Saddened today to hear of the death of old friend Colin Holden. I was at theological college at Trinity College in Melbourne with Colin, and then his colleague as a priest in Western Australia. I met him several times after he returned to Melbourne.
Colin was enormously talented as a linguist, historian and writer. He was a generous but fragile friend. One of the remembrances I still have from Colin is this hymn which he translated as a gift for me in 1974. Reading it again, I am impressed by his skill with metre and assonance, reminding me that he was a musician as well as all the other talents.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
A votive offering for Easter for Ted
Dawn fires the east with glowing rays
The heavens rejoice in hymns of praise;
While earth exults, Hell’s furious roar
Proclaims his lord can rule no more,
For Jesus, clad in triumph, leads
The Patriarchs, ransomed from the dead;
Hell’s prey, once chained in bonds of night
Christ frees to rise in life & light.
A stone & seal secured the tomb;
For Christ’s new life it forms a womb;
First-fruits of all that sleep in earth,
He bursts the gates, to vanquish death.
Now mourning’s bitterness shall cease;
Christ’s rising tolls the death of grief;
His angels joyously proclaim
“Death’s end has come; new life now reigns.”
From sin’s dark death, O Jesu, free
Them that again are born of Thee;
Be Thou alone out Spirit’s guest
At this time of our Paschal Feast.
We praise the Father, who is one
With Jesus Christ, His only Son,
And laud as is forever meet,
The Holy Ghost & Paraclete.
(Aurora Caelum purpurat, Office hymn at Lauds from Low Sunday till Ascension – translated by Colin Holden, Easter 1974)