ALL GLORY, LAUD, AND HONOR written in 820
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey – on the day we celebrate as Palm Sunday – a hopeful crowd filled the streets, waving palm branches and praising God. The people believed the Messiah had finally come to lead a revolt against the Romans. Less than a week later, some of that same crowd would shout for His crucifixion.
One of the oldest hymns you know – or have ever sung – was written to describe that Triumphal Entry. “All Glory, Laud and Honor”, is an English translation by John Mason Neale of the Latin hymn “Gloria, laus et honor“, written by Theodulf of Orléans in 820.
Read these lyrics, and make them your own…
All glory, laud, and honor 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 Blessed One. Refrain
The company of angels are praising Thee on high;
and mortal men and all things created make reply. Refrain
The people of the Hebrews with palms before Thee went;
our praise and prayer and anthems before Thee we present. Refrain
To Thee before Thy passion they sang their hymns of praise;
to Thee, now high exalted, our melody we raise. Refrain
Thou didst accept their praises; accept the prayers we bring,
who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King. Refrain
Charlemagne made Theodulf the Bishop of Orléans in the 700s. All the people, as well as the king, praised Theodulf; he was the king’s theologian and a beloved pastor. But when Charlemagne died, his son, Louis the Pious, became the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Louis believed gossip about a conspiracy supposedly led by Theodulf; he was removed from the bishopric and placed under house arrest at a monastery in Angers.
During his arrest, Theodulf wrote “Gloria, laus et honor” for Palm Sunday. A 16th-century story asserted that Louis heard Theodulf sing “Gloria, laus et honor” one Palm Sunday, and was so inspired that he released Theodulf and ordered the hymn be sung thereafter on every Palm Sunday.
In 1851, John Neale translated the hymn from Latin into English to be published in his Medieval Hymns and Sequences. Neale revised his translation in 1854 and revised it further in 1861 in another hymnal.