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2 February 2013


Its significance, explained in the Golden Legend of James of Voragine, as Englished by William Caxton.

Sequence by Adam of St. Victor:

Templum cordis adornemus;
Novo corde renovemus
Novum senis gaudium,
Quod dum ulnis amplexatur,
Sic longevi recreatur
Longum desiderium.

Stans in signum populorum,
Templum luce, laude chorum,
Corda replens gloria,
Templo puer presentatus,
Post in cruce vir oblatus,
Pro peccatis hostia.

Hinc Salvator, hinc Maria,
Puer pius, mater pia,
Moveant tripudium!
Sed cum votis perferatur
Opus lucis, quod signatur
Luce luminarium.

Verbum Patris lux est vera,
Virginalis caro cera,
Christi splendens cereus;
Cor illustrat ad sophiam,
Qua virtutis rapit viam,
Vitiis erroneus,

Christum tenens per amorem,
Bene juxta festi morem,
Gestat lumen cereum,
Sicut senex Verbum Patris
Votis, strinxit pignus matris
Brachiis corporeum.

Gaude, mater genitoris,
Simplex intus, munda foris,
Carens ruga, macula;
A dilecto preelecta,
Ab electo predilecta
Deo muliercula!

Omnis decor tenebrescit,
Deformatur et horrescit
Tuum intuentibus:
Omnis sapor amarescit,
Reprobatur et sordescit
Tuum pregustantibus.

Omnis odor redolere
Non videtur, sed olere
Tuum odorantibus:
Omnis amor aut deponi
Prorsus solet, aut postponi
Tuum nutrientibus,

Decens maris luminare,
Decus matrum singulare,
Vera parens veritatis,
Via vite pietatis,
Medicina seculi;
Vena vini fontis vite,
Sitienda cunctis rite,
Sano dulcis et languenti,
Salutaris fatiscenti
Confortantis poculi!

Fons signate
Rivos funde,
Nos infunde;
Fons hortorum
Riga mentes
Unda tui rivuli:
Fons redundans
Sis inundans;
Cordis prava
Queque lava;
Fons sublimis,
Munde nimis,
Ab immundo
Munda mundo
Cor immundi populi. Amen.

Englished by Digby S. Wrangham:

Let us, the heart's shrine preparing
With a heart renewed be sharing
In the old man's joy again,
Joy, which, held in his embraces,
So his long-felt heart's wish raises
Once more in the long-lived man.

Set an ensign for the nations,
Shrine with light, song with laudations,
Hearts with glory filleth He;
Now a child for presentation,
When a man, a sin-oblation
On the Cross for sin to be!

Saviour! here, here, Mary lowly!
Holy Son and mother holy!
Move us all to glad delight
By that work of light perfected,
Which we now, for prayer collected,
Image with our tapers bright!

The true light the Word from heaven,
Virgin's flesh the wax, hath given
To Christ's candle, bright as day,
Which to hearts that wisdom showeth.
Through which virtue's path he knoweth.
Who by sin is led astray.

As one, love t'ward Jesus bearing,
In this festal custom sharing.
Doth a waxen taper hold,
So the Father's Word supernal,
Pledge of purity maternal.
Did old Simeon's arms enfold.

Joy thou, who thy Father barest!
Pure within, without the fairest!
From all spot or wrinkle free!
Pre-elect of the Belovèd!
By the Elect of old approvèd!
Darling of the Deity!

Beauty of all kinds seems clouded,
Sore defaced and horror-shrouded.
When we see thy beauty shine:
Bitter groweth every savour,
Hateful and of filthy flavour,
After we have tasted thine.

Every scent the sweetest smelling
Seems not sweet, but most repelling,
When thy scents our nostrils fill;
Love of all kinds is rejected
Instantly, or else neglected,
Whilst thy love we cherish still.

Lovely light o'er ocean's waters!
Mother, peerless 'mongst earth's daughters!
Parent true of truth immortal!
Way of life to grace's portal!
Medicine all the world to heal!
Duct of wine from life's fount bursting.
For which all men should be thirsting!
Sweet to those in health or sickness!
Health to all, who in sore weakness
For its cheering draught appeal!

Fountain duly
Sealed as holy!
Outpour for us
Rivers o'er us:
Fount of showers
For hearts' flowers!
Water ever
From thy river
To all thirsting souls impart:
Fount o'erflowing!
Through hearts going,
Grant ablution
From pollution:
Fountain, given
Pure from heaven!
From earth, wholly
Impure, throughly
Purify man's impure heart! Amen.

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