Cor Arca Legem Continens
COR ARCA LEGEM CONTINENS
An office hymn that was historically used for Lauds on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Usually dated as an 18th-century composition, it is the work of an unknown author who is thought to have written also the hymns for Vespers and Matins of the same feast. In a series of types or figures, rather than in a fully developed allegory, stanzas one and two of the hymn represent the Sacred Heart as ark, temple, and—with reference to its open wounds—veil "more profitable than the one rent asunder." For the thought and expression of the last three stanzas, the author is indebted to St. Bonaventure's Vitis mystica 3.4–6, read as the eighth and ninth lessons of the feast. Throughout the hymn a deeply personal note is blended with a more objective liturgical style.
Bibliography: j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 1:262. h. t. herny, Eucharistica (Philadelphia 1912) 164, 235. m. britt, ed., The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (new ed. New York 1948). j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster, MD 1957) 136–137, Eng. tr. h. lausberg, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 1957–65) 3:53.
[m. i. j. rousseau]