Holy Thursday

The Triduum is perhaps, to me, the most moving and inspiring time of the year. These three days leading to my favorite holiday, Easter, never cease to place me in a state of awe, reflection, sadness, joy, and wonderment. It is a time of deep and soulful contemplation. I can only print the words of the ancient hymns Pange Lingua and Tantum Ergo below---other words escape me on this Holy Night.

Words by St Thomas Aquinas. Translation Anon.


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 supremae nocte cenae Recum bens 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.

SING, my tongue, the Saviour's glory, of His flesh the mystery sing; of the Blood, all price exceeding, shed by our immortal King, destined, for the world's redemption, 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 Pascal 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 nature by His word to Flesh He turns; wine into His Blood He changes;- what though sense no change discerns? Only be the heart in earnest, faith her lesson quickly learns.

Words by St Thomas Aquinas, Translation: Edward Caswall


Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
Genitori, Genitoque laus et iubilatio, salus, honor, virtus quoque sit et benedictio: procedenti ab utroque compar sit laudatio.

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.