02 March 2010

Ehre sei dir, Christe

Here is my translation of “Ehre sei dir, Christe” (H. Bonnus, 1540). The first stanza is a traditional hymn, Laus tibi Christe qui pateris. It was originally sung in Latin between stanzas of Rex Christe factor omnium, on Good Friday. The stand-alone version here has two added stanzas identical to stanzas 3 and 6 of "Ach, wir armen Sünder," q.v. The hymn is called "Lob sei dir Christe" in Ludecus (1589) and appointed under the section Judica, Palmarum, and Good Friday. A variety of German translations exist. Our seemingly anomalous title perhaps arose from the influence of the Gospel acclamation Laus tibi Christe, “Lob sei dir [O] Christe,” from the ordinary of the Mass. The melody is the traditional one associated with this series of texts, probably from 15th c., though the title starting with the word Lob suggests that perhaps the Latin melody was used with a form of the German title.

1. Christ, to Thee be glory,
For Thy bitter pain,
On the cross of suff’ring,
Dying for our gain.
Now with God the Father
Reigning without end:
Help us wretched sinners!
Thy salvation send!
Kyrie eleison,
Christe Eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

2. Had Christ not descended
To this world of shame
And upon Him taken
Our own humble frame,
And for our transgressions
Died most willingly,
We in hell would suffer
For eternity.
Kyrie, etc.

3. Let us altogether
Sing our joyful boast,
Thanking God the Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praying for protection,
From offenses here,
And our preservation
In His Word so dear.
Kyrie, etc.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2010.

1. Ehre [Lob] sei dir, Christe,
der du littest Not,

an dem Stamm des Kreuzes
für uns bittern Tod,

herrschest mit dem Vater
in der Ewigkeit:

hilf uns armen Sündern
zu der Seligkeit.

Kyrie eleison,

Christe eleison,

Kyrie eleison.

2. Wäre nicht gekommen
Christus in die Welt

und hätt angenommen
unser arm Gestalt

und für unsre Sünde
gestorben williglich,

so hätten wir müssen
verdammt sein ewiglich.

Kyrie, usw.

3. Darum wolln wir loben,
danken allezeit

dem Vater und Sohne
und dem Heilgen Geist;

bitten, daß sie wollen
behüten uns hinfort,

und daß wir stets bleiben
bei seinem heilgen Wort.

Kyrie, usw.

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