I went to the local "ordinary Catholic" parish yesterday (as opposed to my normal "Ordinariate Catholic" Mass). We sang "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name," using the music and text from the seasonal missalette. As usual, I grumbled to myself at the second line:
All on earth thy scepter claim
I'm pretty sure the sense of that is supposed to be "acclaim," not "take possession of." Though the latter is arguably a good bit closer to the truth. And I'm sure that I've seen it printed
All on earth thy scepter 'claim
where the apostrophe is meant to indicate the missing "ac." And I've always thought--this is where the grumbling comes in--that whoever worked up this hymn for the missalette simply didn't understand that "acclaim" was meant, and that "claim" is actually rather ludicrously contrary to the intent of the hymn.
Or at least I was sure that I'd seen it with the apostrophe. I decided to track it down, so, back home, I consulted no fewer than six hymnals--I didn't even know we had all these: The Methodist Hymnal (1966); The Hymnal (Episcopal, 1940--they just call it The Hymnal, because obviously there is only one); The St. Gregory Hymnal (Catholic, 1920); The Pius X Hymnal (Catholic (duh), 1953); The Summit Choirbook (Catholic, 1983); The Adoremus Hymnal (1997); Baptist Hymnal (1956).
And every one of them has "claim"--except the Baptist, which doesn't have the hymn at all.
Then I looked on the internet: "claim" after "claim" after "claim." The closest I came to what I was looking for, and thought I remembered, were a few variants that had a somewhat different line there, like this one:
Saints on earth your rule acclaim
So did I just supply that apostrophe and plant it in my own brain as a memory? If anyone else has ever seen it, please let me know.
The odd thing is that in the "claim" version "sceptre" takes three notes--"sce-ep-tre", so the melody could accommodate "sceptre acclaim" perfectly well. As the hymn is based on the Te Deum, "acclaim" is certainly what's meant. But "claim," as I said, is all too appropriate. I wonder if Providence slipped "claim" in there as a sort of grim joke about the modern world.
I also looked for some definition or widespread use of "claim" in the sense of "acclaim" or "acknowledge," but didn't find that either.