The Latin original is a theological-liturgical masterpiece, linking the cross and the liturgy in a most profound way. Resonances of the Exsultet occur throughout; however, the Exsultet is quite possibly a younger text. My translation is below, and here are the Latin original and the translation of J. Neale, for comparison.
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A D cenam Agni providi, stolis salutis candidi, post transitum maris Rubri Christo canamus principi. T HE Lamb's high banquet we await in snow-white robes of royal state: and now, the Red Sea's channel past, to Christ our Prince we sing at last.
Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roseum gustando, Deo vivimus. Protecti paschae vespero a devastante angelo, de Pharaonis aspero sumus erepti imperio. That Paschal Eve God's arm was bared, the devastating Angel spared: by strength of hand our hosts went free from Pharaoh's ruthless tyranny. Iam pascha nostrum Christus est, agnus occisus innocens; sinceritatis azyma qui carnem suam obtulit. Now Christ, our Paschal Lamb, is slain, the Lamb of God that knows no stain, the true Oblation offered here, our own unleavened Bread sincere.
O vera, digna hostia, per quam franguntur tartara, captiva plebs redimitur, redduntur vitae praemia! O Thou, from whom hell's monarch flies, O great, O very Sacrifice, Thy captive people are set free, and endless life restored in Thee.
Consurgit Christus tumulo, victor redit de barathro, tyrannum trudens vinculo et paradisum reserans. For Christ, arising from the dead, from conquered hell victorious sped, and thrust the tyrant down to chains, and Paradise for man regains. Esto perenne mentibus paschale, Iesu, gaudium et nos renatos gratiae tuis triumphis aggrega. We pray Thee, King with glory decked, in this our Paschal joy, protect from all that death would fain effect Thy ransomed flock, Thine own elect.
Iesu, tibi sit gloria, qui morte victa praenites, cum Patre et almo Spiritu, in sempiterna saecula. To Thee who, dead, again dost live, all glory Lord, Thy people give; all glory, as is ever meet, to Father and to Paraclete.
Latin from the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by J. Neale One of the earliest of the Ambrosian hymns, 6th century or earlier, this hymn is used for Vespers from Easter Sunday until Ascension.
In the Breviary revision of by Pope Urban VIII the hymn was so greatly altered that only three lines of the original remained and thus is really a different hymn entirely. The revised hymn can be found under the title of Ad regias Agni dapes.
Ad cenam Agni providi
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Ad cenam agni providi (Anonymous)
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