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Catholic Activity: Eucharist Hymn: Pange Lingua

At the end of the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Blessed Sacrament is carried through the church in procession to the place of reposition (a chapel or area suitably decorated). The traditional hymn sung during this time is the "Pange Lingua". Below is the English translation from the "Daily Roman Missal" (©1998, Rev. James Socias). Written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), this is one of the great seven hymns of the Church. This hymn is also used on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas make up the "Tantum Ergo" (Down in Adoration Falling) that is used at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

DIRECTIONS

Of the glorious Body telling,
O my tongue, its mysteries sing,
And the Blood, all price excelling,
Which the world's eternal King,
In a noble womb once dwelling
Shed for the world's ransoming.

Given for us, descending,
Of a Virgin to proceed,
Man with man in converse blending,
Scattered he the Gospel seed,
Till his sojourn drew to ending,
Which he closed in wondrous deed.

At the last great Supper lying
Circled by his brethren's band,
Meekly with the law complying,
First he finished its command
Then, immortal Food supplying,
Gave himself with his own hand.

Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ's Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.

Therefore we, before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere;
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son;
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing,
Who, from both, with both is one. Amen.

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