Christ the Lord is risen to-day
Author: Ascribed to Wipo, 11th cent.
Translation by Jane E. Leeson.
There are about twnenty-five translations, three of which are in the
Liturgical Use: Sequence in the Mass daily from Easter Sunday to
the Saturday following. For the structure, the history, and
the development of this species of hymn, read the article on
Prose or Sequence, in the Cath. Encycl.. The same work contains
a well written article on the Victimæ Paschali. Read
also the article on Lamb, Paschal. No hymns occur in the
Divine Office during the last three days of Holy Week nor
during Easter week.
- Victimæ Paschali
Laudes immolent Christiani.
- Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
- Mors et vita duello
Dux vitæ mortuus,
- Dic nobis, Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulchrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis.
- Angelicos testes,
Audarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Præcedet vos in Galilaeam.
- Scimus Christum surrexisse
A mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor
- Christ the Lord is risen to-day:
Christians, haste your vows to pay;
Offer ye your praises meet
At the Paschal Victim’s feet;
For the sheep the Lamb hath bled,
Sinless in the sinner’s stead.
Christ the Lord is risen on high;
Now he lives, no more to die.
- Christ, the victim undefiled,
Man to God hath reconciled;
When in strange and awful strife
Met together Death and Life;
Christians, on this happy day
Haste with joy your vows to pay.
Christ the Lord is risen on high;
Now He lives, no more to die.
- Say, O wond’ring Mary, say
What thou sawest on thy way.
“I beheld, where Christ had lain,
Empty tomb and Angels twain;
I beheld the glory bright
Of the risen Lord of light:
Christ my hope is risen again;
Now He lives, and lives to reign.
- Christ, who once for sinners bled,
Now the first-born from the dead,
Throned in endless might and power,
Lives and reigns forevermore.
Hail, eternal hope on high!
Hail, Thou King of victory!
Hail, Thou Prince of Life adored!
Help and save us, gracious Lord.
The beautiful Paschal sequence sings the praises of the
risen Christ. For the purpose of treatment it may be divided
into two parts. The first part consists of an exhortation
to all Christians to offer sacrifices of praise to Christ,
the true Paschal Lamb, the Sinless One, who by Him immolation
on the Cross reconciles sinners to His Father. Death
and Life engage in a most unusual combat; the Prince of
Life dies, but by His very death He triumphs and now
reigns in glory. The second part is in the form of a dialogue.
Mary Magdalene is appealed to as a witness of the Resurrection,
and she testifies:—“I saw the sepulcher of the living
Christ, the glory of the risen Lord, the witness-angels
at the tomb, the napkin and the winding-sheet.” Then in
an ecstasy of joy she proclaims to the Apostles: “Christ my
hope is risen and He shall go before you into Galilee.“ It
concludes with a testimonial of our belief in the Resurrection
and with a petition for mercy. The history of the
Resurrection is told in John 20; read also the beginning of
Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24.
The following is Robert Campbell’s translation of the
Victimæ Paschali. Note the striking difference between this
translation and Miss Leeson’s translation above. The difference
is due to the meter. The two translations illustrate
the hurried pace of the trochee and the stately tread of the
- “To the Paschal Victim, let Christians offer the sacrifice
- “The Lamb hath redeemed the sheep; Christ the Sinless
One hath reconciled sinners to His Father.”
- “Death and Life contended in a wondrous encounter:
the Prince of Life died indeed, but now reigns living.”
- “Tell us, Mary, what sawest thou on the way? I saw
the sepulcher of the living Christ, I saw the glory of Him
that had risen.”
- “I saw the angelic witnesses, the napkin and the linen
cloths. Christ, my hope, hath risen: He shall go before you
- “We know in truth that Christ hath risen from the
dead: Thou, O victorious King, have mercy on us.”
Victimæ Paschali: cf. Exodus 12-13. Duello = bello.
Conflixerunt, fought, contended.
Maria: Mary Magdalene, to whom Our Lord first appeared
after His resurrection.
- The holy Paschal work is wrought,
The Victim’s praise be told,
The loving Shepherd back hath brought
The sheep into His fold:
The Just and Innocent was slain
To reconcile to God again.
- Death from the Lord of life hath fled—
The conflict strange is o’er;
Behold, He liveth that was dead,
And lives forevermore:
Mary, thou soughtest Him that day;
Tell what thou sawest on the way.
- “I saw the empty cavern’s gloom,
The garments of hte prison.
The Angel-guardians of the tomb,
The glory of the Risen.”
We know that Christ hath burst the grave,
Then, victor King, Thy people save.
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.