CCM Classics for Easter – John Michael and Terry Talbot: He is Risen

April 20, 2014

This is the first post in a short blog series: “CCM Classics for Easter”…  I hope to post at least one CCM Classic each day of the Easter Octave.  My playlist includes artists such as:

The Imperials, Second Chapter of Acts, Keith Green, DeGarmo & Key, Petra, Larnelle Harris & Sandi Patty, Glad, Lamb, Michael & Stormie Omartian, Leslie Phillips, Bob Bennett, Benny Hester, Scott Wesley Brown, Steve Green, Don Francisco, Twila Paris ….

(And for non-CCM fans, don’t worry:  I’ll also be posting some Easter hymns and classical music on the blog as well… I’ve got a LOT of great Easter music! )  It’s going to be a great week of music!  Hallelujah, He is Risen!


Today’s entry is  John Michael & Terry Talbot, singing “He is Risen,”

It’s from their 1983 album No Longer Strangers.

This song is full of wonderful harmonies,  awesome guitar work, and the joy and energy (that makes one want to get out and proclaim the resurrection!), make this one of my Easter favorites.

(If the embedded audio does not display or play, try this link, but please respect copyright and purchase the song if you intend to keep it.)


Here are the lyrics:

Upon the first day of the week, the three women came with the spices to bring

They found the stone rolled back, the tomb empty.

Still at a loss, still out of fright

Two angels appeared, garments dazzling in white

“Why do you search in a tomb for the Living One?”


He’s Risen!

He is not here.

Today is the day salvation’s favored you.

He’s Risen!

He is not here.

Go forth into the world, a new love share  [??? I can't quite catch this line exactly, sorry]


Remember what Jesus did say unto thee

I will be delivered unto evil men

and crucified, but I will rise again.


Go now and proclaim to the nations

Make disciples of all the world

Go now and proclaim the Kingdom

Every knee will bow…

Baptize in the name of the Father

Baptize in the name of the Son

Baptize in the name of the Spirit

Every knee will bow, every tongue confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord.


(If anyone can find the lyrics, I’d be grateful for the correct words for the last line of the chorus.)

Easter Quote: The Cross did not become Glorious until the tomb was empty!

April 20, 2014

Perhaps this should be a Good Friday quote, but I only discovered it after Good Friday had ended:

This Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we will have remembrances and celebrations of the cross. Some crosses will be backlit and draped with cloth. Others will be decorated with lilies. We will sing songs about the Wonderful, Beautiful Cross. All of that is good.

But let me encourage and caution my fellow pastors about something as we honor and praise what Jesus did on the cross. We must leave no room for misunderstanding. Let’s be very clear that this is not a celebration of violence and death, but of Jesus’ victory over it.

I’ve never known a church to glorify violence on purpose. But over the years I’ve heard far too many sermons and watched too many passion plays that seem to emphasize the pain and violence of the cross as if pain was the point.

Pain was never the point.

The cross did not become glorious until the tomb was empty.

Found at Anglicans Ablaze

the original post appears to be by Karl Vaters at New Small Church blog

Easter Hymn by Martin Luther: Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

April 20, 2014

A wonderful Easter hymn by Martin Luther that I just discovered this year:

This recording is by Concordia Publishing House, from the album Hymns for Lent, Easter & Pentecost


(should the embedded audio file not display or play, try this link.  However please respect copyright and purchase the song if you intend to keep it.)



Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands
By: Martin Luther

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands
For our offenses given;
But now at God’s right hand he stands
And brings us life from heaven.
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud sons of alleluia!

It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended.
Holy Scripture plainly says
That death is swallowed up by death,
Its sting is lost forever.

Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree
So strong his love to save us.
See, his blood now marks our door;
Faith points to it; death passes over,
And Satan cannot harm us.

So let us keep the festival
To which the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the joy of all,
The sun that warms and lights us.
Now his grace to us imparts
Eternal sunshine to our hearts;
The night of sin is ended.

Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the bread of heaven;
The Word of grace has purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed;
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other!

from here


Bishop Eric Menees’ Reflection on the Easter Collect

April 20, 2014

Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life: Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

As I write this weeks Bishop’s Note, I am smack dab in the middle of the planning and preparations for all of the truly beautiful and intricate liturgies of Holy Week, along with the sermons that accompany them. Additionally, I am smack dab in the middle of several sensitive pastoral situations and the daily cares and concerns of my family. In other words – I’m smack dab in the middle of life! We live in a fallen world – a world that knows pain and suffering; sin and death – and this Holy Week we are reminded very clearly of that reality. However, in our Easter celebrations we are reminded once again that Sin and Death do not have the final word. Jesus had, and has, the final word with his glorious resurrection two thousand years ago.

Allow the words of these weeks collect to wash over you. Note that there is no hesitation, no wavering, no doubt or fear that so often accompany the voice of the world around us. “Almighty God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life,” This is a profound proclamation of our faith that is grounded in the reality of the resurrection! On that first Easter Sunday, Jesus completed what the Law and the Prophets could not do. With the Fall of Adam and Eve came death and sin, and with the resurrection of Jesus Christ came eternal life with God for all who would put their trust in him.

Jesus’ resurrection demands a response, and the “Easter Bunny” just won’t cut it. Note that the petition in the collect is not: “Allow us to have a beautiful day full of joy and happiness.” The appropriate response to the resurrection is a deep desire to live a godly and holy life that overcomes sin and death: “Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by thy life-giving Spirit….”

The “death of sin” is not only the end of our earthly life – the final beats of our heart.  It is the death that comes when we compromise and tell ourselves, “My sin is not really that bad – I’m better than Joe or Mary.” With that kind of compromise comes the rationalization that sin is a relative term: “What is sin anyway but just a little mistake.” And with that rationalization comes the spiritual death that this prayer speaks against.

Rather than hate the sin in our lives, we tell ourselves to love it – to accept it. Before too long we compromise on other things as well. We don’t need to pray daily, or read scripture daily, and when there are more entertaining things to do on Sunday, well, we certainly don’t need to go to church. All of this rationalization and compromise leads to a void in our lives, and an ache in our souls, that only the Risen Lord can fill by the power of his life-giving Spirit!

I pray that this Easter Sunday, and every day, you and your family will be filled with that same life-giving Spirit; that same power of the risen Lord; that same joy and awe that comes when we realize that Jesus didn’t die and rise again for some unnamed, unknown person out there somewhere, but that he died and rose again for YOU!

I pray you all a Happy and Blessed Easter!


Thanks as always to Fr. Dale at Soundings for posting these reflections on the Collects.  Bp. Eric Menees is the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

The Rev. Patrick Comerford’s 2012 Series “Poems for Easter”

April 20, 2014

In 2012, the Rev. Patrick Comerford posted a seven-part series of Poems for Easter.   Here are the links:

Poems for Easter (1): ‘Easter’ by George Herbert

Poems for Easter (2): ‘Easter Wings’ by George Herbert

Poems for Easter (3): ‘Loneliness’ by John Betjeman

Poems for Easter (4): Easter Communion, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Poems for Easter (5): ‘Easter Poem’ by Ted Walker

Poems for Easter (6): ‘Easter Hymn 6,’ by Tom Wright

Poems for Easter (7): ‘The Easter Day’ by Dionysios Solomos


As any of our readers who visited Patrick Comerford’s site to read his 2012 Lenten Poem series will know,  each post has detailed background about the poet and the context of the poem, as well as often an anaysis of key themes.  Highly recommended.  I would love to see the Rev’d Comerford do another poetry series!  He clearly loves poetry and he writes about it with passion and great insight.

A Compilation of Easter Poems (a work in progress….!)

