20 February 2012

Ein wahrer Christ in dieser Welt

Here is my translation of “Ein wahrer Christ in dieser Welt” (Melchior Eccard), a hymn on the three [non-literal] days of a Christian’s life “in this valley of tears.” It is appointed to be sung to the tune, “Da Jesus Christ verraten ward” or “Wann mein Stündlein vorhanden ist.”

A TRUE, believing Christian’s life
Is but three days in measure;
God calls us to this world of strife
For such is His good pleasure,
That we hereafter may be crowned
And in a glorious robe found
By Jesus Christ, our Savior.

2. First with Good Friday we must start,
And in our Passion languish–
The day, O Christian, when thy heart
Is filled with grief and anguish:
When death is e’er before thine eyes,
And thou, distressed, canst not advise
Which way to go is better.

3. Look up to Jesus Christ, thy King,
Upon the cross uplifted,
Receive His bloody offering
In faith, of falsehood sifted,
And know, This day will have an eve,
Our soul it may not always grieve,
But soon it will be ended.

4. And next shall follow, free of pain,
A Day of peace and slumber,
The day when once, thy rest to gain,
Christ lay within His chamber
When He, O faithful heart, for thee
His Sabbath spent, death’s death to be
Within the tomb reposing.

5. As He that day His rest received
From every worldly sorrow,
So shall His Christians be relieved
Upon that Sabbath morrow,
When in their sleeping-chambers they
Will take their pause, and peaceful stay
Until the Last Day brightens.

6. When then the Third Day stirs thy sleep,
No soul in all creation
May under earth or elsewhere keep
A moment more her station;
All flesh shall then be raised again
As in God’s Word His promise plain
And certain will are stated.

7. On that tremendous Easter Morn,
In ceaseless joy and gladness
The Church, that died in Christ, reborn,
Will know no grief or sadness,
But shining like the sun, adore
And praise her God forevermore:
Amen. Lord Jesus grant it!

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011.


1. Ein wahrer Christ in dieser Welt
drei Tage muß zubringen,
denn Gott es also wohlgefällt,
der ihn hie hiesset ringen,
auf daß er dort gekrönet werd
mit ewiger Glorie und Zierd
bei Jesu, seinem Herren.

2. Der erste der Karfreitag ist
wohl in der Marterwochen,
da wird dein Herz, o frommer Christ,
mit Angst und Schmerz gebrochen,
daß dir für Augen steht der Tod
in deiner größten Angst und Not,
weißt nicht, wo Aus noch Eine.

3. Als dann sieh Jesum Christum an,
für dich am Kreuz erhaben,
und nimm sein blutigs Opfer an
in rechtem wahrem Glauben
und denk: ein Tag der ist ein Tag,
so je nicht ewig währen mag,
sondern sich bald tut enden.

4. Darauf wird folgen ohne Schmerz
der ander Tag mit Friedn,
auf welchen du, O frommes Herz,
von Christo bist beschieden,
da er den Sabbath in dem Grab
nach seinem Tod gehalten hat
auch dir zu Gut und Frommen.

5. Dann gleich wie er geruhet hat
von allen seinen Schmerzen,
also wird folgen der Sabbath
auch aller frommen Herzen,
wann sie in ihrn Schlafkämmerlein
rasten und ruhen werden fein
bis an den Jüngsten Tage.

6. Da wird folgen der dritte Tag,
an welchem in der Erden
kein toter Mensch mehr bleiben mag,
weil wird gegeben werden
die Auferstehung allem Fleisch
nach Gottes Willen und Verheisch,
in seinem Wort gegründet.

7. An diesem großen Ostertag
mit ewger Freud und Wonne
ohn alles Leid, Angst, Plag und Klag
wird leuchten als die Sonne
die ausserwählt Christgläubig Schaar,
Gott liebn und loben immerdar;
das gib, Herr Jesu, Amen.

11 February 2012

Der Herr unser Schöpfer / Geht hin die ihr gebenedeit

Here is my translation of the Bohemian Brethren closing hymns “Der Herr unser Schöpfer und Gott” and “Geht hin, die ihr gebenedeit” (P. Herbert, 1566). The Bohemian Brethren based this closing hymn on a local Trope found in several medieval missals, such as Mosburg, München, Engelberg, and Ratisbon. Based on the traditional dismissal formula of the Mass, “Ite, missa est,” this Trope, part of a series of such Tropes with suitable variations for the seasons and occasions, was sung after the Complend or final Collect, before the priest intoned the Ite missa est, though it seems to have come before the Benediction in the Bohemian use. It is unclear whether they retained both. The two hymns being placed together seem to indicate an alternation or variation according to season or occaison.  The Bohemian Brethren have two adaptations based on the common “Ite-Trope”: the first represents an inspired adaptation to Reformation usage by incorporating the words of the Aaronic Benediction and the Apostolic Benediction (the fourth stanza might therefore best be sung in lesser offices where the Epist. Bened. is appointed); the second follows more closely the idea of the Ite-Trope, though adapted to reflect a stronger Christology. A literal translation of the Latin goes: “Go ye blessed and elect, [upon] the way of peace; for your sake the sacrifice has been remitted to God the Father.” The 3-stanza correction of this adds in the margins these references: to stanza 1, line 4, Psalm 17b; to stanza 2, line 1, Deut. 28:6; Matt. 5b; Rom. 8a; Eph. 3a.

Note that the melody is taken from the first “Kyrie eleison” of the Kyrie Missa V, Deus magnae potentiae. Interestingly, a translation of the Troped Kyrie Missa V also exists in the same hymnal, and was borrowed by Layriz as a seasonal Kyrie for Christmastide.

THE LORD our God and Maker bless
And keep us ever with His grace;
And His kingdom multiply
With powèr from on High.

2. The Lord our Savior, God divine,
Now make His holy face to shine
With His gracious, saving light
To scatter sin’s dark night.

3. The Lord our God the Holy Ghost
Lift up upon His gathered host,
His sweet countenance, nor cease
To give us perfect peace.

4. The Father who hath giv’n us breath,
The Son who saved us by His death,
And the gracious Spirit bless
The Church in every place.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2012.

GO FORTH, ye Christian people blest,
And saints elect in Jesus Christ;
Go forth in joy and peace today,
God guide your every way.

2. Blest shalt thou be when coming in,
And blest when going out again.
And thine every deed be blest
Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. The same our Savior, God and King
To our true fatherland us bring,
To whom all praise and glory be
For all eternity.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2012.

1. Der Herr unser Schöpfer und Gott,der segne uns mit seiner Gnad,und behüt uns allzugleichvermehr sein liebes Reich.
2. Der Herr unser Gott und Heiland,laß über uns leuchten allsamtsein heiliges Angesichtsein Gnad und Heiles Licht.
3. Der Herr Gott, der Heilge Geist,erheb über uns allermeistsein Angesicht voller Gütund geb uns seinen Fried.
4. Uns segne der Herr unser Gott,uns segne der Sohn durch sein Tod,segne des Geists Gütigkeit,die ganze Christenheit. 
1. Geht hin, die ihr gebenedeit, und in Christo auserwählt seid,geht hin mit Freuden in Fried,Er richt all euer Tritt.
2. Gesegnet ist euer Ausgang,gesegnet ist euer Eingang,gesegnet all euer Tun,durch Christum Gottes Sohn.
3. Derselb unser Herr und Heilandführ uns ein ins recht Vaterland,zu Lob und Ehr seim namenin Ewigkeit, Amen.

1a. Ite,Benedicti et electi,viam pacis;pro vobisDeo patri hostiamissa est.