Thursday, January 17, 2008

Feast of Corpus Christi

In 1264, Pope Urban IV asked Fr. Thomas Aquinas to compose an Office for the new feast of Corpus Christi, in honor of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, which is celebrated on the Thursday or Sunday following Trinity Sunday. Tom Kreitzberg has a nice page about these hymns.

Here are the first four verses from Gerard Manley Hopkins' translation of Adoro Te Devote:

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.

(I'm posting this now, out of season, in preparation for a series of postings on Wesley's Eucharistic Hymns.)

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