It started in Italy in 1591, as a composition by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
On a separate track, the Latin words were published anonymously in a Catholic hymnal in 1695.
An Anglican priest, Francis Pott, translated the hymn into English in 1861.
Then organist William Monk added “Alleluias” and married Pott’s translation to Palestrina’s music, to create “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done” as we know it today.
In 2020, in a tour de force of musicality, technology, logistics, and database management, the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication arranged a virtual version in a time of social distancing.
While it’s unsafe to gather in crowds, more than 600 people from around the world came together online as a massive choir and orchestra to present a beloved resurrection hymn on Easter Sunday.
Listen to it here, and look ahead in faith to a time when Christians will gather safely again.
— Kirk Petersen