This hymn is one of the most beloved of the Church. It is used as the hymn for I & II Vespers on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, it is sung on Holy Thursday, and the last two verses, the Tantum Ergo, is sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Sing, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory,
Of his Flesh the mystery sing;
Of the Blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal King,
Destin’d, 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,
Stay’d, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He clos’d 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.
[Here begins the “Tantum ergo sacramentum” which is often used as a separate hymn in its own right.]
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 senses fail.
To the Everlasting Father,
And the Son who reigns on high,
With the Holy Ghost proceeding
Forth from Each eternally,
Be salvation, honour, blessing,
Might, and endless majesty.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.