St. John Passion by Bob Chilcott - FULL TEXT
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle
Bishop Venantius Fortunatus (c. 530–c. 600), trans. Percy Dearmer (1867–1936)
Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle, Sing the ending of the fray; Now above the Cross, the trophy, Sound the loud triumphant lay: Tell how Christ, the world’s Redeemer, As a victim won the day. God in pity saw man fallen, Shamed and sunk in misery, When he fell on death by tasting Fruit of the forbidden tree; Then another tree was chosen Which the world from death should free.
John 18 vv 1–13
Jesus went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. And soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Then the band and the captain and the officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was the father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
Hymn: It is a thing most wonderful
Bishop William Walsham How (1823–97)
It is a thing most wonderful, Almost too wonderful to be, That God’s own Son should come from heaven And die to save a child like me. And yet I know that it is true; He chose a poor and humble lot, And wept and toiled and mourned and died, For love of those who loved him not. It is most wonderful to know His love for me so free and sure; But ’tis more wonderful to see My love for him so faint and poor.
John 18 vv 14–27
Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
Miserere, my Maker
Anonymous, c. 1615
Miserere, my Maker, O have mercy on me, wretch, strangely distressèd Cast down with sin oppressèd; Mightily vexed to the soul’s bitter anguish, E’en to the death I languish. Yet let it please Thee To hear my ceaseless crying: Miserere, miserere, I am dying. Miserere, my Saviour, I, alas, am for my sins fearfully grievèd, And cannot be relievèd But by Thy death, which Thou didst suffer for me, Wherefore I adore Thee. And do beseech Thee To hear my ceaseless crying: Miserere, miserere, I am dying. Holy Spirit, miserere, Comfort my distressèd soul, grieved for youth’s folly, Purge, cleanse and make it holy; With Thy sweet due of grace and peace inspire me, How I desire Thee. And strengthen me now In this, my ceaseless crying: Miserere, miserere, I am dying.
Hymn: Drop, drop slow tears
Phineas Fletcher (1582–1650)
Drop, drop slow tears, And bathe those beauteous feet, Which brought from heaven The news and Prince of Peace. Cease not, wet eyes, His mercies to entreat; To cry for vengeance Sin doth never cease. In your deep floods Drown all my faults and fears; Nor let his eye See sin, but through my tears.
The Judgement Hall (I)
John 18 vv 28–36
Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation being ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. Then Pilate entered into the judgement hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if me kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Hymn: Jesu, grant me this, I pray
17th century Latin, trans. Sir Henry Williams Baker (1821–77)
Jesu, grant me this, I pray, Ever in thy heart to stay; Let me evermore abide Hidden in thy wounded side. If the evil one prepare, Or the world, a tempting snare, I am safe when I abide In thy heart and wounded side. If the flesh, more dangerous still, Tempt my soul to deeds of ill, Naught I fear when I abide In thy heart and wounded side. Death will come one day to me; Jesu, cast me not from thee: Dying let me still abide In thy heart and wounded side.
Christ, my Beloved
William Baldwin (d. c. 1563)
Christ, my Beloved which still doth feed Among the flowers, having delight Among his faithful lilies, Doth take great care for me indeed, And I again with all my might Will do what so his will is. My Love in me and I in him, Conjoined by love, will still abide Among the faithful lilies Till day do break, and truth do dim All shadows dark and cause them slide, According as his will is.
The Judgement Hall (II)
John 18 v 37 – 19 v 11
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers plated a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out saying, Crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then said Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Away vain world
Alexander Montgomerie (c. 1545–c. 1610), modernized by Bob Chilcott
Away vain world, bewitcher of my heart! My sorrow shows, my sin makes me to smart! Yet will I not despair But to my God repair, He has mercy ay, Therefore will I pray. He has mercy ay and loves me Though by his humbling hand he proves me. Once more away, shows loth the world to leave, Bids oft adieu with it that holds me slave. Loth am I to forgo This sweet alluring foe. Since thy ways are vain, Shall I thee retain? Since thy ways are vain, I quite thee. Thy pleasures shall no more delight me. What shall I say? Are all my pleasures past? Shall worldly joys now take their leave at last? Yea, Christ, these earthly toys Shall turn in heavenly joys. Let the world be gone, I care not. Christ is my love alone, I fear not.
Jesus is crucified
John 19 vv 12–22
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king, we have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and let him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Hymn: There is a green hill far away
Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–95)
There is a green hill far away, Without a city wall, Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all, Who died to save us all. We may not know, we cannot tell, What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us He hung and suffered there, He hung and suffered there. He died that we might be forgiv’n, He died to make us good, That we might go at last to heav’n, Saved by his precious blood, Saved by his precious blood. Oh, dearly, dearly has he loved, And we must love him too, And trust in his redeeming blood, And try his works to do, And try his works to do.
John 19 vv 23–27
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: That the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!
Jesus, my leman
13th century English, adapt. Bob Chilcott
When I see upon the Cross Jesus, my leman, And by him standing Mary and Johan, With his back scourged And his side pierced, For the love of man, Well ought I to weep And sins relinquish, If I know of love.
Jesus dies on the cross
John 19 vv 28–30
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar; and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth, When Jesus received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: And he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Hymn: When I survey the Wondrous Cross
Isaac Watts (1674–1748)
When I survey the Wondrous Cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride, And pour contempt on all my pride. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, Save in the death of Christ my God; All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood, I sacrifice them to his blood. See from his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down; Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Or thorns compose so rich a crown? Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all. Demands my soul, my life, my all.