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Hymn of the week: “Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Again”

J-P Mauro - published on 05/06/18

A haunting hymn for the 6th Sunday of Easter.
He who bore all pain and loss
comfortless upon the cross,
lives in glory now on high,
pleads for us, and hears our cry: Alleluia!

“Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Again” was written by Polish hymnist Michael Weisse, in 1531. The text praises Jesus’ sacrifice as well as referencing his descent into hell before the resurrection.

Michael Weisse was studying as a monk when Martin Luther famously nailed his 95 theses to the door of Castle Church. Weisse left the monastery to follow Luther and began writing hymns, of which 119 are still printed in hymnals.

The melody associated with “Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Again” is called “CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN,”, written in 1533. It was based on a 12th-century chant melody that was adapted to better suit Weisse’s hymn by Joseph Klug. While the tune sounds minor, it is written in the Dorian mode, giving it a haunting quality, which is very appropriate when singing about Divine Mysteries.

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