When, O King Immortal

Representative Text

When, O King Immortal,
Thou didst seek the gloom,
Tasting death in meekness,
Resting in the tomb—
On that dark and woful day,
Hades owned Thy kingly sway.

Victor! now we hail Thee,
Hail Thee Christ our God;
Thou hast burst the barrier
Of Thy dark abode;
On that glad and glorious day,
Hades owned Thy kingly sway.

They who bore the spices
In the early hour,
Heard the salutation
Of the Lord of power,
And His followers, sore and sad,
Found the peace that made them glad.

Hail the King Immortal!
Death by death is slain,
And the weak and fallen
Rise to life again;
On this glad and glorious day
Hades owns the Victor’s sway.

Hymns of the Greek Church, 1900

Translator: John Brownlie

Brownlie, John, was born at Glasgow, Aug. 6, 1857, and was educated at Glasgow University, and at the Free Church College in the same city. In 1884 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Glasgow; in 1885 he became Assistant Minister of the Free Church, Portpatrick, and on the death of the Senior Minister in 1890 he entered upon the full charge of the Church there. He has interested himself in educational matters, became a Member of the local School Board in 1888, a governor of Stranraer High School in 1897, and Chairman of the governors in 1901. His hymnological works are:— 1. The Hymns and Hymnwriters of the [Scottish] Church Hymnary, 1899. This is a biographical, historical, and critical companion to that hymnal, and is well done and… Go to person page >

Author: St. John of Damascus

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 >

Text Information

First Line: When, O King Immortal
Greek Title: εἰ καὶ ἐν τάφῳ κατῆλθες ἀθάνατε
Author: St. John of Damascus (780)
Translator: John Brownlie
Meter: 6.5.6.5.7.7 D
Language: English

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Hymns of the Greek Church #52

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