Tridentine Battle Hymn Resurrected

UPDATE: Please note that the text of the hymn has been revised, yet again.  Click HERE.

I have had a little correspondence with the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Tridentine Mass" I published earlier. It was sent to me by a friend, but the author contacted me. I will reserve his identity, but here is his last bit, which he would want me to share.

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

Thank you for your interest in the "battle hymn". The hymn text is enclosed in this mail. In Germany, many people criticize the Latin. Most of the criticism is nonsense. But the "resurrecta"-criticism was justified. And I also think that, from theological point of view, "traditum" is better than "veterum", which was a little criticized on your site. Please put the hymn on your web site in the form below, unless you feel sure that the change that follows is better:

I still consider whehter "versus tabernaculum" in the second line should be changed to "adque tabernaculum", for "versus" is very vulgary, it is not a classical Latin, but it is better regarding the clarity. On the other hand, changing the word order shows that "et Missa Tridentina ad tabernaculum spiret" is a classical Latin provided the second "ad" (ad firmandum…") is still fitting, but I think it is. If I decide, after having consulted experts, to change it again, I will tell you immediately.

You can also tell me your opinion or another’s expert opinion. Of course, it would have been better to publish only a finish version. On the other hand, humans are not perfect, and why should we not use the advantage of the internet where thousands of readers can help to improve the text with their comments.

Hymnus proelii pro Missa Tridentina

Surrectura ex ruina
Versus tabernaculum
Spiret Missa Tridentina
Ad firmandum populum.

Lupos ovium in pelle
Vincimus Rosario.
Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix,
Virgo Dei Genitrix,
Tu adjuva nos!
Tu adjuva nos!

Sancte Pater, pastor Sancti,
Sacrum duc Imperium!
Gregi da desideranti
Sacrum ritum traditum!


Re divina celebrata
Ori nostro sacerdos
Corpus ex Immaculata
Det cum eo jungens nos!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Does this song have a melody? I sure can’t fit it to the “Battle hymn of the republic”.

  2. Should not “versus” be versa? Does it not agree with Missa Tridentina?
    And where is the preposition before “tabernaculum?” Also “cum eo” might be better rendered as “in eo” at least to be more theologically accurate for what Eucharist really is?
    We do need a battle hymn and Mary is certainly the intercessor’s intercessor.
    Gallant effort!!! For more on the most efficacious prayer ever created,

  3. John Hudson says:

    One can start out very nicely singing this to the tune of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, which is suitably rousing and redeemed of its romantic paganism in the process, but it doesn’t work when one hits the refrain.

  4. Greg Pearson says:

    As suggested by someone else in a comment on the original post, this song fits to the tune of the national anthem of the former East Germany:

    Given the similarity of the opening lines (the DDR national anthem began “Auferstanden aus Ruinen” – ‘Risen from the ruins’), it seems quite likely that the song was written with this tune in mind. Unlike ‘Ode to Joy’ from romantic paganism, though, I don’t know whether a Communist national anthem can be redeemed from its dialectical materialism and militant atheism!

  5. tim says:

    Wish I had paid more attention to my Latin professor during Latin class–but I was mooning over my future wife (who [tellingly?] paid attention to the professor instead). Perhaps Father could indicate the greater good here?

  6. RBrown says:

    Should not “versus” be versa? Does it not agree with Missa Tridentina?

    Here I take versus to be an adverb–“in the direction of” or “toward” (e.g., versus populum).

    And where is the preposition before “tabernaculum?”

    The preposition is used when “versus” is a past participle.

    Versus ad tabernaculum–having turned to the tabernacle.

    Versus tabernaculum–toward the tabernacle.

    Also “cum eo” might be better rendered as “in eo” at least to be more theologically accurate for what Eucharist really is?

  7. RBrown says:

    For some reason the last comment didn’t appear.

    Also “cum eo” might be better rendered as “in eo” at least to be more theologically accurate for what Eucharist really is?

  8. RBrown says:

    And still didn’t . . .

    “In eo” indicates the principle of the union but the use of the singular “iungens” needs an object, either direct (iungens eum) or in accompaniment (iungens cum eo). And so “in eo” wouldn’t make sense in the verse.

    But it could read:

    “Sacerdos et Ecclesia iungentes in Eo”

    or a very mystical version:

    “Sacerdos et Christus iungentes in Eo”

  9. B. says:

    As I’ve already said in the old topic, the author had originally published the hymn here:
    There is also his name, and he openly says that it is intended to be sung to the tune of the national anthem of the GDR.

    On a sidenote the GDR more or less banned the text of its own national anthem in the 70s because it has the line “Deutschland einig Vaterland” (Germany united fatherland) in it.

  10. Andrew says:

    It is theologically more correct to say that I am united “in Him” and less correct to say that I am united “with Him”?

    Cur? Cum eo, in eo, per eum … I say: “potato, potahtoe, tomato, tomahtoe, let’s call the whole thing off”.

  11. GREG: The tune fits nicely, and seems appropriate to the words. As for the former use of the tune — why not? At least in the U.S. I suspect mighty few people would know where the tune came from. And if they did — do not the angels in heaven rejoice over the conversion of one sinner? So why not over the baptism of a communist tune?

  12. Raphaela says:

    Greg, Joseph et al.: There certainly is an absolutely choice irony in the anthem of a communist and aggressively atheist state being reincarnated as a Battle Hymn for just about any religious cause. I would be a bit worried, though, about how the choice of melody might look to people here in Europe. Many, if not most, people in the German-speaking world certainly would recognise the tune, and I’m not sure how good its PR value would be with those already sceptical of the efforts to de-restrict the Tridentine Mass. (Yes, I realise the author of the text is German and explicitly suggested using this tune, but I still have my doubts.)

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