This stirring hymn was written in Latin by the Franciscan friar Jean Tisserand (b. France, 15th century; d. 1494). According to www.Hymnary.org it was found in an untitled booklet printed in Paris between 1518 and 1536. A popular preacher (“The most hardened hearts could not resist his sermons,” says the French Wikipedia essay.), Tisserand also founded the Refuge of St. Madeleine, an institution for women seeking refuge from prostitution.
John M. Neale translated the text into twelve stanzas, which were published in his Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851). Since then, versions of Tissand’s hymn and Neale’s translation have been published in 156 hymnals.
Thanks to Breviary Hymns for leading me to this video.
YE SONS AND DAUGHTERS (O FILII ET FILIAE)
Refrain: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
1. O sons and daughters of the King,
Whom heav’nly hosts in glory sing,
Today the grave hath lost its sting!
2. That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
3. An angel clad in white they see
Who sits and speaks unto the three,
“Your Lord will go to Galilee.”
4. That night the Apostles met in fear;
Among them came their master dear
And said: “My peace be with you here.”
5. When Thomas first the tidings heard
That they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.
6. “My pierced side, O Thomas, see,
And look upon My hands, My feet;
Not faithless but believing be.”
7. No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“You are my Lord and God!” he cried.
8. How blest are they that have not seen
And yet whose faith has constant been,
For they eternal life shall will.
9. On this most holy day of days
Be laud and jubilee and praise:
To God your hearts and voices raise.
Music Director – Jayne Windnagel
Organist – Joseph Clarke