On the Liturgy

O Quanta Qualia
Peter Abelard

In this hymn, Abelard praises the Christian afterlife. "Jerusalem" in this hymn is not the earthly Jerusalem, but the New Jerusalem - the city of God.

O quanta, qualia sunt illa sabbata
Quae semper celebrat superna curia.
Quae fessis requies, quae merces fortibus,
Cum erit omnia Deus in omnibus.

Vere Ierusalem est illa civitas,
Cuius pax iugis est, summa iucunditas,
Ubi non praevenit rem desiderium,
Nec desiderio minus est praemium.

Quis rex, quae curia, quale palatium,
Quae pax, quae requies, quod illud gaudium,
Huius participes exponant gloriam,
Si quantum sentiunt, possint exprimere.

Nostrum est interim mentem erigere
Et totis patriam votis appetere,
Et ad Ierusalem a Babylonia
Post longa regredi tandem exilia.

Illic molestiis finitis omnibus
Securi cantica Sion cantibimus,
Et iuges gratias de donis gratiae
Beata referet plebs tibi, Domine.

Illic ex sabbato succedet sabbatum,
Perpes laetitia sabbatizantium,
Nec ineffabiles cessabunt iubili,
Quos decantabimus et nos et angeli.

Perenni Domino perpes sit gloria,
Ex quo sunt, per quem sunt, in quo sunt omnia;
Ex quo sunt, Pater est; per quem sunt, Filius;
In quo sunt, Patris et Filii Spiritus.

O what their joy and their glory must be,
Those endless Sabbaths the blessèd ones see;
Crown for the valiant, to weary ones, rest;
God shall be all, and in all ever blessed.

Truly, Jerusalem name we that shore,
City of peace that brings joy evermore;
Wish and fulfillment are not severed there,
Nor do things prayed for come short of the prayer.

What are the Monarch, His court, and His throne?
What are the peace and the joy that they own?
O that the blessed ones, who in it have share,
All that they feel could as fully declare!

There, where no troubles distraction can bring,
We the sweet anthems of Zion shall sing;
While for Thy grace, Lord, their voices of praise
Thy blessèd people eternally raise.

There dawns no Sabbath, no Sabbath is o'er,
Those Sabbath keepers have one evermore;
One and unending is that triumph song
Which to the angels and us shall belong.

Now, in the meanwhile, with hearts raised on high,
We for that country must yearn and must sigh;
Seeking Jerusalem, dear native land,
Through our long exile on Babylon's strand.

Low before Him with our praises we fall,
Of Whom, and in Whom, and through Whom are all;
Of Whom, the Father; and in Whom, the Son,
Through Whom, the Spirit, with Them ever One.

Translated by John Mason Neale