Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vespers hymn for Palm Sunday

Tonight's Vespers hymn is the beautiful Vexilla regis:

Behold the standard of the King,
The Cross gleams forth its mystery;
On it the Son of God as Man
Atoned on earth for sinners all.

His side was pierced by cruel lance
That drew out water with his Blood,
To cleanse our souls from ev'ry stain,
And nourish them with its pure stream.

O Tree that shines with beauty rare,
Ennobled by Christ's precious Blood,
He chose you as the royal bed
To rest his sacred limbs in death.

O blessèd were your rugged arms,
From which the whole world's ransom hung,
You bore the weight of sacrifice
That snatched from greedy hell its prey.

Hail, holy altar, Victim hail,
For all the glory of that Cross,
By which Life chose and welcomed death,
And dying gave us life once more.

Hail, holy Cross, our only hope,
Wash all our guilt and crimes away,
Increase our grace while we adore
In honor of your victory.

Let ev'ry soul sing in your praise,
Salvation's Fount, O Trinity,
For ever cherish those redeemed
Through that great mystery, the Cross. Amen.

(Translation from the wonderful Mundelein Psalter.) A blessed Holy Week to you all!

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