Hymns in Honor of the Blessed Sacrament

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Ave Verum (Hail true body)

St. Thomas Aquinas:
   Pange Lingua Gloriosi / Tantum Ergo
      (Sing My Tongue/ Down in adoration falling)
   Sacris Sollemniis / Panis Angelicus
      (At this our solemn feast / Thus Angel’s Bread)
   Verbum Supernum / O Salutaris Hostia
      (The Word of God proceeding forth / O Saving Victim)
   Lauda Sion
      (Sion, lift thy voice and sing)
   O Sacrum Convivium
      (O sacred banquet)
  Adoro Te Devote
      (Godhead here in hiding)
  More songs (from the procession program)

Ave Verum
Attributed to Pope Innocent VI (14th c.), formerly sung at the elevation of the Sacred Host at Mass, now often used during adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

But when [the soldiers] came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.... For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: “Not a bone of it will be broken.” And again another passage says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

John 19:33-34, 36-37


Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
truly suffered and sacrificed
on the cross for man,
from Whose pierced side
flowed water and blood:
Be for us a [heavenly] foretaste
in the trial of death.
O sweet Jesus, O merciful Jesus,
O Jesus, Son of Mary!


Ave verum Corpus natum
de Maria Virgine:
Vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine:
Cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum
mortis in examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie,
O Iesu Fili Mariae.

From a homily by Pope John Paul II (Corpus Christi 2003):


Hail, true Body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary! The soul melts into wonder and adoration before so sublime a Mystery. From Your death on the Cross, O Lord, flows life for us which never dies. O Lord, obtain that each one of us, nourished by You, may face all of life’s trials with confident hope, until the day when You will be our Viaticum for the last journey to the Father’s house. O sweet Jesus, O pious Jesus! O Jesus, Son of Mary!


Corpus Christi Divine Office and Mass

St. Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Angelic Doctor, better known for his Summa Theologiae, was asked by Pope Urban IV to compose the Office and Mass Sequence for the newly established feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ). The hymns, antiphons, and sequence continue to be used in the Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and the Mass. They are given below, along with another composition by St. Thomas, Adoro Te Devote.

The Poetic Genius of St. Thomas
All sanctity is secrecy; and [St. Thomas’] sacred poetry was really a secretion; like the pearl in a very tightly closed oyster. He may have written more of it than we know; but part of it came into public use through the particular circumstance of his being asked to compose the office for the Feast of Corpus Christi: a festival first established after the controversy to which he had contributed, in the scroll that he laid on the altar. It does certainly reveal an entirely different side of his genius; and it certainly was genius.

As a rule, he was an eminently practical prose writer; some would say a very prosaic prose writer. He maintained controversy with an eye on only two qualities; clarity and courtesy. And he maintained these because they were entirely practical qualities; affecting the probabilities of conversion. But the composer of the Corpus Christi service was not merely what even the wild and woolly would call a poet; he was what the most fastidious would call an artist. His double function rather recalls the double activity of some great Renaissance craftsman, like Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, who would work on the outer wall, planning and building the fortifications of the city; and then retire into the inner chamber to carve or model some cup or casket for a reliquary.

The Corpus Christi Office is like some old musical instrument, quaintly and carefully inlaid with many coloured stones and metals; the author has gathered remote texts about pasture and fruition like rare herbs; there is a notable lack of the loud and obvious in the harmony; and the whole is strung with two strong Latin lyrics.... [A] good translator will be the first to agree that no translation is good; or, at any rate, good enough. How are we to find eight short English words which actually stand for “Sumit unus, sumunt mille; quantum isti, tantum ille”? How is anybody really to render the sound of the “Pange Lingua,” when the very first syllable has a clang like the clash of cymbals?

—G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

Pange Lingua Gloriosi / Tantum Ergo
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church
Translation by Edward Caswall

Hymn for First Vespers of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Also used during the solemn transfer of the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The last two stanzas are customary for Benediction.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to His disciples said, “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Matthew 26:26-28

If the words of Elijah had power even to bring down fire from heaven, will not the words of Christ have power to change the natures of the [Eucharistic] elements? ... If Christ could by speaking create out of nothing what did not yet exist [at the creation of the world], can we say that His words are unable to change existing things into something they previously were not? ... Why do you expect to find in this case [the Eucharist] that nature takes its ordinary course in regard to the body of Christ when the Lord Himself was born of the Virgin in a manner above and beyond the order of nature? This is indeed the true flesh of Christ, which was crucified and buried. This is then in truth the sacrament of His flesh.... And you say: “Amen,” that is: “It is true.” What the mouth utters, let the mind within acknowledge; what the word says, let the heart ratify.

