Saturday, March 24, 2018

About the Palm Sunday Hymn “All Glory Laud and Honor”

I love Palm Sunday for a number of reasons, one of which is the processional hymn “All Glory Laud and Honor.”  The church’s love of it goes centuries back.  During the second station of the Palm Sunday Procession in the medieval Sarum Rite, it was to be sung by seven choristers “in a conspicuous place.”

If memory serves me right, some churches were creative as to what “conspicuous place” was chosen.  At least one cathedral placed the choristers by openings high up the West front but shielded by statues of saints.  So when the choristers sang, it seemed to the crowd below that the saints were singing.  (Wells Cathedral comes to mind.  But readers may correct me.  Also I have forgotten the term for those front openings.  Does anyone know it?)

What I most definitely did not know until just now is how ancient this hymn is.  It turns out it was written (in Latin, of course) by Theodulph of Orleans in the early Ninth Century, likely while he was in prison due to the displeasure of Louis I aka Louis the Pious.  The English translation sung today is remarkably faithful to the original.   

You may read some more history of the hymn here.

May your Palm Sunday be genuinely pious, preferably not in prison.

No comments: