Hymn: “All glory, laud, and honor”

Continuing my series on great old hymns, since tomorrow is Palm Sunday, I decided to focus our attention today on a hymn about the Triumphal Entry. I covered my favorite Palm Sunday hymn four years ago, and another particularly suitable text the previous Advent, but this is also a favorite hymn, and unlike “Hosanna, loud hosanna” (which only dates to 1873) this is actually an old hymn (the Latin more than a thousand years older than that).

All glory, laud, and honor
To Thee, Redeemer, King!
To whom the lips of children
Made glad hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessed 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 palms before Thee went:
Our praise and prayers 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.

(Text found on Hymnary.org.)

As one would expect from a text that was nominally translated from a series of Latin “sentences” and then versified, this is admittedly somewhat disjointed, to the point that some hymnals divide it as above, while some others (as I have most commonly seen it) make the first four lines a refrain and every other four-line piece a verse—and I think I have even seen one hymnal omit half of one of the verses (possibly “The people of the Hebrews” and the following three lines), shift the remainder up, and repeat the first four lines as the last four lines of the hymn. I love the hymn despite the repetitive opening-as-refrain setting used in most churches in which I have sung it.

Growing up, I gravitated toward this hymn, like some others, because I find certain somewhat-archaic (or very-archaic) English phrases “fun” to sing; while I still enjoy singing “comest” or (in “Holy, Holy, Holy”) “Which wert and art,” nowadays I love the hymns for the joy, solemnity, and in some cases nuance of the praises the texts offer to God and their description of his character.

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