Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
The daily hymn for None in the Roman Breviary, comprises (like the hymns for Terce and Sext ) only two stanzas of iambic dimeters together with a doxology varying according to the feast or season. As in the hymns for Prime, Sext, and Compline, the theme is found in the steady march of the sun that defines the periods of the day:Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor
Immotus in te permanens,
Lucis diurnæ tempora
Successibus determinans. O God, whose power unmoved the whole
Of Nature's vastness doth control,
Who mark'st the day-hours as they run
By steady marches of the sun.
The moral application is, as usual, made in the following stanza :Largire lumen vespere
Quo vita nusquam decidat, etc. O grant that in life's eventide
Thy light may e'er with us abide, etc.
The authorship of the hymns for Terce, Sext, and None is now ascribed only very doubtfully to St. Ambrose. They are not given to the saint by the Benedictine editors (see A MBROSIAN H YMNOGRAPHY ), but are placed by Biraghi amongst his inni sinceri, since they are found in all the manuscripts of the churches of Milan. Daniel (I, 23: IV, 13, 17) thinks that much longer hymns for the hours were replaced by the present ones. Pimont disagrees with Daniel and argues that the saint may well have composed two sets of hymns for the hours. However, the researches of Blume (1908) show that the primitive Benedictine cycle of hymns, as attested by the Rules of Cæsarius and Aurelian of Arles, did not include these hymns, but assigned for Terce, Sext, and None (for Eastertide) the hymns : "Jam surgit hora tertia", "Jam sexta sensim volvitur", "Ter hora trina volvitur"; the earliest manuscripts of the cycle give for these hours, for the remainder of the year, the hymns : "Certum tenentes ordinem", "Dicamus laudes Domino", "Perfectum trinum numerum"; while other manuscripts give as variants for Lent : "Dei fide qua vivimus", "Meridie orandum est", "Sic ter quaternis trahitur". This Benedictine cycle was replaced throughout Western Christendom by a later one, as shown by Irish and English manuscripts, which give the present hymns for the little hours.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online