Scripture Verse

He…descended first into the lower parts of the earth. Ephesians 4:9


John of Damascus

Words: John of Da­mas­cus, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Κατήλθες έν τοίς κατωτάτοις). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in Hymns of the East­ern Church (Lon­don: J. Har­ding, 1862).

Music: Morn­ing Star James P. Har­ding, 1892 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Harding (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?

John M. Neale


Into the dim earth’s lowest parts descending,
And bursting by Thy might the infernal chain
That bound the prisoners, Thou, at three days’ ending,
As Jonah from the whale, hast risen again.

Thou breakest not the seal, Thy surety’s token,
Arising from the tomb who left’st in birth
The portals of virginity unbroken,
Opening the gates of Heaven to sons of earth.

Thou, sacrifice ineffable and living,
Didst to the Father by Thyself atone
As God eternal: resurrection giving
To Adam, general parent, by Thine own.