Vespers and Benediction are a perfect opportunity to continue our thanksgiving after Mass in the morning and to participate in more of the liturgical prayer of the Church.
To whet your appetite, here is the hymn for Vespers on Sundays after Epiphany and after Pentecost, Lucis Creator Optime. Written by Pope St Gregory the Great in the second half of the 6th century, this hymn speaks of the first day of creation with the Vespers hymns for the rest of the week following likewise.
|LUCIS Creator optime|
lucem dierum proferens,
primordiis lucis novae,
mundi parans originem:
|O BLEST Creator of the light,|
Who mak’st the day with radiance bright,
and o’er the forming world didst call
the light from chaos first of all;
|Qui mane iunctum vesperi|
diem vocari praecipis:
tetrum chaos illabitur,1
audi preces cum fletibus.
|Whose wisdom joined in meet array|
the morn and eve, and named them Day:
night comes with all its darkling fears;
regard Thy people’s prayers and tears.
|Ne mens gravata crimine,|
vitae sit exsul munere,
dum nil perenne cogitat,
seseque culpis illigat.
|Lest, sunk in sin, and whelmed with strife,|
they lose the gift of endless life;
while thinking but the thoughts of time,
they weave new chains of woe and crime.
|Caeleste pulset ostium:2|
vitale tollat praemium:
vitemus omne noxium:
purgemus omne pessimum.
|But grant them grace that they may strain|
the heavenly gate and prize to gain:
each harmful lure aside to cast,
and purge away each error past.
|Praesta, Pater piissime,|
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum. Amen.
|O Father, that we ask be done,|
through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
doth live and reign eternally. Amen.
For chant booklets for the Divine Office click here.
Here is a polyphonic setting by Orlando Di Lasso.