Taken from the feast of Corpus Christi
Sion, lift thy voice and sing: * Praise thy Savior and thy King, * Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true.
All thou canst, do thou endeavor, * Yet thy praise can equal never * Such as merits thy great King.
See today before us laid * The living and life-giving Bread! * Theme for praise and joy profound!
The same which at the sacred board * Was, by our incarnate Lord, * Given to His Apostles round.
Let the praise be loud and high; * Sweet and tranquil be the joy * Felt today in every breast
On this festival divine * Which records the origin * Of the glorious Eucharist.
On this table of the King, * Our new Paschal offering * Brings to end the olden rite.
Here, for empty shadows fled, * Is reality instead; * Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated, * Christ ordained to be repeated, * In His memory divine.
Wherefore now, with adoration, * We, the Host of our salvation * Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear what Holy Church maintaineth, * That the bread its substance changeth * Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending? * Faith, the law of sight transcending * Leaps to things not understood.
Here beneath these signs are hidden * Priceless things, to sense forbidden; * Signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine, * Yet is Christ in either sign * All entire, confessed to be.
They, who of Him here partake, * Sever not, nor rend, nor break: * But, entire, their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat, * All receive the self-same meat, * Nor the less for others leave.
Both the wicked and the good * Eat of this celestial Food: * But with ends how opposite! Here it is life: and there it is death: * The same, yet issuing to each * In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain, * When they break the Host in twain, * But that in each part remains * What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone * Suffers change in state or form, * The signified remaining one * And the same for evermore.
Lo! upon the altar lies, * Hidden deep from human eyes, * Bread of Angels from the skies, * Made the food of mortal man.
Children's meat to dogs denied. * In old types presignified: * In the manna heaven-supplied, * In Isaac, and the Paschal lamb.
Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep! * Thou Thy flock in safety keep. * Living Bread! Thy life supply: * Strengthen us, or else we die: * Fill us with celestial grace!
Thou, Who feedest us below! * Source of all we have or know! * Grant that with Thy Saints above, * Sitting at the feast of love, * We may see Thee face to face.
Gospel of St. John (6: 26-70)
Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten of the loaves and have been filled. 27. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of Man will give you. For upon him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.”
28. They said therefore to him, “What are we to do that we may perform the words of God?” 29. In answer Jesus said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. “ 30. They said therefore to him, “What sign, then, dost thou, that we may see and believe thee? What work dost thou perform? 31. Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, even as it is written, Bread from heaven he gave them to eat.”
32. Jesus then said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34. They said therefore to him, “Lord, give us always this bread.”
35. But Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36. But I have told you that you have seen me and you do not believe. 37. All that the Father gives to me shall come to me, and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39. Now this is the will of him who sent me, the Father, that I should lose nothing of what he has given me, but that I should raise it up on the last day. 40. For this is the will of my Father who sent me, that whoever beholds the Son, and believes in him, shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “
41. The Jews therefore murmured about him because he had said, “I am the bread that has come down from heaven. “ 42. And they kept saying, “is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, who father and mother we know? How, then, does he say , ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43. In answer therefore Jesus said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up on the last day. 45. It is written in the Prophets, And they all shall be taught of God. Everyone who has listened to the Father, and has learned, comes to me; 46. not that anyone has seen the Father except him who is from God, he has seen the Father. 47. Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me has life everlasting.
48. “I am the bread of life. 49. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert, and have died. 50. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that if anyone eat of it he will not die. 51. I am the living bread that has come down from heaven. 52. If anyone eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
53. The Jews on that account argued with one another, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
54. Jesus therefore said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 55. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. 56. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 57. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. 58. As the living Father has sent me, and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me. 59. This is the bread that has come down from heaven; not as your fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever. “ 60. These things he said when teaching in the synagogue at Capharnaum.
61. Many of his disciples therefore, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?” 62. But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were murmuring at this, said to them, “Does this scandalize you? 63. What then if you should see the Son of Man ascending where he was before? 64. It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 65. But there are some among you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who should betray him.
66. And he said, “This is why I have said to you, ‘No one can come to me unless he is enabled to do so by my Father.’ “ 67. From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.
68. Jesus therefore said to the Twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 69. Simon Peter therefore answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast words of everlasting life, 70. And we have come to believe and to know that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.