Franciscan Hymn Review: Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain

Paul Keggington

April 19, 2012

Appropriate to this Easter time of  hope, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy reviews the hymn Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain for its message of goodness, truth and love for all people.

As Easter dawns upon us let us sing “Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”.  The ancient words of this hymn hold great meaning for us as we look toward a world where there is life and justice for all. 

Speaking of freedom from slavery, the hymn need not be about the Old Testament story only.  We know that slavery in its many forms is still a reality in lands afar and in places nearby.  Becoming informed is our first step toward bringing freedom to these enslaved ones.  Then our knowledge must turn to prayer and perhaps even some concrete action.  Our openness to learning, praying and acting on behalf of this remnant is  the beginning of their Easter.

The song also speaks of Christ bursting from his prison.  We tend to mentally go straight to the image being that of the tomb.  But Christ is truly imprisoned in his children today.  Our remembrance of their plight as we celebrate liturgies can bring Christ’s presence to “Easter” in them. 

Let us also pray our song asking that the gates of death and darkness be broken for those who are locked in the suffering of AIDS, hunger, ignorance, prejudice and human trafficking.  These, too, are the face of the Crucified waiting in the tomb.  Let our prayer and mindfulness begin to roll back the stone.

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