Humbly we Adore Thee

This hymn about the Eucharist is based on St Thomas Aquinas' 13th century Latin hymn, Adoro te Devote.  

The translation was made by American Roman Catholic priest (member of the Society of St. Sulpice order), seminary director, translator and author, Melvin Lloyd Farrell (1930-1986) as part of a student project while he was studying theology at the Catholic University of America (ref).   It was originally published in the 1964 by World Library of Sacred Music in one of the original English-language People's Mass Books.

A choral setting, with language modernized ("Humbly we adore you") by Omer Westendorf is still in-print.   However the text (original or modern-language) is not covered by CCLI licensing, and the original translation has not been located in any in-print hymnals.

With meter of, it is almost always sung to Aquinas' plainchant tune, ADORO TE DEVOTE.



Lead singer with choir/congregation, organ accompaniment:

Choir with organ accompaniment:


Humbly we adore thee, Christ, Redeemer, King;
Thou art Lord of heaven, thou to whom we sing.
God, the Mighty, thou has come, bearing gifts of grace;
Son of Adam still thou art: Savior to our race.

Jesus, Lord, we thank thee for this wondrous bread;
In our land thou dwellest, by thee we are fed.
We who share this mystery in thee are made one;
Ev’ry act we offer thee in thy name is done.

Thou who died to save us livest as our light;
Though our eyes are blinded, yet our faith gives sight.
Christ, do thou be merciful, Lamb for sinners slain,
We in grief confess our guilt; cleanse our souls of stain.

Christ, our God and brother, hear our humble plea;
By this holy banquet keep us joined to thee.
Make us one in loving thee, one in mind and heart,
Till in heaven we are thine, never more to part.

Hail, thou Word Incarnate, born from Mary’s womb;
Hail, thou Strength immortal, risen from the tomb.
Share with us thy victory, Savior ever blest:
Live more fully in our hearts; be our constant quest.

Faith alone reveals here bread of Paradise;
Faith alone may witness Jesus’ sacrifice.
Therefore, Lord, as once of old Thomas gained his sight,
Now increase our feeble faith; shed thy healing light.

Christ, at his last supper, breaking bread, decreed:
“This, my Body, take and eat;” heav’nly food indeed!
Then he blessed the cup of wine; “Take ye this,” he said:
“Drink the chalice of my Blood, soon for sinners shed.”

Now with glad thanksgiving, praise Christ glorified;
He in us is present; we in him abide.
Members of his body, we in him are one;
Hail this sacred union, heav’n on earth begun!

Other versions

Another translation, with a similar opening, was included in the Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America 1940. The translator of this is unknown. Some verses from it are:
Humbly I adore Thee, verity unseen,
Who Thy glory hidest 'neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee, shrined within the cloud. 
Taste and touch and vision to discern Thee fail;
Faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’er the Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.

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  1. I remember this hymn as a child.I sang it in church.I loved it.It touchs your heart.It calms you.It puts you in a place of peace.Thanks for this hymn.

  2. This melody from my youth came back to me this morning as I sat in Eucharistic Adoration. Fancy that! What a gift. A beautiful melody.

  3. some of these verses rise up in me after communion