Psalm 18  Cæli enarrant

The Sun hymn

This is the famous sun Psalm.  More beautifully than all the rest of creation, the sun proclaims the glory of God; in fact the sun is the symbol of God, the symbol of Christ.  In the second part, the Psalm is a song of praise for the spiritual sun, the Law of God.  In this Psalm, the Church has also seen a figure of the Incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mother; Mary is the tabernacle of the divine Sun, who comes out from this tabernacle on Christmas night like a bridegroom, like a mighty hero.

The starry skies

Cæli enárrant glóriam Dei: * et ópera mánuum ejus annúntiat firmaméntum.
2  Dies diéi erúctat verbum, * et nox nocti índicat sciéntiam.
3  Non sunt loquélæ, neque sermónes, * quorum non audiántur voces eórum.
4  In omnem terram exívit sonus eórum: * et in fines orbis terræ verba eórum.

The heavens declare the glory of God; * and the firmament sheweth his handy-work.
2  One day uttereth speech unto another; * and night sheweth knowledge unto night.
3  There is neither speech nor language; * where their voices are not heard.
4  Their sound is gone out unto all the lands; * and their words unto the ends of the earth.

The sun

5  In sole pósuit tabernáculum suum: * et ipse tamquam sponsus procédens de thálamo suo.
6  Exsultávit ut gigas ad curréndam viam, * a summo cæli egréssio ejus.
7  Et occúrsus ejus usque ad summum ejus: * nec est qui se abscóndat a calóre ejus.

5  In the sun hath he set his tabernacle; * and he, as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
6  Hath rejoiced as a giant to run his course, * his going forth is from the uttermost part of the heaven.
7  And his circuit even unto the end thereof; * and there is no one that can hide himself from his heat.

The Law

8  Lex Dómini immaculáta, convértens ánimas: * testimónium Dómini fidéle, sapiéntiam præstans párvulis.
9  Justítiæ Dómini rectæ, lætificántes corda: * præcéptum Dómini lúcidum illúminans óculos.

10  Timor Dómini sanctus, pérmanens in sæculum sæculi: * judícia Dómini vera, justificáta in semetípsa.
11  Desiderabília super aurum et lápidem pretiósum multum: * et dulcióra super mel et favum.

8  The law of the Lord is an undefiled law, converting the soul; * the testimony of the Lord is sure, and giveth wisdom unto the simple.
9  The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart; * the commandment of the Lord is pure, and giveth light unto the eyes.
10  The fear of the Lord is holy, and endureth for ever; * the judgments of the Lord are true, justified in themselves.
11  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much precious stone; * sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb.

True to the Law

12  Etenim servus tuus custódit ea, * in custodiéndis illis retribútio multa.
13  Delícta quis intélligit? ab occúltis meis munda me: * et ab aliénis parce servo tuo.
14  Si mei non fúerint domináti, tunc immaculátus ero: * et emundábor a delícto máximo.

12  For thy servant keepeth them; * and in keeping of them there is great reward.
13  Who can tell how oft he offendeth? O cleanse thou me from my secret faults : * save thy servant also from the sins of others.
14  If they get not the dominion over me, so shall I be undefiled, * and innocent from the great offence.


15  Et erunt ut compláceant elóquia oris mei: * et meditátio cordis mei in conspéctu tuo semper.
16  Dómine, adjútor meus, * et redémptor meus.

15  And the words of my mouth shall be such as may please, * and the meditation of my heart be alway in thy sight.
16  O Lord, my strength * and my redeemer.