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O quanta qualia sunt illa sabbata

Author: Peter Abelard

Abelard, Peter, born at Pailais, in Brittany, 1079. Designed for the military profession, he followed those of philosophy and theology. His life was one of strange chances and changes, brought about mainly through his love for Heloise, the niece of one Fulbert, a Canon of the Cathedral of Paris, and by his rationalistic views. Although a priest, he married Heloise privately. He was condemned for heresy by the Council of Soissons, 1121, and again by that of Sens, 1140; died at St. Marcel, near Chalons-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142. For a long time, although his poetry had been referred to both by himself and by Heloise, little of any moment was known except the Advent hymn, Mittit ad Virginem, (q.v.). In 1838 Greith published in his Spicihgium… Go to person page >


O quanta qualia sunt illa Sabba. Peter Abelard. [Sunday. Eternal Life.] Cousin, in his edition of Abelard's Opera, Paris, 1849, vol. i. p. 306, gives this from a manuscript in the Royal Library at Brussels. This manuscript is of the 12th century, and is probably the collection of hymns which Abelard prepared for the use of the abbey of the Paraclete of which Heloise was abbess. Mone, No. 282, gives the text from the St. Gall manuscript, No. 528, of the 14th century; and in the 1875 catalogue of the St. Gall mansucripts it is also marked as being con¬tained in No. 387 of the 11th century. It is also in Migne's Patrologiae Cursus, vol. 178, col. 1786. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
1. 0 what their joy and their glory must be. By J. M. Neale, in the Hymnal Noted, 1854. It is in several hymn books, including the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871; Thring's Collection, 1882 ; and others, the text most in use being Neale's translation slightly altered by the compilers of Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861.
2. 0 how fair and how great. By J. D. Chambers, in his Lauda Syon, 1857, p. 58. In the Scottish Episcopal Collection of Hymns, 1858, it is given as "O how surpassing fair."
3. 0 what shall be, 0 when shall be? By S. W. Duffield. Mr. Duffiuld says in his English Hymns, &c, N. Y., 1886, p. 440, that he wrote this translation in the Astor Library in 1883. He also says that he used the text as in Migne's Patrologiae. This translation was given in the Laudes Domini, N. Y., 1884, in two parts. Pt. ii. begins "O glorious King, O happy state."
Other translations are:—
1. O what must be their joy. J. W. Hewett. 1859.
2. O what must be the sabbaths. D. T. Morgan. 1880.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)
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English and Latin Hymns, or Harmonies to Part I of the Roman Hymnal #181

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Hymns of the Church #572

Roman Hymnal, Complete edition #d110

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The Harvard University Hymn Book #287b

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The Oxford Hymn Book #349

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