Archive for April 2011

That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright   5 comments

Resurrection Relief, Worms Cathedral, Worms, Germany

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1982, of The Episcopal Church

The original Latin words date to the 400s, but the English translation is the one in The Hymnal 1940, of The Episcopal Church.  One of the perks of being an Episcopalian is using a hymnal that contains truly ancient hymns.


1.  That Easter day with joy was bright,

the sun shone out with fairer light,

when, to their longing eyes restored,

the apostles saw their risen Lord.

2.  His risen flesh with radiance glowed;

his wounded hands and feet he showed;

those scars their solemn witness gave

that Christ was risen from the grave.

3.  O Jesus, King of gentleness,

do thou thyself our hearts possess

that may give thee all our days

the willing tribute of our praise.

4.  O Lord of all, with us abide

in this our joyful Eastertide;

from every weapon death can wield

thine own redeemed for ever shield.

5.  All praise, O risen Lord, we give

to thee, who, dead, again, dost live;

to God the Father equal praise,

and God the Holy Ghost, we raise.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts and Voices Heavenward Raise   5 comments

A Mosaic from Rosary Basilica, Lourdes, France

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1916 (1918), The Episcopal Church

Words (1872) by Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), Bishop of Lincoln (1868-1885)


1.  Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hearts and voices heavenward raise:

Sing to God a hymn of gladness,

Sing to God a hymn of praise.

He, who on the cross a victim,

For the world’s salvation bled,

Jesus Christ, the King of glory,

Now is risen from the dead.

2.  Now the iron bars are broken,

Christ from death to life is born,

Glorious life, and life immortal,

On this holy Easter morn.

Christ has triumphed, and we conquer

By his mighty enterprise,

We with him to life eternal

By his resurrection rise.

3.  Christ is risen, Christ the first-fruits

Of the holy harvest-field,

Which will all its full abundance

At his second coming yield:

Then the golden ears of harvest

Will their heads before him wave,

Ripened by his glorious sunshine

From the furrows of the grave.

4.  Christ is risen, we are risen!

Shed upon us heavenly grace,

Rain and dew and gleams of glory

From the brightness of thy face;

That, with hearts in heaven dwelling,

We on earth may fruitful be,

And by angel hands be gathered,

And be ever, Lord, with thee.

5.  Alleluia! Alleluia!

Glory be to God on high;

Alleluia to the Saviour

Who has won the victory;

Alleluia to the Spirit,

Fount of love and sanctity;

Alleluia! Alleluia!

To the Triune Majesty.

Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks to the Risen Lord   4 comments

Victory of the Resurrection

Image Source = Wikipedia

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1982, of The Episcopal Church

Words by Donald Fishel (Born in 1950)



Alleluia, alleluia!  Give thanks to the risen Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia!  Give praise to his Name.

1.  Jesus is Lord of all the earth.

He is the king of creation.


2.  Spread the good news o’er all the earth:

Jesus has died and has risen.


3.  We have been crucified with Christ.

Now we shall live for ever.


4.  Come, let us praise the living God,

joyfully sing to our Savior.


Hail Thee, Festival Day! (Easter)   5 comments

Women at the Empty Tomb, by Fra Angelico

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1940 (1943), The Episcopal Church

Original Latin Words by Saint Venantius Honorius Clementius Fortunatus, Bishop of Poitiers (Died 600/609)

English words from The English Hymnal (1906), of The Church of England



Hail thee, festival day!  blest day that art hallowed for ever;

Day whereon Christ arose, breaking the kingdom of death.

1.  Lo, the fair beauty of earth, from the death of the winter arising!

Every good gift of the year now with its Master returns:


2.  He who was nailed to the cross is Lord and the ruler of all men;

All things created on earth sing to the glory of God:


3.  Daily the loveliness grows, adorned with the glory of blossom;

Heaven her gates unbars, flinging her increase of light:


4.  Rise from the grave now, O Lord, who art author of life and creation.

Treading the pathway of death, life thou bestowest on man:


5.  God the All-Father, the Lord, who rulest the earth and the heavens,

Guard us from harm without, cleanse us from evil within:


6.  Jesus the health of the world, enlighten our minds, thou Redeemer,

Son of the Father supreme, only-begotten of God:


7.  Spirit of life and of power, now flow in us, fount of our being,

Light that dost lighten all, that in all dost abide:


8.  Praise to the Giver of good!  Thou love who art author of concord,

Pour out thy balm on our souls, order our ways in thy peace:


At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing   12 comments

Lamb of God

Image Source = Workman

Hymn Source = The Hymnal 1916 (1918)The Episcopal Church

Original words (800s or earlier) in Latin

English translation (1850, altered) by Robert Campbell (1814-1868), a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church (and later of the Roman Catholic Church) and a translator of many Latin hymns


1.  At the Lamb’s high feast we sing

Praise to our victorious King,

Who hath washed us in the tide

Flowing from his pierced side;

Praise we him, whose love divine

Gives us sacred Blood for wine,

Gives his body for the feast,

Christ the victim, Christ the priest.

2.  Where the Paschal blood is poured,

Death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;

Israel’s hosts triumphant go

Through the wave that drowns the foe.

Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,

Paschal victim, Paschal bread;

With sincerity and love

Eat we manna from above.

