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Hymn of the week: “The Strife Is O’er”

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A victorious hymn as the end of the Easter season approaches.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o’er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.

“The Strife Is O’er” is a 19th-century hymn that celebrates the ultimate victory of Jesus over death and his ascension into heaven. The Alleluias at the beginning signal the joy that is to follow.

It is unknown who wrote the original Latin text, but several people have translated it. The most popular translation comes from Francis Pott, who translated the hymn for his hymnal, Hymns Fitted to the Order of Common Prayer (1861). “The Strife Is O’er” has been a standard Easter tune ever since.

The melody that is most commonly associated with this hymn is called “VICTORY.” It was written by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, one of the most prolific Italian Renaissance composers. Many critics attribute the hymn’s continuing success to the popularity of Palestrina’s melody.

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