In Death's Strong Grasp the Savior Lay

Representative Text

1 In death's strong grasp the Saviour lay,
For our offenses given:
But, lo, the Lord is ris'n today,
And brings us life from heaven:
Now therefore let us all rejoice
And praise our God with cheerful voice,
And sing loud hallelujahs.

2 Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree,
So strong His love to save us.
Th'atoning blood now marks our door,
Faith points to it, death passes o'er,
He nevermore can harm us.

3 So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is Himself the Joy of all,
The Sun which warms and lights us:
And by His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.

4 Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true Bread of heaven;
The Word of grade hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven:
For Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other.


Source: The Hymnal and Order of Service #134

Translator: Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (b. Holborn, London, England, 1827; d. Monnetier, Savoy, France, 1878) is well known for her English translations of German hymns; her translations were polished and yet remained close to the original. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany, in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge of German and interest in German hymnody. After residing near Manchester until 1862, she moved to Clifton, near Bristol. A pioneer in promoting women's rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women. She translated a large number of German hymn texts from hymnals owned by a friend, Baron Bunsen. Though often altered, these translations continue to be used i… Go to person page >

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: In Death's strong grasp the Savior lay
Title: In Death's Strong Grasp the Savior Lay
German Title: Christ lag in Todesbanden
Author: Martin Luther (1524)
Translator: Catherine Winkworth
Language: English
Publication Date: 1863
Copyright: Public Domain




CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is an adaptation of a medieval chant used for "Victimae Paschali laudes" (the same chant is the source for CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN, 407). The tune's arrangement is credited to Johann Walther (b. Kahla, Thuringia, Germany, 1496: d. Torgau, Germany, 1570), in whose 1524 Geystlic…

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The Hymnal and Order of Service #134

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