Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor


Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
Brief article on a hymn for None, one of the 'little hours.' Mid-afternoon

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
    Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Rerum Deus Tenax Vigor
    The daily hymn for None in the Roman Breviary, comprises (like the hymns for Terce and Sext) only two stanzas of iambic dimeters together with a doxology varying according to the feast or season. As in the hymns for Prime, Sext, and Compline, the theme is found in the steady march of the sun that defines the periods of the day:
    Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor
    Immotus in te permanens,
    Lucis diurnæ tempora
    Successibus determinans.
    O God, whose power unmoved the whole
    Of Nature's vastness doth control,
    Who mark'st the day-hours as they run
    By steady marches of the sun.
    The moral application is, as usual, made in the following stanza:
    Largire lumen vespere
    Quo vita nusquam decidat, etc.
    O grant that in life's eventide
    Thy light may e'er with us abide, etc.
    The authorship of the hymns for Terce, Sext, and None is now ascribed only very doubtfully to St. Ambrose. They are not given to the saint by the Benedictine editors (see AMBROSIAN HYMNOGRAPHY), but are placed by Biraghi amongst his inni sinceri, since they are found in all the MSS. of the churches of Milan. Daniel (I, 23: IV, 13, 17) thinks that much longer hymns for the hours were replaced by the present ones. Pimont disagrees with Daniel and argues that the saint may well have composed two sets of hymns for the hours. However, the researches of Blume (1908) show that the primitive Benedictine cycle of hymns, as attested by the Rules of Cæsarius and Aurelian of Arles, did not include these hymns, but assigned for Terce, Sext, and None (for Eastertide) the hymns: "Jam surgit hora tertia", "Jam sexta sensim volvitur", "Ter hora trina volvitur"; the earliest MSS. of the cycle give for these hours, for the remainder of the year, the hymns: "Certum tenentes ordinem", "Dicamus laudes Domino", "Perfectum trinum numerum"; while other MSS. give as variants for Lent: "Dei fide qua vivimus", "Meridie orandum est", "Sic ter quaternis trahitur". This Benedictine cycle was replaced throughout Western Christendom by a later one, as shown by Irish and English MSS., which give the present hymns for the little hours.
    JULIAN, Dict. of Hymnology, s. v., for translations, etc. See article RECTOR POTENS VERAX DEUS for additional Catholic trs., by BAGSHAWE, DONAHOE, RUSSELL, HENRY; also for references to PIMONT and H. A. & M., Hist. Ed. (the introduction of this last gives an excellent discussion of the authorship, p. xiii). Consult also BLUME, Der Cursus S. Benedicti Nurseni etc. (Leipzig, 1908); DREVES in Analecta Hymnica, L (Leipzig, 1907); DANIEL, Thesaurus Hymnologicus, index to V, s. vv.
    H.T. HENRY
    Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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