In the rich legacy of the core hymnody of the Lutheran Church, fewer hymns have influenced the Lutheran fathers across the centuries more than “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” The text of “O Sacred Head” is based on the seventh and final portion of a series of seven Medieval poems known as the Rhythmica Oratio. Each poem is addressed to various members of the body of the crucified Christ: to His feet, knees, hands, side, breast, heart, and face. A long-standing tradition attributes these poems to the twelfth-century monk, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), whom Luther called “the most pious monk who ever lived.”
Pr Brian Hamer
Brian J. Hamer is Chaplain to Destroyer Squadron 23, Naval Base San Diego, via the LCMS Board for International Mission Services.