Hymn of the week; All glory, laud and honour

Palm SundayI am afraid I am a bit of a liturgical dinosaur. Having been brought up on a lectionary and calendar that observed last Sunday as ‘Passion Sunday’ and this Sunday as ‘Palm Sunday’ I find it difficult to make the adjustment to ‘Palm/Passion Sunday’ or ‘The Second Sunday of the Passion’ or suchlike. Neither will we be reading a huge portion of the Passion tomorrow; I like to stick with the Palm Sunday story and will have Matthew’s account of the entry into Jerusalem as the Gospel reading. There is plenty of opportunity to look ahead to the events of the Passion in the hymns, sermon and Communion Prayer. I hear the pragmatic argument that there is a danger that many of our folk go directly from Palm Sunday to Easter Day and therefore have the resurrection without the cross; in my opinion they should therefore get themselves to church on Good Friday!

So here are the hymns we shall be singing at Archway on Palm Sunday:

  • All glory, laud and honour
  • A ‘Palm Praise’ medley of selected verses of
    • Make way, make way
    • Hosanna, hosanna
    • Give me oil in my lamp
  • From heaven you came (The servant King)
  • There is a Redeemer
  • Lift high the cross

For the purpose of this blog entry, it is inconvenient that apart from the first hymn and ‘Give me oil’, all are in copyright. So my hymn for the week will have to be ‘All glory, laud and honour’.

This hymn was written as a processional for Palm Sunday by Theodulph of Orleans, who served as a bishop during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th Century. There is a legendary story attached to the hymn: that Theodulph had been imprisoned in Angers by Charlemagne’s successor Emperor Louis, who upon hearing the hymn (presumably while passing the prison) immediately released Theodulph. In reality, Theodulph died at Angers. (Companion to Hymns and Psalms)

‘All glory, laud and honour’ was one of the many ancient hymns translated into English by the high-church Anglican John Mason Neale, although a number of amendments were made, with Neale’s approval, for the first edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern, and this is the version generally sung today.

One verse we will, alas, not be singing was omitted by Neale from his translation:

Be Thou O Lord the rider,
And we the little ass;
That to God’s Holy City
Together we may pass.

Here is the hymn that we will be singing tomorrow:

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
With psalms before Thee went;
Our praise and prayer and anthems
Before Thee we present.

To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.
Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Theodulph of Orleans (c.750-821) tr. John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

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About Holloway Rev

Paul Weary is a Methodist minister living and working in Holloway, North London.
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