Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle, sing the ending of the fray;
now above the cross, the trophy, sound the loud triumphant lay:
tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer, as a victim won the day.
Tell how, when at length the fullness of th’appointed time was come,
Christ, the Word was born of woman, left for us his heavenly home;
showed us human life made perfect, shone as light amid the gloom.
Thus, with thirty years accomplished, went he forth from Nazareth,
destined, dedicated, willing, wrought his work, and met his death.
Like a lamb he humbly yielded on the cross his dying breath.
Faithful cross, thou sign of triumph, now for us the noblest tree,
none in foliage, none in blossom, none in fruit thy peer may be;
symbol of the world’s redemption, for the weight that hung on thee!
Unto God be praise and glory: to the Father and the Son,
to th’eternal Spirit honor now and evermore be done;
praise and glory in the highest, while unending ages run.
—Venantius Honorius Fortunatus (Ancient Latin Hymn)
For the background on this hymn, click here