World Music for Easter [French] – Alléluia sung by Paul Baloche

May 5, 2015

Not all the songs in my Easter playlist are in English.  I’ve got Arabic, French, Spanish and Swahili songs mixed in too…   One of the newest additions to my Easter playlist is a wonderful song from Paul Baloche’s 2013 album Glorieux, a fantastic collection of 14 French worship songs.  The song is simply entitled Alléluia.

Most of the songs on Glorieux are French versions of Paul Baloche’s own songs, but as best I can tell, this song was originally written in French, and I don’t believe it has been ever been recorded in English.   I have really fallen in love with this song in the past few weeks… it starts quite quietly, focused on Christ’s humbling Himself to die on the Cross and then towards the end it crescendos to wonderful joyous praise for the Resurrection and Christ’s triumph.   Even if you don’t understand French, give it a listen.  It’s a beautiful song.  [I’ve provided a rough translation of the lyrics alongside the French words below]

You can find out more about the album Glorieux and listen to samples of the songs at the leadworship.com website.

Alléluia by DAN LUITEN and JéRéMIE POULET
Performed by Paul Baloche and Friends, from the 2013 French worship album Glorieux

Tu t’es abaissé, pour l’humanité  [You lowered yourself for humanity]
Tu fus humilié et abandonné  [You were humiliated and abandoned]
Ta mort est ma vie,  [Your death is my life]
Tu payas le prix [You paid the price]
Sans crainte aujourd’hui, [Without fear today…]
Mon âme s’écrie :  [my soul cries out:]

Refrain
Alléluia, alléluia, alléluia   [Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia]
Tu es saint, tu es saint.  [You are holy, You are holy]

Je suis à tes pieds pour te remercier  [I am at Your feet to thank You…]
D’avoir accepté de tout supporter  [… for having accepted to bear all]
Éprouvé je tiens,  [Tested, I’m holding [on]]
pardonné je viens [Forgiven, I come…]
Avec tous les saints chanter, [with all the saints to sing…]
Tu reviens. [You’re returning.]

Pont
Élevé, glorifié, tu es ressucité et tu vis à jamais  [Exalted, glorified, You have risen and You live forevermore.]

 


Brand new song from Selah: The People of the Cross; and Honoring the Martyrs (part 2)

April 28, 2015

People Of The Cross

[Scroll down for new song from Selah – it’s SO good, Wow!  But the intro is inspiring, important and relevant…]

Last week I posted an entry about the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Egyptian martyrs: Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1) I have an additional entry I planned to post as a followup, but a very busy workload in recent days kept me from completing that draft.  Today I found myself with some unexpected free time between meetings and I was browsing Twitter catching up on various prayer needs and current events around the world…  Two posts on Twitter related to the martyrs killed by ISIS grabbed my attention, and I felt it very important to post them here.  So what was going to be a two-part series, will now be a three-part series.  I’ll hope to post the third entry on Thurs. or Friday.

The first tweet related to the martyrs today was posted by the famous Catholic monk and musician John Michael Talbot:

The full text of what he wrote was:

Coptic Christians in praise of Jesus in 2011 before the uprising of recent persecutions by fanatical Islam. This is the strength that gets them through the persecution today. Do we have the same?

I watched the linked video from the great Middle Eastern Christian channel SAT-7 (over 2 million views for this video!)

Here are excerpts from the lyrics in English – they utterly astound me in light of ISIS actions killing our brothers from Egypt & Ethiopia on the grounds that they were PEOPLE OF THE CROSS.  It is almost as if this song was written to prepare the church in Egypt for the time of testing to come.  INCREDIBLE.

Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
And the light of the Gospel is increasing
[…]
Say that He has conquered darkness and its authority
He has lit up our days and given them color
And the light of day is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He is He is defeating his foes
We’re winning with His testimony and blood
And our heritage is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Live the joy of heaven, joy, joy
Satan will wear the clothes of one in mourning
[…]
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you

No sooner had I finished watching that, then I glanced back at my Twitter feed, and the VERY FIRST tweet I saw was this from We Are Worship USA:

So, I went straight to YouTube to watch this video. This song People of the Cross was just released today – it’s on iTunes and other music download sites.

So powerful.  May this be true.

We are the People of the Cross.  We choose Christ and count all else as loss.  We won’t be shaken.  Hope won’t be taken. We are the People of the Cross.

