All glory, laud and honour

Happy Palm Sunday!

Today’s hymn has been sang in countless Palm Sunday services since it was penned (in Latin) in around 820 A.D. by Theodulph, bishop of Orleans. Theodulph had been imprisoned on suspicion of treason in 818, and died in prison in 821.

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.

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

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

Refrain

Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.

Refrain

I’m guessing that the prison wasn’t a most congenial place for hymn-writing, yet Theopdulph’s mind and pen only pour forth praise. His starting point is the original Palm Sunday (Matt. 21:1-17, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-38, John 12:12-13), to which he adds a scene of angelic worship from Revelation.

What I found delightful is that from the third stanza on, he places the worship then alongside our worship now. They presented their praise, and so do we; they sang a melody, and so do we; God accepted their praise, may He do the same with ours. Isn’t that such a lovely picture of the continuity of God’s covenant people? And as we sing this centuries-old hymn, we too join in the multitude of the redeemed who are now singing it in a nobler and sweeter tongue (to borrow words from here).

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