This is not so much a hymn for Easter as one that celebrates the whole of the saving work of God, envisaged from before Creation, displayed first in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, carried out on the Cross, proclaimed in Resurrection and Ascension. The Church needs such hymns that speak of this work as ‘for us and our redemption’ but which concentrate on what God has done regardless of our feelings about it. The very fact that we want to sing this exultant hymn about that work shows that we are in fact responding, without needing to emphasize our feelings. It is the work of St John of Damascus, one of the great school of Greek hymn-writers whose huge cycles of hymns are almost unknown to us. The translation is the work of J M Neale who introduced us to many of these great hymns.
In a long life A H Brown wrote many hymn tunes. This tune first appeared in the appendix to the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1868.
from notes by Alan Luff © 2002