Tuesday, January 23, 2007

better translation? please vote!

so my priest-boss and I are having a little disagreement. The "Communion" songs in our hymnal (Ritual Song) are so terrible and lacking, that he has decided to have me make half sheets of paper to put in the pews on occasional weekends to supplement the hymnal. He loves the song Adoro Te Devote, but our congregation is definitely not ready to sing in Latin, so I had to find a singable translation. That's all fine with me.
So after I made the sheet from which to make copies, and he saw it and said he would prefer the "other" translation, but I told him I really thought that my translation was just as good, so he told me to find out other people's opinion.
So here goes. I'm not telling you which translation I or he prefers. Just tell me which one you like better. Keep in mind singability, accesibility and understanding (yes, people aren't stupid and can understand rather archaic words, but we also do live in the 21st century,) reverence, and of course theological accuracy.
Choose A or B.

here's A:

1. Humbly we adore thee, Christ Redeemer King;
Thou are Lord of heaven, thou to whom we sing.
God, the Mighty, thou hast come, bearing gifts of grace;
Son of Adam still thou art: Savior to our race.

2. Jesus, Lord we thank thee for this wondrous Bread;
In our land thou dwellest, by thee we are fed.
We who share this Mystery in thee are made one:
Every act we offer thee in thy Name is done.

3. Thou who died to save us livest as our Light:
Though our eyes are blinded, yet our Faith gives sight.
Christ, do thou be merciful, Lamb for sinners slain,
We in grief confess our guilt: cleanse our souls of stain.

4. Christ, our God and Brother, hear our humble plea:
By this holy banquet keep us joined to thee.
Make us one in loving thee, one in mind and heart,
Till in heaven we are thine, nevermore to part.

5. Hail, thou Word Incarnate, born from Mary's womb;
Hail thou Strength immortal, risen from the tomb.
Share with us thy victory, Saviour ever blest:
Live more fully in our hearts; be our constant Guest.

6. Faith alone reveals here Bread of paradise;
Faith alone may witness Jesus' sacrifce.
Therefore, Lord, as once of old Thomas gained his sight,
Now increase our feeble faith: shed thy healing light.

7. Christ, at his Last Supper, breaking bread, decreed:
"This, my Body, take and eat"- heavenly Food indeed!
Then he blessed the cup of wine- "Take ye this" he said:
"Drink the chalice of my Blood, soon for sinners shed.

8. Now with glad thanksgiving, praise Christ glorified,
He in us is present, we in him abide.
Members of his Body, we in him are One;
Hail this sacred Union, heavn on earth begun!

and here's B:

1. Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth itself speaks truly or there's nothing true.

3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human kind:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

6. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight.


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

I vote A

Gavin said...

I vote A, primarily because it's the one I hear more often. Plus it's longer.

Brian Michael Page said...

I vote B - it's more accurate. There's one verse missing though:

6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican,
Bathe me, Jesus Lord, in what thy bosom ran,
Blood that but one drop of has the pow'r to win,
All the world forgiveness of this world of sin.

Your verse 6 would be verse 7.


Anonymous said...

A is good. i've never come across B

Anonymous said...

I vote A we sing this one at our mass and really like it. It almost makes me cry sometimes :)

Anonymous said...

I vote A - I've never seen B before.

Mara Joy said...

(you're about 3 years too late...)

Anonymous said...

better late then never :)im actually really happy i found this site even if my vote was late..ive had a hard time finding the lyrics online :) so thanks!

Unknown said...

I vote for A

Mara Joy said...

please note...this contest ended 4 years ago! lol

Unknown said...

(A) is what we began to sing in 1966, or just after Vatican II ended. It was stately both then and now.

Mary said...

B is by Gerald Manly Hopkins - it's a far more high-brow translation.

Anonymous said...

It's been several years since your original post but I was looking for a (good/singable) translation of this as well and found one I love: http://hymnographyunbound.blogspot.com/2010/02/adoro-te-devote.html . I figured even if you didn't need it, someone else online might. God Bless.

Unknown said...

I vote A because I had been away from church for awhile
When they played this song the words went right to my heart. I want it sung at my funeral Mass. I hope the holiness of this song brings fallen away Catholics back. I don't hear it sung very much now
All for Jesus as St Teresa of Kolkata would say

Unknown said...

As in the missle you should have both on the sheet of paper as most people cant read latin

Anonymous said...

We sang #A every Sunday from 1964 till 1969 and I got tired of it and thought "can't they sing something else?" Then I went away for awhile and they weren't singing anymore when I came back. Then 54 years later(now) I remembered that there was a song, but I couldn't remember the title. I bothered a lot of old people from the day, and they didn't remember. It came to me as I was making another call. I'm like a kid in a candy shop. Our faith is resting on the shoulders of people and saints like Aquinas. I can't go with St. Thomas to the lofty height of philosophy, but I get "Humbly we Adore Thee." It's the Eucharist--Food for the journey. Jerry W