Ad Regias Agni Dapes

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An Ambrosian hymn by an unknown author; it was used for Vespers on the Saturday after Easter and subsequent Sundays and ferials until the feast of the Ascension. The Roman Breviary had an earlier version, Ad coenam agni providi, which seemed to reflect the Ambrosian Milanese thought of the sixth century or earlier. It may very well be the work of nicetas of remesiana, a near contemporary of St. Ambrose. When this hymn was included in the 1632 reform of the Roman Breviary, it lost in its revision much of the rhythm of the primitive text, only three original lines being retained unchanged. The hymn is the song of a people newly redeemed, glorying in the triumph of their Leader, who invites them to a banquet celebration. As the Israelites were spared by the avenging angel (Ex 12.23) and as they passed miraculously through the Red Sea (Ex 14.2223), so Christ has become Pasch and Victim (1 Cor 5.78) to break the bonds of Satan and offer the faithful the trophies of the spirit, especially joy.

Bibliography: h. a. daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, 5 v. (Halle-Leipzig 184156) 1:88, text. Analecta hymnica 51:87. f. j. e. raby, A History of Christian-Latin Poetry (Oxford 1953) 41. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster MD 1957) 140143.

[m. m. beyenka]