O filii et filiae (O Sons and Daughters) by Jean Tisserand is a 16th century hymn later translated from Latin into English. It is a fitting hymn for this Second Sunday of Easter when liturgically the Church addresses Thomas’ encounter with the risen Christ (John 20:19-31). The hymn describes richly the Johannine account beginning with the faithful women’s encounter with the empty tomb and the angelic messengers. The hymn is quite stunning and a careful narrative of that historic day when Thomas acknowledged Jesus to be His Lord and His God:
O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of Heaven, the glorious King,
Over death today rose triumphing.
That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
An angel clad in white they see,
Who sat, and spake unto the three,
“Your Lord doth go to Galilee.”
That night th’apostles met in fear;
Amidst them came their Lord most dear,
And said, “My peace be on all here.”
When Thomas first the tidings heard,
How they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.
“My piercèd side, O Thomas, see;
My hands, My feet, I show to thee;
Not faithless but believing be.”
No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried.
How blessed are they who have not seen,
And yet whose faith has constant been;
For they eternal life shall win.
On this most holy day of days
Our hearts and voices, Lord, we raise
To Thee, in jubilee and praise.