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Catholic Activity: Hymn: Ut queant laxis (text)

The Latin words and English translation of the hymn traditionally sung on the eve of the Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.


1. Ut queant laxis resonáre fibris
Mira gestórum fámuli tuórum,
Solve pollúti lábii reátum, Sancte Joánnes. 2. Núntius celso véniens Olýmpo
Te patri magnum fore nascitúrum,
Nomen, et vitae sériem geréndae
Ordinae promit. 3. Ille promíssi dúbius supérni,
Pérdidit promptae módulos loquélae:
Sed reformásti genitus perémptae
Organa vocis.

4. Ventris obstrúso récubans cubíli
Sénseras Regem thálamo manéntem:
Hinc parens nati méritis utérque Abdita pandit.

5. Sit decus Patri, genitaéque Proli
et tibi, compare utriúsque virtus,
Spíritus semper, Deus unus, omni
Témporis aevo.

1. O for your spirit, holy John, to chasten
Lips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;
So by your children might your deeds of wonder
Meetly be chanted.

2. Lo! a swift herald, from the skies descending,
Bears to your father promise of your greatness;
How he shall name you, what your future story,
Duly revealing.

3. Scarcely believing message so transcendent,
Him for a season power of speech forsaketh,
Till, at your wondrous birth, again returneth,
Voice to the voiceless.

4. You, in your mother's womb all darkly cradled,
Knew your great Monarch, biding in His chamber,
Whence the two parents, through their offspring's merits,
Mysteries uttered.

5. Praise to the Father, to the Son begotten,
And to the Spirit, equal power possessing,
One God whose glory, through the lapse of ages,
Ever resounding. Amen.

Activity Source: Roman Ritual, The, Complete Edition by Philip T. Weller, S.T.D., The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, WI, 1964

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