390. The Day of Resurrection

1 The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad,
the Passover of gladness,
the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from sin's dominion free,
our Christ has brought us over
with hymns of victory.

2 Let hearts be purged of evil
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light,
and, listening to his accents,
may hear so calm and plain
his own "All hail" and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

3 Now let the heavens be joyful,
let earth its song begin,
let all the world keep triumph
and all that is therein.
Let all things, seen and unseen,
their notes of gladness blend;
for Christ the Lord has risen,
our joy that has no end!

Text Information
First Line: The day of resurrection
Title: The Day of Resurrection
Original Language: Greek
Author: John of Damascus, 8th cent.
Translator: John Mason Neale (1862, alt.)
Meter: 76 76 D
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Topic: Easter; Assurance
Tune Information
Composer: John Farmer (1892)
Meter: 76 76 D
Key: C Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 2 = Rev. 1:16, Matt. 28:9
st. 3 = Ps. 19:1, Ps. 150:6, John 16:22

See PHH 389 for information about the origins of this text and John of Damascus.

This text also comes from John's first ode of the "Golden Canon," recognized as his finest work and written around 750. It was tradi¬tionally sung at midnight on Easter with the lighting of candles.

John M. Neale's (PHH 342) rather free English translation was published in his Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862). The first stanza uses the Old Testament Passover story as a metaphor for Christ's resurrection (as is customary in all the first odes of a Greek canon). In stanza 2 we, like the New Testament disciples, become witnesses to the risen Lord. Stanza 3 invites the entire cosmos to join in praise to the risen Christ.

Liturgical Use:
Easter, but this marvelous text may be sung any Sunday.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The tune FARMER is marked by dramatically ascending melodic phrases and energetic rhythms in its opening lines. Sing in harmony throughout, possibly reserving unison for the third stanza. Use solid organ accompaniment; accompany with brass if possible.

Presumably, the source of FARMER is John Farmer's Hymns and Chorales (1892). A self-taught pianist, violinist, and harpist, Farmer (b. Nottingham, England, 1836; d. Oxford, England, 1901) studied music in Leipzig, Germany, and Coburg, Germany. He taught in Zurich from 1857 to 1861 but then returned to England, where he taught at Harrow School–not in a traditional, academic manner but through lighthearted choral singing. In 1885 he became organist at Balliol College, Oxford, a position he retained until his death. At Balliol he introduced Sunday evening performances of classical music despite the objections of many church folk. He also wrote many songs for the Harrow School as well as oratorios and operas. Farmer was a major force in introducing Bach and Brahms to the English public. He edited works of Bach as well as Hymns and Chorales for Schools and Colleges (1892).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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