After the Illationes concentrating on John the Baptist for the First Sunday of Advent and on the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Second, the Illatio for the Third Sunday of Advent revels in praising the surpassing greatness of God, especially as it will be manifest in the Parousia. [I remind the reader that the translations I provide are meant to be slavishly literal and are not intended for liturgical use.]
[Protocol]: Dignum et iustum est, / vere dignum et honorificum est, / Domine Iesu Christe, Deus noster, / adventum gloriae tuae et in carne nativitatis mysterium / sollemni devotione recolere, / nostraeque salutis insignia, / quae tantis sunt prolata virtutibus, / cum tripudio animi praedicare.
It is right and just, / truly right and honorable, / Lord Jesus Christ, our God, / to recall with solemn devotion / the coming of your glory and the mystery of your nativity in the flesh, / and to proclaim the signs of our salvation, / which are increased with such powers, / with a solemn dance of the spirit.
[Body]: Sed quis dignas valeat dignationi tuae dependere laudes, / in cuius opera nec mirabilia numerare possumus, nec virtutem? / Quantus tamen ipse, vel qualis sis, / nullus credo audeat dicere, / quoniam quantitatem tui vel qualitatem / sapientiae non est datum scire. / Sed cuius immensitatem / humani sensus capacitas non valeat terminare, / unum solummodo est / ut Trinitatem deitatis atque omnipotentiae tuae / simpliciter credamus et veraciter praedicemus.
But who would be powerful enough to bestow worthy praises to your reputation, / whose marvelous works we can neither count nor have the power [to do so]? / And no one dares to say / how great or of what character you are, / since it has not been given [to us] to know the degree or quality of your wisdom. / Though the capacity of human understanding is not powerful enough to determine / whose [i.e., Christ’s] immensity, there is only one thing / we simply believe and truthfully proclaim: the Trinity of Godhead and your omnipotence.
Tu itaque, clementissime Deus, / verae credulitatis in sensibus nostris incrementa multiplica, / et imaginis ac similitudinis tuae formam / in nobis magis magisque restaura. / Ut te, quem dudum venisse credimus pre remediis captivorum, / in secondo adventu tuo, / te in maiestate venturum sustinentes videre mereamur, / concessa nobis indulgentiam peccaminum.
And so you, most merciful God, / increase the number of those things that promote the growth of true believing in our perceptions / and restore in us more and more / the form of your image and likeness. / So that you, whom we believe once had come for the release of captives, / we, awaiting the one-who-is-to-come, might deserve to see in your second coming, / with the forgiveness of sinners granted to us.
[Eschatocol]: Praesta, Unitas aequalis et indivisa Trinitas, Deus noster, / quem caelorum multiplex et ineffabilis numerus, / quem omnium Angelorum et Archangelorum millia, / cum senioribus et Virtutibus, / cum Thronis et Dominationibus laudare non cessant; / in cuius praeconio / quadriga illa senarum remigio suffluta alarum, / intrinsecus et extrinsecus minutatim oculis luminata, / cum Cherubim hymnum cantici novi concinunt, / laudantes atque ita dicentes:
Be present, Unity-in-equality and undivided Trinity, our God, / whom the multiple and ineffable number of the Heavens, / [and] whom the thousands of all Angels and Archangels, / with the elders and the Virtues, / with the Thrones and Dominations do not cease to praise; / in whose heralding, / that chariot-with-a-team-of-four [living creatures] moved about by the flapping of six wings / [and] illuminated by eyes within and without, / with the Cherubim sing together the hymn of a new canticle, / praising and thus declaring:
The first thing to note is that, unlike the standard Roman practice where the Preface is addressed to God the Father, this Mozarabic Illatio is addressed to Christ until the eschatocol. A second topic of interest is the reference to the “tripudium animi,” probably a reference to solemn liturgical movement/dance. Finally there is a certain resemblance between this Illatio and the First Advent Preface of the present Roman Rite, both articulating the contrast between the first and the second comings of Christ.
Featured image: Title page of the Missale Mixtum secundum regulam beati Isidori (1500).