—St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan and doctor of the Church (c.339-97), On the Mysteries


Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory,
Of His Flesh the myst’ry sing:
Of the Blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal King,
Destined, for the world’s
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 Paschal 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
By His word to Flesh He turns;
Wine into His Blood He changes:
What though sense no change
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, honor, blessing,
Might, and endless majesty.


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 suprema nocte coenae
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 jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

Sacris Sollemniis / Panis Angelicus
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church
English translation is a cento based upon a translation by John D. Chambers (1805-1893)

Hymn for Matins (the Office of Readings) for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi; the last two stanzas (starting with Panis Angelicus) are often sung on their own.

The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of his sacrifice (1 Corinthians 11:25). Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it (cf. Luke 22:19). By doing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: “For their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19)

Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 611


At this our solemn feast let holy joys abound,
And from the inmost breast let songs of praise resound;
Let ancient rites depart, and all be new around,
In every deed, and voice, and heart.

Remember we that eve, when, the Last Supper spread,
Christ, as we all believe, the Lamb, with leavenless bread,
Among His brethren shared, and thus the Law obeyed,
Of old unto their sires declared.

The typic Lamb consumed, the Paschal feast complete,
The Lord unto the Twelve His Body gave to eat;
The whole to all, no less the whole to each, did mete
With His own hands, as we confess.

He gave them, weak and frail, His Flesh, their Food to be;
On them, downcast and sad, His Blood bestowed He:
And thus to them He spake: “Receive this Cup from Me,
And all of you of this partake.”

When He this Sacrifice to institute did will,
He to His priests alone that office to fulfill,
On this wise did confide: to whom  pertaineth still,
To take, and to the rest divide.

Lo! Angels’ Bread is made the Bread of men today:
The living Bread from heav’n with figures doth away:
O wondrous boon indeed! Though poor and lowly, may
The servant on his Master feed.

Thee, therefore, we implore, O Godhead, One in Three,
So may'st Thou visit us as now we worship Thee;
And lead us on Thy way, that we at last may see
The light wherein Thou dwellest aye. Amen.


Sacris solemniis iuncta sint gaudia,
Et ex praecordiis sonent praeconia;
Recedant vetera, nova sint omnia,
Corda, voces, et opera.

Noctis recolitur cena novissima,
Qua Christus creditur agnum et azyma
Dedisse fratribus, iuxta legitima
Priscis indulta patribus.

Post agnum typicum, expletis epulis,
Corpus Dominicum datum discipulis,
Sic totum omnibus, quod totum singulis,
Eius fatemur manibus.

Dedit fragilibus corporis ferculum,
Dedit et tristibus sanguinis poculum,
Dicens: Accipite quod trado vasculum;
Omnes ex eo bibite.

Sic sacrificium istud instituit,

Cuius officium committi voluit

Solis presbyteris, quibus sic congruit,
Ut sumant, et dent ceteris.

Panis angelicus fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis: manducat Dominum
Pauper, servus et humilis.

Te, trina Deitas unaque, poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita, sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas. Amen.

Verbum Supernum / O Salutaris Hostia
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church
Translation by J.M. Neale (vv. 1-3), Edward Caswall (vv. 5-6), and GJS (v. 4)

Hymn for Morning Prayer for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi; the last two stanzas are customary at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

In perfect love
this law holds:
that the lover become
like the one he loves.

En los amores perfectos
esta ley se requería:
que se haga semejante
el amante a quien quería.

—St. John of the Cross (1541-91), Romance poem on the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel: The Incarnation

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that His hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end.

John 13:1


The Word of God proceeding forth,
Yet leaving not the Father’s side,
And going to His work on earth,
Had reached at length life’s

By a disciple to be given
To rivals, for His Blood athirst,
Himself, the very Bread of
He gave to His disciples first.

