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Hymns to the Holy Trinity

All Hail, Adorèd Trinity - Hymn of Saint Patrick

God Father, praise and glory

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Many Catholic hymns might be called "hymns to the Trinity", in that very they have a doxology, or invocation of the three Persons of the Trinity, as a final verse. This final verse completes the theme of the hymn, but the prayer to the Trinity is too often omitted when only the first two verses of a hymn are sung.

Some hymns, however, are expressly addressed to the Trinity, including the three below.

All Hail, adorèd Trinity!

Ave, colenda Trinitas, is an anonymous Latin hymn of the 11th century, translated by John David Chambers (1803-93). It is set to the familiar tune by Louis Bourgeois (c. 1510-61) best known as the Doxology, or "Praise God from whom all blessings flow" (also "Old Hundredth).

All hail, adorèd Trinity!
All hail, eternal Unity!
O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

Three Persons praise we evermore,
One only God our hearts adore:
In thy sure mercy ever kind
May we our strong protection find.

O Trinity! O Unity!
Be present as we worship thee;
And with the songs that angels sing
Unite the hymns of praise we bring.

Hymn of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick, though born in England (c.389-461), is known as the "apostle to Ireland", famously taught the pagan people about the Trinity by using a shamrock -- a clover plant native to Ireland with tri-partite leaves.

The hymn to the Trinity and to Christ, known as Saint Patrick's Breastplate, as it appears below, is a metrical paraphrase translation by Cecil Frances Alexander (1823-1895). The melody is Irish, said to have been found in an 11th century manuscript. It was most beautifully harmonized by Charles Villiers Standard in 1913.

The first two of the hymns seven verses are given below.
(Click HERE for the complete hymn and music from the Adoremus Hymnal.)

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to Comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

God Father, praise and glory

The author of this German hymn (Gott vater sei gepriesen) is unknown, and was translated into English by John Rothensteiner (1860-1936). The melody is from the German hymnal, Limburg Gesangbuch (1838). The verses and chorus are given below.
HERE for the complete hymn and music from the Adoremus Hymnal.)

God Father, praise and glory Thy children bring to thee.
Thy grace and peace to mankind Shall now forever be.

Chorus: O most holy Trinity, Undivided Unity;
Holy God, mighty God, God immortal, be adored.

And thou, Lord coeternal, God's sole begotten Son,
O Jesus, King anointed, Who hast redemption won. (Chorus)

O Holy Ghost, Creator, Thou gift of God most high;
Life, love and holy wisdom, Our weakness now supply. (Chorus)


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