Thursday, June 7, 2012

"O Sacred Banquet In Which Christ Is Received"

"...See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread, 
Theme for praise and joy profound:
The same which at the sacred table
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv'n to his apostles round.
Let the praise be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast;
On this festival divine,
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
On this table of the King,
Our new paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light..."

(From the Sequence Lauda Sion for Corpus Christi)

1 comment:

John-Julian,OJN said...

Here's my translation:

1. Sion, praise the Lord who leads you,
Praise the Lord who saves and feeds you,
Singing hymns and joyful song.

2. Were your utmost wish to praise him
Still too weak the laud you’d raise him,
Nor your boldest word too strong.

3. Praise this day in high thanksgiving
For the Bread, life-giving, living,
Which before us now we see.

4. For the Twelve, a Paschal token,
As the Bread was blessed and broken,
Now our highest Mystery.

5. The old Passover was finished,
And the ancient Laws diminished
As the new King rose to reign;

6. What at Supper he completed
He decreed to be repeated
That the memory remain.

7. Christian teaching thus was granted:
That the Flesh the bread supplanted
and the wine was turned to Blood.

8. Though our senses cannot learn it
Yet our faith can now discern it,
Far beyond mere nature’s good.

9. For the shape of grape and grain now
Flesh and Blood we know contain now
In the Mystery Divine.

10. Flesh our eating, Blood our drinking,
Christ in each in Christian thinking,
While still seeming bread and wine.

11. Persons good and bad receiving,
Each the Holy Table leaving
Either life or death will see;

12. On that Life the good are feeding,
Death for wicked ones unheeding,
Each a diff’rent destiny.

19.When the Sacrament is broken,
Fear not: in each sundered token –
Hallowed by the word once spoken –
Is the Sacred Presence whole.

20. In the Thing Itself no breaking,
Clefts in symbol only making,
And no state or status taking
Changes what God gives the soul.

21. Lo, the Bread of angels holy
Now the food of pilgrims lowly;
And the bread for children truly,
Must not to the dogs be thrown

22. In old symbols once predicted:
Isaac’s sacrifice depicted,
Lamb with Paschal death inflicted,
Manna to the Fathers shown.

23. Bread from Heav’n, Good Shepherd caring,
Jesu, mercy and forbearing;
Feed us, Lord, and guard us faring,
Show the good you are preparing
In the life of heav’n above.

24. Knowing all, and all things doing,
Lord, on earth our good pursuing,
Keep us in that Life ensuing
Where these worldy needs eschewing,
We may share with Saints in love.

Amen. Alleluia.
Thomas Aquinas, XIII; tr. John-Julian, OJN, 1994