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Tantum Ergo Sacramentum

A Hymn for Exposition and Benediction by St. Thomas Aquinas

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Pope Benedict XVI offers benediction, October 15, 2005. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the crowd with the Eucharist during a meeting and prayer with children who made their First Communion during 2005 in St. Peter's Square, October 15, 2005. About 100,000 children and parents attended the event.

(Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Tantum Ergo Sacramentum, while usually treated as a hymn of its own, is actually the final two verses of the Pange Lingua Gloriosi, a Eucharistic hymn that was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

The Tantum Ergo is most commonly sung today at exposition and benediction, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration. This is a traditional English translation of the Latin hymn.

Tantum Ergo Sacramentum

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble senses fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty. Amen.

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