Beata Nobis Gaudia

views updated


An office hymn in iambic dimeter by an unknown author; attributed to hilary of poitiers with very slight probability; and found quite generally throughout the Western liturgy since the tenth century. Traditionally sung at Lauds on the feast of Pentecost, it relates poetically the two most important events of the feast, the descent of the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire, and the preaching of the Apostles with the gift of tongues to the community of Jerusalem, as described in Acts 2.24. A beautiful prayer follows, in which the Church requests that the gifts of the Holy Spirit be given to us also. Just as the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles corresponded to the time of the Jewish jubilee, when debts were to be forgiven, so do we in this prayer beg forgiveness of our sins.

Bibliography: a. mirra, Gl'inni del breviario romano (Naples 1947). Analecta Hymnica 51:9798. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung (Berlin 196465) 1:348.

[j. j. gavigan]