From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Salve Festa Dies by Venantius Fortunatus, as sung by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of St. Maurice & St. Maur, Clevaux

The most abstract idea conceivable is the sensuous in its elemental originality. But through which medium can it be presented? Only through music. Kierkegaard, Either/Or

An Easter hymn written by Venantius Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers, formerly sung during the procession before the Mass on Easter.

Salve festa dies toto venerabilis aevo
Qua Deus infernum vicit et astra tenet

Ecce renascentis testatur gratia mundi
Omnia cum Domino dona redisse suo

Namque triumphanti post tristia tartara Christo
Undique fronde nemus gramina flore favent

Qui genus humanum cernens mersisse profundo
Ut hominem eriperes es quoque factus homo

Pollicitam sed redde fidem, precor, alma potestas
tertia lux rediit surge sepulte meus

Solvecatenatas inferni carceris umbras
et revoca sursum quidquid ad ima ruit

Rex sacer, ecce tui radiat pars magna triumphi
cum puras animas sancta lavacra beant

Candidus egreditur nitidis exercitus undis
atque vetus vitium purgat in amne novo

Fulgentes animas vestis quoque candida signat
et grege de niveo gaudia pastor habet

Salve, festa dies, toto venerabilis aevo
qua deus infernum vicit et astra tenet

Hail, festal day, venerable of all ages
By which God conquers hell and holds the stars.

Behold the grace of the earth renewing and testifying
that all gifts shall be restored with her Lord.

For now, from all over, woods with leaves and meadows
with flowers favor Christ, who triumphs over gloomy hell.

Seeing the human race was sunk in misery deep,
thou hast made Man, that thou mightest rescue man.

But redeem thy promise, I beseech thee, merciful King!
This is the third day; arise, my buried Jesus!

Set free the spirits that are shackled
in limbo’s prison. Raise up all fallen things.

O King divine! lo! here a bright ray of thy triumph-
the souls made pure by the holy font.

The white­robed troop comes from the limpid waters;
and the old iniquity is cleansed in the new stream.

The white garments symbolize unspotted souls, a
nd the Shepherd rejoices in his snowlike flock.

Hail, festal day, venerable of all ages
By which God conquers hell and holds the stars.


  1. Dear Mr. Finnegan,

    On the evidence of your last three selections from the You-Tube Music Video Archives, I have begun to suspect that, beneath your offensively and vulgarly post-modernistic façade, there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Guéranger?

    Your conversion (however partial [and, I fear, transient]) to the semblance of good taste and sound theology which you have lately come to present on this Web-log, suggests that the Good Friday prayers pro hæreticis et pro paganis have retained some residue of their ancient potency. I suppose that the One Who sees the sparrow’s fall may yet deign to grant a petition now and again — and that the Barque of Peter can be swamped, but not scuttled, by even so insidious a liturgical saboteur as the deranged Pius XII.

    Admonished by such salutary precepts, I now presume to voice that which no priest, bishop, or pope would dare say in his heart, let alone on his lips, in these lukewarm latter days:

    Oremus pro Christianissimo Imperatore nostro!



  2. Gratias Tibi, Zorro(ni?).

    Oremus quidem Christianissimo Ecclesiae!

    re: Pius XII, there was, after all this.

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