BWV 125 Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

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

Poet unknown.

1. Martin Luther, verse 1 of the hymn (an adaptation of "Nunc dimittis"), 1524 (Wackernagel, III, 25); 3. verse 2 with interpolated recitative; 4-5. based on elements of verse 3; 6. verse 4 of the hymn.

2 February 1725, Leipzig.

BG 26; NBA I/28.

1. Chorus [Verse 1] (S, A, T, B)

In peace and joy do I depart,
As God doth will it;
Consoled am I in mind and heart,
Calm and quiet;
As God me his promise gave,
My death's become a slumber.

2. Aria (A)

I would e'en with my broken vision
To thee, my faithful Savior, look.

    When once my body's form shall break,
    Yet shall my heart and hope not fall.
    My Jesus cares for me in dying
    And shall let me no grief attend.

3. Recit. and Chorale [Verse 2] (B)

O wonder, that one's heart
Before the flesh's hated tomb and even death's distress
Should not be frightened!
    This Christ hath done, God's own true son,
    The faithful Savior,
Who o'er my dying bed now stands
With heaven's sweet repose my soul to comfort,
    Whom thou, O Lord, hast let me see,
When at the final hour an arm of faith shall grasp the Lord's salvation;
    Thou hast revealed
Of the Almighty God, creator of all nature,
    That he salvation is and life,
Of men the hope and share,
Their Savior from corruption
    In death as well in dying.

4. Aria (T, B)

A great mysterious light hath filled the orb of all the earth now.

    There echoes strongly on and on
    A word of promise most desired:
    In faith shall all be blesséd.

5. Recit. (A)

O unexhausted store of kindness,
Which to us mortals is revealed: one day the world,
Which wrath's curse on itself hath summoned,
A throne of mercy(1)
And sign of triumph shall receive,
And every faithful heart and spirit
Shall to his realm of grace be summoned.

6. Chorale [Verse 4] (S, A, T, B)

He is that grace and blessed light,
Which the nations
Shall illumine, all who know thee not,
And shall nurture;
He's of thy people, Israel,
The praise, laud, joy and gladness.

1. Cf. Rom. 3:25.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

Back to top