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Songs Shake the Walls of Jericho

Hymn Book

Hymns of the Christian Church. Latin Hymns and Modern Hymns
Vol. 45, pp. 546-556; also pp. 567-568 of The Harvard Classics

Do you know that many of your favorite hymns have echoed for hundreds of years through vast cathedrals, and resounded from the walls of Jericho during the Crusades?
(Newman, author of "Lead, Kindly Light," baptized Oct. 9, 1845.)

Latin Hymns

Te Deum Laudamus
Attributed to Niceta of Remisiana (4th Century)

WE praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud: the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Churubin and Seraphin continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of thy Glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
The Father, of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the Glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people and bless thine heritage.
Govern them, and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us: have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us: as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.

Veni Creator Spiritus
Attributed to Charlemagne. Tr. John Dryden (742–814)

CREATOR SPIRIT, by whose aid
The world’s foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on human kind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,
And make thy temples worthy thee.
  O source of uncreated light,
The Father’s promised Paraclete,
Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire,
Our hearts with heavenly love inspire;
Come, and thy sacred unction bring
To sanctify us while we sing.
  Plenteous of grace, descend from high,
Rich in thy sevenfold energy;
Thou strength of his almighty hand,
Whose power does heaven and earth command,
Proceeding Spirit, our defence,
Who dost the gift of tongues dispense,
And crown’st thy gift with eloquence.
  Refine and purge our earthy parts,
But O, inflame and fire our hearts,
Our frailties help, our vice control;
Submit the senses to the soul,
And, when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay thy hand, and hold them down.
  Chase from our minds the infernal foe,
And peace, the fruit of love, bestow;
And, lest our feet should step astray,
Protect and guide us in the way;
  Make us eternal truths receive
And practise all that we believe
Give us thyself, that we may see
The Father and the Son by thee.
  Immortal honour, endless fame,
Attend the Almighty Father’s name:
The Saviour Son be glorified,
Who for lost man’s redemption died;
And equal adoration be,
Eternal Paraclete, to thee.

Hic Breve Vivitur
From “De Contemptu Mundi” By Bernard of Morlaix. Tr. J. M. Neale (cir. 1125)

BRIEF life is here our portion,
  Brief sorrow, short-lived care;
The life that knows no ending,
  The tearless life, is there.

And after fleshly scandal,
  And after this world’s night,
And after storm and whirlwind,
  Is calm and joy and light.

There grief is turned to pleasure,
  Such pleasure as, below,
No human voice can utter,
  No human heart can know:

The peace of all the faithful,
  The calm of all the blest,
Inviolate, unvaried,
  Divinest, sweetest, best.

That peace,—but who may claim it?
  The guileless in their way,
Who keep the ranks of battle,
  Who mean the thing they say.

Strive, man, to win that glory,
  Toil, man, to gain that light,
Send hope before to grasp it,
  Till hope be lost in sight!

Urbs Sion Aurea
From “De Contemptu Mundi” By Bernard of Morlaix. Tr. J. M. Neale (cir. 1125)

JERUSALEM the golden,
  With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation
  Sink heart and voice oppressed
I know not, O, I know not,
  What social joys are there,
What radiancy of glory,
  What light beyond compare!

They stand, those halls of Zion,
  Conjubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel
  And all the martyr throng.
And they who, with their Leader,
  Have conquered in the fight,
Forever and forever
  Are clad in robes of white.

Jerusalem the glorious,
  The glory of the elect,
O dear and future vision
  That eager hearts expect,
New mansion of new people,
  Whom God’s own love and light
Promote, increase, make holy,
  Identify, unite!

Jesu, Dulcis Memoria
St. Bernard of Clairvaux Tr. E. Caswall (1091–1153)

JESU, the very thought of Thee
  With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy Face to see,
  And in Thy Presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
  Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Jesu’s Name,
  The Saviour of mankind.

