There was darkness over all the land. Matthew 27:45
Words: Verse 1 from the Catholic Würzburg Gesangbuch, 1628; verses 2–4, Johann Rist, Himmlische Lieder (Lüneburg, Germany: 1641) (O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid). Translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Chorale Book for England, 1863.
The first verse of this funeral hymn, along with its devotional melody, came accidentally into my hands. As I was greatly pleased with it, I added the other seven as they stand, since I could not be a party to the use of the other verses.
O darkest woe! Ye tears, forth flow!
Has earth so sad a wonder?
God the Father’s only Son
Now lies buried yonder.
O sorrow dread!
God’s Son is dead!
But by His expiation
Of our guilt upon the cross
Gained for us salvation.
O sinful man, it was the ban
Of death on thee that brought Him
Down to suffer for thy sins,
And such woe hath wrought Him.
Behold thy Lord, the Lamb of God
Blood sprinkled lies before thee,
Pouring out His life that He
May to life restore thee.
O Ground of faith,
Laid low in death,
Sweet lips, now silent sleeping!
Surely all that live must mourn
Here with bitter weeping.
O blest shall be
Who oft in faith will ponder
Why the glorious Prince of Life
Should be buried yonder.
O Jesus blest, my help and rest!
With tears I pray, Lord hear me,
Make me love Thee to the last,
And in death be near me.