The Day of Resurrection

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1 The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness,
the passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.

2 Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents,
may hear, so calm and plain,
his own "All hail!" and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

3 Now let the heavens be joyful!
Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph,
and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen
their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen,
our joy that hath no end.

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Author: St. John of Damascus

John of Damascus, St. The last but one of the Fathers of the Greek Church, and the greatest of her poets (Neale). He was of a good family in Damascus, and educated by the elder Cosmas in company with his foster-brother Cosmas the Melodist (q. v.). He held some office under the Caliph. He afterwards retired to the laura of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem, along with his foster-brother. There he composed his theological works and his hymns. He was ordained priest of the church of Jerusalem late in life. He lived to extreme old age, dying on the 4th December, the day on which he is commemorated in the Greek calendar, either in his 84th or 100th year (circa 780). He was called, for some unknown reason, Mansur, by his enemies. His fame as a theologian… Go to person page >

Translator: J. M. Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Rev. 1:16, Matt. 28:9
st. 3 = Ps. 19:1, Ps. 150:6, John 16:22

See PHH 389 for information about the origins of this text and John of Damascus.

This text also comes from John's first ode of the "Golden Canon," recognized as his finest work and written around 750. It was traditionally sung at midnight on Easter with the lighting of candles.

John M. Neale's (PHH 342) rather free English translation was published in his Hymns of the Eastern Church (1862). The first stanza uses the Old Testament Passover story as a metaphor for Christ's resurrection (as is customary in all the first odes of a Greek canon). In stanza 2 we, like the New Testament disciples, become witnesses to the risen Lord. Stanza 3 invites the entire cosmos to join in praise to the risen Christ.

Liturgical Use:
Easter, but this marvelous text may be sung any Sunday.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed the tune in 1835 for use at a missions festival at Blackburn, Lancashire, England. For that festival, which celebrated the three-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in England, the tune was set to Reginald Heber's (PHH 249) “From Greenland's Icy Mountains.”…

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Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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