Thursday, June 19, 2008

Holy God, We Praise Your Name

[a hymnodic paraphrase of the ancient chant, the Te Deum]

Holy God, we praise Your Name;
Lord of all, we bow before You!
All on earth Your scepter claim*,
All in Heaven above adore You;
Infinite Your vast domain,
Everlasting is Your reign.

Hark! the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising,
Cherubim and seraphim,
In unceasing chorus praising;
Fill the heavens with sweet accord:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord.

Lo! the apostolic train
Join the sacred Name to hallow;
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white robed martyrs** follow;
And from morn to set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.

You are King of glory, Christ:
Son of God, yet born of Mary;
For us sinners sacrificed,
Bringing us a sanctuary:
First to break the bars of death,
You have opened Heaven to faith.

Therefore do we pray You, Lord:
Help Your servants whom, redeeming
By Your precious blood out-poured,
You have saved from Satan’s scheming.
Give to them eternal rest
In the glory of the blest.

Spare Your people, Lord, we pray,
By a thousand snares surrounded:
Keep us from falling away,
Never let us be confounded.
See, I put my trust in You:
Guide my footsteps in all that I do.

Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Spirit,
Three we name You;
While in essence only One,
Undivided God we claim You;
And adoring bend the knee,

While we own the mystery.
---Ignaz Franz (German), 1774; adapted Marie Byars, 2008

*more specifically, all of nature & all the saved acknowledge Him willingly now; someday, everyone will be made to acknowledge Him
**"martyrs": those who died as a result of their faith, giving a powerful Christian witness. ("Martyros" in Greek originally meant "witness.")

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