Christe, qui lux es et dies

Representative Text

1 Christe, qui lux es et dies,
noctis tenebras detegis,
Lucisque Lumen crederis,
lumen beatum praedicans.

2 Precamur, Sancte Domine,
defende nos in hac nocte,
sit nobis in te requies,
quietam noctem tribue.

3 Ne gravis somnus irruat,
nec hostis nos surripiat,
nec caro illi consentiens
nos tibi reos statuat.

4 Oculi somnum capiant,
cor ad te semper vigilet;
dextera tua protegat
famulos qui te diligunt.

5 Defensor noster, aspice,
insidiantes reprime:
guberna tuos famulos,
quos sanguine mercatus es.

6 Memento nostri,Domine,
in gravi isto corpore,
qui es defensor animae,
adesto nobis, Domine.

7 Deo patri sit gloria,
ejusque soli Filio,
cum spiritu Paracleto
nunc et per omne Seculum.


Source: Evangelisch-Lutherisches Gesang-Buch: worin die gebräuchlichsten alten Kirchen-Lieder Dr. M. Lutheri und anderer reinen lehrer und zeugen Gottes, zur Befoerderung der wahren ... (2. verm. Aus.) #75

Author: Wolfgang Meusel

Meusel, Wolfgang, son of Anton Meusel (Meusslin, Mäusslein, Mosel, Mösel, Musculus, &c), cooper at Dieuze in Lorraine, was born at Dieuze, Sept. 8, 1497. He studied for short periods in the schools at Rappoltsweiler, Colmar, and Schlettstadt, between times wandering over the country and earning his way by his singing. In 1512 he happened to come to the Benedictine monastery at Lixheim near Saarburg, just as Vespers were being sung. His beautiful voice, as he joined in, led the monks to receive him, and here he studied music, and became organist to the cloister. In his 20th year he devoted himself to the study of theology, and soon after began to preach in the church at Lixheim, and in the neighbouring village churches. In 1518 he became a… Go to person page >


Christe, qui lux es et dies. [Lent.] An Ambrosian hymn, quoted by Hinemar, Abp. of Rheims, in his treatise, Contra Godeschalcum. .. De und et non Trinâ Deitate, 857, thus fixing its date at an early period. Although the Benedictine editors have assigned some hymns to St. Ambrose on the strength of their being quoted in the same work, yet they have rejected this as the work of that Father. (Migne, torn. 16-17.) The text and uses of this hymn are:—
(1) In the Mozarabic Breviary, Toledo, 1502, f. 304, b., it is given as a hymn for compline on Sundays, with an additional stanza which reads.

"Tetre noctis insidias
Hujus timoris libora;
Tuc lucis magnalia
Totum chorum inlumina."

(2) Daniel, i., No. 23, gives the text from two 13th century manuscript at Würzburg, &c. He also gives an additional verse which reads:—

"Ad to clamamus domine,
Noli nos derelinquere,
Festina, ne tardaveris,
Succurro nobis miseris."

