I Fall Asleep in Jesus’ Wounds

Tune: Vater unser im Himmelreich

  1. I fall asleep in Jesus’ wounds,
    There pardon for my sins abounds;
    Yea, Jesus’ blood and righteousness
    My jewels are, my glorious dress.
    In these before my God I’ll stand
    When I shall reach the heav’nly land.

  2. With peace and joy I now depart;
    God’s child I am with all my heart.
    Have thanks, my death: thou leadest me;
    To life eternal now I flee,
    Christ’s blood my purifying bath.
    Lord Jesus, strengthen Thou my faith.

In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein
Paul Eber, †1569
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1869, alt.
Source: The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, No. 585

German Text


Tune: Vater unser im Himmelreich

  1. In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein,
    Die machen mich von Sünden rein;
    Ja, Christi Blut und G’rechtigkeit,
    Das ist mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid,
    Damit will ich vor Gott bestehn,
    Wenn ich zum Himmel werd eingehn.

  2. Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin,
    Ein Gotteskind ich allzeit bin.
    Dank hab, mein Tod, du führest mich;
    Ins ewge Leben wandre ich,
    Mit Christi Blut gereinigt fein.
    Herr Jesu, stärk den Glauben mein!

Paul Eber, †1569
Source: C.F.W. Walther’s Kirchen-Gesangbuch, No. 412


Catherine Winkworth’s fine translation, available in its original form here, was slightly altered for August Crull’s Hymn Book: for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations, 1884, No. 113, to include reference to Jesus’ wounds, which Miss Winkworth intentionally avoided. For the Free Lutheran Choral-Book, the second stanza has been further altered: Miss Winkworth’s translation addresses the personification of Death with thanksgiving, but Paul Eber’s original addresses specifically the individual death of the believer, rather than Death in general. The distinction may seem fine, but it is important to note that Reformation piety did not lead Paul Eber to give thanks directly to Death, the last enemy to be defeated.