Scripture Verse

He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him. Matthew 28:7

Introduction

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John of Damascus (675–749)

Words: John of Da­mas­cus (675–749) (Αναστάσεως ήμέρα). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, 1862.

Music: Lan­ca­shire Hen­ry T. Smart, 1836 (🔊 pdf nwc). Smart wrote this tune for a mu­sic fes­tiv­al in Black­burn, Lan­ca­shire, Eng­land, com­me­mo­rat­ing the 350th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the Re­for­ma­tion in Eng­land.

Alternate Tunes:

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Henry T. Smart (1813–1879)

Background

Neale described how ea­rly Greek Chris­tians sang this hymn:

As mid­night ap­proached, the arch­bish­op, with his priests, ac­com­pan­ied by the king and queen, left the church and sta­tioned them­selves on the plat­form, which was raised con­si­der­ably from the ground, so that they were dis­tinct­ly seen by the peo­ple.

Everyone now re­mained in breath­less ex­pec­ta­tion, hold­ing an un­light­ed taper in rea­di­ness when the glad mo­ment should ar­rive, while the priests still con­tin­ued mur­mur­ing their mel­an­cho­ly chant in a low half whis­per.

Suddenly a sin­gle re­port of a can­non an­nounced that twelve o’clock had struck and that East­er Day had be­gun; then the old arch­bish­op, ele­vat­ing the cross, ex­claimed in a loud, ex­ult­ing tone, Chris­tos anes­te! Christ is ris­en!

And in­stant­ly ev­ery sing­le in­di­vi­du­al of all that host took up the cry…At that same mo­ment the op­press­ive dark­ness was suc­ceed­ed by a blaze of light from thou­sands of tap­ers which…seemed to send streams of fire in all di­rec­tions.

Lyrics

The day of re­sur­rect­ion! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Pass­ov­er of glad­ness, the Pass­ov­er of God.
From death to life eter­nal, from earth un­to the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us ov­er, with hymns of vic­to­ry.

Our hearts be pure from ev­il, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eter­nal of re­sur­rect­ion light;
And list­en­ing to His ac­cents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own All hail! and, hear­ing, may raise the vic­tor strain.

Now let the heav’ns be joy­ful! Let earth the song be­gin!
Let the round world keep tri­umph, and all that is there­in!
Let all things seen and un­seen their notes in glad­ness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath ris­en, our joy that hath no end.