Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alleluia! Christ Is Risen!

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain
    of triumphant gladness!
God hath brought his Israel
    into joy from sadness:
loosed from Pharoah's bitter yoke
    Jacob's sons and daughters,
led them with unmoistened foot
    through the Red Sea waters.

'Tis the spring of souls today:
    Christ hath burst his prison,
and from three days' sleep in death
    as a sun hath risen;
all the winter of our sins,
    long and dark, is flying
from his light, to whom we give
    laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright
    with the day of splendor,
with the royal feast of feasts,
    comes its joy to render;
comes to glad Jerusalem,
    who with true affection
welcomes in unwearied strains
    Jesus' resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death,
    nor the tomb's dark portal,
nor the watchers, nor the seal
    hold thee as a mortal:
but today amidst the twelve
    thou didst stand, bestowing
that thy peace which evermore
    passeth human knowing.

Alleluia now we cry
    to our King Immortal,
who triumphant burst the bars
    of the tomb's dark portal;
alleluia, with the Son
    God the Father praising;
alleluia yet again
    to the Spirit raising.

        St. John of Damascus, c. 676-749
        tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-1866

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