Sunday, April 12, 2009

Christ is Arisen!

This haunting hymn Victimae Paschali (To the Paschal Victim) is attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (d.c. 1050). Early Lutherans sang it in Latin interspersed with verses from a medieval German hymn Christ est Erstanden (Christ is Arisen).

It is found in the LSB hymnal as hymns 459 and 460.

When I sang with the seminary Kantorei, we sang this hymn in English blending the two hymns together. It was sung in four parts a capella with handbells. We often used it as a Gospel procession for Mass at Kramer Chapel. During the Easter season, Salem Lutheran Church uses hymn 459 as our Gospel procession.

Here are the lyrics from LSB 459 & 460:

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
The Lamb the sheep has ransomed:
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciling sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended
In that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life who died,
Reigns immortal.

Christ is arisen
From the grave's dark prison.
So let our joy rise full and free,
Christ our comfort true will be.

"Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw when wayfaring."
"The tomb of Christ, who is living.
The glory of Jesus' resurrection,
Bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
My Lord, my hope, is arisen;
To Galilee He goes before you."

Were not Christ arisen,
Then death were still our prison.
Now with Him to life restored.
We praise the Father of our Lord.

Christ indeed from death is risen,
Our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Now let our joy rise full and free;
Christ our comfort true will be. Alleluia!

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