Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Feast of Corpus Christi

Holy Mother Church celebrates the solemnity of Corpus Christi, or the Body and Blood of Christ, on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday; on the traditional calendar, however, this feast is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, in parallelism to Holy Thursday during the Triduum. Also like Holy Thursday, on Corpus Christi the Church praises God for the great gift of the Holy Eucharist, offering thanksgiving and adoration. However, whereas Holy Thursday is shrouded in a solemn air, marked with the sadness of the upcoming feast of Good Friday, Corpus Christi resembles Easter with joyful acclamations and processions honoring Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1264 Pope Urban IV established the feast of Corpus Christi as an universal feast of the Church. Upon the request of Pope Urban IV, St. Thomas Aquinas composed the office for this feast, including five beautiful Eucharistic hymns. One of these hymns, “Adoro Te Devote,” (“Hidden God”) is provided below in the original Latin and its English translation. Whether in Latin or in English, this is a beautiful hymn to recite or sing in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi and Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Adoro Te Devote
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris vere latitas;
Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans, totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,

Sed auditu solo tuto creditur;
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
Nil hoc verbo veritatis verius.

In Cruce latebat sola Deitas.

At hic latet simul et humanitas:
Ambo tamen credens, atgue confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro paenitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor,

Deum tamen meum te confiteor:
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.

O memoriale mortis Domini,

Panis vivus vitam praestans homini:
Praesta meae menti de te vivere,
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie pellicane Iesu Domine,

Me immundum munda tuo Sanguine:
Cuius una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Iesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,

Oro, fiat illud, quod tam sitio,
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae. Amen.

Hidden God
Hidden God, devoutly I adore Thee,

Truly present underneath these veils:
All my heart subdues itself before Thee,
Since it all before Thee faints and fails.
Not to sight, or taste, or touch be credit,
Hearing only do we trust secure;
I believe, for God the Son hath said it–
Word of Truth that ever shall endure.
On the Cross was veiled Thy Godhead's splendor,
Here Thy manhood lieth hidden too;
Unto both alike my faith I render,
And, as sued the contrite thief, I sue.
Though I look not on Thy wounds with Thomas,
Thee, my Lord, and Thee, my God, I call:

Make me more and more believe Thy promise,

Hope in Thee, and love Thee over all.
O Memorial of my Saviour dying,
Living Bread that givest life to man;
May my soul, its life from Thee supplying,
Taste Thy sweetness, as on earth it can.
Deign, O Jesus, pelican* of heaven,
Me, a sinner, in Thy Blood to lave,
To a single drop of which is given
All the world from all its sin to save.
Contemplating Lord, Thy hidden presence,
Grant me what I thirst for and implore,
In the revelation of Thine essence
To behold Thy glory evermore.

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