1000 Songs/Come ye faithful raise the strain (John of Damascus)

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Come ye faithful raise the strain (John of Damascus)

1000 Songs

Text[edit | edit source]

Author[edit | edit source]

John of Damascus (c. 676 – 749) is perhaps one of the most important Greek hymnists.

Translations/Challenges[edit | edit source]

The Hymn, Come Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain, was originally written in Greek. The lyrics of the hymn have been derived from a text of the Eastern Orthodox Canon. The Canon consists of nine odes, the first of which this hymn comes from, based on the Ode of Moses found in Exodus 15:1-19. The text was translated to English in 1888 by John Mason Neal, a hymnist from England.

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

See the full text here.

Music[edit | edit source]

Tune[edit | edit source]

The tune most known today is the St. Kevin Tune, composed by Arthur Seymour Sullivan in 1872. Several other variations of the texts tune also exist, such as Ave Virgo Virginum by Johann Roh, Spring of Souls by Ludwig Lindeman, and Chestnut Hill by William Merrill.

Arrangements[edit | edit source]

The St. Kevin tune can be heard here.

The sheet music is found here.

Editor's Choice[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Author biography[edit | edit source]

John of Damascus, also known as John Damascene lived from circa 676 – 749. He gets his name from his place of birth, Damascus.

Author's circumstances[edit | edit source]

John of Damascus was born into a wealthy family. He received a strong education, advancing his skills in music as well as theology. Upon his father’s death, he assumed the position of an official at the caliphate court. John, becoming a wealthy man himself, had felt the call to give up his wealth and decided to live as a monk at an Eastern Orthodox Monastery, Mar Saba. John spent his entire life there and became well known for a lot of his writings, as well as his hymns. Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain and The Day of Resurrection are among his most famous hymns written as Eastern Orthodox monk.

Historical setting[edit | edit source]

Historically, monasteries have had great importance.

Cultural setting[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Dark Ages, society did not place very much importance on education, but writings as well as music have been preserved because of the existence of the monasteries. John of Damascus, as well as other monks, served in his monastery to develop and preserve the liturgy of the church.