which can be used in the congregations during Lent

at the weekly service and on Days of Prayer

according to the custom of each place

[by Thomas Kingo]

[from the Gradual of 1699]

[Translation © Mark DeGarmeaux unless noted]

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary home page (ELH has 16 hymns by Thomas Kingo)

O come, let us worship (A Study in Lutheran Liturgy and Hymnody by M. DeGarmeaux) (107k)

The Path of Understanding -- The Development of Lectionaries and their use in the Lutheran Church (by the Rev. Alexander Ring)

Barabbas freed, the people want Christ crucified
tune: Freu dich sehr
1 See how Pilate now is seated
On his judgement seat to view
Jesus once again is greeted
Now before His judge anew:
Pilate now will make his claim
That he finds no cause of blame,
That this Man should not be dying;
His accusers must be lying
2 But if only he can please them,
He will have Him punished so
If they once may cruelly treat Him
Then he'd gladly let Him go.
So it often goes on earth:
One regards a person's worth
And true justice soon doth waver,
Greater sinners receive favour.
3 While now Pilate makes his query
From his wife a message hears
Asking that he yet be wary
Nothing more to do a-fears
With the righteous captive here
Who Himself to God is dear
When she dreamed before her waking
Heav'n itself to her was speaking.
4 O ye stone-blind evil foe men
Hardened in your heart and soul
Listen to a heathen woman
Who sees better than you all!
When she sends her husband word
Sent to her by God the Lord
As she slept, she then was hearing
God to her in dream appearing.
5 Poisoned all is every member
In my Jesus' trial aye
Though His innocence should glimmer
Clearer than the light of day!
Nothing, nothing comes to aid,
Justice is by might betrayed
God must silently now bear this
In the bonds of harsh injustice.
6 Pilate still would clear the pathway
And a chance he yet will take
With his paschal custom alway
That he Jesus free can make.
Now Barabbas he will name
Held for murder and great shame,
Rightly he should now be dying
And our Jesus free be flying.
7 Every tongue to this is kindled
With infernal envious glow
Every Jewish youth enkindled
Filled with poison set to flow,
Crying: With this Man away!
Crucify Him straightaway!
Rid us of Him who ne'er pleases
And Barabbas soon release us!
8 Blessed Jesus, Thou art counted
Now among the murdering stock
With such thieves as this accounted
To the Jews a stumbling block
Never thinking that Thou broke
For them Egypt's harshest yoke
With the lamb's blood them to cover
From death's angel passing over.
9 Now will no one e'er be knowing?
Jesus' sore affliction, see!
Shall a murd'rer free be going
Robber, full of thievery,
Who is guilty, full of shame
While God's pure and spotless Lamb
Who in sin was never living,
On the cross His life is giving?
10 O what wondrous mournful sentence!
O God's deepest hidden plan!
How my soul can never bear this
But must bathe in tears and shame,
When I think on Jesus' pain,
Innocent for my good gain,
Nothing for Himself declaring,
While the robber they are sparing.
11 Daily from this I am finding
Heaven's comfort, passing thought,
Which my woeful heart is binding
From my sins and evil thought!
If I am with sin the first
Of all sinners yet the worst
Yet I see my sins all lying
On my Jesus in His dying.
12 Therefore never shall my sinning
With God's judgement me condemn
Jesus now for me is winning
Grace and mercy without end.
Therefore grace I shall receive
And from judgement full reprieve;
Thou didst suffer condemnation,
Innocent for my salvation.

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