Two Hymns to the Guardian Angels

These are my translations of two office hymns that ask for the intercession of our Guardian Angels.

Aeterne rerum conditor…mare

Eternal maker of all things,
you govern everything as King:
the sea, the sun, the heavn’ly vault,
and pay each one for good or fault.

To ruination you condemn
the arrogant and all like them;
they shall receive what is their due,
but help us, Lord, who call on you.

With ever-growing confidence
we pray for heavenly defense:
our champions in armies send,
to us,through them, may grace extend.

O may they visit, cleanse, inspire,
and gently teach us to aspire
to noble paths of good and right,
and may they end the demons’ might.

O angels’ Glory, safely lead;
by paths secure make us proceed.
Give us these guards, your gifts of grace,
that we may come to see your face.

O Lord of angels, let us raise
unto your honor songs of praise,
whose wondrous ordered working brings
both us and them to heav’nly things.


Custodes hominum

Let us in chorus sing the angel guardians,
Friends from the heav’ns who aid our fragile nature,
gifts of the Father, saving us in danger:
enemy ambush.

For since the traitor angel fell from honor,
losing the place he merited by nature,
now filled with envy, he seeks the destruction
of God’s elected.

Fly here to us, then, vigil-keeping guardians.
Protect our souls from every kind of illness.
Clear out our country from whatever trouble
keeps us from resting.

Praise to the holy Trinity forever,
Ruling the threefold marvel of creation,
reigning in glory through the endless ages,
God everlasting.