May 29, 2020

Luther’s Easter Hymn

The Resurrection of Christ, Michaelangelo

“Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands”
(Christ lag in Todesbanden)

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God’s right hand He stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of hallelujah!

No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thraldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage.

But Jesus Christ, God’s only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,–
His sting is lost forever.

It was a strange and dreadful strife
When Life and Death contended;
The victory remained with Life,
The reign of Death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That Death is swallowed up by Death,
His sting is lost forever.

Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree–
So strong His love!–to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes o’er,
And Satan cannot harm us.

So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.

Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of Grace hath purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other.


Text: Acts 2:24
Author: Martin Luther, 1524
Translated by: Richard Massic, 1854, alt.


  1. He is risen indeed!

  2. VolAlongTheWatchTower says

    “I believe in the Kingdom Come
    “Then all the colors will bleed into one
    Bleed into one
    But yes I’m still running

    You broke the bonds
    And you loosed the chains
    Carried the cross
    Of my shame
    Oh my shame
    You know I believe it…”
    –Bono, 1987

    Me, too!

  3. From last night’s Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s, the “Exsultet” sung in Latin by the deacon (link courtesy of “”Whispers in the Loggia”): the great Easter Hymn, dating back to the 7th century, sung only on this night – the “Exsultet”

    I won’t give the full text here, you can all look it up on Wikipedia, but I was glad he sang it all through, including the verse about the “mother bee” 🙂

    Exsúltet iam angélica turba cælórum:
    exsúltent divína mystéria:
    et pro tanti Regis victória tuba ínsonet salutáris.

    (Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
    Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
    Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
    Sound the trumpet of salvation!)

    Gáudeat et tellus, tantis irradiáta fulgóribus:
    et ætérni Regis splendóre illustráta,
    tótius orbis se séntiat amisísse calíginem.

    (Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
    radiant in the brightness of your King!
    Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
    Darkness vanishes for ever!)

    Lætétur et mater Ecclésia,
    tanti lúminis adornáta fulgóribus:
    et magnis populórum vócibus hæc aula resúltet.

    (Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
    The risen Savior shines upon you!
    Let this place resound with joy,
    echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!)

  4. And here’s a link for St. John Chrysostom’s Easter sermon:

    Just takes a couple of minutes to read, and it’s absolutely dripping with grace.