3.  Mighty victim from the sky,

Hell’s fierce powers beneath thee lie;

Thou hast conquered in the fight,

Thou hast brought us life and light:

Now no more can death appall,

Now no more the grave enthrall;

Thou hast opened paradise,

And in thee thy saints shall rise.

4.  Easter triumph, Easter joy,

Sin alone can this destroy;

From sin’s power to thou set free

Souls new-born, O Lord, in thee.

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,

Father, unto thee we raise:

Risen Lord, all praise to thee

With the Spirit ever be.

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.

O Jesus, We Adore Thee   10 comments

What Our Saviour Saw from the Cross, by James Tissot (1836-1902)

Image Source = Wikipedia

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

Words by the Reverend Arthur T. Russell (1806-1874), a priest of The Church of England


1.  O Jesus, we adore Thee,

Upon the cross, our King;

We bow our hearts before Thee;

Thy gracious name we sing:

That name hath bro’t salvation,

That name, in life our stay;

Our peace, our consolation

When life shall fade away.

2.  Yet doth the world disdain Thee,

Still passing by Thy cross;

Lord, may our hearts retain Thee;

All else we count but loss.

O glorious King, we bless Thee,

No longer pass Thee by;

O Jesus, we confess Thee

Our Lord, enthroned on high.

3.  Thy wounds, Thy grief beholding,

With Thee, O Lord, we grieve;

Thee in our hearts enfolding,

Our hearts Thy wounds receive;

Lord, grant to us remission;

Life through Thy death restore;

Of life for evermore.

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded   11 comments

Christ Carrying the Cross, by El Greco

Image in the Public Domain

Hymn Source = The New Psalms and Hymns (1901), of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1861-1983), the former “Southern Presbyterian Church,” born as the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America (1861-1865)

Several English translations and composite versions of this hymn exist in denominational hymnals.  The original text was in Latin.  Some traditions attribute authorship to St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153).  The German translation (1656) is the work of the Lutheran hymn writer Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676).  This English rendering (1830) is the product of the mind of the Reverend James W. Alexander (1804-1859), a Presbyterian minister who served churches in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.

The cross was supposed to carry great shame, at least in the minds of the Roman authorities who used it to make examples of selected people.  May we never assign this sacred symbol any shame.–KRT


1.  O sacred Head, now wounded,

With grief and shame weighed down;

Now scornfully surrounded

With thorns, Thine only crown.

O sacred Head, what glory,

What bliss till now was Thine!

Yet, though despised and gory,

I joy to call Thee mine.

2.  O noblest brow and dearest,

In other days the world

All feared when Thou appearedst;

What shame on Thee is hurled!

How art Thou pale with anguish,

With sore abuse and scorn;

How does that visage languish

Which once was bright ans morn!

3.  What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered

Was all for sinners’ gain:

Mine, mine was the transgression,

But Thine the deadly pain.

Lo, here I fall, my Saviour!

‘Tis I deserve Thy place;

Look on me with Thy favor,

Vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

4.  What language shall I borrow

To thank Thee, dearest Friend,

For this Thy dying sorrow,

Thy pity without end?

O make me Thine for ever;

And should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never

Outlive my love to Thee.

5.  Be near when I am dying,

O show Thy cross to me;

And for my succor flying

Come, Lord, to set me free:

These eyes, new faith receiving,

From Jesus shall not move;

For he who dies believing,

Dies safely, through Thy love.

O Thou, Who Through This Holy Week   4 comments

Easter Vigil, 2010:  Entering the darkened St. Peter and St. Paul Episcopal Church, Marietta, Georgia

Image Source = Bill Monk, Diocese of Atlanta


Hymn Source = The Parish School Hymnal (1926), of The United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962), a forerunner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1987-)

Words by John Mason Neale (1818-1866), a priest of The Church of England and a leading light of the Oxford Movement, plus the author of many hymns


1.  O Thou, Who through this Holy Week

Did’st suffer for us all;

The sick to heal, the lost to seek,

To raise up them that fall.

2.  We cannot understand the woe

Thy love was pleased to bear;

O Lamb of God, we only know

That all our hopes are there.

3.  Thy feet the path of suff’ring trod;

Thy hands the victory won;

What shall we render to our God

For all that He hath done?

Stabat Mater   12 comments

The Madonna in Sorrow, by Sassoferrato (1609-1685)

Image Source = Wikipedia

Traditional Latin text; English translation from The Hymnal 1982, of The Episcopal Church


1.  At the cross her vigil keeping,

stood the mournful mother weeping,

where he hung, the dying Lord:

there she waited in her anguish,

seeing Christ in torment languish,

in her heart the piercing sword.

2.  With what pain and desolation,

with what grief and resignation,

Mary watched her dying son.

Deep the woe of her affliction,

when she saw the crucifixion

of the sole begotten one.

3.  Him, who saw for our salvation

mocked with cruel acclamation,

scourged, and crowned with thorns entwined;

saw him then from judgment taken,

and in depth by all forsaken,

till his spirit he resigned.

4.  Who, on Christ’s dear mother gazing,

pierced by anguish so amazing,

born of woman, would not weep?

Who, on Christ’s dear mother thinking,

such a cup of sorrow drinking,

would not share her sorrows  deep?

5.  Jesus, may her deep devotion

stir in me the same emotion,

Fount of love, Redeemer kind;

that my heart fresh ardor gaining,

and a purer love attaining,

may with thee acceptance find.