Our Morning Offering – 5 November – Within the Octave of All Saints and the Feast of the Holy Relics
Sanctorum Meritis Inclita Gaudia
Sing, O Sons of the Church
Unknown Author 8th Century
But Attributed to St Rabanus Maurus (c 776-856)
Vespers Hymn in the Common of Martyrs
Sing, O Sons of the Church sounding the Martyrs’ praise!
God’s true soldiers applaud, who, in their weary days,
Won bright trophies of good, glad be the voice ye raise,
While these heroes of Christ ye sing!
They, while yet in the world, were by the world abhorred;
Felt how fading the joys, fleeting the wealth it stored;
Spurned all pleasure for Thee, and at Thy call, O Lord,
Came forth strong in Thy Name, as King.
Lord, how bravely they bore fury and pain for Thee!
Scourge, rod, sword, and the rack strongly endured; but free
Sang out, bold in Thy love, longing on high to be;
Earth’s might never their souls could bend.
While they, shedding their blood, victims for Jesus fell,
No sound out of their lips came of their throes to tell;
Bowed low, patient and meek, loving the Lord so well,
Turned they still to the Christ, their Friend.
What joys, bright with the blood shed for Thy love they share,
Those brave Martyrs of Thine crowned, with Thy laurels rare;
Man’s tongue never can tell, never can half declare,
How pure now is their bliss above!
Yet we, Father on high, God of eternal might,
Lift weak voices in prayer, asking for peace and light;
Cleanse Thou out of our heart,s every stain and blight,
So our songs may be songs of love.
There are thirteen translations of this Hymn and five in Liturgical usage. This one by Daniel Joseph Donahoe (1853-1930), an Irish American of Connecticut. A Judge, Poet, Writer and Latin Translator. This from his Early Christian Hymns Vol I or II.