Very Bread, Good Shepherd, Tend Us   13 comments

Good Shepherd Mosaic at Ravenna, Italy

Image in the Public Domain

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the original words in Latin.  The English words, appeared first in Hymns Ancient and Modern (1868).    (Thanks to The Hymnal 1982 Companion, Volume Two, and the Service Book and Hymnal (1958) for that information.)

Hymn Source = Service Book and Hymnal (1958), of predecessor bodies of the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1.  Very Bread, good shepherd, tend us,

Jesus, of thy love befriend us,

Thou refresh us, thou defend us,

Thine eternal goodness send us

In the land of life to see:

2.  Thou who all things canst and knowest,

Who on earth such food bestowest,

Grant us with thy saints, though lowest,

Where the heavenly feast thou showest,

Fellow heirs and guests to be.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A FEW NOTES:

1.  Whenever I see the abbreviation “alt.” applied to the words of a hymn, I wonder what the unaltered words were.  My sense of history compels me find the original text.  Understand me properly, please; I am neither an antiquarian nor a reactionary of any sort.  I am, in fact, quite the unapologetic progressive in almost all matters, to the point of identifying myself as a (gasp) liberal.  (Witness the prayers I have written and posted on this weblog, as well as those others have written and that I have chosen to post.)   But I am also a history buff, and that fact means that I like old things.  As an old joke goes, the archaeologist’s wife liked being married to an archaeologist; the older she got, the more interesting he found her.  I apply the same principle to hymns and hymnals.  So, as you read this blog and compare its hymn lyrics to those in some recent hymnals (if you do that), you will notice some differences between then and now.

2.  I am convinced that to partake of the Holy Eucharist in the form of bread and wine is to participate in the central act of Christian worship.  I cannot comprehend why more Christians do not want more frequent Eucharist, other than the fact that their tradition does not emphasize it.  This is the inertia argument:  we have never done it that way before.  As the laws of physics tell me, an object at rest will remain that way until or unless an outside force acts upon it.  So I encourage a more widespread reverence for Jesus, transubstantiated into bread and wine, and the corresponding demand for more frequent Eucharist.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF ST. LEOBA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA, 1947

THE FEAST OF THOMAS TRAHERNE, POET

THE FEAST OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL, COFOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: