This ancient Latin hymn dates from 7th century England by a monk known only by the name Bede, often called “The Venerable Bede,” and since he predated divisions between Eastern and Western, Catholic and Protestant churches, has been honored in every Christian tradition. An 11th century manuscript in the British Museum is the source for this joyful Ascension hymn text, as translated in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).
LASST UNS ERFREUEN derives its opening line and several other melodic ideas from GENEVAN 68 (68). The tune was first published with the Easter text "Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" in the Jesuit hymnal Ausserlesene Catlwlische Geistliche Kirchengesiinge (Cologne, 1623).
Bede (b. circa 672-673; d. May 26, 735), also known as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede, was an English monk at Northumbrian monastery at Monkwearmouth (now Jarrow). Sent to the monastery at the young age of seven, he became deacon very early on, and then a priest at the age of thirty. An author and scholar, he is particularly known for his Ecclesiastical History of the Enlgish People, which gained him the title “Father of English History.” He also wrote many scientific and theological works, as well as poetry and music. Bede is the only native of Great Britain to have ever been made a Doctor of the Church. He died on Ascension Day, May 26, 735, and was buried in Durham Cathedral.
Laura de Jong
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