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, 1859, 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

John of Damascus, St. The last but one of the Fathers of the Greek Church, and the greatest of her poets (Neale). He was of a good family in Damascus, and educated by the elder Cosmas in company with his foster-brother Cosmas the Melodist (q. v.). He held some office under the Caliph. He afterwards retired to the laura of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, along with his foster-brother. There he composed his theological works and his hymns. He was ordained priest of the church of Jerusalem late in life. He lived to extreme old age, dying on the 4th December, the day on which he is commemorated in the Greek calendar, either in his 84th or 100th year (circa 780). He was called, for some unknown reason, Mansur, by his enemies. His fame as a theologian… 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: D
Language: English


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Hymns of the Greek Church #52

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