Praise O Sion
Praise thy Saviour, praise thy Pastor,
In a joyous melody:
Put forth all thy strength to sing him,
For the best that thou canst bring him
Cannot ever worthy be.
Tell, O tell in praises glowing
How the living, life-bestowing
Bread from heaven is given to thee:
Bread which Christ, before he suffered,
At the sacred banquet proffered
To the Twelve in company.
Lift thy voice in tuneful chorus,
Joyfully strain sonorous
Be thy heart’s delight outpoured;
While this solemn day we celebrate
How the Saviour first did consecrate
For his guests the mystic board.
Here, our new King’s table gracing,
This new Passover’s new blessing
Hath fulfilled the older rite:
Here is new to old succeeding,
Truth its shadow superseding,
Darkness swallowed up in light.
What he did at supper seated
Christ ordained to be repeated
In this memory divine;
Wherefore we, his precept heeding,
And his saving Offering pleading,
Consecrate the bread and wine.
‘Tis the truth to Christians given,
Bread becomes his Flesh from heaven,
Wine becomes his holy Blood:
Here, where sight is unavailing,
Faith may seize with grasp unfailing
What can ne’er be understood.
‘Neath these diverse signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden,
Outward signs are all we see:
Bread for eating, wine for drinking,
Yet, in ways beyond all thinking,
Christ in each doth deign to be.
Whoso of this feast partaketh,
Christ divideth not nor breaketh –
He is whole to all that taste:
Whether one this bread receiveth
Or a thousand, still he giveth
One same food that cannot waste.
Good and bad alike are sharing
One repast, a doom preparing
All unlike – ’tis life or death:
Each a destiny is making –
Seek ye of the one partaking
How the issue differeth!
When this Sacrament is broken,
Doubt not in each severed token.
Hallowed by the blessing spoken,
What is veiled doth whole abide:
Though the sign is broken duly,
Christ himself remaineth truly
All unbroken; present fully
Here abides the Signified.
Lo, the angels’ food is given
To the pilgrim who hath striven;
See the children’s Bread from heaven,
Which on dogs may ne’er be spent:
Christ the old types is fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a Victim willing,
Paschal Lamb its life-blood spilling,
Manna to the fathers sent.
O true Bread, Good Shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of thy love befriend us,
Thou refresh us, thou defend us,
Let thy goodness here attend us
Till the land of life we see;
Thou who all things canst and knowest,
Who such food on earth bestowest,
Make us where thy face thou showest,
‘Mid thy saints, through lest and lowest,
Guests and fellow heirs with thee.