April 20, 2014

I have been utterly astounded at the popularity of our Good Friday Poems Compilation during the past week (7000 page views in about 12 days!).  We’ve not historically posted that much poetry here at Lent & Beyond, but as I began seeing many site visitors looking for poetry, I did some searches myself and discovered just how hard it is to find a solid online listing of Christ-honoring poetry – especially compilations of poems for major liturgical seasons and feasts.  I don’t claim to be a poetry expert, but I appreciate good poetry when I find it.  Like music it sometimes helps open my heart to truths of Scripture and truth about God in ways that prose can’t always do.  So… I’ve spent some time in the past few days looking for online poetry anthologies and scouring them for Easter-themed poetry.  I present the poems I’ve discovered below.  Many of them are new to me.  Please consider this a rough draft… I probably will revise and update it over the coming 1 – 2 weeks.  I truly would love comments from those of you who read this post, especially recommendations of poets and poems we’ve missed that should be included.   May these poems help increase in all our hearts the wonder of Christ’s resurrection and deepen our joy in Him.  — Karen B.


1.  Easter Poems previously posted here at L&B

Another Easter Poem by Emergent Kiwi: Tree of Life

An Easter Poem: Resurrection Door Kicker

A Serbian Easter Poem: Christ is Risen and Brings the Joy!

Easter Poem: George Herbert


2. Easter Poems found from various sources online:

(these are currently in very random order, as I found them, and there may be duplicates…)

Easter Day,  By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

Four Sonnets: IV. “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee”  By John Donne (1573–1631)

John Donne:  Easter Day

A Hymn of the Resurrection  By William Drummond (1585–1649)

The Resurrection  By Giles Fletcher (1588?–1623)

Easter By George Herbert (1593–1633)

Easter, George Herbert (from The Temple)

Ralph Vaughn Williams: Five Mystical Songs

 An Easter Hymn  By Thomas Blackburne (1821–1859)

Sir John Browning: Resurrection

Sarah Flower Adams: “The mourners came at break of day

John Mason Neale: “’Tis the Day of Resurrection

Francis Turner Palgrave:  I am the Resurrection and the Life

John Ellerton: “God of the living

John Ellerton:  “Welcome, happy morning!”

Alexander B. Grosart:  The Resurrection

Thomas Kelly:  “The head that once was crowned with thorns

Thomas Kelly:  “Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious

Elizabeth Charles:  “Around a Table, not a Tomb

Frances Elizabeth Cox:  “Jesus lives! no longer now

Sabine Baring-Gould: “On the Resurrection morning

The Day of Resurrection

Holy Sonnets, VII by John Donne

John Donne:  Resurrection, Imperfect

George Herbert:  Easter Wings

George Herbert:  Easter

George Herbert:  Easter Song

Christina Rossetti:  The Descent from the Cross

Christina Rossetti:  It is Finished

Christina Rossetti:  An Easter Carol

John Donne:  Resurrection

Phillip Brooks:  An Easter Carol

Gerard Manley Hopkins Where Springs Not Fail

John Updike:  Seven Stanzas at Easter

Paul Willis – “Rosing from the Dead”

Edmund Spenser – “Sonnet #68″

Nicholas Samaras – “Easter in the Cancer Ward”

Katharine Tynan – “Easter”

Charles G.D. Roberts – “Resurrection”

John Terpstra – “Topographies of Easter”

A.J.M. Smith – “Beside One Dead”

“Galilee, Easter Day” by Luci Shaw

Amy Carmichael: Cross and Garden

Brother Roger of Taize:  If You Were Not Risen

Easter poems by John Keble (not complete)

Gerard Manley Hopkins:  Easter, and Easter Communion

Sonrise, by Kevin Kummer

On Easter: A Poem of Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus (d. AD 600)

Easter Night, Alice Meynell (1847-1922)

From the Rev’d Patrick Comerford’s 2012 Poems for Easter series:


3.  Additional Easter Poetry Compilations and Resources:

Dont miss also the Eastertide poetry by Teresa Roberts Johnson at Angliverse

Also Emily Polis Gibson’s Easter entries often include poetry

(I will probably compile separate listings of both of these sites and then link those listings here)

Finally, our compilation of Poems for Lent also contains links to various poetry websites where you can find more poems.