May this be a rallying cry to the Evangelical Church in the West to truly live as People of the Cross, following in the footsteps of the martyrs from Egypt, Kenya and Ethiopia who have counted the cost and shown that Christ is worth dying for.

Go buy this song and keep listening and keep praying for the church around the world that we may not shrink back in the face of suffering and persecution….


Easter Worship – Behold Our God (free download at We Are Worship)

April 28, 2015

One of my favorite worship songs in my Easter playlist is Sovereign Grace Music’s song Behold Our God, from their 2011 album Risen.  Their recording of the song happens to be free this week at WeAreWorship (free MP3, free chord chart, and free PDF sheet music).  Joining We Are Worship is free, and it’s a wonderful source of excellent worship music, with free downloads every week.  I’m posting a YouTube below which melds wonderful pictures of creation with Sovereign Grace’s version of the song.

I do have to say though that even though I love the original version of this song by Sovereign Grace, my favorite version of this song is the live recording from the Falls Church Anglican worship CD A Thousand Amens.   The combination of this song, followed by Praise My Soul the King of Heaven is just utterly majestic (you’ve got to hear the organ instrumental between the two songs.  I still get chills….).  I can’t recommend those two tracks highly enough.  Contemporary Anglican worship at its best!!

Here are the lyrics:

Who has held the oceans in His hands
Who has numbered every grain of sand
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice

Behold our God seated on His throne
Come let us adore Him
Behold our King nothing can compare
Come let us adore Him

Who has given counsel to the Lord
Who can question any of His words
Who can teach the One who knows all things
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds

Who has felt the nails upon His hand
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal humbled to the grave
Jesus Savior risen now to reign

You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill the earth)
(REPEAT 6X)
You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill)

Copyright © 2011 Soveriegn Grace Praise & Sovereign Grace Worship

CCLI Number: 5937510

 


Stunning Easter Anthem: Blessed be the God and Father (Samuel Sebastian Wesley)

April 27, 2015

Via Twitter, I discovered this fantastic Easter Anthem by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.  The version in the YouTube below is sung by Consortium.

This version is available for purchase at iTunes here.  There is also a beautiful recording from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, here.

Here are the lyrics via the Choral Wiki site:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,
that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed at the last time.

But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.

Love one another with a pure heart fervently.
See that ye love one another.
Love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again,
not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible,
by the word of God.

For all flesh is as grass,
and all the glory of man
as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth,
and the flower thereof falleth away.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
Amen.


Scotty Smith: A Prayer for Releasing the Fragrance of Christ

April 24, 2015

Yesterday Pastor Scotty Smith posted an excellent prayer at Heavenward, his prayer blog at The Gospel Coalition site.

This line in particular really struck me and stuck with me throughout the day:

Keep me in the place of humility, brokenness, and dependence that more of the sweet perfume of the gospel may waft upward before you as an offering of praise and released through me, wherever you send me.

Amen! (though really…, on second thought, who wants more brokenness?!?!?  BUT… if it will make Christ’s glory more beautiful in my life, I really DO want to be able to pray these words!)

***

Here’s the beginning of the prayer and the Scriptures which shaped his prayer:

Apr 23, 2015 | Scotty Smith

     But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:14-15 (NLT)

     But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Cor. 4:7 (ESV)

     Dear heavenly Father, these wonderful words tell the story of how I want to live up till the Day Jesus either returns, or the day you choose to bring me home. May the fragrance of Jesus and the aroma of grace being increasingly released through this fragile jar of clay that I am.

     Keep me in the place of humility, brokenness, and dependence that more of the sweet perfume of the gospel may waft upward before you as an offering of praise and released through me, wherever you send me. Father, thank you for making me Christ’s captive and a prisoner of hope. Thank you for rescuing me from sin and death, from my guilt and shame, from the illusion of self-sufficiency and the lie of self-righteousness.

You can read the rest here.


CCM Classics for Easter – Michael Card: Love Crucified Arose (1982)

April 23, 2015

Michael Card’s classic “Love Crucified Arose” came up in my Easter playlist as I was getting ready for work this morning, and the lyrics so encouraged me.  The lyrics of the chorus especially remind us that Jesus’ resurrection was a PHYSICAL resurrection.

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

A dead, lifeless body coming back to life, a heart that had stopped, now beating once again.  The resurrection is not just some nice abstract idea of new life or spiritual renewing, but the truth that Christ’s lifeless body was miraculously raised to life again.  In this is our hope.  NOTHING is impossible for the God who raised Jesus from the dead.  Be encouraged and REJOICE today!

