English translation of
Adoro Te Devote
1. Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
7. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight.
Click here for the Latin lyrics.
This is a hymn used to express our deepest faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It is frequently used during Benediction or Adoration, or sung during processions. Even today in the Catholic Church this hymn is widely known and used frequently.
Verse 6 requires a bit of explanation. The ancients believed that the pelican had the peculiar behavior of feeding her own flesh to her offspring if no food were available. Even though science has since disproven this myth, nevertheless the very idea of such behavior immediately reminded Catholics of Our Lord, Who is very real, regardless of the truth of the pelican belief. Fact or fiction, it still presents us with a very vivid image, which was truly played out in the case of Our Lord. He delivered up his own Body to save us from death -- and continually gives us His Flesh that we might have life.
There are many translations available in English, some favor the rhythm and rhyme while others stick to the literal meaning (as is the case with any translation). The translation available on ChantCd.com is easy to recite or sing, and has most of the meaning intact.
This is found on the following CD(s):
Chant Compendium 1.
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