Tonight, I attended rehearsal feeling a bit weighed down in thought and spirit. However, as we sang this song, I suddenly had an understanding of what it was I was singing about and deeply related to the message therein. I didn't have any real knowledge of what the translation was (I actually had to ask a neighbor to confirm my feelings) but I felt the meaning so keenly just through the music and the feelings it stirred inside of me.
Below is the French text of the song followed by the English translation. I am always amazed at the ability music has to teach and help us to understand even if we cannot possibly understand the exact meaning. Through this beautiful piece of music, my soul was comforted and some peace restored on this otherwise stormy evening. Thank you, Gabriel Faure.
Verbe,égal au Très-Haut, notre unique espèrance,
Jour éternel de la terre et des cieux;
De la paisible nuit nous rompons le silence,
Divin Sauveur, jette sur nous les yeux!
Répands sur nous le feu de ta grâce puissante,
Que tout l’enfer fuie au son de ta voix;
Dissipe le sommeil d’une âme languissante,
Qui la conduit à l’oubli de tes lois!
O Christ soit favorable à ce peuple fidèle
Pour te bénir maintenant rassemblé.
Reçois les chants qu’il offre à ta gloire immortelle,
Et de tes dons qu’il retourne comblé!
Word, equal to the Almighty, our only hope,
Eternal light of the earth and the Heavens;
We break the peaceful night’s silence,
Divine Saviour, cast your eyes upon us!
Spread the fire of your mighty grace upon us
May the entire hell flee at the sound of your voice;
Disperse from any slothful soul the drowsiness
Inducing it to forget your laws!
Oh Christ, look with favour upon this faithful people
Which has now gathered to bless you.
Receive its singing, offered to your immortal glory,
And may it leave with the gifts you have bestowed upon it!