Sunday, 1 April 2018

Hail! high festival day - Venantius Fortunatus

Hail! high festival day whose rites are revered through the ages;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages;

Lo! how the earth sends forth her new-born graces and beauties;
So doth the Lord of Light send his graces to man;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Glad in the triumph of Christ, who hath conquered the sorrowful Kingdom,
Groves are green on the earth, grasses are brilliant with flowers;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Yea! since the Lord hath prevailed o'er the laws and the forces of evil,
Earth and the ocean and sky join in a song to his praise;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Unto our crucified King, our God and eternal Creator,
Praises shall sound evermore, loud from the regions of earth;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Him shall the changing moons, the revolving days in their splendour,
Him shall the moments praise, voicing continual song;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Jesus, our Saviour and Hope, our Redeemer and kindly Creator,
Jesus, the Father's one Son, thee do we greet as our King;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Lord, in thy love didst thou look on the depth of our sin and our sorrow,
And to restore our state came as a Babe to the world;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Builder of earth and of life, in mercy to man didst thou suffer,
Walk in the valley of death, bringing salvation and hope;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Fill our fainting souls, dear Lord, with the faith of thy promise,
And as the third day dawns, rise, my buried One, rise!
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Break, O Father, the chains that have fettered the spirits in prison,
Call up the dead from the deep, lift them aloft to thy light;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Show us again thy face, that the nations may gaze on thy glory,
Bring back the day that died, when thy death we beheld;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Out of the prison of death, dear God, what a multitude riseth;
Free they walk by thy side, free where thy footsteps have trod;
Hail, high festival day, whose rites are revered through the ages.

Out of the deep to the tomb dost thou come and thy body resuming,
Soarest aloft to the skies, laden with wonderful spoil;
Now is the conquering Christ risen from gloom to the stars.

Venantius Fortunatus (Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus) (c. 530 – c. 600/609) Italy
Translated by Daniel Joseph Donahoe
Source: Early Christian hymns, Series II: translations of the verses of the early and middle ages
by Daniel Joseph Donahoe,  Donahoe pub. co, 1911

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