Glorious Hymn to Honor Jesus
To Christians, Easter is the most joyful of sacred feasts. It symbolizes Jesus’ triumph over death, the salvation of all. Matthew 21:1-11 is more of Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus’ arrival as celebrated by his welcoming by the people who waved palm fronds in his honor. The hymn is majestic with a choir performance backed-up by organ or orchestra music during Easter Mass. The finely-calibrated hymn was authored by Theodulphe, Archbishop of Orleans (Florence). He ruled with propriety and founded schools. Charlemagne then sent him to France where he had the ears of the emperor and became Charlemagne’s chief theologian. He fell from grace when Charlemagne passed away, because the emperor’s successor, his son, did not trust him. Louis the Pious had Theodulphe jailed in Angers allegedly for conspiracy against him in the year 818.
Instead of languishing in his cell, it is said that Theodulphe created 39 couplets of the “All Glory, Laud and Honor”. To summarize stanza 1, it is a depiction of praise and worship by children. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, in Matthew 21:15-16, it was mentioned that “even the lips of children made sweet hosannas ring.” Stanza 2 is summarized as angels praising. It is written in Hebrew 1:5-6 “All the angels of God are commanded to worship the Son.” Stanza 3 is summarized as all mankind singing praise, as the people welcomed him with palms upon Jesus’ entering Jerusalem. The 39 couplets were whittled down by translator John Mason Neale into only a few in his Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851) and further shortened it in his Hymnal Noted Pt.2 (1854). The words were then set to the tune of composer Melchior Teschner’s “St. Theodulph”. The tune was also adapted for his own utility by Johann Sebastian Bach around 1700. More arrangement was applied by William Henry Monk in the publication Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861). The British singer Cliff Richard included his take on the hymn in his Good News album (1967). In contemporary times, it’s in Great Songs Revised (1986) and Praise for the Lord (1992).