BWV 162 Ach! ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.

Salomo Franck, Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer ... in geistlichen Cantaten (Weimar, 1715); Facs: Neumann T, p. 285.

6. Johann Rosenmüller or Johann Georg Albinus, verse 7 of "Alle Menschen müssen sterben," 1652 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #311).

3 November 1715, Weimar; revised, 10 October 1723, Leipzig.

BG 33; NBA I/25.

1. Aria (B)

Ah! I see now,
As I go to join the marriage,
Bliss and mis'ry.
Spirit's bane and bread of life,
Heaven, hell, and life and death,
Heaven's rays and hellfire's burning(1)
Are together.
Jesus, help me to get through them!

2. Recit. (T)

O awesome marriage feast,
To which the king of heaven
To man his summons sends!
Is then the wretched bride,
The nature of mankind, not much too poor and worthless,
That he to her the Highest's Son be wed?
O awesome marriage feast,
How is our flesh come into such great honor,
That God's own Son
Hath it for evermore accepted?
For heaven is his throne
And earth doth offer to his feet a footstool,(2)
Yet would he kiss the world,
His bride and most belovéd!
The marriage supper is prepared,
The fatted calf is slaughtered.
How glorious is ev'rything made ready!
How happy he whom faith now leadeth hither,
And how accursed is yet he who this feast disdaineth!

3. Aria (S)

Jesus, fountain of all mercy,
Quicken me, thy wretched guest,
For thou hast invited me!
I am faint, weak and sore laden,
Ah, this soul of mine enliven,
Ah, how starved I am for thee!
Bread of life, which I have chosen,
Come, unite thyself to me!

4. Recit. (A)

My Jesus, let me not
Without a robe approach the wedding,
That on me fall thy judgment not;
With horror have I been a witness
As once the wanton wedding guest,
Without a robe appearing,
Rejected and condemned thou hast!
I know mine own unworthiness:
Ah! Give to me of faith the marriage robe;
Let thine own merits serve as mine adornment!
Give as my wedding garment,
Salvation's cloak, unsullied, silken whiteness.
Ah! Let thy blood, that noble purple, cover
The ancient cloak of Adam and its sinful patches,
And I’ll be fair and pure
To thee most welcome sure,
And I shall worthily
And I’ll right worthily the lamb’s high feast enjoy.

5. Aria (A, T)

Now in my God am I made glad!
The power of love so much hath stirred him,
That he hath in this time of grace
With simple favor put around me
The raiment of his righteousness.(3)
I know he'll give, when life is over,
His glory's shining robe
To me in heaven also.

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

Ah, I have already witnessed
This his awesome majesty.
Soon now shall I be made lovely
In the shining heav'nly robe;
In a golden crown of glory
Shall I stand before God's throne there,
Gazing at that state of joy
Which no end can ever know.

1. This series of nouns and compound nouns with both asyndeton and polysyndeton is a special feature of the style of Salomo Franck.

2. Cf. Is. 66:1.

3. Cf. Is. 61:10.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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