On this Gaudate Sunday, a note of real joy rings through our liturgy.
Wake, o wake! with tidings thrilling
the watchmen all the air are filling,
arise, Jerusalem, arise!
Midnight strikes! no more delaying,
"The hour has come!" we hear them saying.
Where are ye all, ye virgins wise?
The Bridegroom comes in sight,
raise high your torches bright!
The wedding song swells long and strong:
go forth and join the festal throng.
Zion hears the watchmen shouting,
her heart leaps up with joy undoubting,
she stands and waits with eager eyes;
See her Friend from heaven descending,
adorned with truth and grace unending!
Her light burns clear, her star doth rise.
Now come, thou precious Crown,
Lord Jesus, God's own Son!
Let us prepare to follow there,
where in thy supper we may share.
Every soul in thee rejoices;
from men and from angelic voices
be glory given to thee alone!
Now the gates of pearl receive us,
Thy presence never more shall leave us,
we stand with angels round thy throne.
Earth cannot give below
the bliss thou dost bestow.
Grant us to raise to length of days,
the triumph-chorus of thy praise.
P Nicolai (1556-1608)