Cor Arca Legem
1. Cor, arca legem continens, Non servitutis veteris,
Sed gratiae, sed veniae, Sed et misericordiae.
2. Cor sanctuarium novi Intemeratum foederis,
Templum vetusto sanctius, Velumque sciss(o) utilius.
3. Te vulneratum caritas Ictu patenti voluit,
Amoris invisibilis Ut veneremur vulnera.
4. Hoc sub amoris symbolo Passus cruent(a) et mystica,
Utrumque sacrificium Christus Sacerdos obtulit.
5. Quis non amantem redamet? Quis non redemptus diligat,
Et Cord(e) in isto seligat aeterna tabernacula?
6. Jesu, tibi sit gloria, Qui Corde fundis gratiam,
Cum Patr(e) et almo Spiritu In sempiterna saecula.
Click here for an English translation.
This hymn is part of the Divine Office, prayed publicly or privately by every Catholic Priest, professed religious, and many seminarians. It is part of the canonical hour of Vespers, being the hymn which comes toward the end. This particular Vespers hymn is taken from the Feast of the Sacred Heart. In a seminary or monastery, this hymn would be sung. It has a very compelling melody, which adds to the beauty of a hymn which extolls the mercy of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The theme of the entire piece is Our Lord's Sacred Heart, and how It is the font of mercy for all who come to Him.
The verses of this hymn have many elisions - syllables which are left out. They are marked in these lyrics by parentheses. For instance, in verse 4: "Passus cruent(a) et mystica" has one too many syllables; so you would pronounce it "crent et mystica". It is the same as in English poetry, where you might say "eer" instead of "ever", to better fit the rhythm and meter the poem requires.
This is found on the following CD(s):
Chant Compendium 1, and
Chant Compendium 2.
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