1 The royal banners forward go;
The cross shows forth redemption's flow,
Where He, by whom our flesh was made,
Our ransom in His flesh has paid:
2 Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life's torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in the precious flood
Where flowed the water and the blood.
3 Fulfilled is all that David told
In sure prophetic song of old.
That God the nations' king should be
And reign in triumph from the tree.
4 On whose hard arms, so widely flung,
The weight of this world's ransom hung,
The price of humankind to pay
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
5 O Tree of beauty, tree most fair,
Ordained those holy limbs to bear:
Gone is thy shame, each crimsoned bough
Proclaims the King of Glory now.
6 To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
As by the cross Thou dost restore,
So guide and keep us evermore.
Source: Lutheran Service Book #455
|First Line:||The Royal Banners forward go|
|Latin Title:||Vexilla Regis prodeunt|
|Author:||Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus|
|Translator:||J. M. Neale|
Venantius Fortunatus wrote this hymn in honor of the founding of the monastery of Poiters. It is believed to have been first sung on November 19, 569 as part of a procession that brought the most revered relic of the Catholic church, a piece of the cross of Christ, from Constantinople to the French monastery. Nowhere is the work of the cross so poignantly portrayed as in theses immortal lines. --Greg Scheer, 1997