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Rorate Caeli

“Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it.

Drop down Dew, ye Heavens, from Above
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of our holiness and of thy glory, where our fathers praised thee.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

We have sinned, and we are become as one unclean, and we have all fallen as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us by the hand of our iniquity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

See, O Lord, the affliction of thy people, and send him whom thou hast promised to send. Send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth, from the rock of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion, that he himself may take off the yoke of our captivity.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Click here for the Latin lyrics.

This hymn, like so many traditional, religious hymns is extremely beautiful and moving. Especially since it is very ancient, and pure Gregorian chant. The melody is second to none, and the lyrics put everyone in the correct frame of mind as they prepare for the season of Christmas.

The text of this hymn is frequently used in the Mass and Divine Office during Advent. It is a plea of the Prophets, the Patriarchs, and the entire Church, all of whom long for the coming of the Messiah. As dew comes down from the sky and quenches the dry earth, only to evaporate back, so too will the Messiah come to sae his people and return to heaven. We recall our past offenses and sins and seek forgiveness as we await the birth of Christ for our redemption, a redemption that will bring the waters of life to desolate Jerusalem.

Return to Gregorian Chant Lyrics page

 

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