Darkly Rose the Guilty Morning   9 comments

The Pieta, by El Greco

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The New Psalms and Hymns (1901), of the Presbyterian Church in the United States

Words by Joseph Anstice (1808-1836)

A brief biography of Anstice is here:


Every occasion within the Church year has its place.  So let us give the crucifixion its prominent place today–especially this day, but not exclusively today.  And may we let Jesus be dead tomorrow, too.  May we not rush off to Easter Sunday just yet.  That day will come soon enough.  Besides, resurrection has meaning only in the context of death.

My advice, then, is to feel the death of Jesus very keenly on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  If your tradition includes an Easter Vigil held either on late Saturday or early Sunday, begin to rejoice in the Resurrection of our Lord then.  Or, if your tradition is to attend a Sunrise Service, commence your Easter there.  Otherwise, there is the main service on Easter Sunday as the occasion to begin celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection.



1.  Darkly rose the guilty morning,

When, the the King of glory scorning,

Raged the fierce Jerusalem;

See, the Christ, His cross upbearing,

See Him stricken, spit on, wearing

The thorn-plaited diadem.

2.  Not the crowd whose cried assailed Him,

Nor the hands that rudely nailed Him,

Slew Him on the cursed tree;

Ours the sin from heaven that called Him,

Ours the sin whose burden galled Him

In the sad Gethsemane.

3.  For our sins, of glory emptied,

He was fasting, lone, and tempted,

He was slain on Calvary;

Yet He for his murderers pleaded;

Lord, by us that prayer is needed,

We have pierced, yet trust in Thee.

4.  In our wealth and tribulation,

By Thy precious cross and passion,

By Thy blood and agony,

By Thy glorious resurrection,

By Thy Holy Ghost’s protection,

Make us Thine eternally.



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