In class this week I composed a hymn version of the beautiful Antiphon XV from the Eastern Church’s office for Good Friday. Here is the text followed by my hymn version:
Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a tree. He who is King of the Angels is arrayed in a crown of the thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan receives a blow on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is fixed to the Cross with nails. The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a Spear. We worship Your Passion, O Christ! We worship Your Passion, O Christ! We worship Your Passion, O Christ! Show us also Your glorious Resurrection!
LO! TODAY IS CHRIST OUR GOD
Lo! Today is Christ our God,
Who hung earth upon the sea,
In a dreadful paradox
Now suspended on a tree.
Lo! Today is Christ the King,
Who o’er angel hosts doth reign,
With a crown of thorns enringed
Now in mockery arrayed.
Lo! Today is He who clothes
In cloudy mantle heaven’s height
Now in mocking purple robes
Wrapped for man’s cruel sport of spite.
Lo! Today the Lamb of God,
Who in Jordan Adam freed,
Now from hands of those who scoff
On the face a blow receives.
Lo! Today the Church’s groom,
Lover of our fallen race,
To the cross on day of gloom
Now with nails is fixed in place.
Lo! Today the Virgin’s Son,
Of the sons of men most dear,
Now at length His race hath run;
Now His side pierced by a spear.
Lo! Today Thy Passion, Lord,
We, Thy servants, do adore!
Show us also, Glorious Word,
Thy rising unto life e’ermore!
Words: Noah Townsend, Copyright 2012. Based on Antiphon XV from the Eastern office for Good Friday.
Tune: “Calvary (Monk)”