Last week I pointed out to some children that the chant we were learning was written a thousand years ago.
That was about the time the great saint Peter Damian was writing, among other works, beautiful hymns.
Here is my translation of one of them.
O Theotokos, Mary blest,
Our human nature’s shining crest,
Through you we have our liberty,
Free children of the light to be.
O Virgin, Queen of heav’n and earth,
Though of King David’s stock by birth,
Your royal dignity has come
Not from your fathers, but your Son.
Release us from the ancient root.
Graft us in Him, the newborn shoot.
Through you may we become by grace,
A royal, priestly, human race.
O offer holy prayers to win
Release from all our bonds of sin.
We praise your merits to the skies:
May we in heaven share your prize.
Exemplar of virginity,
Give glory to the Trinity,
Whose endless treasure-stores of gifts
Through you our human nature lifts.