I suppressed my urge to snicker and tried mightily to restore a worshipful attitude for the remainder of the service.
Was someone thinking of the various controversies in the PC(USA)?
In any event, it is one of the great hymns of the Church, and I think the words are appropriate for the season:
The strife is o’er, the battle done;The Presbyterian Hymnal uses stanzas 1, 2, 3, and 5 of those shown above, with minor changes in the 5th stanza. The music is by Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina and the words are from a Latin text of the late 17th Century.
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia!
The powers of death have done their worst;
But Christ their legions hath dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia!
The three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia!
He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia!
Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee,
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free,
That we may live, and sing to Thee: Alleluia!