Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Indispensable Hymn

To-day being the feast of the Dedication, not merely of any church, but of the very Cathedral of Christ's Vicar, I missed singing Neale's superlative rendering of Angularis fundamentum (from his 1851 Mediæval Hymns); here is his text, with Gibbon's great tune on organ to play while you, like I, essay to sing along:

Angularis fundamentum
lapis Christus missus est,
qui parietum compage
in utroque nectitur,
quem Sion sancta suscepit,
in quo credens permanet.
Omnis illa Deo sacra
et dilecta civitas,
plena modulis in laude
et canore jubilo,
trinum Deum unicumque
cum fervore prædicat.
Hoc in templo, summe Deus,
exoratus adveni,
et clementi bonitate
precum vota suscipe;
largam benedictionem
hic infunde jugiter.
Hic promereantur omnes
petita acquirere
et adepta possidere
cum sanctis perenniter,
paradisum introire
translati in requiem.
Gloria et honor Deo
usquequaque altissimo,
una Patri Filioque
inclyto Paraclito,
Cui laus est et potestas
per æterna sæcula.

Christ is made the sure Foundation,
Christ the Head and Cornerstone;
Chosen of the Lord, and precious,
Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Zion’s Help forever,
And her Confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved of God on high,
In exultant jubilation,
Pours perpetual melody,
God the One in Three adoring
In glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call Thee,
Come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
With Thy wonted lovingkindness
Hear Thy servants as they pray.
And Thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
What they ask of Thee to gain;
What they gain from Thee forever
With the blessèd to retain,
And hereafter in Thy glory
Evermore with Thee to reign.

Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One;
Consubstantial, co-eternal,
While unending ages run.

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