Crux Fidelis

As today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, we thought it would be nice to share one of our favorite hymns, Crux Fidelis.  This is an interesting composition, attributed to King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656), performed by The King’s Singers.

Crux fidelis inter omnes, arbor una nobilis.
Nulla silva talem profert fronde, flore, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulce pondus sustinet.
Flecte ramos, arbor alta, tensa laxa viscera.
Et rigor lentescat ille, quem dedit nativitas.
Et superni membra Regis tende miti stipite.
Sola digna tu fuisti ferre mundi victimam,
atque portum præparare arca mundo naufrago,
quam sacer cruor perunxit, fusus Agni corpore.
Sempiterna sit beatæ Trinitati gloria;
Æqua Patri Filioque, par decus Paraclito;
Unius Trinique nomen laudet universitas. 
Faithful Cross, the noblest of all trees,
no forest ever produced your like in leaf, in flower, in seed.
Sweet wood to hold sweet nails and bear sweet weight.
Bend your branches, tall tree, relax your tense muscles
and may your native stiffness be softened.
Extend the limbs of the supreme King with your gentle trunk.
You alone have been worthy to bear the world’s sacrifice
and anointed with holy blood, shed from the body of the Lamb,
like the ark to furnish a harbour for a shipwrecked world.
Eternal glory be to the blessed Trinity;
Equal glory to the Father and the Son, equal honour to the Comforter;
May the universe praise the name of the One and the Three.

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