Sunday, November 29, 2015

166. Hymn for the 25th Sunday after Trinity

This Sunday towards the end of the church year, like some of those around it, may exist some years but not others. This is because there may be more or fewer Sundays after Trinity depending on the date of Easter. The low extreme of 22 Sundays can only occur when Easter falls on one of the two latest dates possible, April 24-25, whereas there are five possible Easter dates (March 22-26) to allow 27 Sundays after Trinity. I note this here because more than half of the possible dates of Easter, but only a little more, allow for at least 25 Sundays after Trinity. I should also have mentioned a few hymns ago that the Introit for the 23rd Sunday after Trinity, on which I based that Sunday's designated hymn, is always supposed to be used on the last Sunday of the church year. At any rate this particular mass has 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 for its Epistle and Matthew 24:15-27 for its Gospel. I chose two alternate tunes for this hymn, both titled WENN MEINE SÜND. The one above the hymn is from a German source, dated 1790. The one below it is by Michael Prætorius, 1609.
When tribulation rises
And shows the end is near,
Man’s lot he realizes;
The nations quake in fear.
Woe to the womb, the nursing breast
Whom the brash bolt surprises
That flashes east to west!

That day comes of a sudden
And finds men unprepared;
The faithful, though downtrodden,
Need not withal be scared.
Though springs the trap on ev’ry sin,
Yet mercy’s gates will broaden
T’ward us whom Christ drew in.

Heed not false Christ or preacher
Whose word or wondrous deed
Would even God’s new creature,
If possible, mislead!
See, Jesus warns us in advance
Lest comely voice or feature
Should mesh us in its trance!

Now be not unenlightened
On them who are asleep,
But let your hearts be lightened
From hopeless, pining grief!
Christ comes with angel’s voice to raise
Those dead in Him; then brightened
Shall be all after days!

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