Ex More Docti Mystico

views updated


An office hymn which was traditionally prescribed for Matins during Lent until Passion Sunday. It is written in iambic dimeter and has been attributed to gregory the great. The author is preoccupied with the mystical meaning of the number 40 for the days of Lent, as was Gregory, especially in two of his "Homilies on the Gospels" (2.24.4 and 2.31.6). The eight strophes and doxology exhort the faithful to observe the fast of Lent. Perhaps the author had in mind the Benedictine Rule (49), where the monk is told during Lent to partake less of speech, food, drink, sleep, and amusement. A prayer for mercy is put on the lips of the assembly, asking that they may please God in this life and hereafter.

Bibliography: Analecta hymnica 2:83; 51:55, text. a. s. walpole, ed., Early Latin Hymns (Cambridge, Eng. 1922) 321323. h. lausberg, Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 3:1312.

[m. m. beyenka]