Thanks for putting up with the mess…. I’ll try to put this into some more coherent order soon!

Classic CCM for Holy Saturday into Easter: Christian Stephens’ The Descent, and Arise

April 19, 2014

This is the third of three posts with music from Christian Stephens’ self-titled album (1980, Creation records).

On Wednesday I posted 2 songs:  Look What You’ve Done, and Broken and Bleeding.  On Friday, I posted Song of the Cross which is the first part of a trilogy of songs for the Triduum.

Below follow the two additional songs:  The Descent and Arise.   You should listen to and read the lyrics from Song of the Cross before listening to the songs below.  As explained in yesterday’s entry, the songs imagine a dialogue between Jesus and the Father.

Here’s the audio file (the two songs are combined into one track).  The lyrics follow.

(Should there be any problem with the embedded audio, use this link.)


The Descent
[S] = the Son, [F] = the Father

[S] O my Father, can You hear me call?
I need Your light, there’s darkness over all.
I ache to hear Your voice but remain here all alone
Father, when will I begin my journey home?

[F] O my Son, I know You cannot hear.
But I am coming, behold I am very near.
Hold to my words until You hear the trumpet call,
Then You my Son will rise the victor of all!

[S] I ache to hear Your voice, but remain here all alone
Father when will I begin my journey home?



[F] “Arise! And come to me my Son.
Arise! And come to me my Son!”

[S] Father, I feel Your touch of life from above
Lifting me by the power of Your love.
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
[Death] tried to hold me back,
tried to hold me down,
While the power of life lifts me off the ground.
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
Hallelujah, I am alive again!
And I have overcome!
Yes, I have overcome!
Yes, I have overcome!



Updated Compilation of Easter Prayers

April 19, 2014

last updated: April 19, 2014 

(I’ll be tinkering with this over the next few days as new resources become available.  Check back again in the next 2 – 3 days for new links and info.)

Here is a compilation of all the Easter Prayers we’ve posted the last few years.  Here’s the link to our Easter Prayer category.

In the second section is a list to other good sites for Easter Prayers around the web.


(oldest entries on top, newest entries last)

Daily Prayers and Reflections for Each Day of the Easter Octave

The readings and the collect for Easter Monday

An Easter Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Collects for Tuesday & Wednesday of Easter Week

An Easter Blessing prayer

A Prayer of Adoration for Easter: Te Deum Laudamus

Easter Prayers: Blind us to All But Christ

An Easter Prayer: dying daily to sin that we may live in the joy of Christ’s resurrection

A Wonderful Daily Prayer for the Easter Season

An Easter Prayer by Brother Roger of Taize: If You Were Not Risen

An Easter Prayer: born anew to a living hope

Collect for the Second Week of Easter

Collects & Prayers for the Third Sunday of Easter

Victor Hoagland: The Thomas in All of Us

St. Gregory the Great’s Easter Prayer

An Easter Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice: May this Easter Grandeur Awaken Faded Flowers of Faith

An Easter Praise Litany from New Zealand

Easter Prayer: Vivify, Justify, Save

St. Hippolytus’ Easter Prayer

A prayer for the Second Sunday of Easter

An Easter proclamation of blessing

An Easter Prayer: May Your Resurrection Power Break Forth

Praying the Pascha Nostrum through the 50 Days of Easter

Easter Prayers: Raise us from the death of sin

“Let Him Easter in Us”

Easter Prayers: Make our hearts to burn within us

Jesus, free me from the quicksand of vain regrets…

A prayer of Exultation for the Ascension

How Shall I Sing That Majesty?

