The strife is o'er, the battle doneTranslator: Francis Pott (1861)
Tune: VICTORY (Palestrina)
Published in 389 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
1 Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
The strife is o'er, the battle done;
the victory of life is won;
the song of triumph has begun.
2 The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.
3 The three sad days are quickly sped;
he rises glorious from the dead.
All glory to our risen Head.
4 He closed the yawning gates of hell;
the bars from heaven's high portals fell.
Let hymns of praise his triumph tell.
5 Lord, by the stripes which wounded thee,
from death's dread sting thy servants free,
that we may live and sing to thee.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Psalter Hymnal, (Gray)
|First Line:||The strife is o'er, the battle done|
|Translator:||Francis Pott (1861)|
|Liturgical Use:||Opening Hymns|
These anonymous words first appeared in the Jesuit collection, Symphonia Sirenum Selectarum in 1695. They were translated by Francis Pott in 1859, and published in five stanzas. These stanzas appear in most modern hymnals, though some, such as the Presbyterian Hymnal and the United Methodist Hymnal, leave out the fourth verse, which begins, “He closed the yawning gates of hell,” or, “He broke the age-bound chains of hell.” Other phrases or words are slightly varied between hymnals; the first verse in the Psalter Hymnal reads, “the victory of life is won,” whereas that same line in Worship and Rejoice is, “now is the victor’s triumph won.” These are all simply matters of prose, and don’t alter the meaning of the text in a significant way.
Each verse follows a similar pattern. We first proclaim some aspect of Christ’s victory over death, and then add our emotional response to this victory.
The tune VICTORY comes from the choral mass Magnificat Tertii Toni by the Italian Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, specifically from the “Gloria Patri.” The opening phrases of the Gloria were adapted by William Monk into the tune we sing now. He also added the final “alleluias.” The tune of the verses can actually become rather somber unless sung at a lively tempo with a festive declaration of the “alleluias.” This is a very popular hymn for handbell choir, and there are a number of arrangements to choose from, all of which can be found under “Arrangements” further down this page. The tune GELOBT SEI GOTT, composed by Melchior Vulpius, is a good alternative tune.
This Easter hymn could be sung at any point during an Easter morning service, but would perhaps be most powerful when sung at the close of worship. The great number of “alleluias” sung throughout makes it, in a sense, a final shout of joy to celebrate Christ’s victory over the grave, and propels us into further celebration after we have left our churches or places of worship.
Laura de Jong Hymnary.org
Hymnologist Austin Lovelace describes this as “a poor hymn which has ridden to success on the coattails of a fine tune” (The Anatomy of Hymnody, 52). To be sure, the melody and harmonization are beautiful, but there is also something very profound and triumphant about the text which Lovelace seems to miss. There is, in this text, a sense of finality. This, in a very real sense, is it. “It is finished.” Albert Bailey writes, “The words present the theological statement that the Crucifixion was a contest between Christ and the devil’s legions, in which Christ won. This is proved by the fact that Christ did not stay dead” (The Gospel in Hymns, 278). Christ rose and brought new life, and in so doing, through his declaration, “It is finished,” was also saying, “It has all just begun!” The finality of this text is the finality of newness. It is the realization that we are continually being made new, that Creation in continually being restored, and that every day we are called to life anew with Christ. Alleluia. What a song of victory that is!
