Easter 2015 – menu of links and resources

April 11, 2015

He_Has_RisenUPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post will remain sticky during Easter. Look for new entries below.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!!

All of us at Lent & Beyond wish our readers a glorious Easter celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! We’ve posted a lot of good Easter devotional resources over the years:

See also: Easter Devotionals, Easter Music, Easter Prayers, Easter Quotes, Easter Resources

A few featured posts:

Remember, Easter is a 50 day season! I hope to be able to post often throughout Easter – prayers, music, quotes, devotionals – to help me, and all of us, to live in the joy and reality of the resurrection each day. So stay tuned…

Hallelujah, He is Risen!

art credit


A Compilation of Eastertide links and resources – celebrating the full 50 days of the Easter Season

April 9, 2015

UPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post is sticky – look below for new entries

This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles).  Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year.  Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin.  Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him.  With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide. 

***

NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THISA Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns.  Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!

NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015.  This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).

Let me link the blog and devotional separately:

The blog: This Sacramental Life by Tamara Hill Murphy.  See especially #practiceresurrection2015 – who wants to join me? and her Easter Daybook entries

The devotional:  Eastertide Devotional 2015 from Christ Church Austin (pdf version here)

And you can follow along on Twitter using #practiceresurrection or #practiceresurrection2015

***

First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:

Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!

Read the rest of this entry »


A Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns

April 19, 2015
Easter Hymns

image credit: iTunes

NOTE: This post contains a listing of 70 great Easter hymns, and links to where you can purchase them, as well as links to other good hymn resources, but no audio.  I’ll be posting quite a few of thesehymns here at Lent & Beyond in coming days and weeks…. stay tuned.

***

I notice quite a lot of folks coming to L&B looking for Easter Hymns.  I’m a lover of great Easter hymns, but sadly you might not really know it by browsing Lent & Beyond.  In recent years I’ve posted much more CCM and Contemporary worship music than hymns, primarily because my digital collection of hymns and classical music has until now been quite small.

One of the greatest blessings of the internet, iTunes, YouTube, etc., has been the ability to learn and appreciate a much wider diversity of Eastertide hymns.  In my Episcopal parish growing up, we seemed to sing the same 5 or 6 Easter hymns over and over and over again.  And while that repetition made me grow to love them deeply – they became part of me in a sense – I never realized how much I was missing…

For instance, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s and working in French-speaking West Africa that I learned the fabulous hymn Thine Be the Glory (actually learning it first in French “A Toi la Gloire, O Ressuscité”) – now one of my absolute Easter playlist essentials!

And then of course, there are online hymnals and their Easter hymn collections which make learning new/old hymns easy these days:

With all of these resources to scour for good hymns, I devoted a fair bit of time (and a bit of money) in recent weeks to significantly increase my Easter hymn and classical music collection and creating a great Easter hymns & classical anthems playlist.

So, in case it’s a blessing and encouragement and helpful resource, here is a current list of 70 favorite Easter hymns. For each hymn I provide details for the version that’s in my playlist (artist, album, purchase link). I have not included details on composers, tune or lyrics.  In most cases you will find that information at Hymnary.org or the Cyber Hymnal.

For some hymns, I’ve included links to some alternate versions, including alternate tunes, instrumental versions, or contemporary renditions. There are a few modern hymns included – such as In Christ Alone.  The majority of these hymns are from the Anglican tradition, but I’ve thrown in a few Evangelical / Gospel type hymns as well.  My tastes are broad – any hymn that focuses on the joy and glory of Christ’s resurrection and His victory over death and His redemption of His people is fair game!

I’d love for commenters to add suggestions and tell us about your favorites!  Let’s turn this into an OPEN THREAD about memories of favorite Easter hymns… what songs do you love and why?

Note: this list includes only hymns.  I may try to create a separate post with some favorite recordings of Easter classical music, carols and anthems.

***

Below is a list of the Titles and Artists for all the hymns.  Here is a link to the Excel Spreadsheet which will give you full details on the album and a purchase link in the iTunes store (US).

Title,  Artist

  • A toi la gloire, Les petits chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly
  • All Hail the Power – No. 1 [Instrumental – tune: Coronation], The King’s Brass & Tim Zimmerman
  • All Hail the Power (arr. Sterling Procter – tune: Diadem), The Chancel Choir, The Chapel Choir, Broadway Baptist Church and The Oratorio Chorus, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, The Festival Brass
  • Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven, The Choir Of Sheffield Cathedral
  • Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (with handbells), Concordia Publishing House

Read the rest of this entry »


Easter Hymns: How Shall I Sing That Majesty (Coe Fen)

April 19, 2015

 

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iA2o-OfhL._SY300_.jpg

Back in 2012 I blogged about this hymn – having newly discovered it via a blog post by Patrick Comerford.  (Patrick Comerford later posted a much more detailed entry about this hymn here.)

