'Pange lingua ... corporis', the Gregorian vespers hymn for Corpus Christi. Animated score to accompany singing by the Auckland Catholic Music Schola ( http://www.schola.org.nz ).
Pange lingua gloriosi corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi, quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi, Rex effudit gentium.
Nobis datus, nobis natus ex intacta Virgine
Et in mundo conversatus, sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus miro clausit ordine.
In supremae nocte cenae recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae se dat suis manibus.
Verbum caro, panem verum Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum, et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum sola fides sufficit.
Tantum ergo Sacramentum veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum sensuum defectui.
Genitori, Genitoque laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque compar sit laudatio.
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Sing, my tongue, the Saviour's glory,
of his flesh the mystery sing;
of the blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.
Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
he, as man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then he closed in solemn order
wondrously his life of woe.
On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with his chosen band,
he the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as food to his apostles
gives himself with his own hand.
Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by his word to flesh he turns;
wine into his blood he changes;-
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.
Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from each eternally,
be salvation, honour, blessing,
might and endless majesty.
Trans. E.Caswell (1814-1878)