He gave Himself in either kind,
His precious Flesh, His precious
Of flesh and blood is man combin’d,
And He of man would be the food.

In birth, Himself as friend He gave,
At table, food and drink became,
In death, our ransom from the
In reigning, our prize to attain.

O saving Victim, op’ning wide
The gate of heav’n to man below!
Our foes press on from ev’ry side:
Thine aid supply, Thy strength

To Thy great name be endless
Immortal Godhead, One in Three!
O grant us endless length of days
In our true native land, with Thee.


Verbum supernum prodiens,
Nec Patris linquens dexteram,
Ad opus suum exiens,
Venit ad vitae vesperam.

In mortem a discipulo
Suis tradendus aemulis,
Prius in vitae ferculo

Se tradidit discipulis.

Quibus sub bina specie
Carnem dedit et sanguinem;

Ut duplicis substantiae
Totum cibaret hominem.

Se nascens dedit socium,
Convescens in edulium,
Se moriens in pretium,

Se regnans dat in praemium.

O salutaris hostia,
Quae caeli pandis ostium,
Bella premunt hostilia;
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino

Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.

Lauda Sion
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church

Sequence for the Mass of Corpus Christi.

Jesus answered and said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this Bread will live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world.... For My Flesh is true food, and My Blood is true drink.”

John 6:43a, 47-51, 55


Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.

Special theme of praise is Thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.

Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.

At 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 ordained 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 in outward 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 too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame 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 forevermore.

Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels' Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children's meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.

Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true 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.


Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem,
Lauda ducem et pastorem
In hymnis et canticis.
Quantum poses, tantum aude:
Quia major omni laude
Nec laudare sufficis.

Laudis thema specialis,
Panis vivus et vitalis
Hodie proponitur;
Quem in sacrae mensa coenae
Turbae fratrum duodenae
Datum non ambigitur.

Sit laus plena, sit sonora,
Sit iucunda, sit decora
Mentis iubilatio.
Dies enim solemnis agitur,
In qua mensae prima recolitur
Huius institutio.

In hac mensa novi Regis
Novum Pascha novae legis
Phase vetus terminat.
Vetustatem novitas,
Umbram fugat veritas,
Noctem lux eliminat.

Quod in coena Christus gessit,
Faciendum hoc expressit
In sui memoriam
Docti sacris institutis,
Panem, vinum in salutis
Consecramus hostiam.

Dogma datur Christianis,
Quod in carnem transit panis
Et vinum in sanguinem.
Quod non capis, quod non vides,
Animosa firmat fides
Praeter rerum ordinem.

Sub diversis speciebus,
Signis tantum, et non rebus,
Latent res eximiae:
Caro cibus, sanguis potus;
Manet tamen Christus totus
Sub utraque specie.

A sumente non concisus,
Non confractus, non divisus
Integer accipitur.
Sumit unus, sumunt mille;
Quantum isti, tantum ille:
Nec sumptus consumitur.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
Sorte tamen inaequali,
Vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
Vide, paris sumptionis
Quam sit dispar exitus.

Fracto demum Sacramento,
Ne vacilles, sed memento,
Tantam esse sub fragmento,
Quantum toto tegitur.
Nulla rei fit scissura,
Signi tantum fit fractura,
Qua nec status nec statura
Signati minuitur.

Ecce panis Angelorum,
Factus cibus viatorum,
Vere panis filiorum,
Non mittendus canibus.
In figuris praesignatur,
Cum Isaac immolatur;
Agnus Paschae deputatur,
Datur manna patribus.

Bone Pastor, panis vere,
Jesu, nostri miserere,
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre,
In terra viventium.
Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales,
Qui nos pascis hic mortales,
Tuos ibi commensales,
Cohaeredes et sodales,
Fac sanctorum civium.

From a homily by Pope John Paul II (homily, Corpus Christi 2002):


1. “Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem, lauda ducem et pastorem in hymnis et canticis”: “Praise your Savior, Zion, praise with hymns and canticles, Christ, your king and shepherd.

With faith and devotion we have sung these words of the traditional Sequence that forms part of the liturgy of Corpus Christi.

