Sunday, June 27, 2021

307. Hymn for the Easter Season

Like my recent hymns for Pre-Lent and the Epiphany Season, this new piece is designed to be sung with the same first and last stanza on all occasions from Easter Day to the Sunday after the Ascension (Exaudi), and a different middle stanza each week based on the propers for the day. Try to contain your surprise that I'm basing all this on the historic, one-year lectionary; that's how I roll. The tune (below) is called JESU, MEINES LEBENS LEBEN but is not the same as the tune by that name which I selected for this hymn. I stole it from the baptismal hymn "God's own child, I gladly say it" in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, though in the long term, I reckon it was originally paired with the Lenten hymn "Christ, the Life of all the living." And finally, rejoice with me, for I believe that with this hymn done, there are fewer than 10 hymns to be written according to my plan for E.H.
Christ is risen: faith replieth,
Hallelujah! Ris'n indeed!
Living now, He no more dieth;
We ourselves are likewise freed.
For our sins He was delivered;
His knock Hades' door hath shivered,
And a path blazed from the dead
That our very feet shall tread.

(Easter Day)
Christ arose, the angel crieth;
Seek Him no more in the grave!
He declared, who never lieth,
How the sinner He would save:
Trial, scourge and death enduring,
In the earth His clay immuring,
On the third day to arise,
Taking Satan by surprise.

(Easter Monday)
Was it not in Scripture written
That the Christ must suffer thus—
By the ancient serpent bitten
That its power He might crush?
Feel this truth within you burning
As, from His sure promise learning,
You behold in broken bread
Jesus, risen from the dead!

(Easter Tuesday)
Christ arose, and no mere spectre:
See, His wounded hands and feet!
Now He feedeth, as with nectar,
Those who taste His wisdom sweet:
To our hearts He now discloseth
What of Him God's writ proposeth,
Sending men to tell in turn
Tidings meet for all to learn.

(Easter 1: Quasimodogeniti)
Like an infant, pure milk craving,
Long for Christ's unblemished word!
Listen, ye who thirst for saving,
Where His gracious breath is stirred!
It bears witness that the Savior
Died to mend your misbehavior,
Three days thence the grave to leave;
Be not doubting, but believe!

(Easter 2: Misericordias Domini)
With God's love the earth aboundeth;
By His Word the heav'ns were made.
From His saints a song resoundeth:
Joy and praise their hearts pervade.
Christ, most excellent of pastors,
Guardeth us through all disasters;
Knoweth, cheriseth His own,
As by them He, too, is known.

(Easter 3: Jubilate)
Shout with joy to God, ye nations;
Sing the honor of His name!
Christ for us paid reparations,
When through death to life He came.
God, His own dear son not sparing,
All goods with the sinner sharing,
Garbeth Him without a flaw,
Filling all His foes with awe.

(Easter 4: Cantate)
Sing a new song, for God doeth
Things both marvelous and new:
Freely, far abroad He streweth
Saving acts in public view.
His strong arm hath won the battle,
Spoiling death and Satan's chattel.
Thus the hope these tidings give:
Neither shall we die, but live.

(Easter 5: Rogate)
With a voice of singing tell it,
Even to the farthest lands:
Let their hale rejoinder swell it,
As with glee they clap their hands.
Christ, who did by blood restore us,
Liveth and hath gone before us;
Hence, we lift a glorious cry
Till He draweth us on high.

(Ascension Day)
God has gone up, all victorious,
With a shout and trumpet's call;
Christ ascendeth, ever glorious,
Seated in His Father's hall.
Thus our earthly, earthy nature
Gains in heav'n a heav'nly stature
And an envoy in God's eyes,
Till He calls us to our prize.

(Easter 6: Exaudi)
Hear, O Lord, Thy children's pleading,
Whom Thou badest seek Thy face:
Hide it not, lest we, still needing
Daily help, despair of grace.
Thou whose holiness is flawless,
Leave us not bereft of solace!
Come, with Jesus' living voice,
That again we may rejoice!

(Closing stanza)
There will be an end to sighing,
Though our day must have its close;
Likewise weeping, groaning, dying.
He who died—yea, who arose—
Standeth by us in our grieving,
In our spirit's hour of leaving,
Till we see His quick'ning ray
On our resurrection day.

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