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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thomas Aquinas and Corpus Christi

- Chapel of the Corporal at the Cathedral at Orvieto (the Corporal of Bolsena)

Happy Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (tomorrow). Here's a bit from Wikipedia on the feast of Corpus Christi and how Thomas Aquinas figures into it , with a translation of one of his hymns by Edward Caswall and another by Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ .....

In 1263 Pope Urban IV investigated claims of a Eucharistic miracle, in which blood had issued from a consecrated host. In 1264 he issued the papal bull Transiturus in which Corpus Christi was made a feast throughout the entire Latin Rite .......

A new liturgy for the feast was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This liturgy has come to be used not only on the Feast of Corpus Christi itself but also throughout the liturgical year at events related to the Blessed Sacrament. The hymn Aquinas composed for Vespers of Corpus Christi, Pange Lingua, is also used on Holy Thursday during the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The last two verses of Pange Lingua are also used as a separate hymn, Tantum Ergo, which is sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. O Salutaris Hostia, another hymn sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, comprises the last two verses of Verbum Supernum Prodiens, Aquinas' hymn for Lauds of Corpus Christi. Aquinas also composed the propers for the Mass of Corpus Christi, including the sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem. The epistle reading for the Mass was taken from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23-29), and the Gospel reading was taken from the Gospel of John (John 6:56-59).

Tantum Ergo / Down in Adoration Falling - translation: Edward Caswall

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 sense 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.


Adoro Te Devote / Hidden God - translation : Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ

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 can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

O thou our reminder of Christ 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.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

Jesu, 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 for ever with thy glory's sight.



Blogger Liam said...

Awesome poem, awesome translation.

8:04 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Laim,

Yeah, the translation by Hopkins is beautiful.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Beautiful chapel, too. How are you doing?

10:37 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Liam ..... I meant Liam :)

12:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Jeff,

Yeah, neat windows in the chapel. I'm doing pretty much th same, thanks for asking.

12:13 PM  

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