O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
O sacred head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call thee mine.
How pale thou art with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn;
How does thy face now languish, which once was bright as morn!
Thy grief and bitter passion were all for sinners' gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain.
What language shall I borrow to thank thee dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end?
Oh, make me thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to thee.
Lord, be my consolation; shield me when I must die;
Remind me of thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
These eyes, new faith receiving, from thee shall never move;
For all who die believing die safely in thy love.
Text: Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676, based on Arnulf of Louvain
We are preparing for the joyous celebration of Easter. Over the years I have come to realize that the joy of Easter morning is so much more pronounced and meaningful after the somber journey through Holy Week. Last night Carol and I and our families attended a very somber, moving Good Friday service at our church. The service reflects on the words of Jesus as he died on the cross. O Sacred Head, Now Wounded is one of the several hymns we sing. It speaks volumes to me and I wanted to share it with you.