May 11, 2013

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

Raise the Strain of Triumphant Gladness

Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain is a translation of an 8th century Greek canon by St. John of Da­mas­cus (675-749). It was composed around the year 750, to be used for the first Sunday after Easter. It is based upon the 'Song of Moses' from Exodus 15. Such canons, or hymns in the Eastern Church depict Salvation History using Old Testament 'types' and prefigurements that are fulfilled and made real in the New Testament. In 1859 the text was translated into English by the Anglican minister, John M. Neale, (1818-1866) and set to the 1872 tune: St. Ke­vin by Sir. Ar­thur Sul­li­van (1842-1900). In the Divine Office, Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain is used during Easter Season.

Tune: St. Kevin

by John M. Neale, 1859, Public Domain

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’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 has 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.

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