Gloria laus et honor. St. Theodulph of Orleans. [Palm Sunday.] That this hymn was written by St. Theodulph seems beyond all reasonable doubt. That it was written by him while imprisoned in the cloister, at Angers, about 820 or 821, is highly probable. Regarding its origin Clichtoveus, in his Elucidatorium, 1516, f. 316, tells a pretty story to the following effect:—
On Palm Sunday, 821, Louis the Pious, King of France, was at Angers and took part in the usual procession of the clergy and laity. As the procession passed the place where St. Theodulph was incarcerated he stood at the open window of his cell, and amid the silence of the people, sung this hymn which he had newly composed. The king was so much delighted with the hymn that he at once ordered St. Theodulph to be set at liberty and restored to his see; and ordained that henceforth the hymn should always be used in processions on Palm Sunday.
The story is not, however, a contemporary one; and moreover it seems clear that Louis the Pious was never in Angers after 818. It is also almost certain that St. Theodulph was never really restored to his see, but that he died at Angers in 821.
The ritual use of this hymn was always as a Processional on Palm Sunday. According to the Sarum use the first four stanzas were to be sung before leaving the church by seven boys "in loco em mention," near the south door. In the use of York the boys of the choir seem to have gone up to a temporary gallery over the door of the church and there sang the first four stanzas. After each of the first three stanzas the rest of the choir, kneeling below, sang stanza i. as a refrain. At the end of stanza iv. the boys began the refrain and the rest of the choir, standing up, sang it along with them. In the Hereford use the procession went to the gates of the town. These being shut seven boys of the choir went to the summit and there sang the hymn. In the uses of Tours and Rouen it was also sung at the gate of the city. According to the modern Roman use it is sung when the procession returns to the church; two or four singers entering the church, and when the door has been closed, facing it and singing the hymn while the rest outside repeat the chorus.
The hymn is founded on Ps. xxiv. 7-10, Ps. cxviii. 25, 26; St. Matt. xxi. 1-17; and St. Luke xix. 37, 38. E. L. Dümmler, in his Poetae latini aevi Carolini, Berlin, 1877 ff. vol. i. p. 558, gives the full text in 78 lines. In the liturgical books lines 1-36 only are given (so in the Paris manuscript, 18557, of the 10th century, cited by Dümmler: and in the British Museum manuscript. Add. 19768, f. 36 b, of the 11th century); while in the Graduate and Missals the almost universal use was to give only lines 1-12. This is the form in a St. Gall manuscript (No. 899) of the 9th century, cited by Dümmler, and it is the form in English common use as in Hymns Ancient & Modern. The text is also found in an 11th century manuscript in the British Museum (Harl. 4951, f. 196 6); in two 11th century manuscripts in the Bodleian (Liturg. Misc. 320, f. 18 b; Liturg. Misc. 366, f. 18); in Daniel, i. No. 186, with notes at iv. p. 153; in Bässler, No. 69; in Dr. J. Kayser's Beiträge zur Geschichte und Erklärung der alten Kirchenhymnen, vol. ii., 1886, pp. 313-322, &c. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
Translations in common use:—
1. Glory and praise to Thee, Redeemer blest. By E. Caswall. First published in his Lyra Catholica, 1849, p. 232, in 5 stanzas, with the repetition of the first two lines of the hymn as a refrain. It was also repeated in his Hymns & Poems, 1873, p. 121. It is found in several collections, including Kennedy, 1863, where it is altered and begins, "All glory be to Thee, Redeemer blest." The English Hymnal, 1852 text, is also considerably altered, although the first line is retained.
2. King and Redeemer! to Thee be the glory. By G. Rorison. First published in his Hymns & Anthems, 1851.
3. Glory, and honour, and laud be to Thee, King Christ the Redeemer. By J. M. Neale. Appeared in his Mediaeval Hymns, 1851, p. 22.
4. Glory, and laud, and honour. By J. M. Neale. This is a second translation by Dr. Neale, made for and published in the Hymnal Noted, 1854, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, but supplied a little earlier to the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, in a slightly different form. In this form it is in a few collections, but as:—
5. All glory, laud, and honour, as altered by the compilers of Hymns Ancient & Modern for their trial copy, 1859, No. 59, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, it is most widely known in all English-speaking countries. Dr. Neale approved of this arrangement, especially of the opening line, and adds in his note (Medieval Hymns):
"Another verse was usually sung, till the l7th century; at the pious quaintness of which we can scarcely avoid a smile:—
‘Be Thou, O Lord, the Rider,
And we the little ass;
That to God's holy city
Together we may pass.'"
6. Glory, laud, and honour be, Our Redeemer Christ to Thee. By W. J. Blew, in The Church Hymn & Tune Book, 1852-5, in 7 stanzas of 4 lines, and in Rice's Selection therefrom, 1870, No. 46. In the Scottish Episcopal Collection of Hymns, &c, 1858, it was given in 4 stanzas as, "Glory, praise, and honour be."
7. To Thee be glory, honour, praise . Appeared in the Irvingite Hymns for the Use of the Churches, 1864, No. 35, as a "Translation by C., 1861." It is repeated in the edition of 1871, and in the American Dutch Reformed Hymns of the Church, N. Y., 1869.
8. Glory, praise, and honour be, Jesus, Lord, &c. Given anonymously in Dale's English Hymn Book, 1874, No. 255, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. It is a paraphrase, and not a translation of the original.
Another translation is:
Glory, praise, and honour be, Christ, Redeemer, &c. J. W. Hewett. 1859.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Gloria, laus et honor, p. 426, i. The version beginning “Glory and honour and praise be to Thee, our King and Redeemer," in the New Office Hymn Book, 1905, is Neale altered, and that in The English Hymnal, 1906, No. 621, "Glory and praise and dominion be Thine," is by W. J. Birkbeck, partly from Dr. Neale. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)