O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Hymns are beautiful truths poetically told, hung on a rhythm, and held in a melody. This makes them memorable. Hymn study is extremely simple. Sing the hymn once a day. We’ve provided you links to different versions of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” to enjoy as well as a link to download the sheet music for the hymn. Some of this year’s selections are very familiar and others are a little more obscure.  In keeping with our theme of Ancients, these hymns are older written before 1700, and they are linked at https://www.homeschooloklahoma.org/beauty/

Text in English: 

1 O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, Thine only crown!
O sacred Head, what glory,
what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I joy to call thee mine.

2 What thou, my Lord, hast suffered
was all for sinners’ gain.
Mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
’Tis I deserve thy place.
Look on me with thy favor,
and grant to me thy grace.

3 What language shall I borrow
to thank Thee, dearest Friend,
for this, thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
Oh, make me Thine forever,
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love to thee.

4 Be near when I am dying,
oh, show thy cross to me,
and for my rescue, flying,
come, Lord, and set me free!
These eyes, new faith receiving,
from Jesus shall not move,
for one who dies believing
dies safely, through thy love.

Hymn Story: 

While “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” is attributed to several different Latin poets, most scholars believe its as actually composed by Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153). He was a spiritual leader who was greatly respected by many, including Martin Luther. The original Latin text had seven parts, each identifying a part of Christ’s wounded body and intended to be sung on each day of Holy Week. The hymn was translated into German by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676). Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) harmonized the turn of this hymn and expanded the score. The text was translated into English by James Waddell Alexander (1804-1859). This version by Alexander is what appears in many American hymnals today. It is a beautiful and traditional hymn for Holy Week.

Source: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-o-sacred-head-now-wounded-1

Sheet music

Traditional Video
Modern Video
Video with Words Included

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