Ask God what He wants to transform by His resurrection power in your life, and pray with confidence regarding His work of transformation, remembering that the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is alive and at work in all of us who are in Christ.  (See Eph 1:17 – 21)

There are at least 3 different versions of Love Crucified Arose performed by Michael Card available for purchase:  The original version of the song from The Early Works or Signature Songs; Live Version (piano & cello) [as in the YouTube above] from Scribbling in the Sand; and, what may be by favorite version, from A Violent Grace (includes choral background vocals).

The resource page for this song at Song Select is here

Here are the lyrics:

Long ago, He blessed the earth
Born older than the years
And in the stall the cross He saw
Through the first of many tears

A life of homeless wandering
Cast out in sorrow’s way
The Shepherd seeking for the lost
His life, the price He paid

Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Throughout Your life You’ve felt the weight
Of what You’d come to give
To drink for us that crimson cup
So we might really live

At last the time to love and die
The dark appointed day
That one forsaken moment when
Your Father turned His face away

Love crucified arose
The One who lived and died for me
Was Satan’s nail-pierced casualty
Now He’s breathing once again

Love crucified arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again

Love crucified arose
The risen One in splendor
Jehovah’s sole defender
Has won the victory


Mark D. Roberts: Because of the Resurrection – an Easter postscript, part 2

April 23, 2015

This is a follow up entry to the Easter Quote we posted yesterday, by Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts

Because of the resurrection, we reverence the cross.

Because of the resurrection, the cross is one of the best known symbols in the world.

Because of the resurrection, what was once the sign of horrific death is now a sign of life and hope.

Because of the resurrection, the death of Jesus is remembered, cherished, even celebrated.

Because of the resurrection, the Stations of the Cross lead, not to death, but to life.

Because of the resurrection, we are reborn into a living hope.

Because of the resurrection, we know that we too will live anew.

Because of the resurrection, everything is different.

Because of the resurrection, new life has begun.

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

From a 2011 devotional by Mark D. Roberts


CCM Classics for Easter – Matthew Ward’s updated rendition of Easter Song (2011)

April 22, 2015

Ok, you can’t get too much more “classic” in terms of CCM than Easter Song, written by Annie Herring of the Second Chapter of Acts, released on their very first album With Footnotes in 1974.  It’s one of the defining songs of the genre by one of the pioneering groups of the genre.  For those of us who remember when this song and album came out, it seems impossible that the song is now more than 40 years old!

Vocalist extraordinaire Matthew Ward, along with his sisters Annie and Nellie comprised the Second Chapter of Acts, and although the group stopped performing more than 20 years ago, Matthew has continued to produce some solo albums.   In 2011 he recorded a new arrangement of Easter Song.  I only discovered it mid-Eastertide last year, and I’m so enjoying having his fresh update of an Easter classic in my playlist this entire Easter season. This song doesn’t get old…!

Here’s what Matthew wrote on his website as the reason for releasing a new version of this classic:

February 15th  2011 marked my 40th anniversary in music. I wanted to do something special for this momentous occasion, so I recorded a new rendition of “Easter Song” one of the most popular tunes my sister (Annie Herring) ever wrote, it’s available now …  He has risen!!!!

In my opinion no one has matched Matthew’s voice in the past 40 years of CCM!

Matthew’s updated version of Easter Song is available at iTunes and elsewhere.

Here’s Matthew performing Easter Song in the Colorado Mountains.  It’s EXCELLENT.  Crank up the volume and sing along loudly in joyous praise of our Risen Lord!


Easter Quotes – Mark D. Roberts: Without the Resurrection, An Easter Postscript

April 22, 2015

During the fourteen days prior to Easter, I was reflecting on the Stations of the Cross in preparation for a deeper experience of the reality of Jesus’ death, and therefore a greater celebration of his resurrection. Today, on the Monday after Easter, I want to add an Easter postscript.

Without the resurrection, the cross of Jesus really wouldn’t matter much.

Without the resurrection, we’d never have known about Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives, where he submitted to the will of his Heavenly Father.

Without the resurrection, Judas’ betrayal of Jesus would have been long forgotten.

Without the resurrection, the Sanhedrin who condemned Jesus would have been seen as largely correct in their estimation of him as a blasphemer who needed to be silenced.

