Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: At the Lamb's High Feast

A hymn for today. This is a Christus Victor song if there ever was one, soaked in biblical allusions to Passover, Passion, and Eucharist. The second verse is especially powerful in its interwoven themes of Exodus and crucifixion. Enjoy.

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At the Lamb's High Feast

Anonymous, 6th century (translated by Robert Campbell)

At the Lamb’s high feast we sing,
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side;
Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.

Where the Paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal Victim, paschal Bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we Manna from above.

Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath Thee lie;
Thou hast conquered in the fight,
Thou hast brought us life and light;
Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
Thou hast opened Paradise,
And in Thee Thy saints shall rise.

Paschal triumph, Easter joy,
Only sin can this destroy;
From sin’s death do Thou set free
Souls reborn, O Lord, in Thee.
Hymns of glory and of praise,
Father, to Thee we raise;
Risen Lord, all praise to Thee,
Ever with the Spirit be.

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