Das Jahr geht still zu Ende

Das Jahr geht still zu Ende. Eleonore Reuss* (1835-1903). Written in 1857-58, at the turn of the year, in commemoration of the early death of her close friend Marie Nathusius (1817-1857). It is based on Hebrews 11: 13-16: ‘These all died in faith, not having received the promises, … they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth… But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly’.It is a hymn that is wonderfully suited to those who have lost loved ones: it acknowledges the tears that flowed, and asks ‘why?’ in stanza 2: ‘why is the voice that spoke such lovely things now silent?’ The comfort comes from the passage from Hebrews, especially in stanza 5, in which we catch a glimpse...

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