Anonymous Latin Hymn from approximately 1605
English translation by Francis Pott, 1832-1909

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:55-57

The thrilling news from the empty tomb is that life has triumphed over death! This is a message that dispels our fears and gives us the sure hope that because Christ lives, we shall live also (John 14:19). Hallelujah!

This inspiring Resurrection hymn first appeared anonymously in Symphnia Sirenum, published in Cologne, Germany in 1695. It was more than 150 years after its writing, however, before this hymn was used by English-speaking churches. In 1859 the translation was made by Francis Pott, an Anglican minister. The music is an adaptation from the "Gloria Patri", published in 1591 by Palestrina, the great 16th Century composer. This musical arrangement was made by Dr. William H. Monk for inclusion in the well-known hymnal Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861 edition. In making this musical adaptation from Palestrina's work, Dr. Monk used the first two phrases, repeated the first phrase and added original alleluias for the beginning and the end. (Alleluia is a Latin form of the Hebrew Hallelujah, which means "praise Jehovah!"). It is interesting to note the interplay between the statements of the fact related to Christ's resurrection that are contained in the first half of each stanza and the personal response to these factual truths as expressed in the last half of each verse, concluding with the jubilant, "Alleluia!"

The strife is oer, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The pow'rs of death have done their worst;
But Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of Hell;
The bars from Heav'ns high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee,
From deaths dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live and sing to Thee: Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

*For Today*: Isaiah 25:7-9; Romans 1:4, 6:9-10; Revelation 19:1 & 2

Allow your soul to vibrate with the resounding "Alleluias" for all that the empty tomb means to you.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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