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Exsultet Orbis Gaudiis


An office hymn that was traditionally prescribed for Vespers and Lauds on the feasts of Apostles and Evangelists outside Easter time. It is composed of six Ambrosian strophes in iambic dimeter. The author is unknown but the hymn is found as early as the tenth century in a hymnal of Moissac Abbey. It underwent extensive revision in the Roman Breviary of 1632. In contrast to the 1632 revision, the original version, beginning Exsultet caelum laudibus, was considered more beautiful. The hymn echoes a number of the scriptural references to the Apostles.

Bibliography: Analecta hymnica 51:125126, for text. j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology (New York 1957) 1:360361. m. britt, ed., The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal (new ed. New York 1948) 354356. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster, MD 1957) 140141, for tr. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung (Berlin 196465) 1:342.

[j. p. mccormick]

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