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HYMN 24 Easter Morrow, Stills our Sorrow

Updated: May 3

Danish: Påske Morgen Slukker Sorgen


I Corinthians 15:54-55


Text: N. F. S. Grundtvig 1783-1872 Tune: Ludvig Lindemann (1813-1888)

Nicolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig


1. Easter morrow stills our sorrow,

Stills our sorrow forevermore.

Light ever glowing,

Life overflowing

Floods from the dawn on the darkest shore.

Easter morrow stills our sorrow,

Stills our sorrow forevermore.


2. From his prison, Christ has risen,

Christ has risen in morning light.

Hell weeps in sadness,

Heav’n sings with gladness,

Heav’n sings with gladness and great delight.

From his prison, Christ has risen,

Christ has risen in morning light.


3. Anthems glorious, joy victorious,

To our great Redeemer rise.

Christ interceding ,

Upward is leading

Leading us home to his Paradise.

Anthems glorious, joy victorious,

To our great Redeemer rise.


4. Angels biding, bring good tidings,

Bring good tidings at break of day.

Sunbeams awaken,

Death is forsaken

Heralds of heaven the news relay

Angels biding, bring good tidings,

Bring good tidings at break of day.


5. Sin confounded, grace abounded,

Grace abounded and set us free.

Death dreads are ended, Jesus ascended,

Jesus ascended, the shadows flee

Sin confounded, grace abounded,

Grace abounded and set us free.

Tr. Carl Døving


MEDITATION

It was one of those perfect Norwegian Easter mornings. The sun brilliant overhead,

the sky a crystalline blue, Tinn lake reflecting back, the snow blinding white, the

woods coming back to life. You could hear the sound of an axe ringing high up on the

mountainside, echoing through the valley. I had just stepped into the church, a

wooden church, where a little more than a century before my mother’s grandfather

and grandmother had been baptized. My great-great grandmother lay buried by the

side of the church. All of them devout; a special time.


The preacher began preaching. He spent much of the sermon castigating the

pleasure seeking skiers for not coming to church. As he described the perfidy of the

skiers, and their love of the beauties of nature, he began to make their choice seem

the better as we looked desperately out the small window into the glorious morning.

He was achieving the exact opposite of his intentions. Finally, he finished his rant

with a few Easter words he regretted the skiers were not hearing. Christ is risen!

Then the cantor/klokker began “Påske Morgen, Slukker Sorgen.” This was a favorite,

without which it is not really Easter for me. However, the tempo was so slow, rather

like a dirge. It was almost funny. In fact it was. It still makes a great story.


Here we were celebrating the most important event in human history and it was

dull as dishwater. In my memory, however, I still see a few gleams of sunlight

glinting off the golden baptismal basin in the dark room.


Grundtvig is describing the death and resurrection of Jesus as a cosmic battle. Christ

redeems all creation to take us up to be with him forever. His angels are bright as

lightning. I have remembered that service vividly for almost the last fifty years.

Maybe I have been wrong about what happened. The preacher, the cantor, despite

themselves, were witnessing to a glory that God gives us in very small earthen

imperfect things: words, hymns, the sacraments—like sunlight breaking through the

cracks in the walls of the church. The absence of the grandeur made me take notice.


Rather like our little home services today may have made us feel more deeply a kind

of glory in the little we had, all of which gleamed with rays of God’s grace.

Could it be, that even in that Easter service, what I felt was absent, made it present?

What I heard, no matter how poorly or well done, made me yearn for something

more, something Grundtvig is giving us in this hymn. We know it by faith and want

what the hymn shows us: his Paradise. We can behold it quite fully in the risen

Savior now, but will always want more until we see him face to face.


HYMN INFO

This hymn by N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1872) became very popular in Norway,

maybe because of the tune by Ludvig Lindemann (1812-1887), the organist at the

cathedral in Oslo and church composer of Norway. It is not so popular in Denmark.

And the text is not as rich as many of Grundtvig’s hymns. The rhyme scheme makes

for fun singing, however, with its repetitions and tight rhymes—impossible to

translate. The tune catches it. The translation misses some of Grundtvig’s richer

images, but it is what we have.


LINKS

Brunstad Christian Church (This is truly remarkable. Done Easter Sunday 2020, a virtual choir, combining singers from all over Norway and the world! The translation is better.)

https://youtu.be/y0fmi2oES0E


SKRUK

https://youtu.be/KH9E3y9utms


Kirsten Flagstad’s version shows how important the hymn was for her.

https://youtu.be/0W2GAhZWiJQ


Oslo DomKor

https://youtu.be/7w7TDONLQos


Iver Kleive, Poul Dissing, Knut Reiersrud (Wild!)

https://youtu.be/tFhK6JQR2DM

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