Laurentius Laurienti (1660-1722) was the cantor at the Lutheran cathedral in Bremen. He authored many hymns based on the Gospels, including “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” (CW7). This Lenten song is sung to the melody “Ich Hab’ Mein Sach’, Gott Heimgestellt.” This translation is a conflation of the many variations of this hymn to be found in different German hymnals.
Now ev’rything is good and sweet!
My Jesus cries, “It is complete!”
He bows his head, he shuts his eyes.
For you he dies
To earn you an eternal prize.
His vibrant face grows pale and fair
Whose glory is beyond compare.
With wondrous signs God shows his might,
The sun’s bright light
Covers itself with darkest night.
Most dreadfully the earth does quake
And from their graves the saints awake.
The Temple curtain tears in two
So that we too
The Lord’s Most Holy Place may view.
What all creation here dejects
Must on you too have some effects! \
If rocks tear in his judgment’s wake, \
Will you not shake
Until your very heart does break?
The fault is yours— keep well this thought—
Which Jesus to the cross has brought.
And follow Christ, who his life gave,
Into the grave,
And die to sin, from which you’re saved.
O Father, what great harms were done,
What insults giv’n your only Son!
This pays my debt! I am set free,
So have mercy.
And grant through him your grace to me.
My Savior, kill in me my sin
And ev’ry evil deep within.
Your death, which does my life create,
Makes my strength great
To walk with you on courses straight.
Then shall I serve sin anymore—
That heavy yoke which once I bore? \
Arise, my soul, for death is dead.
So serve instead
Your master Christ who for you bled.
Your cross in faith I want to view.
I place all confidence in you.
You brought me life, Lord, when you died
And opened wide
Heav’n’s doors that I may go inside.
Christ, through your Word give me the might
To persevere in this great fight.
My guilty load is buried deep.
Lord, guard and keep
Till blest in you I fall asleep.
Lord Jesus Christ, be glorified
Since on the cross for me you died!
In time, my heart you, Lord, will praise—
In heav’n I’ll raise
Glad songs of joy for all my days!
A composite translation of a Lenten hymn.
Apr 19, 2011