Hymn composed by St. Theodulph of Orleans in the year of our Lord 820, during his imprisonment by King Louis I the Pious on charges of conspiracy against the throne. It is said that he composed it while watching the king's procession pass by outside his cell window on Palm Sunday.

Latin Text:

Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, rex Christe redemptor
cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium

Israel tu rex, Davidis et inclyta proles
nomine qui in Domini, rex benedicte, venis

Coetus in excelsis te laudat caelicus omnis
et mortalis homo, cuncta creata simul

Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis obvia venit
cum prece, voto, hymnis adsumus ecce tibi

Hi tibi passuro solvebant munia laudis
nos tibi regnati pangimus ecce melos

Hi placuere tibi; placeat devotio nostra
rex pie, rex clemens, cui bona cuncta placent

Gloria, laus, et honor tibi sit, rex Christe redemptor,
cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.


English Translation:

Glory, praise, and honor are yours, Christ, king and redeemer
for whom child-like splendor calls pious Hosannas

You are the king of Israel, splendid scion of the house of David
you who come in the name of the Lord, blessed king

All the hosts in heaven give praise to you on high
as mortal man and all things in creation

With palms the nation of the Hebrews came forth to greet you
see, we come to you with prayers, hymns and songs

They gave their offerings of praise to you, about to suffer
see, we offer up our hymns to you, our reigning king

They were pleasing to you; now let our adoration also please,
our pious king and merciful, whom all good things please


Notes:

The hymn describes the procession of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem before passover. The Roman Missal uses these lines during the procession on Palm Sunday. Traditionally, the first couplet, the refrain (Gloria, laus...), is sung inside the church by cantors, after which the procession outside responds. The cantors then sing each additional couplet, answered from outside with the refrain. The second line (puerile decus/"youthful splendor") seems to reflect the role of boys choirs as the cantors.

Compare the following passage, from the elder Roman Missal, once read before the blessing of the palms:

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes et dicentes: "Hosanna in excelsis"

"The children of the Hebrews, bearing branches of olives, came out to greet the lord, crying out and saying: "Hosanna in the highest".

The hymn reflects the major theme of Palm Sunday: the triumphant king entering into his city, given praise and honor by its inhabitants, before his suffering and passion.

It is written in perfect elegiac couplets: an hexameter line followed by a pentameter.

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