Who on the tree of the cross didst give salvation unto mankind that, whence death arise, thence Life also might rise again; and that he who by a tree once overcame might likewise by a tree be overcome, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, through whom. . .
There is a thing that some of us do not like about poetry. Perhaps it is that we prefer the precision of scientific language without nuances of meaning. Perhaps it goes back to the ancient years spent in high school with a teacher who failed to make us either love or understand poetry. Perhaps it is that we no longer have time to think, reflect, and return to the product of the poet's pen and so we disdain his offering. This could just be the reason why hymns have run out of favor among some and why we prefer the bland words of contemporary Christian worship to the richness of great hymnic poetry.
In any case, I resent what LSB did to the TLH words of the Proper Preface for Lent. I do not like reserving the semblance of those words for Holy Week alone and this putting something other in place for the Sundays in Lent but most of all I despise what was done to the richness and compactness of that wonderful and ancient text. Why? No answer will suffice. I refuse to be consoled. Yes, I know it is well after Lent but my complaint refuses to be silenced even by the passage of time.
It was and is the Preface for the Holy Cross among the Romans. WHO by the tree of the Cross didst give salvation unto mankind: that whence death arose, thence life might rise again: and that he who by a tree overcame might also by a tree be overcome: through Christ, our Lord. According to the background of the Common Service, Who, by the Tree of the Cross, didst give salvation unto mankind: that whence death arose, thence Life also might rise again: and that he who by a tree once overcame, might likewise by a tree be overcome, through Christ our Lord; through whom etc., is from Shipley's Ritual of the Altar, which after many emendations, successively rejected, it was adopted by the Committee as is. This was the Tridentine Proper Preface for Passion and for the Holy Cross but its sources are more ancient, the cross referred to as tree being a familiar phrase from the ancient church.
So, there. . . I have it off my chest. I shall feel better now -- at least until next Lent when it will all come rushing back. I suppose I can understand the wisdom of reserving these words for Holy Week but I cannot for the life of me understand reworking them. The poetry said it best in the older version. Ahhhh, the confession of a curmudgeon is so liberating!!!