Prudentius: Do You Sing of Christ's Glorious Deeds?

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Photius & Anicetus of Nicomedia

Prudentius_Square.jpegGIVE ME MY plectrum, boy, that I may sing in faithful verse

A sweet and melodious song, of the glorious deeds of Christ.

Him alone may my Muse sing of, Him alone may my lyre praise.

Christ it is whose future coming was proclaimed by the priest-king

In his vestments, with voice, with strings and percussion,

Drinking deep the spirit flowing into him from heaven.

We sing of miracles performed and already proved.

The world is witness and the earth denies not what it has seen,

That God was made manifest to men to teach them in person.

Of the Father’s love begotten before the beginning of the world,

Called Alpha and Omega, Himself both source and end

Of all that is, has been, and will exist in times to come.

He commanded and they were created, He spoke and they were made,

Earth, heavens, the depths of the sea—the triple structure of the universe—

And all that inhabits them beneath the lofty orbs of sun and moon.

He put on a mortal body’s form and limbs vulnerable to death,

To prevent the destruction of the race sprung from the first creature

Whom a deadly law had plunged deep into hell.

O what a blessed birth was then, when a virgin in labor,

Having conceived by the Holy Spirit, brought forth our salvation,

And the child who is the world’s redeemer revealed His sacred face.

Let the heights of heaven sing, all you angels, sing,

Let all the powers everywhere sing in praise of God,

Let no tongue be silent, let every voice ring in harmony.

Look how the one who was foretold by seers in ages past

And pledged in the prophets’ reliable writings,

Shines forth, He who was promised long ago: let all things praise Him.

—Prudentius, Cathemerinon

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