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Holy Thursday

The Last Supper, 1442 (fresco) by Angelico, Fra (Guido di Pietro) (c.1387-1455); Museo di San Marco dell'Angelico, Florence, Italy

The Last Supper, 1442 (fresco) by Angelico, Fra (Guido di Pietro) (c.1387-1455); Museo di San Marco dell’Angelico, Florence, Italy

The text below is an excerpt from a hymn composed by St. Thomas Aquinas.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He, the Paschal Victim eating,
first fulfils the Law’s command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own Hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His Word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
This great Sacrament we hail,
O’er ancient forms of worship
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith will tell us Christ is present,
When our human senses fail.

To the Everlasting Father,
And the Son who made us free
And the Spirit, God proceeding
From them Each eternally,
Be salvation, honour, blessing,
Might and endless majesty.

Amen. Alleluia.

In suprémæ nocte coenæ
Recúmbens cum frátribus
Observáta lege plene
Cibis in legálibus,
Cibum turbæ duodénæ
Se dat suis mánibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem éfficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus déficit,
Ad firmándum cor sincérum
Sola fides súfficit.

Tantum Ergo Sacramentum
Venerémur cérnui:
Et antíquum documéntum
Novo cedat rítui:
Præstet fides suppleméntum
Sénsuum deféctui.

Genitóri, Genitóque
Laus et jubilátio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedíctio:
Procedénti ab utróque
Compar sit laudátio.

Amen. Alleluja.

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