Eighth-century Greek poet John of Damascus (b. Damascus, c. 675; d. St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, c. 754) is especially known for his writing of six canons for the major festivals of the church year. John's father, a Christian, was an important official at the court of the Muslim caliph in Damascus. After his father's death, John assumed that position and lived in wealth and honor. At about the age of forty, however, he became dissatisfied with his life, gave away his possessions, freed his slaves, and entered the monastery of St. Sabas in the desert near Jerusalem. One of the last of the Greek fathers, John became a great theologian in the Eastern church. He defended the church's use of icons, codified the practices of Byzantine chant, and wr… Go to person page >
Translator: Athelstan Riley
Riley, John Athelstan Laurie, M.A., s. of John Riley, Mytholmroyd, Yorks, was born in London, Aug. 10, 1858, and educated at Eton and at Pembroke College, Oxford (B.A. 1881, M.A. 1883). He has been since 1892 a member of the House of Laymen of the Province of Canterbury. He was one of the compilers of The English Hymnal, 1906, and contributed to it seven translations from the Latin (34, 185, 193, 195, 213, 242, 321, with No. 97 previously published), and one from the Greek, beginning, "What sweet of life endureth," from Iiola rod fiiov, p. 899, i., and the following originals:—
1. Come, let us join the Church above. Martyrs.
2. Saints of God! Lo, Jesu’s people. St. Bartholomew. The initials of the lines form the acrostic S… Go to person page >
Melchior Vulpius (PHH 397) composed this short chorale tune, published as a setting for the anonymous funeral hymn "Christus, der ist me in Leben" ("For Me to Live Is Jesus") in Vulpius's Ein Schön Geistlich Gesangbuch (1609). Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) based his Cantata 95 on this tune and provided tw…
Display Title: What Sweet of Life Endureth?First Line: What sweet of life endurethTune Title: CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBENAuthor: John of Damascus, 675-749; J. Athelstan RileyMeter: 76.76Source: translation in The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), number 361
Display Title: What sweet of life endurethFirst Line: What sweet of life endurethTune Title: ST MARY MAGDALENEAuthor: St John of Damascus, c. 750; Athelstan Riley, 1858-1945Meter: 76 76Date: 1986Subject: Sacraments and Other Rites | Funerals and the DepartedSource: Greek