Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Vexilla Regis prodeunt; fulget Crucis mysterium, [quo carne carnis conditor suspensus est patibulo.]1 Confixa clavis viscera tendens manus, vestigia, redemptionis gratia hic immolata est hostia. Quo vulneratus insuper mucrone diro lanceae, ut nos lavaret crimine, manavit unda et sanguine. [Impleta sunt quae]2 concinit David fideli carmine, dicendo nationibus: regnavit a ligno Deus. Arbor decora et fulgida, ornata Regis purpura, electa digno stipite tam sancta membra tangere. Beata, cuius brachiis pretium pependit saeculi: statera facta corporis, praedam tulitque tartari. Fundis aroma cortice, vincis sapore nectare, iucunda fructu fertili plaudis triumpho nobili. Salve, ara, salve, victima, de passionis gloria, qua vita mortem pertulit et morte vitam reddidit. O Crux ave, spes unica, hoc Passionis tempore! piis adauge gratiam, reisque dele crimina.3 Te, fons salutis Trinitas, collaudet omnis spiritus: [quibus crucis victoriam largiris adde praemium.]4
F. Liszt sets stanzas 1, 4, 9
G. Wert sets stanza 9
G. Dyson sets stanza 1
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Liszt: "Qua vita mortem protulit/ Et morte vitam protulit."
2 Liszt: "Impleti sunt que"
3 Liszt adds "Amen."
4 in some versions, "quos per Crucis mysterium/ salvas, fove per saecula. Amen."
- by Venantius Fortunatus, Saint (c530 - c609) [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Alonso de Alba , "Vexilla regis" [sung text not yet checked]
- by (Joseph) Anton Bruckner (1824 - 1896), "Vexilla regis", WAB. 51 (1892), published 1892 [ chorus a cappella ], Vienna: Josef Weinberger [sung text not yet checked]
- by Paolo Castaldi (b. 1930), "Vexilla regis", published 1982 [ chorus ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Guillaume Dufay (c1400 - 1474), "Vexilla regis" [sung text not yet checked]
- by Franz (Ferenc) Liszt (1811 - 1886), "Einleitung", S. 53 no. 1 (1879), stanzas 1,4,9 [ chorus and organ ], from Via Crucis, no. 1 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924), "Vexilla Regis prodeunt" [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Giaches de Wert (1535 - 1596), "O Crux ave", published 1581, stanza 9 [ 5 voices ], Il secondo libro de motetti, 5vv [sung text checked 1 time]
This text (or a part of it) is used in a work
- by George Dyson (1883 - 1964), "O timely happy, timely wise", 1945-9, from Quo Vadis: a Cycle of Poems, no. 5
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (David Wyatt) , "The King's standards advance", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- ENG English (Michael P. Rosewall) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Erkki Pullinen) , copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]
This text was added to the website: 2011-03-11
Line count: 40
Word count: 132
The King's standards advance, The mystery of the Cross blazes out On which, flesh for our flesh, the Creator Was hung for a gallows. His body pierced by nails He holds out his hands, the wounds, Here is the victim sacrificed For our redemption Wounded further By the fatal point of the lance That he should wash us from our sin His body was soaked in water and blood. Completed are those things of which David sang in his faithful song In speaking to the nations: God reigned from the wooden cross. Oh tree beautiful and radiant Decked with the King's purple Chosen to be the worthy trunk Which touched these sacred limbs. Blessed tree, from whose branches Hung the price of our age's salvation; Made the cross-beam for his body It bore the treasure of Tartarus1. You pour out a sweet scent from your bark Your victory comes with the odour of nectar, Rejoicing in your fertile fruit You cheer in noble triumph Hail altar, hail victim For the glory of his suffering By which life endured death And gave back life in death. O Cross, hail, our one hope In thi time of the Passion. Increase the grace of the pious And remove the sins of the guilty. Every spirit joins in praising You, Trinity, source of salvation; Grant this prize to those on whom You bestow the victory of the Cross2.
1 in Greek mythology: the pit, Hell
2 alternate version (note 4, left): "Cherish through the ages those / Whom you save through the mystery of the Cross."
- Translation from Latin to English copyright © 2012 by David Wyatt, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
This text was added to the website: 2012-07-03
Line count: 40
Word count: 234