Scripture Verse

There was darkness over all the land. Matthew 27:45


Catherine Winkworth

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.

Music: O Trau­rig­keit (Mainz, Ger­ma­ny: 1628) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Jusepe de Ribera, 1633

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.

Johann Rist


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, eternally
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.