originally written in German
by Martin Luther
. The German title is Christ lag in Todesbanden
, which is also the name of the usual tune (very old; I've not been able to identify a composer
). The hymn is principally appropriate for Easter Sunday
itself, but could reasonably be used at any time in Eastertide
Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands
Rebuilding the contribution of an asamothed noder.
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand he stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Wherefore let us joyful be,
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of alleluia!
No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on Earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thralldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage.
But Jesus Christ, God?s only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,
His sting is lost forever.
It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended;
Stripped of power, no more it reigns,
An empty form alone remains;
Death's sting is lost for ever!
So let us keep the festival
Where to the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the joy of all,
The sun that warms and lights us;
By his grace he doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended!
Then let us feast this Easter day
On the true bread of heaven;
The word of grace hath purged away
The old and wicked leaven;
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other!