Scripture Verse

There was darkness over all the land. Matthew 27:45


Catherine Winkworth (1827–1878)

Words: Verse 1 from the Ca­tho­lic Würz­burg Ges­ang­buch, 1628; ver­ses 2–4, Jo­hann Rist, Himm­lische Lied­er (Lü­ne­burg, Ger­ma­ny: 1641) (O Trau­rig­keit, O Herze­leid). Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Ca­the­rine Wink­worth, Cho­rale Book for Eng­land, 1863.

Music: O Trau­rig­keit (Mainz, Ger­ma­ny: 1628) (🔊 pdf nwc).

Jusepe de Ribera, 1633

The first verse of this fun­er­al hymn, along with its de­vo­tion­al me­lo­dy, came ac­ci­dent­al­ly in­to my hands. As I was great­ly pleased with it, I add­ed the other sev­en as they stand, since I could not be a par­ty to the use of the oth­er verses.

Johann Rist


O dark­est woe! Ye tears, forth flow!
Has earth so sad a won­der?
God the Fa­ther’s on­ly Son
Now lies bur­ied yon­der.

O sor­row dread!
God’s Son is dead!
But by His ex­pi­ation
Of our guilt up­on the cross
Gained for us sal­va­tion.

O sin­ful man, it was the ban
Of death on thee that brought Him
Down to suf­fer for thy sins,
And such woe hath wrought Him.

Behold thy Lord, the Lamb of God
Blood sprin­kled lies be­fore thee,
Pouring out His life that He
May to life re­store thee.

O Ground of faith, laid low in death,
Sweet lips, now si­lent sleep­ing!
Surely all that live must mourn
Here with bit­ter weep­ing.

O blest shall be, eter­nal­ly
Who oft in faith will pon­der
Why the glo­ri­ous Prince of Life
Should be bur­ied yon­der.

O Je­sus blest, my help and rest!
With tears I pray, Lord hear me,
Make me love Thee to the last,
And in death be near me.