Sacred Sunday: “Surrexit Christus Hodie,” Samuel Scheidt, John Arnold



Surrexit Christus Hodie!  It’s Easter!  Hooray!  I apologize for being so late posting today’s Tune-Up, faithful readers; I’ve been singing Easter service and doing post Easter service activities.

Easter is, obviously, all about the resurrection of Jesus.  This being a joyous occasion, Easter music is just about the best of all liturgical music in the calendar, and all hinges on the central theme of rebirth.  We sang a few versions of this today.  First, my choir sang this glorious anthem by early 17th century German composer Samuel Scheidt. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been looking forward to it all year.  The version we sang was much longer than this (there are a total of six verses) but the tempo and tone are very similar.

Surrexit Christus hodie

Humano pro solamine

Mortem qui passus pridie

Miserrimo pro homine.

Laudetur sancta trinitas,

Deo dicamus gratias.

The words are from a 14th century Bohemian carol.  What do these latin lyrics mean?  This piece grew up to be that gem in the Easter crown, “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today,” whose tune was written by John Arnold about a hundred years later in 1749.


Whatever religious tradition you follow, wherever in the world you are, I hope you have a joyous day today.


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