en Clara Vox Redarguit

views updated


The office hymn that was historically assigned for Lauds in Advent. Under the title Vox clara ecce intonat it originated probably in the fifth century, and is sometimes ascribed to St. Ambrose. The four strophes in iambic dimeter set forth the message of John the Baptist as found in the readings for the first Sunday of Advent (Rom13.1114; Lk 21.2536). After an introductory strophe the call goes out to arouse the slothful soul so that it might see the bright new star, or sun, depending on whether sidus refers to the star of Jacob (Num 24.17), or morning star, stella (Apoc 22.16), or to the Sun of Justice (Mal4.2). Since the Lamb of God is sent to pay man's debt (Jn1.29), man must do penance and ask pardon (Ps 78.9) in the hope of protection (Is 42.8) when Christ comes in glory. In the revised version of this hymn that was found in the Roman Breviary of 1632, only four lines were left unchanged from the original text.

Bibliography: h. a. daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, 5 v. (Halle-Leipzig 184156) 1:76, text. j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 2:122829. Analecta hymnica 51:49. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster MD 1957) 5253, Eng. tr.

[m. m. beyenka]