A favorite hymn of mine is Ride on! Ride on in majesty!, particularly by the tune of Winchester New. (On Jordan’s Bank, another favorite, is a more well known hymn commonly sung to that tune.)
Since the subject of the hymn is the Triumphal Entry, it is associated with Palm Sunday. But my parish sung it as the recessional hymn this Passion Sunday morning yesterday, and it indeed does meditate on the Passion of our Lord.
I’ve always found the contrast in the following lyrics brilliant and moving.
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Christ’s Triumphal Entry is majestic, yet at the same time lowly, on a donkey even, and a ride to his death on the cross. And Henry Milman captured that so well in so few yet clashing words.
I have to confess I could not quite finish the last verse yesterday. The words of the hymn and my inability snuck up on me and suddenly caught me unawares. Those darn allergies made me tear up, don’tcha know.
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
bow your meek head to mortal pain;
then take, O Christ, your power and reign.
May you, too, find this Passion Week and the coming Palm Sunday and Holy Week moving with a fresh vision of the majesty, humility, love and Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.