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Pange Lingua

Pange Lingua is a hymn written by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi (now called the Solemnity of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ). Some writers feel that the rhythm was based on the marching song of Caesar's Legions: "Ecce, Caesar nunc triumphat qui subegit Gallias." It is also used on Holy Thursday when the last two stanzas, called separately Tantum Ergo, are sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Both the hymn and liturgical observances celebrate a transubstantiation where the bread and wine is believed in faith to be changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Latin text and English translation

Pange, lingua, gloriosi		Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
Corporis mysterium,		of His flesh the mystery sing;
Sanguinisque pretiosi,		of the Blood, all price exceeding,
quem in mundi pretium		shed by our immortal King,
fructus ventris generosi	destined, for the world's redemption,
Rex effudit Gentium.		from a noble womb to spring. 

Nobis datus, nobis natus Of a pure and spotless Virgin ex intacta Virgine, born for us on earth below, et in mundo conversatus, He, as Man, with man conversing, sparso verbi semine, stayed, the seeds of truth to sow; sui moras incolatus then He closed in solemn order miro clausit ordine. wondrously His life of woe.

In supremae nocte coenae On the night of that Last Supper, recumbens cum fratribus seated with His chosen band, observata lege plene He the Pascal victim eating, cibis in legalibus, first fulfills the Law's command; cibum turbae duodenae then as Food to His Apostles se dat suis manibus. gives Himself with His own hand.

Verbum caro, panem verum Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature verbo carnem efficit: by His word to Flesh He turns; fitque sanguis Christi merum, wine into His Blood He changes; et si sensus deficit, what though sense no change discerns? ad firmandum cor sincerum Only be the heart in earnest, sola fides sufficit. faith her lesson quickly learns.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum Down in adoration falling, veneremur cernui: Lo! the sacred Host we hail; et antiquum documentum Lo! o'er ancient forms departing, novo cedat ritui: newer rites of grace prevail; praestet fides supplementum faith for all defects supplying, sensuum defectui. where the feeble sense fail.

Genitori, Genitoque To the everlasting Father, laus et jubilatio, and the Son who reigns on high, salus, honor, virtus quoque with the Holy Ghost proceeding sit et benedictio: forth from Each eternally, procedenti ab utroque be salvation, honor, blessing, compar sit laudatio. might and endless majesty.

Amen. Alleluia. Amen. Alleluia.