Eucharistic Encounter 30: Lauda Sion

We’re here today in the Chapel of the Proclamation, and I’m so happy I can share with you what I’ve learned to appreciate about the Eucharist to prepare you for the Eucharistic Congress.  

Today I want to tell you about some hidden gems in the Liturgy that St. Thomas Aquinas composed in the 13th century. In 1264, the feast of Corpus Christi was established, to be celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday every year. Corpus Christi is Latin for “the Body of Christ”. At this Mass, there’s a poem that’s read, recited, or sung before the Gospel. That only happens about four times a year: Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and optionally on the last week of the liturgical year in November.

It’s called, in Latin, “Lauda Sion” – like Zion. I’d like to read you the first two verses and then comment on it. You can find “Lauda Sion” on the Relevant Radio app for free, in Latin and in English. I encourage you to read it and meditate on it.

Here’s how it goes:

Lauda Sion Salvatórem  

Lauda ducem et pastórem 

In hymnis et cánticis. //

Quantum potes, tantum aude: 

Quia major omni laude,  

Nec laudáre súfficis.

What does it mean in English?

Praise, O Zion, praise your Savior, 

Shepherd, Prince, with glad behavior 

Praise in hymn and canticle. //

Sing His glory without measure: 

For the merit of your treasure 

Never shall your praises fill.

 I want to unpack this for you because it’s inscribed over the sacristy in our chapel. It goes like this:

“Quantum potes, tantum aude”: “quantum” like “quantity”, “potes” like potential, “tantum aude” – “aude” like “audacity”. It comes out to: “as much as you can, so dare to do.” When it comes to your worship of the Eucharist, it means “go all out!”

Folks, I want you to discover the Lauda Sion today. Read it in English and Latin, study it, pray it. It’s a wealth of information.

And if you want to hear it sung, I’ll sing it for you – you can hear it in the attached video! I hope to see you at the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, July 17 through 21. You can find out more information and sign up now at Let’s all show up for Jesus.

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Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.