February 10, 2013

Christ is Made Our Sure Foundation / Angularis Fundamentum / Alto Ex Olympi Vertice

Christ is Head and Cornerstone

Christ is Made Our Sure Foundation is an Anthony G. Petti adaption of the 1851 Rev. John Mason Neale (1818-1866) translation of the 7th century anonymous Latin hymn: Angularis Fundamentum, which was the original hymn at Lauds for the Common of the Dedication of a Church in the Roman Breviary. Under Pope Urban VIII, it was revised and changed to Alto Ex Olympi Vertice. Both versions are shown below. Christ is Made the Sure Foundation is set to the tune, Westminster Abbey (Belville), an anthem written in 1680 by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell (1659-1895) and later adapted for use as a hymn by Ernest Hawkins (1802-1868). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Christ is Made Our Sure Foundation is used for the Commons of the Dedication of a Church.

Tune: Westminster Abbey (Belville)

CHRIST IS MADE THE SURE FOUNDATION by John Neale, 1851 (Public Domain)

1. Christ is made the sure Foundation,
Christ the Head and Cornerstone;
Chosen of the Lord, and precious,
Binding all the Church in one,
Holy Zion’s Help forever,
And her Confidence alone.

2. All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved of God on high,
In exultant jubilation,
Pours perpetual melody,
God the One in Three adoring
In glad hymns eternally.

3. To this temple, where we call Thee,
Come, O Lord of Hosts, today;
With Thy wonted lovingkindness
Hear Thy servants as they pray.
And Thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls alway.

4. Here vouchsafe to all Thy servants
What they ask of Thee to gain;
What they gain from Thee forever
With the blessèd to retain,
And hereafter in Thy glory
Evermore with Thee to reign.

5. Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One;
Consubstantial, co-eternal,
While unending ages run.

Gregorian Chant


1. Angularis fundamentum
lapis Christus missus est,
qui parietum compage
in utroque nectitur,
quem Sion sancta suscepit,
in quo credens permanet.

2. Omnis illa Deo sacra
et dilecta civitas,
plena modulis in laude
et canore jubilo,
trinum Deum unicumque
cum fervore prædicat.

3. Hoc in templo, summe Deus,
exoratus adveni,
et clementi bonitate
precum vota suscipe;
largam benedictionem
hic infunde jugiter.

4. Hic promereantur omnes
petita acquirere
et adepta possidere
cum sanctis perenniter,
paradisum introire
translati in requiem.

5. Gloria et honor Deo
usquequaque altissimo,
una Patri Filioque
inclyto Paraclito,
Cui laus est et potestas
per æterna sæcula.


1. Alto ex Olympi vertice
Summi Parentis Filius,
Ceu monte desectus lapis
Terras in imas decidens,
Domus supernae, et infimae,
Utrumque junxit angulum.

2. Sed ilia sedes coelitum
Semper resultat laudibus,
Deumque Trinum et Unicum
Jugi canore preedicat:
Illi canentes jungimur
Almae Sionis eemuli.

3. Haec templa, Rex coelestium,
Imple benigno lumine:
Huc o rogatus adveni,
Plebisque vota suscipe,
Et nostra corda jugiter
Perfunde coeli gratia.

4. Hie impetrent fidelium
Voces precesque supplicum
Domus beatae munera,
Partisque donis gaudeant:
Donee soluti corpore
Sedes beatas impleant.

5. Decus Parenti debitum
Sit usquequaque Altissimo,
Natoque Patris unico,
Et inclyto Paraclito,
Cui laus, potestas, gloria
Sterna sit per saecula. Amen

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