Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rorate Caeli

Today's Entrance Antiphon (Introit) for the Fourth Sunday of Advent is also a popular hymn for the entire season, and is especially used as an antiphon during Vespers. It is also known as "The Advent Prose" or by its first words in English: "Drop down ye heavens from above."

If you had the good sense to finish your Christmas shopping early, as we did here at Chez Alexandre, consider joining in the singing of this hymn as you contemplate the readings for the Mass of the Day. You can find the mp3 audio file, and the score for Gregorian chant, by clicking here.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above,
    Rorate coeli desuper et nubes pluant justum,
and let the clouds rain the Just One.
    Aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem.

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity:
behold the city of thy sanctuary is become a desert,
Sion is made a desert.
Jerusalem is desolate,
the house of our holiness and of thy glory,
where our fathers praised thee.

Drop down dew, ye heavens ...
    Rorate coeli desuper ...

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean,
and we have all fallen as a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind,
have taken us away
thou hast hid thy face from us,
and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens ...
    Rorate coeli desuper ...

See, O Lord, the affliction of thy people,
and send him whom thou hast promised to send.
Send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth,
from the rock of the desert
to the mount of the daughter of Sion,
that he himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens ...
    Rorate coeli desuper ...

Be comforted, be comforted, my people;
thy salvation shall speedily come
why wilt thou waste away in sadness?
why bath sorrow seized thee?
I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God,
the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down dew, ye heavens ...
    Rorate coeli desuper ...

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