This Easter, I decided to upgrade my Easter hymns playlist, and I treated myself to purchasing this hymn, choosing a version to the tune of Coe Fen, sung by Wells Cathedral Choir, from a 1999 album The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant.

Below I’ve posted a pretty good recording of this on YouTube (apologies that there is an ad)

Christ’s Hospital School singing ‘How Shall I Sing That Majesty’ to the tune of Coe Fen by Ken Naylor (CH 1980-86). It was recorded for BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Half Hour.

I much prefer the Wells Cathedral Choir version, however.

Lyrics:

1 How shall I sing that majesty
which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
thy throne, O God most high;
ten thousand times ten thousand sound
thy praise; but who am I?

2 Thy brightness unto them appears,
while I thy footsteps trace;
a sound of God comes to my ears,
but they behold thy face.
They sing, because thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
for where heav’n is but once begun,
there alleluias be.

3 Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
inflame it with love’s fire;
then shall I sing and bear a part
with that celestial choir.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
with all my fire and light;
yet when thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.

4 How great a being, Lord, is thine,
which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
to sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
a sun without a sphere;
thy time is now and evermore,
thy place is everywhere.

Learn more about this great hymn and find resources (arrangements, handbell scores, etc.) at Hymnary.org.


Just updated our Easter Music Index

April 18, 2015

We posted 6 new songs in our Easter music series this past week:

CCM Classics

Contemporary CCM

Great worship songs

Hymns & Classical anthems – including some Byzantine chant!

Go check out our updated Easter Music index and enjoy discovering all the new songs.  There should be lots more Easter music posts to come throughout the coming month.  I’m working on a playlist of about 30 Easter hymns… plus I plan to post lots more worship songs, classic CCM, and modern CCM too…., and some more world music, including 2 or 3 French hymns worship songs, and some African music too.  So much music… so little time to blog! :-)


Easter Worship: He is Risen – Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick with the All Souls Orchestra

April 18, 2015

 

Symphony of Worship

One of my favorite new Easter worship songs is Graham Kendrick and Paul Baloche’s song He is Risen.  I believe it first appeared on Graham Kendrick Worship Duets album, released in 2013, (which I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend), at least that’s when I first heard it.  Paul Baloche also released a live single of this song in 2014.

But this Easter, I discovered another really nice rendition of He is Risen: Graham Kendrick and Paul Baloche singing live at Royal Albert Hall accompanied by the All Souls orchestra.  The song appears on the 2014 Symphony of Worship album, part of the “Prom Praise” series, I believe.

[The other must listen to song on this album is Martin Smith’s Majesty… it gives me chills!]

I wish the video showed the actual live performance, rather than just the audio track.  I can just imagine Royal Albert Hall filled to the brim with people worshiping Jesus… wow!  But the audio does a good job of capturing the joy that must have been there that night.

Here are the lyrics, from the We Are Worship (UK) site, where you can find a lot of resources for this song (chord sheet, tutorial video, story  behind the song…):

Early morning break of dawn
Stumbling to the tomb
Standing awestruck wondering who
Rolled away the stone
And as the sun came up
Amazed they looked inside
A voice, an angel clothed in light
Don’t be afraid, He is alive!

He is risen
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Christ is risen
Let the whole world sing
Christ is risen
Christ is risen from the dead

Sing, with all creation sing
Of a world made new
In His life we too may live
Bursting from the tomb
And looking up we see
Our King enthroned on high
His wounds of love now glorified
Rejoice, for soon He’ll burst the skies

Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick

Copyright © 2013 Thankyou Music & Integrity Worship Music/Leadworship Songs

CCLI Number: 6606369


An Easter reflection on the abrubt ending of the Gospel of Mark – the women’s choice…

April 17, 2015

One of our followers on Twitter, Mark Daniels, recently posted an Easter reflection on the unusual ending of the Gospel of Mark.  I found it very striking and thought provoking.  I’m posting a few excerpts.  FYI:  This is written in the format of a preacher’s dialog with the Lord about his sermon as he wrestled with the text of Mark 16:1-8 (the abrubt ending…):

 

But it seemed too good to be true to the women,” I answered. […] I went on, caught up with enthusiasm: “They were trying to take it all in and they had come in contact with one of Your messengers, luminescent with Your holiness and Your splendor. And…”

“And what?”

And they had to decide whether they believed or not.

“Did they believe that the One they had seen crucified was risen or not?

“Did they believe that through Jesus, the power of sin and death over our eternal lives was erased?

