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A Solis Ortus Cardine
Latin Christmas Hymn

A Solis Ortus Cardine is a devout Latin poem celebrating the birth of Our Lord. With pious reverance and poetic paradox, the singer meditates on Our Lord's Incarnation within the immaculate temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At His coming in humility at the manger in Bethlehem, Our Lord, who sustains and feeds even the loweliest creature, suffers cold and hunger. He who is the King of Kings and Almighty Creator of all the universe condescends to walk amongst sinful men, living and dying so that we may be redeemed by Him.

A Solis Ortus Cardine is an ancient 5th century poem hymn. It was composed by Coelius Sedulius, and is here sung by the Queen's College Choir.

Latin Lyrics:

A solis ortus cardine,
Adusque terre limitem,
Christum canamus Principem,
Natum Maria Virgine.

Beatus auctor seculi,
Servile corpus induit,
Ut carne carnem liberans,
Non perderet, quos condidit.

Caste parentis viscera,
Celestis intrat gratia;
Venter puelle baiulat,
Secreta que non noverat.

Domus pudici pectoris,
Templum repente fit Dei,
Intacta nesciens virum,
Verbo creavit Filium.

Enixa est puerpera,
Quem Gabriel predixerat,
Quem matris alvo gestiens,
Clausus Johannes senserat.

Feno iacere pertulit;
Presepe non abhorruit;
Parvoque lacte pastus est,
Per quem nec ales esurit.

Gaudet chorus celestium,
Et angeli canunt Deum,
Palamque fit pastoribus,
Pastor creator omnium.

Gloria Tibi, Domine,
Qui natus es de Virginie,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spiritu,
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

English Translation:

From the rising of the sun,
To the ends of the earth,
Let us praise Christ the Prince,
Born of the Virgin Mary.

The Blessed Creator of the world,
Took a docile body,
So that, by the flesh He could liberate flesh,
Saving from loss what He had made.

In the chaste cloister of the Mother,
The heavenly grace entered;
The Maid's womb carried,
Secrets that she hadn't understood.

The dwelling of her heart,
Suddently became God’s Temple,
Immaculate, knowing no man,
At a word she conceived the Son.

The Mother gave birth,
To the One whom Gabriel had foretold,
Whom John the Baptist recognized,
By leaping within his mother's womb.

He consented to lie in the hay;
He did not refuse the manger;
And he was fed with only little milk,
He, who doesn't allow even birds to hunger.

The heavenly chorus rejoiced,
And the Angels sang God's praise,
And to the shepherds was manifested,
The Shepherd who created everything.

Glory to Thee, O Lord,
Who were born of the Virgin,
With the Father and the Holy Spirit,
Forever and ever. Amen.

A Solis Ortus Cardine Sheet Music

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King David playing the harp

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