Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences/Sancti, venite, Corpus Christi sumite

Mediæval Hymns and Sequences  (1867)  edited by John Mason Neale
Sancti, venite, Corpus Christi sumite by Anonymous, translated by John Mason Neale


Sancti, venite, Corpus Christi sumite.

Rugged and unpoetical as this hymn is, it has a certain pious simplicity about it which renders it well worthy of preservation. It is an early example of a metrical composition, sung during the communion of the people. The Communio of the Latin, like the Koinonicon of the Eastern, Church, never now appears but as prose.—The present hymn seems not later than the seventh century.

Draw nigh, and take the Body of the Lord,
And drink the Holy Blood for you outpoured.

Saved by that Body, hallowed by that Blood,
Whereby refreshed, we render thanks to God.

Salvation's Giver, Christ the Only Son,
By that His Cross and Blood the victory won.

Offered was He for greatest and for least:
Himself the Victim, and Himself the Priest.

Victims were offered by the Law of old,
That, in a type, celestial mysteries told.

He, Ransomer from death, and Light from shade,
Giveth His holy grace His Saints to aid.

Approach ye then with faithful hearts sincere,
And take the safeguard of salvation here.

He That in this world rules His Saints, and shields,
To all believers Life Eternal yields:

With Heavenly Bread makes them that hunger whole;
Gives Living Waters to the thirsty soul.

Alpha and Omega, to Whom shall bow
All nations at the Doom, is with us now.