HRISTE QUI LUX ES ET DIES (Christ, who art the light and day) is based on the ancient Compline Hymn for Lent, likely dating back to the Fourth Century. Although it was not retained in the Roman Breviary, its continued widespread use is perhaps attributed to its antiquity, exquisite poetry, and simple beauty, glorifying Christ as the World’s Light. With this universal theme, Its use may extend beyond Lent.
This setting utilizes two major themes: the opening choral statement and the ancient chant melody, both in naturally progressing keys. The opening theme provides an axis of symmetry, setting verses one, four, and seven, while the chant is the basis of verses two, three, five and six. The Amen recapitulates the chant theme inside a variation of the opening exposition. As such, the Light of Christ is proclaimed both deep within the soul and cried aloud for all.
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Premiered by the The Seraphim Singers | Jennifer Lester, Director
February 2, 2014, Candlemas — Feast of the Presentation
First Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts | Recorded LIVE: February 7, 2014 at St. Cecilia Church, Boston, Massachusetts
Recording Engineer: Evan Landry
Christ, who art the light and day,
You drive away the darkness of night,
You are called the light of light,
For you proclaim the blessed light.
We beseech you, Holy Lord,
Protect us this night.
Let us take our rest in you;
Grant us a tranquil night.
Let our sleep be free from care;
Let not the enemy snatch us away,
Nor flesh conspire within him,
And make us guilty in your sight.
Though our eyes be filled with sleep,
Keep our hearts forever awake to you.
May your right hand protect
Your willing servants.
You who are our shield, behold;
Restrain those that lie in wait.
And guide your servants whom
You have ransomed with your blood.
Remember us, O Lord,
Who bear the burden of this mortal form;
You who are the defender of the soul,
Be near us, O Lord.
Glory be to God the Father,
And to his only Son,
With the Spirit, Comforter,
Both now and evermore. Amen.