,
diem dies illuminans,
Verusque sol, illabere
micans nitore perpeti,
iubarque Sancti Spiritus
infunde nostris sensibus.
Votis vocemus et Patrem,
Patrem perennis gloriae,
Patrem potentis gratiae,
culpam releget lubricam.
Informet actus strenuos,
dentem retundat invidi,
casus secundet asperos,
donet gerendi gratiam.
Mentem gubernet et regat
casto, fideli corpore;
fides calore ferveat,
fraudis venena nesciat.
Christusque nobis sit cibus,
potusque noster sit fides;
laeti bibamus sobriam
Laetus dies hic transeat;
pudor sit ut diluculum,
fides velut meridies,
crepusculum mens nesciat.
Aurora cursus provehit;
Aurora totus prodeat,
in Patre totus Filius
et totus in Verbo Pater. Amen.
Score above is from GregoBase, an amazing online collection of Gregorian scores! Did you notice that there are two melodies? The audio for the first one is here. I couldn’t find audio for the second melody, but when I do, I’ll update this page. (If you can help locate audio, please do! Thanks!)