Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium was written for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi by the Dominican Theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas [who studied alongside his Franciscan friend St Bonaventure] and is said it have been instituted by the Church in 1264. Pange Lingua honours Our Lord both in the Eucharist and within God’s Holy Trinity. The last two verses are today often sung separately as a Eucharistic Hymn and known as “Tantum Ergo”.
In the above video we not only hear the hymn in Latin but see the words of St Francis too:
From a Letter to the Entire Order
Let the whole of mankind tremble
the whole world shake
and the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is on the altar
in the hands of a priest.
O admirable heights and sublime lowliness!
O sublime humility!
O humble sublimity!
That the Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself
that for our salvation
He hides Himself under the little form of bread!
A prayer from praises before the Office
All powerful, all holy,
most high and supreme God,
Sovereign good, all good, every good
you who alone are good,
it is to you we must give all praise
all glory, all thanks, all honour, all blessing
to you we must refer all good always. Amen
The Testament of Saint Francis 1226
We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ,
in all your churches throughout all the world
and we bless You, because, by Your holy cross,
You have redeemed the world.
Latin : Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium
Pange, lingua, gloriósi
Quem in mundi prétium
Fructus ventris generósi
Rex effúdit géntium.
Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intácta Vírgine,
Et in mundo conversátus,
Sparso verbi sémine,
Sui moras incolátus
Miro clausit órdine.
In suprémæ nocte coenæ
Recúmbens cum frátribus
Observáta lege plene
Cibis in legálibus,
Cibum turbæ duodénæ
Se dat suis mánibus.
Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem éfficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus déficit,
Ad firmándum cor sincérum
Sola fides súfficit.
TANTUM ERGO SACRAMÉNTUM
Et antíquum documéntum
Novo cedat rítui:
Præstet fides suppleméntum
Laus et jubilátio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedíctio:
Procedénti ab utróque
Compar sit laudátio.
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 Paschal Victim eating,
First fulfils the Law’s command;
Then as Food to all his brethren
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.
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,
When the feeble senses fail.
To the Everlasting Father
And the Son who comes on high
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honour, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
A more modern interpretation
Tell, tongue, the mystery
of the glorious Body
and of the precious Blood,
which, for the price of the world,
the fruit of a noble Womb,
the King of the Nations poured forth.
Given to us, born for us,
from the untouched Virgin,
and dwelt in the world
after the seed of the Word had been scattered.
His inhabiting ended the delays
with wonderful order.
On the night of the Last Supper,
reclining with His brethren,
once the Law had been fully observed
with the prescribed foods,
as food to the crowd of Twelve
He gives Himself with His hands.
The Word as Flesh makes true bread
into flesh by a word
and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ.
And if sense is deficient
to strengthen a sincere heart
Faith alone suffices.
Therefore, the great Sacrament
let us reverence, prostrate:
and let the old Covenant
give way to a new rite.
Let faith stand forth as substitute
for defect of the senses.
To the Begetter and the Begotten
be praise and jubilation,
greeting, honour, strength also
To the One who proceeds from Both
be equal praise.