BWV 11 Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Himmelfahrts-Oratorium) Ascension.

Poet unknown (Picander? See Dürr, p. 289).

2. Lk. 24:50-51; 5. based on Acts 1:9 and Mk. 16:19; 6. Johann Rist, verse 4 of "Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ," 1641 (Fischer-Tümpel, II, #188); 7. Acts 1:10-11; 9. based on Lk. 24:52a, Acts 1:12, and Lk. 24:52b; 11. Gottfried Wilhelm Sacer, verse 7 of "Gott fähret auf gen Himmel," 1697 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #599).

19 May 1735, Leipzig; Parody: 1 <--- III, BWV Anhang 18/1; 4, 10 <--- I/3, 5; 4: cf. Mass in B Minor, BWV 232/24 (IV,4).

BG 2; NBA II/7.

Ascension Oratorio



1. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Laud to God in all his kingdoms,
Praise to him in all his honors,
In his splendor tell his fame;

    Strive his glory's due to honor
    When ye with assembled choirs
    Make a song to praise his name!

2. Recit. (T) Evangelist

The Lord Jesus then lifted up his hands in blessing on his disciples, and thereupon, as he was blessing them, he parted from them.

3. Recit. (B)

Ah, Jesus, is thy parting now so near?
Ah, is so soon the moment come
When we shall have to let thee leave us?
Ah, look now, how the burning teardrops
Down these our pallid cheeks are rolling,
How we for thee are yearning,
How nearly all our hope is lost.
Ah, do not yet depart!

4. Aria (A)

Ah, stay with me, my dearest life thou,
Ah, flee thou not so soon from me!

    Thy parting and thine early leaving
    Bring me the most egregious suff'ring,
    Ah yes, then stay yet here awhile;
    Else shall I be with pain surrounded.

5. Recit. (T) Evangelist

And was lifted up manifestly and went up toward heaven, and a cloud did bear him off before their eyes, and he sits at the right hand of God now.

6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

Now lieth all beneath thy feet,
Thyself the one exception;
The angels must for evermore
To wait upon thee gather.
The princes stand, too, on the way
And are thy willing servants now;
Air, water, earth and fire
Must thee their service offer.

7. Recit. (T, B) Evangelist and Two Men in White Robes

(Evangelist)

And as they looked at him going up to heaven, lo, there standing beside them were two men in shining raiment, and they were saying:

(Both Evangelist and the Two Men)

Ye men of Galilee, why do ye stand and gaze up to heaven? For this Jesus, who hath from you been lifted up unto heaven, shall come again as ye have seen him going up to heaven.

8. Recit. (A)

Ah yes! so come thou soon again:
Efface at last my sad demeanor,
Else will my ev'ry moment be
Despised and years in length appearing.

9. Recit. (T) Evangelist

And thereupon they prayed to him, turned around toward Jerusalem from that mountain which is called Mount of Olives, that which is not far from Jerusalem and lies only one Sabbath's day(1) away, and they went up again into Jerusalem filled with great gladness.

10. Aria (S)

Jesus, thy dear mercy's glances
Can I, yea, forever, see.

    For thy love doth bide among us,
    That I here within these days
    For that future majesty
    Even now my soul may nurture,
    When we'll there before thee stand.

11. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

When shall it ever happen,
When comes the welcome day
In which I shall behold him
In all his majesty?
Thou day, when wilt thou be,
In which we greet the Savior,
In which we kiss the Savior?
Come, make thyself appear!



1. I.e. "one Sabbath's journey away."

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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