This hymn is broken into three parts historically. In the Extraordinary Form the first part is used for Lauds in Eastertide from Low Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday) until Ascension; the second part is used for Vespers and Matins for the Commons of the Apostles in Eastertide; and the third part is used for Lauds and throughout the hours for the Commons of the Apostles in Eastertide.
Light’s glittering morn bedecks the sky;
Heav’n thunders forth its victor cry;
The glad earth shouts her triumph high,
And groaning hell makes wild reply.
While He, the King, the mighty King,
Despoiling death of all its sting,
And, trampling down the powers of night,
Brings forth His ransomed saints to light.
His tomb of late the threefold guard
Of watch and stone and seal had barred;
But now, in pomp and triumph high,
He comes from death to victory.
The pains of hell are loosed at last;
The days of mourning now are past;
An angel robed in light hath said,
The Lord is risen from the dead.
Th’Apostles’ hearts were full of pain
For their dear Lord so lately slain,
By rebel servants doomed to die
A death of cruel agony.
With gentle voice the angel gave
The women tidings at the grave;
Fear not, your Master shall ye see;
He goes before to Galilee.
Then, hastening on their eager way
The joyful tidings to convey,
Their Lord they met, their living Lord,
And falling at His feet adored.
Th’Eleven, when they hear, with speed
To Galilee forthwith proceed,
That there once more they may behold
The Lord’s dear face, as He foretold.
That Eastertide with joy was bright,
The sun shone out with fairer light,
When, to their longing eyes restored,
The glad apostles saw their Lord.
He bade them see His hands, His side,
Where yet the glorious wounds abide;
The tokens true which made it plain
Their Lord indeed was risen again.
Jesus, the King of gentleness,
Do Thou Thyself our hearts possess
That we may give Thee all our days
The tribute of our grateful praise.
O Lord of all, with us abide
In this our joyful Eastertide;
From every weapon death can wield
Thine own redeemed forever shield.
All praise be Thine, O risen Lord,
From death to endless life restored;
All praise to God the Father be
And Holy Ghost eternally.
*Part III is often sung as a separate hymn to the tune: “Puer Nobis Nascitur” Trier manuscript, 15th Century.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.