Today is a solemn feast, a feast on which we relive the first Sacred Supper. With a public and solemn act, we glorify and adore the Bread and the Wine become the true Body and true Blood of the Redeemer. “Signs not things are all we see,” the Sequence stresses, but “here beneath these signs lie hidden priceless things.”

2. “Special theme for glad thanksgiving is the life-giving Bread set before you today.”

Today we are celebrating a solemn feast that expresses the awesome wonder of the People of God: a wonder filled with gratitude for the gift of the Eucharist. In the Sacrament of the Altar, Jesus wanted to perpetuate his living presence in our midst in the same form in which he gave himself to the Apostles in the Upper Room. He left to us what he did at the Last Supper and we faithfully renew his action.

According to established custom, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi consists of two moments: the Mass, in which the offering of the Sacrifice takes place and the procession, that manifests the public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

3. “Obedient to his command, we consecrate the Bread and wine, our sacrifice of salvation”. Above all, we renew the memorial of Christ’s Passover.

Days, years and centuries go by, but this most holy act in which Jesus condensed his entire Gospel of love does not pass away. He never ceases to offer himself, the Lamb immolated and risen, for the salvation of the world. With this memorial the Church responds to the command of God’s Word, which we heard in the First Reading: “Remember ... Do not forget” (Deuteronomy 8:2-14).

The Eucharist is our living Memorial. In the Eucharist, as the [Second Vatican] Council recalls, “is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself our Pasch and the living bread which gives life to men through his flesh—that flesh which is given life and gives life through the Holy Spirit. Thus men are invited and led to offer themselves, their works and all creation with Christ...” (Presbyterorum ordinis, n. 5).

From the Eucharist, “the source and the summit of all preaching of the Gospel” (ibid.), even our Church of Rome must daily draw the strength and enthusiasm for her missionary action and for every form of Christian witness in the world.

4. “Good shepherd, True Bread, have mercy on us, nourish and defend us.”

Good Shepherd, you will shortly pass through the streets of our city. On this feast, every city, metropolis or small village, becomes spiritually Zion, the Jerusalem who praises the Savior: they are the new People of God, gathered from every nation and nourished with the one Bread of life.

This People has need of the Eucharist. Indeed, it is the Eucharist that makes the People a missionary Church. But is it possible without priests, who renew the Eucharistic mystery? This is why, on this solemn day, I invite you to pray for the [increase of] vocations to the priesthood.

From a homily by Pope John Paul II (Corpus Christi 2003):


[“Lo the angel’s food is given to the pilgrim....”] After Holy Mass, we will set out praying and singing for the Basilica of St Mary Major. With this procession we want to express symbolically our existence as pilgrims, “viatores,” bound for the heavenly homeland.

We are not alone on our pilgrimage: Christ, the Bread of life, walks with us.... May Jesus, the spiritual food that nourishes the hope of believers, sustain us on this journey towards Heaven and strengthen our communion with the heavenly Church.

The Most Holy Eucharist, a glimpse of Heaven appearing on earth, pierces the clouds of our history. A glorious ray of the heavenly Jerusalem, it lights up our journey (cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 19).

O Sacrum Convivium
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church

Magnificat antiphon for Second Vespers of Corpus Christi. 

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26


O sacred banquet,
in which Christ is received,
the memory of His Passion is
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory
  is given to us.


O sacrum convivium,
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis
mens impletur gratia,
et futurae gloriae nobis pignus

Adoro Te Devote
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Dominican Doctor of the Church
Translation by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

While not part of the Office or Mass of Corpus Christi, this meditation, an intimate prayer addressed to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, is part of the fabric of Eucharistic adoration. 

That the true body and blood of Christ are in this sacrament cannot be detected by sense, nor understanding, but only by faith, which rests upon divine authority. Hence, on Luke 22:19, “This is My body which shall be delivered up for you,” [St.] Cyril [of Alexandria] says, “Doubt not whether this is true; but rather receive the Savior’s words with faith; for since He is the Truth, He does not lie.”

—St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, part 3, question 75, article 1; see Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1381


Godhead here in hiding
Whom I do adore
Masked by these bare shadows,
Shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at Thy service
Low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder
At the God Thou art.

