BWV 83 Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (The Presentation of Christ in the Temple).

Poet unknown; PT (Leipzig, 1724); Facs: Neumann T, p. 425.

2. Lk. 2:29-31 with interpolated recitative; 5. Martin Luther, verse 4 of "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" ("Simeon's Song of Praise" = "Nunc dimittis," Lk. 2:29-31), 1524 (Wackernagel, I, #205).

2 February 1724, Leipzig; again 2 February 1727.

BG 20, 1; NBA I/28.


1. Aria (A)

O joyous day of the new order,
When our belief doth Jesus hold.

    How gladly is at that last moment
    That resting place, the grave, prepared!(1)

2. Aria [Dictum] and Recit. (B)

Lord, now lettest thou this thy servant in peace depart now, according to thy word.
What to us mortals seems so dire
Gives us an entrance unto living.
In truth is death
A limit to this time and woe,
A pledge to us the Lord hath given,
A token that he meaneth well
And then, when once the fight is over,
To peace would lead us.
And since the Savior now
The eyes' true hope, the heart's refreshment is,
What wonder that a heart the fear of death forgets?
It can with joy this utt'rance make:
For mine own eyes now have indeed thy Savior regarded, him whom thou hast here brought forth before all nations.

3. Aria (T)

Hasten, heart, with joyfulness(2)

    'Fore the throne of grace to venture!(3)
    Thou must now receive salvation
    And compassion's grace discover,
    Yea, when trouble fills thy days,
    Strong in spirit, pray with vigor.

4. Recit. (A)

Yea, if thy faith doth see much darkness yet,
Thy Savior can the doubting shadows scatter;
Yea, when the tomb's dark night
The final hour fills with dread,
Then shalt thou, still secure,
His radiant light in death itself encounter.

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

He is salvation's blessed light
To the gentiles,
To illumine those who know thee not,
And give nurture.
He's thy people's Israel,
The praise, fame, joy, and glory.


1. This aria alludes to the prophecy made to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. Im neuen Bund is properly "In the New Covenant," but this translation is not allowed by the meter.

2. Where the text has voller Freudigkeit read "with all joyfulness."

3. Cf. Heb. 4:16.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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