The ancient law departs

Representative Text

1 The ancient Law departs,
And all its fears remove,
For Jesus makes with faithful hearts
A covenant of love.

2 The Light of Light devine,
True brightness undefiled,
He bears for us the pain of sin,
A holy, spotless child.

3 His infant body now
Begins the cross to feel;
Those precious drops of blood that flow
For death the victim seal.

4 Today the name is Thine
At which we bend the knee.
They call Thee Jesus, child divine;
Our Jesus deign to be.

5 All praise, eternal Son,
For Thy redeeming love,
With Father, Spirit, ever one
In glorious might above.

Source: Lutheran Service Book #898

Author: Sebastien Besnault

Little is known of Abbé Besnault save that he was a priest of St. Maurice at Sens and one of the contributors to the Cluniac Breviary of 1686. He died April 29, 1724. Some of his hymns are also included in the Sens Breviary of 1726, and two hymns, for the Feast of the Circumcision, in the Paris Breviary, 1736. --Hymnal 1940 Companion… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The ancient law departs
Latin Title: Debilis cessant elemnta legis
Author: Sebastien Besnault (1736)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Debilis cessent elementa legis. Abbe Besnault. [The Circumcision.] In the revised Paris Breviary,1736, it is the hymn for first Vespers on the Feast of the Circumcision. It is also in the Lyons and other modern French Breviaries, and Card. Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae, 1838 and 1865. Translated as:—
1. The ancient law departs. By the compilers of Hymns Ancient & Modern, first appeared in the trial copy of that collection, 1859, and again in the 1st edition, 1861. It has passed into a few hymnals in Great Britain and America, and is sometimes altered.

--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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Lutheran Service Book #898


The Cyber Hymnal #165

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