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 O Sacred Head, Surrounded

This Passion hymn is based on an ancient Latin text that refers to the body of Christ on the cross. Although legend says that the text was composed by St Bernard of Clairvaux, scholars now attribute it to a medieval poet called Amulf of Leuven (d.1250). 

First translated into English by an Anglican vicar in Oxfordshire, this text was re-translated by a Presbyterian minister in America named James Waddel Alexander. 

The tune is arranged by Johann Sebastien Bach and was featured in his St. Matthews Passion of 1727.

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