Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This afternoon we will sing this hymn, written by Martin Luther and translated by Richard Massie, The text of the hymn underscores Christ's conquest of death, the breaking of Satan's power, and the victory over the rule of evil. There are allusions to the Passover—the blood of Christ now marks our door!—and a reference to the holy supper.

The tune is an adaptation of a medieval chant and arranged by Johann Walther, a collaborator of Martin Luther. Walther was one of the great early influences in Lutheran church music. This tune has a vigor and lightness appropriate to an Easter hymn. J.S. Bach incorporated it into several of his cantatas.

Sources: Psalter Hymnal Handbook; Internet.

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