25 March 2014

Fit porta Christi pervia

Here is my translation of the hymn “Fit porta Christi pervia” (Ambrose, 4th c.) according to the short cento found in Lossius (1579). It had been inserted in Sedulius poem beginning “A solis ortus cardine” but is affirmed as Ambrose’s work by ancient and medieval testimony. The melody is that provided by Lossius.

THE GATE of Christ, all full of grace,
In ways unseen hath yielded place;
The King passed through what shut shall be
As it hath been, eternally.

2. The Offspring of the Light divine
Emerged from out the Virgin’s shrine:—
The Church’s Spouse and Savior He,
Who made all things by His decree.

3. He of his mother Crown and Joy,
Of all believers Hope most high,
Who by death’s bitter cup hath paid
And for our sins atonement made.

4. To God the Father ever one
With God the sole-begotten Son
And God the Spirit, glory be
Both now and for eternity.

Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.

1. Fit porta Christi pervia,
referta plena gratia,
Transitque Rex et permanet
Clausa_ut fuit per secula.

2. Genus superni luminis [="Numinis"],
Processit aula virginis,
Sponsus, redemptor, conditor,
Suae gigas Ecclesiae.

3. Honor matris et gaudium
Immensa_et spes credentium, [corr. from "Immensa spes et…"]
Per atra mortis pocula,
Resolvit nostra crimina.

4. Deo Patri sit gloria,
Eiusque soli Filio,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Et nunc et in perpetuum.

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