The Mighty Host On High

This hymn was used for Lauds & Vespers II for the Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel in the Hereford Breviary.

This is the original text of this hymn as it appears in the 1856 edition of John Mason Neale’s Hymnal Noted, expanded edition (1854). It is listed there as a morning hymn for the Festival of S. Michael and All Angels:

The mighty host on high,
Their joys beyond compare,
Their glories in the sky,
The deeds they bravely dare:
For these the Church to-day
Pours forth her joyous lay,
To Heav’n’s great princes praise to pay.

These are the chieftains bright,
Viceroys of God’s domain,
Unwearied in their might
The demons to restrain:
To quell th’infernal foe,
And work their rivals woe,
These heav’nly warriors haste below.

Captains of mighty race,
And noble champions, they
The evil spirits chase,
Undaunted in the fray:
They speed, in ranks array’d,
The upright soul to aid,
And crown him victor undismay’d.

What tongue can here declare,
Fancy or thought descry,
The joys Thou dost prepare
For these thine hosts on high?
Who, for the warfare deck’d,
Their earthly friends protect,
And in right paths to heav’n direct.

To Thee, O Lord most high,
One in Three Persons still,
To pardon us we cry,
And to preserve from ill;
That, after perils sore,
Thy Name we may adore
With holy Angels evermore. Amen.

Words: Hereford Breviary; tr. John Mason Neale, 1854.
Tune: “Das Herrlich Hohe Fest” C. Peter, ca 1674.*
Meter: 12.12.12.8 (6.6.6.6.6.6.8)

*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 Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Breviaries, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Evening Prayer / Vespers, Hymns By The Greats, John Mason Neale, Major Feasts, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Other Breviaries, Other Feast Days, SS. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael (Sept. 29), St. Raphael the Archangel (Oct. 24 (EF)), Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Communion of Saints, The Holy Angels, The Holy Archangels, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Proper of Saints and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Mighty Host On High

  1. Pingback: Excelsorum Civium Inclita Gaudia | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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