Monday, May 13, 2013

Venerable Bede's Hymn for the Ascension of Our Lord

We sang this hymn, translated from the Latin of the Venerable Bede by Benjamin Webb, at Mass for Ascension Thursday Sunday yesterday:

A hymn of glory let us sing:
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand;
Alleluia! Alleluia!
And with his followers they see
Jesus' resplendent majesty.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

To whom the angels, drawing nigh,
"Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
Alleluia! Alleluia!

This is the Saviour!" thus they say;
"This is his noble triumph-day."
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

"Again shall ye behold him so
As ye today have seen him go
Alleluia! Alleluia!
In glorious pomp ascending high,
Up to the portals of the sky."
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Oh, grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Unto thy kingdom's throne, where thou,
As is our faith, art seated now.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


Be thou our Joy and strong Defence
Who art our future Recompense:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
So shall the light that springs from thee
Be ours through all eternity.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to thee let earth accord,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!


I've always liked the phrase "the holy apostolic band" and have often wondered if a Christian rock group should adopt it as their name! This website has a post analysing the text of Bede's poem.


Hymnum canamus gloriae
Hymni novi nunc personent,
Christus novo cum tramite
Ad Patris ascendit thronum.

Transit triumpho gloriae
Poli potenter culmina,
Qui movete mortem absumserat,
Derisus a mortalibus.

Erant in admirabili
Regis triumpho alti throni
Coetus simul coelestinum
Polum petentes agminum.

Apostoli tum, mystico
In montes stantes chrismatis
Cum matre claram virgine
Iesu videbant gloriam.

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