Many Centuries Have Fled

Many centuries have fled
Since our Saviour broke the bread,
And this sacred feast ordained,
Ever by his church retained:
Those his body who discern,
Thus shall meet till his return.

Through the church’s long eclipse,
When, from priest or pastor’s lips,
Truth divine was never heard–
‘Mid the famine of the word,
Still these symbols witness gave
To his love who died to save.

All who bear the Saviour’s name,
Here their common faith proclaim;
Though diverse in tongue and rite,
Here, one body we unite;
Breaking thus one mystic bread,
Members of one common bread.

Come, the blessed emblems share,
Which the Saviour’s death declare;
Come, on truth immortal feed;
For his flesh is meat indeed:
Saviour! witness with the sign,
That our ransomed souls are thine.