O the Mystery, Passing Wonder

O the mystery, passing wonder

Author: St. Andrew of Crete; Translator: J. M. Neale (1862)
Published in 4 hymnals

Representative Text

O the mystery, passing wonder,
When, reclining at the board,
“Eat,” Thou saidst to Thy Disciples,
“That True Bread with quickening stored:
“Drink in faith the healing Chalice
“From a dying GOD outpoured.”

Then the glorious upper chamber
A celestial tent was made,
When the bloodless rite was offered,
And the soul’s true service paid,

And the table of the feasters
As an altar stood displayed.

CHRIST is now our mighty pascha,
Eaten for our mystic bread:
Take we of His broken Body,
Drink we of the Blood He shed,
As a lamb led out to slaughter,
And for this world offered.

To the Twelve spake Truth eternal,
To the Branches spake the Vine:
“Never more from this day
Shall I taste again this wine,
Till I drink it in the kingdom
Of My FATHER, and with Mine.”

Thou hast stretched those hands for silver
That had held the immortal Food;
With the lips that late had tasted
Of the Body and the Blood,
Thou hast given the kiss, O Judas;
Thou hast heard the woe bestowed.

CHRIST to all the world gives banquet
On that most celestial Meat:
Him, albeit with lips all earthly,
Yet with holy hearts we greet:
Him, the sacrificial Pascha,
Priest and Victim all complete.



Source: Hymns of the Eastern Church (5th ed.) #73

Author: St. Andrew of Crete

Andrew, St., of Jerusalem, Archbishop of Crete (660-732). born at Damascus; he embraced the monastic life at Jerusalem, whence his name, as above. He was deputed by Theodore, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to attend the 6th General Council at Constantinople (680). He was there ordained deacon, and became Warden of the Orphanage. "During the reign of Philippus Bardesanes (711-714) he was raised by that usurper to the Archiepiscopate of Crete; and shortly afterward was one of the Pseudo-Synod of Constantinople, held under that Emperor's auspices in 712, which condemned the Sixth (Ecumenical Council and restored the Monothelite heresy. At a later period, however, he returned to the faith of the Church and refuted the error into which be had fallen."… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

John M. Neale's life is a study in contrasts: born into an evangelical home, he had sympathies toward Rome; in perpetual ill health, he was incredibly productive; of scholarly tem­perament, he devoted much time to improving social conditions in his area; often ignored or despised by his contemporaries, he is lauded today for his contributions to the church and hymnody. Neale's gifts came to expression early–he won the Seatonian prize for religious poetry eleven times while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1842, but ill health and his strong support of the Oxford Movement kept him from ordinary parish ministry. So Neale spent the years between 1846 and 1866 as a warden of Sackvi… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O the mystery, passing wonder
Title: O the Mystery, Passing Wonder
Author: St. Andrew of Crete
Translator: J. M. Neale (1862)
Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.7
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 4 of 4)
Page Scan

Hymns and Poetry of the Eastern Church #107

TextPage Scan

Hymns of the Eastern Church (5th ed.) #73

Page Scan

Songs of the Soul #134

The Sarum Hymnal #124

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