by Venantius Fortunatus, Saint (c530 - c609)
Translation © by David Wyatt

Vexilla Regis prodeunt
Language: Latin 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG FIN FRE
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."


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

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
Language: English  after the Latin 
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.

View original text (without footnotes)
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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2012-07-03
Line count: 40
Word count: 234