Thursday, June 03, 2010

Feast of Corpus Christi

THE SEQUENCE Lauda Sion Salvatorem, written by Saint Thomas Aquinas, for the Mass of the Body of Christ, here translated into English:
Sion, lift thy voice and sing: Praise thy Savior and thy King, Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true.

All thou canst, do thou endeavor, Yet thy praise can equal never Such as merits thy great King.

See today before us laid The living and life-giving Bread! Theme for praise and joy profound!

The same which at the sacred board Was, by our incarnate Lord, Giv'n to His Apostels round.

Let the praise by loud and high: Sweet and tranquil be the joy Felt today in every breast,

On this festival divine Which records the origin Of the glorious Eucharist.

On this table of the King, Our new Paschal offering Brings to end the olden rite.

Here, for empty shadows fled, Is reality instead; Here, instead of darkness, light.

His own act, at supper seated, Christ ordain'd to be repeated, In His memory divine;

Wherefore now, with adoration, We, the Host of our salvation, Consecrate from bread and wine,

Hear what holy Church maintaineth, That the bread its substance changeth Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.

Doth it pass thy comprehending? Faith, the law of sight transcending Leaps to things not understood,

Here beneath these signs are hidden Priceless things, to sense forbidden Signs, not things, are all we see.

Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine, Yet is Christ in either sign, All entire, confessed to be.

They, who of Him here partake, Sever not, nor rend, nor break: But, entire, their Lord receive,

Whether one or thousands eat, All receive the self-same meat, Nor the less for others leave,

Both the wicked and the good Eat of this celestial Food; But with ends how opposite!

Here 'tis life: and there 'tis death: The same, yet issuing to each In a difference infinite.

Nor a single doubt retain, When they break the Host in twain, But that in each part remains What was in the whole before;

Since the simple sign alone Suffers change in state or form, The signified remaining one And the same for evermore.

Lo! upon the altar lies, Hidden deep from human eyes, Bread of Angels from the skies, Made the food of mortal man;

Children's meat to dogs denied, In old types presignified: In the manna heaven-supplied In Isaac, and the Paschal lamb.

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep! Thou Thy flock in safety keep, Living Bread! Thy life supply: Strengthen us, or else we die: Fill us with celestial grace!

Thou, who feedest us below! Source of all we have or know! Grant that with Thy Saints above, Sitting at the feast of love, We may see Thee face to face.

Amen. Alleluia.


  1. Thanks for the translation. Does it rhyme in Latin?

  2. Yes it does! Click the link in the article for the Latin.