DIES Irae, Dies Illa, Solvet Saeculum In Favilla, Teste David Cum Sibylla.
These are the words, Latin/English, to the beautiful Gregorian Chant, Dies Irae/Day of Wrath, used in the Requiem Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite of the Holy Catholic Church. When you see the translation, you will understand why I chose this piece for the musical accompaniment to my website. It is a sobering, long forgotten, and much needed reminder of man’s finality in this life, with a very clear admonition that we had better be prepared for our eternity in the next.
One of the most famous melodies of the Gregorian Chant, Dies Irae is based upon the prophecy of Sophonias 1:14-16, a reflection upon the final judgment.
It is important to note that there is the definite promise of hope later on in the hymn, which recognizes from Proverbs 1:7 that “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Judgment, which is eternal, is indeed a fearsome prospect for us sinners who in Philippians 2:12 are cautioned to “Work out their salvation in fear and trembling.” But, as Catholics, we also realize that we have Christ as our Savior, whose infinite mercy is boundless. Many have sadly forgotten, however, that Christ’s mercy is also meaningless without His infinite justice.
Accordingly, we must be prepared for our final day of reckoning in that we know not the day, nor the hour when we will meet God for an accounting of our earthly journey to eternity.
It is in that spirit of preparedness that I dedicate this website, putting on the armor of God, and trying to “fight the good fight” for Him, and for the Church that He founded upon the Rock that is Peter.
In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (JMJ),
Gary L. Morella
Dies Irae/Day of Wrath
DIES irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.
Day of wrath and doom impending,
David’s word with Sibyl’s blending,
Heaven and earth in ashes ending.
Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando iudex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!
O what fear man’s bosom rendeth,
When from heaven the Judge descendeth,
On whose sentence all dependeth.
Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.
Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth,
Through earth’s sepulchers it ringeth,
All before the throne it bringeth.
Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
Death is struck, and nature quaking,
All creation is awaking,
To its Judge an answer making.
Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus iudicetur.
Lo, the book exactly worded,
Wherein all hath been recorded,
Thence shall judgment be awarded.
Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.
When the Judge His seat attaineth,
And each hidden deed arraigneth,
Nothing unavenged remaineth.
Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus?
cum vix iustus sit securus.
What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding
When the just are mercy needing?
Rex tremendae maiestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.
King of majesty tremendous,
Who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us.
Recordare Iesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.
Think, kind Jesus, my salvation
Caused Thy wondrous Incarnation,
Leave me not to reprobation.
Quarens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.
Faint and weary Thou hast sought me,
On the Cross of suffering bought me,
Shall such grace be vainly brought me?
Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis,
ante diem rationis.
Righteous Judge, for sin’s pollution
Grant Thy gift of absolution,
Ere that day of retribution.
Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce Deus.
Guilty now I pour my moaning,
All my shame with anguish owning,
Spare, O God, Thy suppliant groaning.
Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.
Through the sinful woman shriven,
Through the dying thief forgiven,
Thou to me a hope hast given.
Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.
Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
Yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
Rescue me from fires undying.
Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextera.
With Thy sheep a place provide me,
From the goats afar divide me,
To Thy right hand do Thou guide me.
flammis acribus addictis.
voca me cum benedictis.
When the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Thy Saints surrounded.
Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.
Low I kneel with heart’s submission,
See, like ashes, my contrition,
Help me in my last condition.
Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla.
iudicandus homo reus:
huic ergo parce Deus.
Ah! That day of tears and mourning,
From the dust of earth returning,
Man for judgment must prepare him,
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him.
Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.
Lord, all-pitying, Jesus blest,
Grant them Thine eternal rest. Amen.
Latin and Translation from the 1958 Marian Missal for daily Mass by Sylvester P. Juergens, S.M. Doctor of Sacred Theology