GOOD FRIDAY
April 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 103

Pange Lingua


    On this most solemn, saddest, but most necessary of days in the Liturgical Year, we can gain a greater insight of the gift we receive from the ultimate sacrifice of the Immolated Lamb on the wood of the Cross - Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The timeless poem first conceived by Saint Venantius Fortunatus in the sixth century is the one below, whereas the more common Pange Lingua used on the Feast of Corpus Christi comes from the Angelic Doctor Saint Thomas Aquinas. The former is used below for this solemn occasion when we meditate upon His Passion and Death.

PANGE, lingua, gloriosi
proelium certaminis,
1
et super Crucis trophaeo
dic triumphum nobilem,
qualiter Redemptor orbis
immolatus vicerit.

De parentis protoplasti
fraude Factor condolens,
quando pomi noxalis
morte morsu corruit,
2
ipse lignum tunc notavit,
damna ligni ut solveret.

Hoc opus nostrae salutis
ordo depoposcerat,
multiformis proditoris
ars ut artem falleret,
et medelam ferret inde,
hostis unde laeserat.

Quando venit ergo sacri
plenitudo temporis,
missus est ab arce Patris
natus, orbis, Conditor,
atque ventre virginali
carne factus prodiit.
3

Vagit infans inter arcta
conditus praesepia:
membra pannis involuta
Virgo Mater alligat:
et manus pedesque et crura
4
stricta cingit fascia.

LUSTRA sex qui iam peracta5
tempus implens corporis,
se volente, natus ad hoc,
6
passioni deditus,
Agnus in crucis levatur
immolandus stipite.

En acetum, fel, arundo,
sputa, clavi, lancea:
mite corpus perforatur,
Sanguis, unda profluit
7
terra, pontus, astra, mundus,
quo lavantur flumine!

CRUX fidelis, inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
8
dulce pondus sustinens!

Flecte ramos, arbor alta,
tensa laxa viscera,
et rigor lentescat ille,
quem dedit nativitas,
ut superni membra Regis
miti tendas stipite.
9

Sola digna tu fuisti
ferre saeculi pretium,
atque portum praeparare
nauta mundo naufrago,
quem sacer cruor perunxit,
10
fusus Agni corpore.

Aequa Patri Filioque,
inclito Paraclito,
sempiterna sit beatae
Trinitati gloria,
cuius alma nos redemit
atque servat gratia. Amen.
11

SING, my tongue, the Savior's glory;
tell His triumph far and wide;
tell aloud the famous story
of His body crucified;
how upon the cross a victim,
vanquishing in death, He died.

Eating of the tree forbidden,
man had sunk in Satan's snare,
when our pitying Creator did
this second tree prepare;
destined, many ages later,
that first evil to repair.

Such the order God appointed
when for sin He would atone;
to the serpent thus opposing
schemes yet deeper than his own;
thence the remedy procuring,
whence the fatal wound had come.

So when now at length the fullness
of the sacred time drew nigh,
then the Son, the world's Creator,
left His Father's throne on high;
from a virgin's womb appearing,
clothed in our mortality.

All within a lowly manger,
lo, a tender babe He lies!
see His gentle Virgin Mother
lull to sleep His infant cries!
while the limbs of God incarnate
round with swathing bands she ties.

THUS did Christ to perfect manhood
in our mortal flesh attain:
then of His free choice He goeth
to a death of bitter pain;
and as a lamb, upon the altar
of the cross, for us is slain.

Lo, with gall His thirst He quenches!
see the thorns upon His brow!
nails His tender flesh are rending!
see His side is opened now!
whence, to cleanse the whole creation,
streams of blood and water flow.

FAITHFUL Cross! above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

Lofty tree, bend down thy branches,
to embrace thy sacred load;
oh, relax the native tension
of that all too rigid wood;
gently, gently bear the members
of thy dying King and God.

Tree, which solely wast found worthy
the world's Victim to sustain.
harbor from the raging tempest!
ark, that saved the world again!
Tree, with sacred blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.

Blessing, honor, everlasting,
to the immortal Deity;
to the Father, Son, and Spirit,
equal praises ever be;
glory through the earth and Heaven
to Trinity in Unity. Amen.

From Liturgia Horarum and Latin Hymns by F. A. March, LL.D, 1894.
_________________________________________
Changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632 to the Roman Breviary:

1 Lauream certaminis
2 In necem morsu ruit:
3 Carne amictus prodiit.
4 Et Dei manus pedesque
5 Lustra sex qui jam peregit,
6 Sponte libera Redemptor
7 Felle potus ecce languet:/spina, clavi, lancea/mite corpus perforarunt:/unda manat, et cruor:
8 Silva talem nulla profert/fronde, flore, germine:/dulce ferrum, dulce lignum,
9 et superni membra regis/tende miti stipite,
10 ferre mundi victimam;/atque portum pręparare/arco mundo naufrago,/quam sacer cruor perunxit,
11 Sempiterna sit beatę/Trinitati gloria,/aequa Patri, Filioque;/par decus Paraclito:/unius Trinique nomen/laudet universitas


April 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 103
Pange Lingua for Good Friday Devotions
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