The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations/Lauda, Sion

For other English-language translations of this work, see Lauda, Sion.
The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations  (1883)  by Patrick Francis Moran
Lauda, Sion by Thomas Aquinas, tr. Denis Florence MacCarthy


Laud, O Sion, thy Salvation;
Loud the anthem of laudation
To thy King, thy Shepherd raise.
What thou canst do, do it boldly.
For thy best will praise but coldly
Him who is above all praise.

Theme of themes beyond all telling,
Living Bread all bread excelling,
Bread which lives and maketh live;
Bread which at the sacred table
Christ the Lord alone was able
To the chosen Twelve to give.

Be the hymnal praise sonorous,
Let our hearts a gladsome chorus,
Throb in soft and sweet accord,
For this festal day’s elation
Is the grand commemoration
Of the Supper of our Lord.

See upon the new King’s table,
The new Pasch, no more unstable,
Terminates the ancient Rite;
What was Old, the New effaces,
Truth the shadowy Type replaces,
Day dispels the dark of Night.

At the Supper what Christ acted,
What his loving law enacted,
Here is done by power Divine;
Here, in glad commemoration,
Is the solemn consecration
Of the Host from bread and wine.

Here the Christian dogma stated—
Bread is transubstantiated
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood
What not sight nor touch discerneth,
What no human learning learneth,
Simple faith hath understood.

Underneath the forms external—
Signs not things—sublime, supernal
Hidden secrets here we find—
Bread to Flesh; to Blood, wine's sweetness;
Christ in absolute completeness,
Is contained in either kind.

Undiminished by partaking,
Undivided in the breaking,
In each portion Christ finds room—
Thousands eat of what one eateth,
This one’s act the next repeateth,
Unconsuming, all consume.

At the banquet all seem equal,
Good and bad, but ah! the sequel—
Life or death is in the food:
See how different the dividing—
To the bad, ’tis death providing:
Life, salvation to the good.

When the solemn words are spoken,
Doubt not though the Host be broken,
That each fragment doth betoken
What the sacred whole supplied:
What is broken is partition
Of the outward sign’s condition;
Diminution or addition
Cannot reach the Signified.

Lo! for pilgrims deathward wending.
‘Neath life's awful burden bending.
See the Angels’ bread descending,
Children’s food to dogs not sent;
Known by many an adumbration,
Seen in Isaac’s immolation,
By the Pachal celebration,
By the mystic manna meant.

O true Bread! O Shepherd tender!
Be our food and our defender;
Jesus! Jesus! succour render,
Till we see Thee in Thy splendour,
In the Land of Life and Love.

Thou from whom all power proceedeth,
Thou who knoweth what each one needeth,
Thou who here all mortals feedeth,
Make us guests when heaven succeedeth.
And co-heirs with saints above. Amen.