1 O sons and daughters of the King,
whom heavenly hosts in glory sing,
today the grave has lost its sting.
2 That Easter morn at break of day,
the faithful women went their way
to seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
3 An angel clad in white they see,
who sat and spoke unto the three,
"Your Lord has gone to Galilee."
4 When Thomas first the tidings heard
that some had seen the risen Lord,
he doubted the disciples' word.
Lord, have mercy!
5 At night the apostles met in fear;
among them came their Master dear
and said, "My peace be with you here."
6 "My pierced side, O Thomas, see,
and look upon my hands, my feet;
not faithless but believing be."
7 No longer Thomas then denied;
he saw the feet, the hands, the side.
"You are my Lord and God!" he cried.
8 How blest are they who have not seen
and yet whose faith has constant been,
for they eternal life shall win.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Psalter Hymnal, 1987
|First Line:||O sons and daughters, let us sing|
|Title:||O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing!|
|Latin Title:||O filii et filiae|
|Author (attributed to):||Jean Tisserand|
|Translator:||J. M. Neale|
|Meter:||8.8.8 with alleluias|
|Source:||Latin Hymn, 13th cent.|
|Refrain First Line:||Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleuia!|
|Liturgical Use:||Scripture Songs|
The Latin original text of this hymn is usually attributed to a French Franciscan monk named Jean Tisserand in the fifteenth century, though some scholars think it may have been a French Dominican bishop named Jehan Tisserand in the early sixteenth century. The first known publication of the text was in an untitled booklet in Paris between 1518 and 1536. Other Latin stanzas were also added at a later date. John Mason Neale translated the hymn into English in 1851.
This text appears in nine or ten stanzas in most hymnals. Some divide these stanzas into two separate hymns with the same tune, but most include all the stanzas in one entry. The reason some hymnals divide the text is that the first part of the hymn tells the story of the scene at the tomb on Resurrection Sunday, while the second part tells the story of the disciples' response to the news from John 20:19-29. A refrain of jubilant alleluias opens and closes the hymn.
O FILII ET FILIAE takes its name from the first words of the Latin text. It may have originated as a chant tune or as a French folk melody, but there is no scholarly consensus on the issue. Either source of the tune would mean unison singing is more appropriate to the original style than the four-part setting of the earliest publication in 1623 in Paris. Most hymnals have a rhythmic, four-part setting, but a few also include a chant-style unison version. The triple meter of the tune and the joyful theme of the text call for an upbeat tempo. Use full accompaniment on the alleluias.
The narrative of the text is appropriate for services where the gospel reading is from an account of the Resurrection or the story of Thomas. For an Eastertide service, try singing with light accompaniment from tambourine and handbells, as in the polyphonic choral setting of “O Sons and Daughters.” Another arrangement of “O Sons and Daughters” is an a capella choral arrangement which alternates between a chant-like unison setting of the tune and a simple four-part harmonization, lending some variety to the long text. Keyboard and flute accompaniment support a combined setting of this gospel narrative and Psalm 118 called “Easter Alleluia,” in which the congregation and choir alternate with the cantor.
Tiffany Shomsky, Hymnary.org