Vitam salúbrem tríbue

Vitam salúbrem tríbue,
nostrum calórem réfice
tætram noctis calíginem
tua collústret cláritas.
Grant us a healthy life,
restore our zeal,
may your brightness illuminate
our disgraceful darkness.

A more familiar, albeit un-poetic, word order would be:

Tribue nobis vitam salubrem, refice calorem nostrum,
claritas tua collustret taetram caliginem noctis.

Tribue nobis vitam salubrem = grant to us a healthy life. vitam is from vita,ae, life. salubrem is from saluber,-bris, healthy, and has overtones of salvation, health of the life of the soul. This is a hymn sung when darkness is falling, and our thoughts move toward the eternal dawn of the resurrection, when our souls shall be saved forever.

refice calorem nostrum = restore our zeal. calorem is from calor, which can be heat, zeal, or love. We ask God to rebuild the fire of our love, lest it dwindle. Calorie, which is a unit of heat energy, derives from the Latin calor.

claritas tua collustret taetram caliginem noctis = may your brightness illuminate the disgraceful / foul / ugly darkness of night. The contrast is between night as a time of sin, and day as the coming of saving light. As we pass through this night, may we pass through the night of this life until we see the light of heaven.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s