Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain
Text: John of Damascus, 8th c. (Greek), Engl. tr. John M. Neale, 1859
Tune: ST. KEVIN, Arthur Sullivan*, 1872 (numerous other tunes sometimes used)
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.
’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst his prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From his light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.
Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.
Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve thou didst stand, bestowing
That thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.
“Alleluia!” now we cry to our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son, God the Father praising,
“Alleluia!” yet again to the Spirit raising.
* Note: Yes, this is Arthur S. Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan operetta fame. And did you ever wonder who composed the tune for "Onward, Christian Soldiers"? Yep. Sir Arthur did. There's your church music trivia for the week!