An Easter Thanksgiving Prayer


Here are other recommended sites to find Easter prayers:

All the Easter Vigil Prayers (from Creighton University’s site)

Easter Collects – from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (from

ChurchYear.Net – Easter Prayers

Creighton University:  Prayers for the Easter Octave

A collection of Anglican Easter Collects (if I recall correctly these are from the New Zealand Prayer Book – I need to verify this…)

Faith & Worship:  Prayers for Easter

Godspace:  Easter Prayers  (I hope to post an updated list of links to Easter resources at Godspace soon)

Compilation of Easter Resources

April 19, 2014

I thought it would be helpful to compile in one post the links to the entries in our Easter Resource category.  All the links below are to our original Lent & Beyond entries.  I hope to create a second compilation highlighting links to various of the specific resources linked in the entries below, so as to make a much more useful resource compilation.  Stay tuned…

Don’t miss also our  newly updated compilation of Easter Prayers.



Holy Saturday around the blogosphere

April 19, 2014

In addition to the incredible wealth of entries posted by Kendall Harmon at TitusOneNine today, which I’ve listed below, I want to highlight a few other excellent reflections for Holy Saturday which I highly recommend:

First, I want to draw attention to our list of Holy Saturday poems. 

(I’ve been astounded by the number of people searching for Holy Week poetry. Our compilation of Good Friday Poems got something like 7,000 page views in 2 weeks!!!  It’s heartening in this age of Twitter and SMS that many are still hungry for beautiful language and the thoughtful reflection of poetry!)

The other three entries I highly recommend:

If I find other noteworthy entries, I’ll update this…


Note:  For those looking for Easter Resources…  I’ll begin posting some of our Easter Compilations (Easter Prayers, Easter Resources) around 4 p.m. Eastern US time  (20:00 GMT).

A Classic CCM Song for Holy Saturday – He Holds the Keys (Steve Green)

April 19, 2014

Steve Green performing his classic “He Holds the Keys” in concert in 1987.  The song appears on his 1984 album People Need the Lord.  I hear this song in my head whenever I see any iconography regarding Christ and the Harrowing of Hell….!

(scroll down below the icon to see Scriptures that tie in with the song and the painting…)


art credit

Acts 2:24 – God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

1 Peter 3:18-19 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,

Colossians 2:13-15 – And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Kendall Harmon’s wealth of Holy Saturday entries

April 19, 2014

It’s worth linking all of these in one place:

From the Morning Scripture Readings

A Prayer for Holy Saturday (I)

An In-between Moment

In the End A Sort of Quietness

Hans Urs von Balthasar on the Truth of Holy Saturday: Only the wound is there

With this death which makes of the dead….dead human beings in all reality

The Transition

(RNS) What did Jesus do on Holy Saturday?

A Prayer for Holy Saturday (II)

Jesus Christ was Buried

Softer Quiet, Stunning Stillness

Eugene Peterson on Holy Saturday

Music for Holy Saturday: Let all mortal flesh keep silence from Somerville College, Oxford’s Choir

Mark Judge: The Day After

Upon our Saviour’s Tomb, wherein never man was laid.

George Weigel on Holy Saturday—The King is Sleeping

A Prayer for Holy Saturday (III)

God knows our dying From the Inside

Joel Garver on the 20th century’s greatest Theologian of Holy Saturday

We Simply Have to Wait

Andy Alexander S.J.: A Reflection for Holy Saturday

The Sound is Rarely Heard

In the silence of this night…we live in the hope of the dawn of the third day

Poems for Holy Saturday

April 19, 2014

Here’s the section of Poems for Holy Saturday from our larger compilation of Poems for Holy Week.

5. Holy Saturday:

Three Spiritual Classics for Holy Saturday (from the Pontifications blog archives)

April 19, 2014

From the Internet Archive site:  A few classic posts from Fr. Al Kimel’s old blog Pontifications, of which, sadly, only a few files still remain accessible online:

There is a Great Silence on Earth Today

Death Swallowed Him, Not Knowing Him

Henceforth, Hell Belongs to Christ

Palestrina: Lamentations for Holy Saturday, performed by the Tallis Scholars

April 19, 2014

You can find this recording for purchase here.


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