O What Their Joy And Their Glory Must Be

According to In Liturgy and Song, this hymn was written by Peter Abelard for Vespers I of Sunday on Saturday evening in the Hymnarius Paraclitensis, but the song has more recently become associated with the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1.

This is the text of this hymn as it appears in the 1856 edition of John Mason Neale’s Hymnal Noted, expanded edition (1854):

O what their joy and their glory must be,—
Those endless Sabbaths blessed ones see!
Crown for the valiant: to weary ones rest:
God shall be all, and in all ever blest.

What are the Monarch, His court, and His throne?
What are the peace and the joy that they own?
Tell us, ye blest ones, that in it have share,
If what ye feel ye can fully declare.

Truly “Jerusalem” name we that shore,
“Vision of Peace” that brings joy evermore!
Wish and fulfilment can sever’d be ne’er;
Nor the thing pray’d for come short of the pray’r.

We, where no trouble distraction can bring,
Safely the anthems of Sion shall sing:
While for Thy grace, Lord, their voices of praise
Thy blessed people shall evermore raise.

There dawns no Sabbath, — no Sabbath is o’er;
Those Sabbath-keep-ers have one, and no more;
One and unending is that triumph-song
Which to the Angels and us shall belong.

Now in the meanwhile, with hearts rais’d on high,
We for that Country must yearn and must sigh:
Seeking Jerusalem, dear native land,
Through our long exile on Babylon’s strand.

Low before Him with our praises we fall,
Of Whom, and in Whom, and through Whom are all:
Of Whom,—the Father; and in Whom,—the Son;
Through Whom,—the Spirit, with These ever one. Amen.

Words: Peter Abelard, 12th C.; tr. John Mason Neale, 1854.
Tune: “O Quanta Qualia” Gregorian Chant.*
Alternate Tune: “O Quanta Qualia” Paris Antiphoner, 1681.


*Neale provides several tunes from for this text – so far I do not know of where I could find a sound file demonstrating these tunes.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.

About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in All Saints (November 1), Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Breviaries, Days of the Week, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Holy Mother Church, Holy Saturday, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Major Feasts, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Breviaries, Peter Abelard, Sabbath/Saturday, Sunday, The Church Triumphant/The Heavenly Jerusalem, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to O What Their Joy And Their Glory Must Be

  1. Pingback: O Quanta Qualia Sunt Illa Sabbata | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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