In Peace and Joy I Now Depart

Tune: Mit Fried und Freud

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  1. In peace and joy I now depart
    As God hath willed it,
    For full of comfort is my heart,
    Soft and stillèd,
    As the Lord hath promised me,
    And death is but my slumber.

  2. ’Tis Christ that wrought this work for me,
    My faithful Savior,
    Whom Thou hast made mine eyes to see
    By Thy favor.
    Now I know He is my Life,
    My Help in need and dying.

  3. Him Thou hast unto all set forth
    Their great Salvation
    And to His kingdom called the earth,
    Ev’ry nation,
    By Thy dear and wholesome Word,
    In ev’ry place resounding.

  4. He is the Hope and saving Light
    Of lands benighted;
    By Him are they who dwelt in night
    Fed and lighted.
    He is Israel’s Praise and Bliss,
    Their Joy, Reward, and Glory.

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
Martin Luther, 1524
Tr. Leonard Woolsey Bacon, 1884, alt.


German Text

Tune: Mit Fried und Freud

  1. Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
    In Gottes Willen,
    Getrost ist mir mein Herz und Sinn,
    Sanft und stille,
    Wie Gott mir verheißen hat;
    Der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden.

  2. Das macht Christus, wahr Gottessohn,
    Der treue Heiland,
    Den du mich, Herr, hast sehen lahn,
    Und macht bekannt,
    Daß er sei das Leben
    Und Heil in Not und Sterben.

  3. Den hast du allen fürgestellt
    Mit großen Gnaden,
    Zu seinem Reich die ganze Welt
    Heißen laden
    Durch dein teuer heilsam Wort,
    An allem Ort erschollen.

  4. Er ist das Heil und selig Licht
    Für die Heiden,
    Zu ’rleuchten, die dich kennen nicht,
    Und zu weiden.
    Er ist deins Volks Israel
    Der Preis, Ehr, Freud und Wonne.

Martin Luther, 1524
Source: C.F.W. Walther’s Kirchen-Gesangbuch, 1898 printing


Available Recordings
  • Johann Walter’s setting from his Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524, performed by the Favorit-und-Capell-Chor Leipzig, on the album Viue Luthere: Musik der Reformation, Track 1 (iTunesAmazonMP3).
  • Sethus Calvisius’s setting, performed by the Vocalconsort Leipzig on the album Freut euch und jubilieret!, track 4 (iTunesAmazonMP3)
  • Michael Praetorius’s setting from his Musae Siniae, Vol. 8, 1608, performed by The Schütz Academy on the album Heinrich Schütz: Musikalische Exequien, Track 5 (iTunesAmazonMP3)

 


Martin Luther

Martin Luther, 1483–1546, portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1533


Author: Martin Luther

“In Peace and Joy I Now Depart” (“Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin“) is Luther’s metrical setting of the Nunc Dimittis, the words of Simeon upon seeing the infant Christ (Luke 2:29–32). It has traditionally been sung for the Presentation of Our Lord (February 2), and was first prepared for the same.

This hymn is included in The Lutheran Hymnal as “In Peace and Joy I Now Depart,” No. 137, with the tune mildly simplified. The translation is an altered version of that by Leonard Woolsey Bacon, 1884. The tune is mostly restored in the Lutheran Service Book, No. 938, but no harmonies are provided, and the first stanza is copyright 1978 Concordia Publishing House. For the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book, the public domain translation from TLH has been used, together with a setting by Friedrich Layriz that features the original rhythmic version of the tune.