Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 04 August |
Saint of the Day: St. John Vianney
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

The oldest known Eucharistic hymn in a wonderful new English translation

J-P Mauro - published on 08/08/19

The melody, Victimae Paschali Laudes, has been used for some of the oldest hymn texts.

Hailing from Bangor Abbey, in the North of Ireland, “Sancti venite” was composed in the 7th century and is the oldest known Eucharistic hymn. It was sung for a thousand years before it was first published by Ludovico Antonio Muratori in his Anecdota Latina ex Ambrosianæ Bibliothecæ codicibus.

This new translation of the ancient Latin text was completed by Fr. Adrian Fortescue, for the new Brebeuf Hymnal. Corpus Christi Watershed hails the new hymnal as a Catholic hymn book that “doesn’t mimic or ‘build upon’ Protestant hymnals.”

Jeff Ostrowski, from Corpus Christi Watershed, notes that, “Fortescue’s translation matches the meter of the original, a spectacular feat.”

The melody, VICTIMAE PASCHALI LAUDES, is attributed to 11th-century composer Wipo of Burgundy; however, the exact date when it was penned is unclear.

This tune was also used for “Christ ist erstanden,” quite possibly the oldest German hymn, which originated in the 12th century. Both “Christ ist erstanden” and “Sancti venite” are considered Easter hymns and are most often sung during the Easter season.

Here’s a look a the German “Christ is erstanden”:

Tags:
CatholicCatholic historyHymn
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
4
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
5
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
6
ANTENUCCI
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
7
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.