Christe Sanctorum Decus Angelorum

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An anonymous Latin hymn of five sapphic strophes addressed to Christ, in which the grace of eternal blessedness is sought through the mediation of the angels. The petitions in strophes two to four honor individual angels: Michael, angel of peace; Gabriel, angel of strength; and Raphael, angel-physician of man's health. In strophe five the grace of heaven is requested through the Virgin Mary. Julian lists four forms of the hymn: the original text found in three 11th-century manuscripts; the Textus receptus; the Roman Breviary text; and that of the Roman Breviary appendix. In the past, the complete hymn was used at Lauds on May 8 and on September 29. Strophes 135 and 145 were sung at Vespers and Matins on the feasts of the Archangels.

Bibliography: j. stevenson, ed., The Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church (Surtees Society 23; Durham 1851) 116. Analecta hymnica 50:197198, for text. j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 1:229230; 2:1556. j. mearns, Early Latin Hymnaries (Cambridge, Eng. 1913) 21. m. britt, ed., The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (new ed. New York 1948) 288289. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster MD 1957) 194195, for tr. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung (Berlin 196465) 1:222,225.

[m. i. j. rousseau]

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Christe Sanctorum Decus Angelorum

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