Theodulf of Orleans (750–821) Pens a Praise-Hymn in Prison

[ABOVE—Theodulf was imprisoned in a monastery near Angers (in modern France). This is the Tour des anglais, Angers, by Glabb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

In Theodulf we see a political prisoner. Louis the Pious suspected this bishop of conspiring against him with Bernard of Italy. The charge was never proven. Nonetheless, the king treated him as guilty.

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Imprisoned in a walled monastery, Theodulf’s living conditions were not unlike those of a typical modern prisoner, from the size of his cell to the extent of his boundaries and restrictions on his daily movement. The food was considerably worse, and scantier, but so it was for everyone in the monastery. And there were no showers.

While incarcerated, he penned a praise hymn which the church still sings, especially at Easter. The original had 39 verses. Hymnals pare it down considerably. This is one of those reduced versions.

All Glory, Laud and Honor

Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.

The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.

To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.

Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.