Tuesday, August 6, 2013

John Mason Neale's Translation of Coe­les­tis for­mam glor­i­ae

In honor of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, and in keeping with the anniversary of John Mason Neale's death, his translation of this hymn from the 1495 Sarum Breviary:

O wondrous sight! O vision fair
[originally, A type of those bright rays on high]
Of glory that the church shall share,
Which Christ upon the mountain shows,
Where brighter than the sun He glows!

From age to age the tale declares
How with the three disciples there
Where Moses and Elijah meet,
The Lord holds converse high and sweet.

The law and prophets there have place,
Two chosen witnesses of grace,
The Father’s voice from out the cloud
Proclaims His only Son aloud.

With shining face and bright array,
Christ deigns to manifest that day
What glory shall be theirs above
Who joy in God with perfect love.

And faithful hearts are raised on high
By this great vision’s mystery;
For which in joyful strains we raise
The voice of prayer, the hymn of praise.

O Father, with the eternal Son,
And Holy Spirit, ever One,
Vouchsafe to bring us by Thy grace
To see Thy glory face to face.

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