Te corda nostra sómnient

Te corda nostra sómnient,
te per sopórem séntiant,
tuámque semper glóriam
vicína luce cóncinant.
May our hearts dream of you,
may they perceive you through our sleep,
and when the light is near,
may they sing your glory.

Once again, let us first reorder this stanza, approximating what it would look like with an English-language word order. Words in italics are not present in the Latin text, but are implied, and have been added for clarity.

Corda nostra somnient te, corda nostra sentiant te per soporem nostrum, [et/que] vicina luce, corda nostra concinant tuam gloriam.

What a beautiful prayer of the heart, or cor, cordis. As a neuter noun, heart becomes corda in its plural form. Corda is the subject of each of the three verbs in this stanza.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 3.35.32 PMCorda nostra somnient te = May our hearts dream of you. Somnio,somniare = to dream, to dream of, to see in a dream. We are neither capable of sin nor merit while dreaming. If one has a disturbing dream, in which sinful matters appear, it can nevertheless be disturbing. The heart that seeks to love God, desires that the fire of that love burn at all times, like a vigil lamp. Even in our sleep we pray that our hearts may dream of God, of holy things.

corda nostra sentiant te per soporem nostrum = may our hearts perceive you through our sleep. Sentio,are = to feel, to be aware of. soporem is from sopor, soporis, sleep.

[et/que] vicina luce = and the light being near. This is an ablative absolute, and therefore a fragment unto itself. When the light is near, as light is near.

corda nostra concinant tuam gloriam = may our hearts sing your glory. At the Benedictine abbey of Fontgombault, as the light draws near (vicina luce), a designated monk visits each door to wake the brethren. He does so with his voice, chanting Benedicite, to which his confrere, now risen from sleep (soporem), responds in kind: Benedicite: “Bless”, which is to say, let us bless God. They arise to sing His glory (concinant [suam] gloriam), as the move to the chapel to sing Matins and Lauds.

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