The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers!

For Advent

Words: Ermuntert euch, ihr Frommen, Laurentius Laurenti (1660-1722), 1700;

Based on the Translation by Sarah B. Findlater (1823-1907), in Borthwick and Findlater, Hymns from the Land of Luther, 1854.

Compare: Rejoice, All Ye Believers - Findlater

Tune: "Valet will ich dir geben," Melchior Teschner, 1613
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Meter: 7 6 7 6 D

1. Rejoice, rejoice, believers!
And let your lights appear;
The evening is advancing,
And darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising,
And soon he will draw nigh;
Up! pray, and watch, and wrestle!
At midnight comes the cry.

2. See that your lamps are burning;
Replenish them with oil;
Look now for your salvation,
The end of sin and toil.
The watchers on the mountain
Proclaim the Bridegroom near,
Go meet him as he cometh,
With alleluias clear.

3. O wise and holy virgins,
Now raise your voices higher,
Until in songs of triumph
Ye meet the angel choir.
The marriage-feast is waiting,
The gates wide open stand;
Up, up, ye heirs of glory!
The Bridegroom is at hand.

4. Our hope and expectation,
O Jesus, now appear;
Arise, thou Sun so longed for,
O'er this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted,
We plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth's redemption,
And ever be with thee! Amen.

This cento is from a hymn of ten stanzas by Laurentius Laurenti. It is his finest hymn and emphasizes our Lord’s Second Advent. The hymn was published in the author’s Evangelica Melodica, 1700, entitled “for the 27th Sunday after Trinity.” The complete hymn—our cento contains only Stanzes 1, parts of 2 and 3, 7, and 10—unites the imagery of the parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. 25:1-13 with that of Rev. 20—21.

The translation is an altered form of Sarah Findlater’s, which appeared in Hymns from the Land of Luther (by her and her sister, Jane Borthwick), 1854, first series.

Another stanza from the original (Stanza 8) translated by Mrs. Findlater, beautiful for its imagery, reads

Palms of victory are there;
    There, radiant garments are;
There stands the peaceful harvest,
    Beyond the reach of war.
There, after stormy winter,
    The flowers of earth arise,
And from the grave's long slumber
    Shall meet again our eyes!

Source of the above: Handbook to The Lutheran Hymnal.

An additional verse translated by Findlater:

Ye saints, who here in patience
    Your cross and suff'rings bore,
Shall live and reign for ever,
    When sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory,
    The Lamb ye shall behold,
In triumph cast before Him
    Your diadems of gold!

"Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him."--Matt. 25:6.

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