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|Instances (35)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|African American Heritage Hymnal #277||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||William H. Monk, 1823-1889; Giovanni de Palestrina, 1525-1594||8.8.8 with refrain||John 11:25||VICTORY||D Major||Latin; English||2001|
|Baptist Hymnal 1991 #172||The strife Is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott||Giovanni P. da Palestrina; William Henry Monk||Irregular||1 Thessalonians 4:17||VICTORY||E Flat Major||1991|
|Chalice Hymnal #221||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife is O'er||Francis Pott||Giovanni P. da Palestrina; William Henry Monk||8.8.8 with alleluias||VICTORY||D Major||English||1995|
|Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #148||The strife is o'er the battle done||The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni P. da Palestrina, c. 1525-94||VICTORY||D Major||1993|
|Church Family Worship #243||The strife is o’er, the battle done||1988|
|Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #286||The strife is o’er, the battle done||2000|
|Church Hymnary, Fourth Edition #412||The strife is o'er, the battle done||Francis Pott (1832-1909)||Henry George Ley (1887-1962)||8.8.8 with alleluias||VULPIUS (GELOBT SEI GOTT)||C Major||English||2005|
|Common Praise #212||The strife is o'er, the battle done||Alleluia! The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott (1832-1909)||Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594); William Henry Monk (1823-1889)||8.8.8 with refrain||Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28; Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28||VICTORY||D Major||Latin; English||1998|
|Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New #681||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The strife is o'er, the battle done||2000|
|Complete Mission Praise #670||The strife is o'er, the battle done||2000|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #357||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done||F. Pott, 1832-1909||G. P. da Palestrina, c. 1525-1594||8.8.4 with alleluias||VICTORY||D Major||Latin; English||1996|
|Evangelical Lutheran Worship #366||The strife is oe'r the battle done||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594; William H. Monk, 1823-1889||VICTORY||D Major||2006|
|Gather Comprehensive #446||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni da Palestrina, 1525-1594; William H. Monk, 1823-1889||8.8.8 with refrain||1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Revelation 1:18||VICTORY||D Major||Latin; English||1994|
|Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #459||The strife is o'er the battle done||The Strife Is O’er||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni da Palestrina, 1525-1594; William H. Monk, 1823-1889||8.8.8 with refrain||VICTORY||D Major||Latin; English||2004|
|Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #208||The strife is o'er, the battle done||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina; William Henry Monk||8.8.8 with refrain||VICTORY||D Major||English||1985|
|Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #78||The strife is o’er, the battle done||1983|
|Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #495||The strife is o’er, the battle done||1996|
|Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #185||The strife is o'er the battle done||The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done||Francis Pott||Giovanni da Palestrina; William H. Monk||Luke 24:26; 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Colossians 3:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 1:18||VICTORY||D Major||2013|
|Lutheran Service Book #464||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strive Is O'er, the Battle Done||Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni P. da Palestrina, c. 1525-94||8.8.8 with alleluias||1 Corinthians 15:55-57; 2 Timothy 1:10; Ephesians 2:1-6; Isaiah 53:5||VICTORY||D Major||English||2006|
|Presbyterian Hymnal #119||The strife is o'er the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott||Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina; William Henry Monk||8.8.8 with alleluia||1 Corinthians 15; 1 Corinthians 15:53-57||VICTORY||D Major||English||1990|
|Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #391||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er, the Battle Done||Francis Pott||William H. Monk; Giovanni da Palestrina||8.8.8 with refrain||Luke 24:26; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 1:18; 2 Timothy 1; Revelation 1||VICTORY||D Major||English||1987|
|Rejoice in the Lord #319||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||F. Pott||W. H. Monk||8.8.8 with refrain||Psalm 98:1; Isaiah 53:5; Revelation 1:18||VICTORY||D Major||English||1985|
|Revival Hymns and Choruses #204||The strife is o'er the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni P. da Palestrina, c. 1525-1594; Willaim H. Monk, 1823-1889||VICTORY||E Flat Major||English||1982|
|Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #172||The strife is o'er, the battle done||VICTORY||1985|
|Sing and Rejoice!: new hymns for congregations #117||The strife is o'er, the battle done||Alleluia! Alleluia!||Francis Pott||James Minchin||[The strife is o'er, the battle done] (Minchin)||D Major||English||1979|
|Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #416||The strife is o’er, the battle done||1999|
|The Christian Life Hymnal #191||The strife is o'er, the battle done||Victory||2006|
|The New Century Hymnal #242||Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!||The strife is o'er the battle done||Francis Pott||Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina; William H. Monk||8.8.8 with alleluias||1 Corinthians 15:53-57||VICTORY||D Major||1995|
|The United Methodist Hymnal #306||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done||Francis Pott; Anon.||W. H. Monk; Giovanni P. da Palestrina||8.8.8 with refrain||VICTORY||D Major||English||1989|
|The Worshiping Church #233||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done||Alleluia||Francis Pott||Giovanni P. da Palestrina; William H. Monk||126.96.36.199 with alleluias||Psalm 107:16; Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 53:5; Colossians 2:15||VICTORY||D Major||English||1990|
|The Worshiping Church #345||Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!||Give Thanks to the Lord||Psalm 118:1-24||VICTORY||D Major||English||1990|
|Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #367||The strife is o’er, the battle done||1999|
|Trinity Hymnal #275||The strive is o'er, the battle done||The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done||Francis Pott||Giovanni P. da Palestrina||8.8.8 with alleluias||Luke 24:26||PALESTRINA||D Major||English||1990|
|Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #159||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Francis Pott||William Henry Monk; Giovanni Palestrina||8.8.8 with alleluia||VICTORY||D Major||English||1996|
|Worship and Rejoice #290||The strife is o'er, the battle done||The Strife Is O'er||Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!||Francis Pott, 1832-1909||Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, 1525-1594; William H. Monk, 1823-1889||8.8.8 with alleluia||John 20:1-8; Isaiah 25:8; Luke 24:1-10; Psalm 107:16; Mark 16:1-8; Colossians 2:25; Matthew 28:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Isaiah 53:5||VICTORY||D Major||2001|