Scripture Verse

Simeon…said to Mary His mother, This Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against. Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Luke 2:34–35


Words: From the ap­pen­dix to the Ro­man Bre­vi­ary (Bo­lo­gna, It­aly, 1827) (Sae­vo do­lo­rum tur­bi­ne). Trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Will­iam J. Blew, The Church Hymn and Tune Book (Lon­don: Fran­cis & John Riv­ing­ton, 1852), Lent and Pas­sion-tide sec­tion, num­ber 24, alt.

Music: St. Ne­re­us The Church Hymn and Tune Book, 1852 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Blew (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Christ at the Cross
Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1870


The storm of sor­row howls around
That bleak and cheer­less tree,
Where hangs the Suf­fer­er, throned and crowned—
The cross of Cal­va­ry.

A weight of woe that head bows down,
Deep ang­uish racks His heart;
Face, hands, and feet, red tor­rents drown;
Those wounds—how wild their smart.

He weeps, He prays, He cries that last
And wild­ly wail­ing cry;
Now through His mo­ther’s heart hath passed
The sword of ago­ny.

He dies—hills, mount­ains, rocks and graves
Are riv­en, rent the main;
Yea, rock the cliffs, fields, floods and waves;
The veil is rent in twain.

Why then are our hard hearts un­rent?
When sun, and moon, and stars
Wail sad­ly, with the world’s la­ment:
What sin our sor­row bars?

Wail, wail, for grief’s dark hour is this,
Young men and maid­ens, wail;
Anoint, and wash, and wipe, and kiss
Those feet so dead­ly pale.

Anoint, and wash with tears, and wipe,
With love’s long flow­ing tress,
That Lamb of Love—whose eve­ry stripe
Doth purge our guil­ti­ness.

Oh! then, the peace and joy of all,
Jesu, our life and bliss—
In yon bright land our co­ro­nal,
Be Thou our light in this.