O Hope of every contrite heart,
  O Joy of all the meek,
To those who ask how kind Thou art,
  How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
  Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is
  None but His loved ones know.

Jesu, our only Joy be Thou,
  As Thou our Prize wilt be:
In Thee be all our glory now,
  And through eternity.

Jesu, Dulcedo Cordium
St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Tr. Ray Palmer (1091–1153)

JESUS, Thou Joy of loving hearts!
  Thou Fount of Life! Thou Light of men!
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
  We turn unfill’d to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
  Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee, Thou art good,
  To them that find Thee, All in All!

We taste Thee, O Thou Living Bread,
  And long to feast upon Thee still!
We drink of Thee, the Fountain Head,
  And thirst our souls from Thee to fill!

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
  Where’er our changeful lot is cast;
Glad, when Thy gracious smile we see,
  Blest, when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay!
  Make all our moments calm and bright!
Chase the dark night of sin away,
  Shed o’er the world Thy holy light!

Dies Iræ, Dies Illa
Thomas A. Celano. Tr. J. O’Hagan (d. 1275)

DAY of wrath, that day whose knelling
Gives to flame this earthly dwelling;
Psalm and Sibyl thus foretelling.

Oh, what agony of trembling,
When the judge mankind assembling,
Probeth all beyond dissembling.

Pealing wondrous through the regions,
Shall the trumpet force obedience,
And the graves yield up their legions.

Startled death and nature sicken,
Thus to see the creature quicken,
Waiting judgment terror-stricken.

Open, then, with all recorded,
Stands the book from whence awarded
Doom shall pass with deed accorded.

When the judge is throned in session,
All things hid shall find confession,
Unavenged be no transgression.

Wretch, what then shall be my pleading?
Who my patron interceding?
Scarce the just securely speeding.

Thou, O king of awful splendour,
Saving grace dost freely render;
Save me, fount of pity tender.

Think, ’twas I, my lost condition,
Caused, O pitying Lord, thy mission;
Spare my soul that day’s perdition.

Seeking me, thy footstep hasted;
Me to save, the cross was tasted,
Be not toil so mighty wasted.

Righteous judge of retribution,
Grant the gift of absolution
Ere the day of restitution.

Me my culprit heart accuses;
Inmost guilt my face suffuses;
Heal, O Lord, thy suppliant’s bruises.

Thou who Mary’s sin hast shriven,
Thou who broughtst the thief to heaven,
Hope to me hast also given.

Nothing worth is mine endeavour,
Yet, in ruth, my soul deliver
From the flame that burns for ever.

With thy sheep, thy chosen, place me,
Severed from the goats embrace me;
On thy right-hand, ransomed, place me.

When the reprobate confounded
Lie with wrathful fire surrounded,
May my call to bliss be sounded.

Crushed to dust and prostrate bending,
All my heart contrition rending;
I implore thee, guard my ending.

Oh, that awful day of mourning,
When, from earthly dust returning,

Guilty man shall bide his sentence;
Spare him, God, for his repentance.

Jesus, Lord, thy mercy lending,
Grant them rest, thy rest unending.

Stabat Mater
Jacobus de Benedictis. Tr. D. F. Maccarthy (13th–14th Century)

BY the cross, on which suspended,
With his bleeding hands extended,
  Hung that Son she so adored,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
She whose heart, its silence keeping,
  Grief had cleft as with a sword.

Oh, that Mother’s sad affliction—
Mother of all benediction—
  Of the sole-begotten One;
Oh, the grieving, sense-bereaving,
Of her heaving breast, perceiving
  The dread sufferings of her Son.

What man is there so unfeeling,
Who, his heart to pity steeling,
  Could behold that sight unmoved?
Could Christ’s Mother see there weeping,
See the pious Mother keeping
  Vigil by the Son she loved?

For his people’s sins atoning,
She saw Jesus writhing, groaning,
  ’Neath the scourge wherewith he bled;
Saw her loved one, her consoler,
Dying in his dreadful dolour,
  Till at length his spirit fled.