“They must have rifled through their memories and remembered all of the times that Jesus had healed diseases, cast out demons, and raised from the dead, exercising power for others and never for Himself, power that only God possesses.

“They must have remembered all the times He had promised–in promises that seemed so strange to them at the time He made them–that He would be raised from death by God the Father after having suffered the rejection of the world.

[…]

As they ran from the tomb, the women’s ecstasy must have transformed from bewilderment to awe-filled joy!

“Jesus, dead on Good Friday, was now risen and alive and on the march on Easter Sunday.

[…]

“So, why, Lord” I asked, “does the gospel of Mark leave things like this at the tomb…with the women fearful and in awe and processing what they’ve heard and trying to decide?”

“Because, Mark,” God replied patiently, “that’s where most of the people of the world are right now.

“Most Christians believe, but can’t decide whether to share what they believe with others. They’re afraid.

“And the rest of the world has heard something of Easter, but hasn’t decided whether to believe–to trust–or not.

“Your job and the job of every Christian is to keep telling others about Jesus–by your words and by your actions–so that they can follow the Jesus they can’t yet see into My bright eternity, where they will see Him always and ever…where sin and death will be distant memories, where all hurts will be forever healed, where love and power will envelop the saints, where every tear will be dried, and where you will live with joy and certainty and purpose forever and ever.

“Everything depended on the women telling others. And they did. If they hadn’t, you might not be celebrating Easter this year…or any year.”

What decision will you and I make?

Will we follow and share Jesus, like Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome?

Or will we remain silent?

(emphasis of the last 4 lines added)

The full entry “Your Easter Decision” is here.


Easter Music – Sojourn: the Warrior

April 17, 2015

The Easter music I’ve chosen for today is one of the best contemporary songs in my Easter playlist, Warrior by the Louisville, KY based group Sojourn. The combination of the words and the great musicianship – a blend of jazz and rock – make it so powerful.

I only discovered Sojourn in 2013.  This is from their album Over the Grave, released in 2009. I also love the songs Over Death and We Are Changed from this same album, and Good Day from the 2011 EP The War.  All of these are 5 star songs in my Easter playlist.

The songs on this album are inspired by hymns written by Isaac Watts:

In the midst of the Reformation in England, Isaac Watts recognized that people needed to see the gospel in the psalms and hymns of the church, and they needed to sing them in language and metaphors that they understood. In this, he became not only the father of the modern hymn, but the pace-setter for contextualizing the gospel for the people of God.

As musicians, pastors and songwriters, our desire was to explore the hundreds of hymns that Watts wrote during his lifetime, to learn from the incredible range and depth of his lyrics, and to re-envision those songs with modern language and melodies. In particular, we gravitated towards themes that seem unfortunately absent in modern worship — themes about God’s wrath and judgment, His righteousness, and a dramatic vision of the cross and atonement of Christ.

This CD is the first installment of the Isaac Watts Project: songs inspired by and adapted from his hymns. The record was written and performed entirely by musicians from Sojourn Community Church — 35 in all. It is our hope that this project, like Watts’s hymns, will point us beyond the music and lyrics to see the glorious Savior who inspires them.

You can find all of Sojourn’s music at their bandcamp page.

David rejoiced in God alone
He was raised by grace to an earthly throne
But Christ the son demands our praise
For His kingdom has no end of daysLord, you rejoice in victory
When another lost soul bows to its knee
Rising tide of righteousness
With the shield of truth upon your breast

Oh the Warrior!

Honor and majesty divine
Around his sacred temple shine
Grace and might so long foretold
In crowns of glory, not of gold

Your hand shall find out every foe
And as a fiery furnace glows
With raging heat and living coals
They will feel your wrath upon their souls

Oh the warrior will conquer all
The world will fall before His feet

Earth and sea will give up their dead
The nations gathered before him
A day of glory, a day of dread
No one dares now ignore him

words: Dave Moisan, Neil Robins, Bobby Gilles, and Isaac Watt
©2008Sojourn Community Churchand Bobby Gilles
CCLI Song #5429035
I found a Chord Sheet here.  I post the lyrics and chord sheet for edification and as a resource, but please respect copyright and purchase the song if you’ll be using and sharing it.

Israeli government

April 17, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the challenge of forming a coalition government. 

I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies and the waters will overflow the secret place (Isaiah 28:17).

Our Father in heaven,

You are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  You promised that they would be a great people, and You promised them the land of Israel.  We thank You for the favor the nation of Israel has received.

We bless Prime Minister Netanyahu and the leaders of Israel.  Bring them into the formation of a government capable of meeting the challenges ahead–a government that has justice as its measuring line and righteousness as the level.

Guard and protect the Prime Minister and his family, we pray.  Amen.

 


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