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HYMN 16 All Glory, Laud and Honor

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

Matthew 21:1-11

Latin: Gloria, laus et honor

Text: St. Theodulf (d. 821) Tune: Melchior Teschner (1584-1635)

1. All glory, laud, and honour

To Thee, Redeemer, King!

To Whom the lips of children

Made sweet Hosannas ring,

Thou art the King of Israel

Thou David's Royal Son,

Who in the LORD'S name comest,

The King and Blessèd One.

All glory, &c.

2. The company of Angels

Is praising Thee on high,

And mortal men, and all things

Created make reply.

All glory, &c.

The people of the Hebrews

With palms before Thee went

Our praise and prayers and anthems

Before Thee we present.

All glory, &c.

3. To Thee before Thy Passion

They sang their hymns of praise;

To Thee now high exalted

Our melody we raise.

All glory, &c.

Thou didst accept their praises;

Accept the praise we bring,

Who in all good delightest,

Thou good and gracious King.

All glory, &c.

Tr. John Mason Neale 1854


Jerusalem at Passover time when Jesus arrived on the donkey must have been

beyond chaotic. Thousands of people lived in or near the city, and

thousands would return from around the country for the celebration. There were

lambs for the Passover meal, moneychangers in the temple. The courtyards around

the temple teemed with people—some estimate in the hundreds of thousands.

Keeping order was first on the minds of the authorities. Pilate, the governor,

knew that any spark could cause the crowds to riot out of control. Roman soldiers were

discretely posted around the hotspots. They knew many Jewish people were looking

for a way to cast off the Roman powers. Jesus looked to some of them like one to

lead an insurrection.

That Jesus rode into town on a donkey was a sign to the Jews that he was a king.

(Solomon rode to his coronation on a mule.) The notion of Jesus’ kingship, however,

did not disturb them the way it threatened the Romans, most of all Pilate. The

religious leaders knew that accusing Jesus of being a king might convince the

Romans to execute Jesus. The high priests opposed Jesus because of what they saw

as his blasphemies—that he was the Son of God.

Pilate, even if he thought Jesus innocent, responded to the notion that Jesus was king

with evident concern. To him it was the most serious charge. He could not

countenance a rival. Thus he reluctantly allowed his execution. All this glory ending

in such ignominy.

Our Palm Sunday parades with palm branches and glorious singing are always

mixed. We know that in a few days, the same crowds hailing Jesus as the Son of

David will cry, Crucify him! Waving a palm branch always makes me wonder what I

would have done on Good Friday?

Jesus knows our issues as he passes by and hears our hosannas. Despite our failures

and betrayals, he still goes forward to the cross to be crucified as a king for us. He

looks powerless on the cross. How is he king?

His death and resurrection defeat death, sin and the devil. Jesus rules over a realm

that nothing can destroy. Not the brutal soldiers nor Pilate, nor the religious

authorities, nor our fickle praises, nor the virus, not anything.

He died to give us citizenship in a kingdom that will have no end. A truth that gives

us joy and confidence on this day even as we miss gathering together with our

congregations. He is King over all. Sing Hosanna!


Louis the Pious

The hymn is one of the oldest in our hymnal. It is said to have been written in 820 by

St. Theodolf of Orléans (ca. 750-821), a bishop in Charlemagne’s realm. The next

king, Louis the Pious, viewed Theodulf as a traitor and put him in prison where he

languished. Some time during his imprisonment, he wrote this hymn. One Palm

Sunday as the king was processing by the prison he is said to have heard this hymn

coming from the jail. He was so moved by it, he decreed it should always be sung on

Palm Sunday.

We still follow King Louis’ decree twelve hundred years later. The tune comes from

a later time and is used for several other texts, but this is the one we sing on Palm

Sunday. Enjoy these grand videos of the song being sung in cathedrals, and pray for

the day when we can join again in such celebrations!


King’s College

Choir and congregation

Choir and congregation with children’s choir waving palms/fun

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