On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry
announces that the Lord is nigh.
Awake and harken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings!
Then cleansed be every life from sin:
make straight the way for God within,
and let us all our hearts prepare
for Christ to come and enter there.
We hail you as our Savior, Lord,
our refuge and our great reward.
Without your grace we waste away
like flowers that wither and decay.
Stretch forth your hand, our health restore,
and make us rise to fall no more.
O let your face upon us shine
and fill the world with love divine.
All praise to you, eternal Son,
whose advent has our freedom won,
whom with the Father we adore,
and Holy Spirit, evermore.
"On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry" was written by the French priest and poet Charles Coffin as "Jordanis Oras Praevia" in 1736. It was translated by John Chandler in 1837.
The tune is 'Winchester New' which appeared in the 'Musikalisches Handbuch der Geistlichen Melodien', published in Hamburg in 1690 by Georg Wittwe.
It is performed here by the St Edmondsbury Cathedral Choir and Orchestra.
Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her; and they rejoiced with her.