Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos–a hymn for the Feast of the Chair of Peter

Here is a translation of the office hymn Petrus beatus, which appears in the Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of the Chair of Peter, February 22.

The original, below, is in a meter not often used nowadays (, so I’ve rendered it in a parish-friendly D. Matching tunes include Hyfrydol, Ode to Joy, and Nettleton. Most congregations could sing this text to one of those tunes on sight–though the word “wonderfully” in verse 1, line 1, works best with Ode to Joy. Besides that, I think they would all sound ok.

The striking imagery of starlight in verse 2 is in the original.

There are polyphonic settings of this text, so please consider those as well.

Blessed Peter, at Christ’s order, wonderfully breaks our chains,
Shattering the snares that bind us till no slavery remains.
Gate of sheepfold, Church’s teacher, and good shepherd of the sheep,
Savage wolves will never harm us, in the flock you safely keep.

For whatever bonds you tighten here upon the earth below,
Are held bound in heav’nly orbits, high within the starry glow,
And all things you loose in this world, they are loosed above the skies.
You shall judge the endless ages when the age of this world dies.

Glory be to God the Father through the great eternity.
And to You, born of the Virgin, may all praise and kingship be.
Pow’r and honor to the Spirit. To the Triune, ever-One,
Through the everlasting ages may unending praise be done.

Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos Christo iubente rupit mirabiliter; custos ovilis et doctor Ecclesiæ, pastorque gregis, conservator ovium arcet luporum truculentam rabiem.

Quodcumque vinclis super terram strinxeris, erit in astris religatum fortiter, et quod resolvis in terris arbitrio, erit solutum super coeli radium; in fine mundi iudex eris sæculi.

Gloria Patri per immensa sæcula, sit tibi, Nate, decus et imperium, honor, potestas Sanctoque Spiritui; sit Trinitati salus individua per infinita sæculorum sæcula.

2 Replies to “Petrus beatus catenarum laqueos–a hymn for the Feast of the Chair of Peter”

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