Rejoice in heart

Daily Reading for May 11

Destined to fare hence unto His Father’s kingdom, the mighty Prince, the Lord of angels, spoke this word:

“Rejoice in heart, never will I forsake you but I will fulfill my love upon you and give you might; and I will dwell with you forever, that by my gift you may never lack any good thing. Fare you well over all the spacious earth, throughout the wide ways. Make known to men, preach and publish bright belief, and baptize the people under the sky and turn them unto heaven. Cast down their idols, destroy and lay them low; abolish enmity and sow peace in the hearts of men, in the fullness of might. Henceforth I will dwell with you to comfort you, and in peace will I preserve you and give steadfast strength in every place.”

Then suddenly was heard upon the air a clear sound; and there came in company a throng of heaven’s angels, messengers of majesty, a beauteous band. Our Lord departed through the temple roof even as they beheld, the chosen servants who in that meeting-place gazed on the last footprints of their well-loved Prince. They saw the Lord, the Son of God, ascending up on high from earth. Their souls were sorrowful within them, hot at heart a mourning spirit for that they might no longer under heaven behold their well-loved Lord. . . .

And they departed, journeying to Jerusalem, those stalwart-hearted men, to that holy city, sorrowful in soul leaving the spot where last with their eyes they had beheld their God ascending up, their Giver of bliss. Then was there sound of weeping. Their true love hot at heart was crushed with woe. Their souls welled upon within them, their spirits glowed. There the glorious servants abode their Lord’s behests, in that bright city ten nights’ time, as he himself, the Lord of heaven, the Wielder of all, had bidden ere he ascended up into the secret places of the sky. . . .

Well is it spoken, as the Writings tell, that unto him in hosts came shining angels in that holy hour descending on the heavens. Then in heavenly glory arose the greatest of rejoicings. It was well fitting that servants in bright array came to the city of God, unto that bliss, a beauteous band; beheld their welcome Friend, the King of heaven, Life-Lord of men, on his high judgment seat, wielding in splendor the world and the hosts of glory.

From the Anglo-Saxon poem Christ 2 by Cynewulf, translated by Charles W. Kennedy (Cambridge, Ontario, 2000); found at

Past Posts