(3) Monet, No. 70, gives the text from a manuscript of the 8th century, preserved at Darmstadt, with readings of later manuscripts and printed Breviaries, and an extended note.
(4) Daniel follows in 1855 (iv. pp. 54-5), with refer¬ences to his former note, and to Mone, and further readings from manuscripts and printed Breviaries.
(5) It is found in a manuscript, c. 890, in the Bodleian (Junius, 25 f. 127 b); in three manuscripts of the 11th century, in the British Museum (Jul. A. vi. f. 22 b; Vesp. D. xii. f. 11; Harl. 2961, f. 220 b); and in the Latin Hymns of the Anglo-Saxon Church is printed from an 11th centuary manuscript at Dur¬ham (Surtees Soc, 1851, p. 12).
(6) It is also found in Hymnarium Sarisburiense (Lond. 1851), the Sarum and York Breviaries; Card. Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865; Wackernagel, 1841, No. 21; Bässler; Simrock; Biggs's annotated Hymns Ancient & Modern, and others. In the various Breviaries its use differed, but it was mainly confined to Lent. [Rev. W. A. Shoults, B.D.]
Translations in common use:--
1. O Christ, That art the light and Day, by W. J. Copeland, first published in his Hymns for the Week, 1848, p. 156. This is repeated, without alteration, in the Appendix to the Hymnal Noted, No. 116. There are also altered versions of the same translation, as "O Christ, Who art the Light and Day," in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1875, and the Irish Church Hymnal, 1873; and as "O Christ, Thou art the Light and Day," in the Hymnary, 1872.
2. Christ, Who art both our Light and Day, by Mrs. Charles, in her Voice of Christian Life in Song, 1858, p. 92. This is found in Newman Hall's Collection, 1876, and one or two others.
3. O Christ, Who art both Light and Day, by W. Mercer, included in the Oxford ed. of his Church Psalter, &c, 1864, No. 6.
4. Christ, Thou Who art the Light and Day, by R. F. Littledale, made for and first published in the People's Hymnal, 1867, No. 435.
Translations not in common use:—
1. Thou, Christ, art our Light. Hymnarium Anglicanum, 1844.
2. 0 Christ, Who art our Life and Day. W. J. Blew, 1852-55.
3. Ray of the Eternal Sire Divine. W. J. Blew, 1852-55.
4. 0 Christ, Thou art our Light, our Day. J. D. Chambers, 1857.
5. 0 Christ, Thy Light brings endless day. H. M. Macgill, 1875.
[Rev. John Julian, D.D.]

This hymn has also been rendered into English, through the German, as follows:—
i. Christe, der du bist Tag und Licht, first published in the Erfurt Enchiridion, 1526, fol. 26. In J. Zwick's Gesang-Buch, 1540, and others, it is ascribed to Wolfgang Meusel, or Meusslin, and so by Koch, ii. p. 92, who says it was written while M. was still a monk in the cloister at Lixheim. Wachernagel, iii. p. 121, gives it as anonymous, and as erroneously ascribed to M., in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. In the Berlin Gestliche Lieder ed. 1863, No. 1150.
The translations are:—
(1) "O Christ, that art the lyght and daye,' by Bp. Coverdale, 1539 (Remains, 1846, p. 584). (2) “Christ, thow art the licht, bot and the day," in the Gude and Godly Ballates" (ed. 1567-8, folio 73), ed. 1868, p. 126. (3) "Christ, everlasting source of light," by J. C. Jacobi, 1725, p. 60 (ed. 1732, p. 179), and thence, as No. 243, in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. (4) "0 Jesus, Thou our brighter day," by H. J. Buckoll, 1842, p. 63.
ii. Christe, du bist der helle Tag, by Erasmus Alber. Wackernagel, iii. p. 884, quotes this from Die Morgengeseng für die Kinder, Nürnberg, c 1556, where it is in 7 stanzas of 4 lines. Included in the Hamburg Enchiridion, 1558, and recently as No. 507 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. In Nöldeke's Alber, 1857, p. 43. Stanzas vi., vii., says Lauxmann, have formed a very favourite evening prayer for families in Wurttemberg from olden times till now. The only translation is:—
"We are Thy heritage indeed," of stanzas v., vii., as No. 244, in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


Christe, qui lux es et dies, p. 227, i. This hymn occupies in Dutch hymnody a position which is pro¬bably unique, being the only instance of a hymn passing without interruption from the ancient office books of the church into general use among the Reformed. At the reformation in Holland, when hymns were for¬bidden and only metrical psalms allowed to be sung, a translation of the hymn in very archaic Dutch, “Christe der du bist dagh en licght" was appended to the authorized metrical psalter of Peter Datheen (1566). When a new and revised psalter was adopted in 1773, a recast in a freer translation by H. Ghijsen, "O groota Christus, eenvig licht," occupied the same place at the end of the psalter. From this source it has been adopted into all the hymnals compiled for the use of Dutch speaking mission congregations in South Africa, where it is so universally popular that a Wesleyan missionary, Mr. Shaw, in his "Memorials of South Africa," calls it the "beautiful evening hymn of the natives." [Rev. J. Alexander Hewitt, D.C.L.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)



TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis (PHH 62) contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft (PHH 59) publish…

Go to tune page >



Instances (1 - 2 of 2)
TextPage Scan

Evangelisch-Lutherisches Gesang-Buch #75

Page Scan

The Day School Hymn Book #178

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us