O thou Mother of election,
Fountain of all pure affection,
  Make thy grief, thy pain, my own;
Make my heart to God returning,
In the love of Jesus burning,
  Feel the fire that thine has known.

Blessed Mother of prediction,
Stamp the marks of crucifixion
  Deeply on my stony heart,
Ever leading where thy bleeding
Son is pleading for my needing,
  Let me in his wounds take part.

Make me truly, each day newly
While life lasts, O Mother, duly
  Weep with him, the Crucified.
Let me, ’tis my sole demanding,
Near the cross, where thou art standing,
  Stand in sorrow at thy side.

Queen of virgins, best and dearest,
Grant, oh, grant the prayer thou hearest,
  Let me ever mourn with thee;
Let compassion me so fashion
That Christ’s wounds, his death and passion,
  Be each day renewed in me.

Oh, those wounds do not deny me;
On that cross, oh, crucify me;
  Let me drink his blood I pray:
Then on fire, enkindled, daring,
I may stand without despairing
  On that dreadful judgment-day.

May that cross be my salvation;
Make Christ’s death my preservation;
  May his grace my heart make wise;
And when death my body taketh,
May my soul when it awaketh
  Ope in heaven its raptured eyes.

Adeste Fideles, Called “The Portuguese Chapel Hymn.”
Anonymous. Tr. J. R. Beste (15th–16th Century)

HASTEN, ye faithful, glad, joyful, and holy,
    Speed ye to Bethlem to honour the Word;
See there the King of angels is born lowly—
    Oh, come and kneel before him;
    Oh, come and all adore him;
Oh come, oh come, rejoicing to honour the Lord.

God of the Godhead, true Light unabated,
    Mary the Virgin has borne the Adored;
True God eternal, begot, uncreated—
    Oh, come and kneel before him;
    Oh, come and all adore him;
Oh come, oh come, rejoicing to honour the Lord.

Sing, all ye angels, till echoes rebounding
    Swell through your halls, for ever be heard;
‘Glory to God,’ through all heaven resounding—
    Oh, come and kneel before him;
    Oh, come and all adore him;
Oh come, oh come, rejoicing to honour the Lord.

Praise to the Infant, who this day descended;
    Glory to thee, blessed Jesus adored;
Word, in whom two natures join, yet unblended—
    Oh, come and kneel before him;
Oh, come and all adore him;
    Oh come, oh come, rejoicing to honour the Lord.

O Deus, Ego Amo Te
Attributed To St. Francis Xavier. Tr. Edward Caswall (1506–1552)

MY God, I love thee: not because
  I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor because they who love thee not
  Must burn eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
  Upon the Cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails and spear,
  And manifold disgrace.

And grief and torments numberless,
  And sweat of agony;
Yea, death itself; and all for me
  Who was thine enemy.

Then why, O Blessèd Jesu Christ,
  Should I not love thee well?—
Not for the hope of winning heaven,
  Nor of escaping hell;

Not with the hope of gaining aught,
  Not seeking a reward;
But as thyself hast lovèd me,
  O ever-loving Lord!

E’en so I love thee and will love,
  And in thy praise will sing,
Solely because thou art my God,
  And my eternal King.

Modern Hymns

The Pillar of Cloud
John Henry Newman (1801–1890)

LEAD, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,—
    Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet! I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou
    Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
    Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years!

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still
    Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
    The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

Nearer, My God, to Thee
Sarah Flower Adams (1805–1848)

NEARER, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross
  That raiseth me,
Still all my song would be,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee!

Though like the wanderer,
  The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
  My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I’d be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee.

There let the way appear
  Steps unto heaven;
All that thou send’st to me
  In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee.

Then, with my waking thoughts
  Bright with thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
  Bethel I’ll raise;
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee.

Or if on joyful wing
  Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
  Upwards I fly,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to thee,
  Nearer to thee!


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