I am trying to translate part of the Te lucis ante terminum (Revised Latin text) I have trouble translating this:

Præsta, Pater piíssime,

Patríque compar Unice,

cum Spíritu Paráclito

regnans per omne sǽculum.


Can somebody explain how to translate this? Thanks.

My attempt.

  1. Præsta; present singular imperative active of praesto: supply!
  2. Pater; Nomnitive singular of pater: The Father
  3. piíssime; Vocative singular of piissimus: O the very pious one
  4. Patríque; Dative singular of pater: and to/for Father
  5. compar; ?
  6. Unice; Vocative singular of unicus: O The only One

The rest is: With the Holy Spirit the comforter, who reigns through all ages. Amen.

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you're asking about these two lines in particular?

Præsta, Pater piíssime,
Patríque compar Unice,

The words here are in a somewhat unusual order, to fit the meter and the rhyme. A more usual ordering would be something like:

Pater piisime, Unice-que compar Patri, præsta…

I would translate this as "o most pious Father, and o One like unto the Father, vouch for…"

Grammatically, note that pater and compar are both also vocative—for most words, the nominative and the vocative look identical. So Pater piisime is a single vocative phrase ("o most blessed Father"), and Unice compar is also a single vocative phrase ("o One, like unto"). Compar acts like par "equal", and usually goes with a noun in the dative (the thing being compared to): in this case, the Father.

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