We adore you, Oh Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. Last year, several of my fellow music majors put on a major concert of Buxtehude's cycle of cantatas, Membra Jesu Nostri. The cantatas each consist of a Scripture verse, followed by poetry of John Donne, which Buxtehude set to music. The poems are meditations on the wounded members of Christ's Crucified Body. This is the translation of the Latin text from the fourth cantata, To His Side. On my ten-day break this semester, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, where I saw the Cliffs of Moher. I had this piece running through my head as I was looking upon the Cliffs. Christ urges each of His children to come away to the cleft of the rock, to the cliff, to unite themselves to Him in His Passion and Death, for only if we die with Him shall we rise with Him. May we answer Christ's call and find refuge within His holy wounds, never to stray from His beloved side. Lord, give us the grace to follow you on the way of the Cross today and always!
“Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff.” Song 2:13-14
In which the sweetness of honey lies concealed,
In which the power of love is revealed,
From which the spring of your blood gushes forth,
Which washes clean the besmirched heart.
Behold, I am approaching you,
Spare me, Jesus, if I fail.
With reverent visage
I come of my own free will to you,
To examine your wounds.
May my soul at the hour of death
Enter into your side, O Jesus,
When I pass away, may it enter into you,
So that it is not attacked by a wrathful lion,
But may forever remain with you. Amen.