20 November 2010

From Tonight's/Tomorrow's Liturgy

The Bridegroom soon will call us,
"Come to the wedding feast,"
May slumber not befall us
Nor watchfulness decrease.
May all our lamps be burning
With oil enough and more
That we, with Him returning,
May find an open door.

There shall we see in glory
Our dear Redeemer's face;
The long-awaited story
Of heavenly joy takes place.
The patriarchs shall meet us,
The prophet's holy band,
Apostles, martyrs greet us
In that celestial land.

There God shall from all evil
Forever make us free
From sin and from the devil,
From all adversity,
From sickness, pain, and sadness,
From troubles, cares, and fears,
And grant us heavenly gladness
To wipe away our tears.

In that fair home shall never
Be silent music's voice;
With hearts and lips forever
We shall in God rejoice,
While angel hosts are raising
With saints from great to least
A mighty hymn for praising
The Giver of the feast!
LSB 514


Christopher Esget said...

My friend, Chaplain Jonathan Shaw, ruined this hymn for me. "May slumber not befall us"? And yet all ten Virgins slept! I think he said it's a poor translation, but I am not certain if I remember correctly.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

It all sounds lovely. Heaven, I mean. Just not yet, please.

You know the old golfers' joke? Two golfers agree that the first one to die will try to communicate some message from the other side. The first one does die, and a month later he appears in a vision to his golfing friend and says, "I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is, yes, there's golf in heaven. The bad news is, your tee-off time is eight o'clock tomorrow morning."

William Weedon said...

Oh, but it is definitely both a now and a not yet. That comes through in the other great hymn we sing this day: "Wake awake!"

We answer all
The joyful call
To eat the Supper
At His call.

There heaven is given to us right now in this world to sustain our faith and kindle our hope.

jgernander said...

This is a hymn that is 32 verses long in the original -- I always wonder what all is included in the other verses! Perhaps it further explains this.

The wisdom of the Historic Lectionary is in view here. The whole dilemma about "sleep" is answered in the appointed epistle, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Verse 6: "Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. ..." Verse 10: "... Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him." -- Thus handling it both ways. Aren't the epistles, and the epistle lessons, often a commentary on our Lord's words?

Pastor Jerry Gernander
Princeton, Minnesota

Christopher Esget said...


I thought about that very thing as the Epistle was being read at mass this past Sunday!

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Jerry, C. Winkworth has a hetero-metrical translation, "Now Fain My Joyous Heart Would Sing," which may shed some light. This 34-stanza hymn, though, is really a creation of the Church. "Herzlich thut mich erfreuen," may have originally been written in Low German by Freder, based on an older Bohemian May-song, "Mein Herz will sich erfreuen," with the last 9 stanzas being an addition by the author or Johann Walther (hence the old ascription "gestellet durch J. Walther"). A widespread cento appearing as early as 1628 in a hymnal by Melchior Franck has traditionally consisted of stanzas 31, 8, 9, 16, 18, 17, and 13. In the German, stanza 31 says "God, help us not to sleep fast in the slumber of sin," perhaps implying a wrong sort of sleep, but more likely in context, a sleep from which one does not awaken in time.