This choice was a Latin hymn written sometime in the late 6th or 7th Century under the title Urbs beata Jerusalem. The original hymn was sung as an unaccompanied plainsong melody. In 1851, John Mason Neale translated the hymn from Latin into English. Many modern versions of the texts vary greatly from his original translations. The hymn has been performed at the marriage ceremonies of the British Royals Princess Margaret in 1960 and Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. It was also the opening hymn for the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee service in June 2022 (video below!) and performed a few months later at her funeral in September 20221.
Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ, our head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the Church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever
and our confidence alone.
To this temple, where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;
come with all your lovingkindness,
hear your people as they pray;
and your fullest benediction
speak within these walls today.
Grant, we pray, to all your faithful
all the gifts they ask to gain;
what they gain from you forever
with the blessed to retain;
And hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.
Praise and honor to the Father,
praise and honor to the Son,
praise and honor to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one:
one in might and one in glory
while unending ages run!