Pange Lingua, Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium
Pange Lingua, Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium is one of the most famous and remarkable hymns of the Roman Breviary (q.v.). The Pange Lingua was written by St. Thomas Aquinas, the "Doctor Angelicus," and is used in the Roman Catholic Church on the feast of Corpus Christi and in solemn masses. It was composed at the instance of pope Urban IV. When that pontiff determined to establish the festival of the Holy Sacrament he directed Aquinas to prepare the "office" for that day. The Pange Lingua is a most characteristic example as well of the mediaeval Latin versification as of that union of theology with asceticism which a large class of these hymns present. Besides its place in the Breviary, this hym forms part of the service called Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, and is sung on all occasions of the exposition, procession, and other public acts of eucharistic worship. The celebrated hymn in its received form reads as follows:
Pange, lingua gloriosi Corporis mysterium, Salgninisque pretiosi, Qiiem in mundi pretium, iructus ventris generosi, Rex effudit gentium. Nobis datus, nobis inatus Ex intacta virgine, Et in mudo.counversatus, Sparso verbi sermine, sui mormas incolatus Miro clausit ordine |In supremae nocte coena Recuimbens cum fratribus, Observata lege plene Cibis in legalibus, Cibum turbae duodens "Se dat suis manibus Verbum caro, panlem iernum Verbo carnem efficit: Fitque sanguis Christi merum;." Etssensus deficit, Ad firmandum cor sincerum Sola tides sufficit. Tantnm ergo Sacramentum Veneremur cernui; Et antiqnum.documentum Novo cedat ritni, Prsestet fides supplementunm Sensuum defectui. Genitori, genitoque Lanet jubilatio, Salus, honor, virtus quoque Sit et benedictio: Procedenti ab utroque Compar sit laudatio.
"This hymn," says Mr. Neale, "contests the second place among those of the Western Church with the Vexilla Regis, the Stabat Mater, the Jesus dulcis Memoria, the Ad Regias Agni Dapes, the Ad Supernam, and one or two others, leaving the Dies Irae (q.v.) in its unapproachable glory. It has been a bow of Ulysses to translators." How true this remark is may be seen from the following specimens both in English and German: Neale (Of the glorious Body telling).; Benedict (Sing, my tongue, the theme undying); Schaff (Sing, my tongue, the mystery telling); Palmer (Sing, and the mystery declare); Caswall (Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory); "Hymns Ancient and Modern" (Now, my tongue, the mystery telling); Rumbach (Preiset Lippen das Geheinniss); Simrock (Kundet Lippen all des Hehren); Daniel (Preist ein Wunder ohne Gleichen); Fortlage (Zunge, king in Wanderftnen); Konigsfeld (Singet, Iochgesang des Grossen). Trench, in his collection of sacred Latin poetry, has omitted it, because it strongly savors of transubstantiation. For the various translations, comp. Schaff, Christ in Song; Neale, Medieeval Hymns; Benedict, Hymn of Hildebert; Caswall, Hymns and Poems; Hymns Ancient and Modern; Rambach, Anthologie, vol i; Simrock, Lauda Sion-Salvatorem Konigsfeld, Lateinische Hymnen und Gesange; Bassler, Auswahl altchristlicher Lieder; Fortlage, Gesdnge christlicher Vorzeit; Daniel, Hymnologischer Blithenstrauss (Halle, 1840). (B.P.)