Seeing, touching, tasting
Are in Thee deceived;
How says trusty hearing?
That shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me,
Take for truth I do;
Truth Himself speaks truly
Or there’s nothing true.

On the cross Thy Godhead
Made no sign to men;
Here Thy very manhood
Steals from human ken:
Both are my confession,
Both are my belief;
And I pray the prayer
Of the dying thief.

I am not like Thomas,
Wounds I cannot see,
But I plainly call Thee
Lord and God as he;
This faith each day deeper
Be my holding of,
Daily make me harder
Hope and dearer love.

O Thou, our reminder
Of the Crucified,
Living Bread, the life of
Us for whom He died,
Lend this life to me, then;
Feed and feast my mind,
There be Thou the sweetness
Man was meant to find.

Like what tender tales tell
Of the Pelican,
Bathe me, Jesus Lord, in
What Thy bosom ran—
Blood that but one drop of
Has the pow’r to win
All the world forgiveness
Of its world of sin.

Jesus, Whom I look at
Shrouded here below,
I beseech Thee, send me
What I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on Thee
Face to face in light
And be blest forever
With Thy glory’s sight.


Adoro te devote,
latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris
vere latitas:
Tibi se cor meum
totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans
totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus
in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo
tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit
Dei Filius:
Nil hoc verbo Veri-
tatis verius.

In cruce latebat
sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul
et humanitas;
Ambo tamen credens
atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit
latro paenitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas,
non intueor;
Deum tamen meum
te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper
magis credere,
In te spem habere,
te diligere.

O memoriale
mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam
praestans homini!
Praesta meae menti
de te vivere
Et te illi semper
dulce sapere.

Pie pellicane,
Iesu Domine,
Me immundum munda
tuo sanguine.
Cuius una stilla
salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab
omni scelere.

Iesu, quem velatum
nunc aspicio,
Oro fiat illud
quod tam sitio;
Ut te revelata
cernens facie,
Visu sim beatus
tuae gloriae.

Richard Crashaw's 17th-century paraphrase (spelling modernized):


With all the powers my poor Heart hath
Of humble love and loyal Faith,
Thus low (my hidden life!) I bow to Thee
Whom too much love hath bowed more low for me.
Down down, proud sense! Discourses die!
Keep close, my soul’s inquiring eye!
Nor touch nor taste must look for more
But each sit still in his own Door.

Your ports are all superfluous here,
Save that which lets in faith, the ear.
Faith is my skill. Faith can believe
As fast as love new laws can give.
Faith is my force. Faith strength affords
To keep pace with those powerful words.
And words more sure, more sweet, than they,
Love could not think, truth could not say.

O let Thy wretch find that relief
Thou didst afford the faithful thief.
Plead for me, love! Allege and show
That faith has farther, here, to go,
And less to lean on. Because then
Though hid as GOD, wounds writ Thee man.
Thomas might touch; none but might see
At least the suffering side of Thee;
And that too was Thy self which Thee did cover,
But here even that’s hid too which hides the other.

Sweet, consider then, that I
Though allowed nor hand nor eye
To reach at Thy loved face; nor can
Taste Thee GOD, or touch Thee MAN,
Both yet believe; and [I] witness Thee
My LORD too and my GOD, as loud as He.
Help, Lord, my faith, my hope increase;
And fill my portion in Thy peace.
Give love for life; nor let my days
Grow, but in new powers to Thy name and praise.

O dear memorial of that death
Which lives still, and allows us breath!
Rich, royal food! Bountiful BREAD!
Whose use denies us to the dead;
Whose vital gust [taste] alone can give
The same leave both to eat and live;
Live ever Bread of loves, and be
My life, my soul, my surer self to me.

O soft self-wounding Pelican!
Whose breast weeps Balm for wounded man.
Ah this way bend Thy benign flood
To a bleeding Heart that gasps for blood:
That blood, whose least drops sovereign be
To wash my worlds of sins from me.

Come love! Come LORD! and that long day
For which I languish, come away;
When this dry soul those eyes shall see,
And drink the unsealed source of Thee,
When glory’s sun faith’s shades shall chase,
And for Thy veil give me Thy FACE. Amen.

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