Posted by: rcottrill | June 16, 2014

All Glory, Laud and Honour

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Words: Theodulph of Orleans (b. AD 760; d. AD 821); English translation, John Mason Neale (b. Jan. 24, 1818; d. Aug. 6, 1886)
Music: St. Theodulph, by Melchior Teschner (b. Apr. 29, 1584; d. Dec. 1, 1635)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber

Note: The Wordwise Hymns link will give you a biography of Theodulph. The hymn was written around AD 820, while Bishop Theodulph was in prison. There is also a legend about the way his own Palm Sunday hymn led to his release from prison (on a charge of treason).

The legend is that the emperor, Louis I, who had imprisoned Theodulph, was passing by the prison one Sunday, in grand procession. Suddenly, from the tower above, a voice was heard singing this hymn. The emperor was touched by the words, and asked who was singing. When he found out, he ordered Theodulph to be released, also commanding that the hymn be sung on Palm Sunday from then on.

So the story goes. And though it’s not likely true, it does, in a way, attest to the continuing popularity of the hymn.

In some hymn books, the first verse is used as a repeated refrain. Others simply use it as the first stanza. Because it seems less repetitious. I encourage you to use “All glory, laud, and honour…” as stanza one, rather than a refrain. You can use Teschner’s tune, or the tune Ellacombe (commonly associated with Isaac Watts’s I Sing the Mighty Power of God).

The last two stanzas of the hymn, as translated by John Mason Neale, are not used today. Surprisingly, what I’ve labeled stanza seven below was used until the seventeenth century. Today, it seems beyond quaint, and would likely bring great hilarity if it were sung by a congregation today!

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

8) Receive, instead of palm-boughs,
Our vict’ry o’er the foe,
That in the Conquerer’s triumph
This strain may ever flow.

These things aside, this is a thoughtful consideration of the events of Palm Sunday. What is called the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah that this was to be exactly how Israel’s Messiah would present Himself to them as their King.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9).

It is such a significant event that all for Gospel writers include it (Matt. 21:1-11; Mk. 11:1-10; Lk. 19:25-38; Jn. 12:12-19). Of course we know that, shortly after the excitement of that day, Christ was rejected and crucified. Long years of Israel’s spiritual blindness had led to a national rejection of their Messiah-King. After the Triumphal Entry, the Lord mourned over the city of Jerusalem with these passionate words:

“As He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Lk. 19:41-42).

Even so, we can do as Theodulph does, and identify ourselves with the praise of His followers on Palm Sunday.

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

CH-1) Thou art the king of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

CH-2) The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.

CH-3) The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.

CH-4) To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.

1) Does your church celebrate Palm Sunday? What is the emphasis and message for today, if you do?

2) Why was there such a swift turn-around, a week later? (That is, what factors led to Jesus’ arrest and execution, in spite of His popularity with many?)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber


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