Without the resurrection, Peter’s denial of Jesus might seem like a judicious way to preserve his own life.

Without the resurrection, we’d probably never have heard the name of Pontius Pilate, unless we happened to take a class in Jewish history in the Roman Period.

Without the resurrection, the fact that Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns would seem to be a sad but fitting end to one who pretended to usher in the kingdom of God.

Without the resurrection, Jesus would have been one more nameless individual who took up his cross on the way to dying a cruel death.

Without the resurrection, Simon of Cyrene would have disappeared into the dust of history.

Without the resurrection, the women who mourned for Jesus would have continued to mourn for a long, long time . . . not for only two days.

Without the resurrection, most of us would know very little about crucifixion, unless we had seen the movie Spartacus. (Of course there would be no Passion of the Christ film.)

Without the resurrection, the promise of Jesus to the thief, that he would join Jesus in Paradise, would seem like a bad, sad joke.

Without the resurrection, the presence of Jesus’ mother at the cross would be painful in the extreme, without a hint of meaning or hope.

Without the resurrection, the cross would be largely forgotten, and it would not appear on millions of buildings or around millions of necks.

Without the resurrection, the tomb would have been the final resting place of Jesus, until his body was exhumed so his bones could be placed in a ossuary (box for bones).

Without the resurrection, there would be no Stations of the Cross.

Without the resurrection, there would be no Christian church.

Without the resurrection, there would be no assurance of salvation.

Without the resurrection, there would be no reason to hope.

Without the resurrection, there would be only death.

From a 2011 Easter Devotional by Presybterian Pastor Mark D. Roberts


An Easter Prayer by Mark D. Roberts

April 21, 2015

An Easter Prayer by Presybterian pastor & blogger Mark D. Roberts:

PRAYER: Gracious God, how we praise you for your power made known in the resurrection. Death could not defeat you. Rather, the death of Jesus set the stage for an extraordinary display of your power. Christ is risen! You have won the battle. Alleluia!

Yet the power of the resurrection is not merely something we celebrate joyfully, but also something we can experience daily. Your power is for us, helping us, guiding us, setting us free. Your power is in us, healing us, renewing us, and gifting us for ministry, so that we might serve you in the church and in the world.

Even as we celebrate the power of your resurrection on this Easter Sunday, may we live by that power today and each day of our lives. And may your church be renewed by this power, so that we might live each day as a demonstration of your resurrection.

To you be all the glory. Alleluia!  Amen.

From here (where there is a longer, excellent Easter devotional)


Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1)

April 21, 2015

 

Last night I was reading a story online about the Ethiopian martyrs when the song Lift High the Cross came up in my playlist.  I was moved to tears at the juxtaposition.  Truly the Ethiopian martyrs, the Kenyan martyrs, the Egyptian martyrs – and the hundreds if not thousands of martyrs whose names we do not know and whose stories we never hear, have lifted high the Cross of Jesus in their lives and in their deaths.

They showed themselves to be true “servants of the crucified” – faithful unto death, willing to die rather than deny the name of Christ.

 

 

Here are the full lyrics coutesy of the Oremus hymnal

Refrain:
Lift high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred Name.

Come, brethren, follow where our Captain trod,
our King victorious, Christ the Son of God. Refrain

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. Refrain

Each newborn soldier [servant] of the Crucified*  (many versions now replace soldier with servant)
bears on the brow the seal of him who died. Refrain

This is the sign which Satan’s legions fear
and angels veil their faces to revere. Refrain

Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
the sons of Adam their lost home regain. Refrain

From north and south, from east and west they raise
in growing unison their songs of praise. Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. Refrain

Let every race and every language tell
of him who saves our souls from death and hell. Refrain

From farthest regions let their homage bring,
and on his Cross adore their Savior King. Refrain

Set up thy throne, that earth’s despair may cease
beneath the shadow of its healing peace. Refrain

For thy blest Cross which doth for all atone
creation’s praises rise before thy throne. Refrain

May many more followers of Christ be raised up through the testimony of those who were willing to die for Christ, imitating the way of His cross in their deaths.  May God work in the hearts of those ISIS members who were there on the beach or in the desert applauding these deaths.  May He raise up many Pauls among them to proclaim the faith they once attempted to annihilate and the Lord whom they scorned.

Please keep praying for the martyrs’ families and the church in Ethiopia. May those grieving be comforted and strengthened at knowing their loved ones did not shrink from death, and are now receiving honor in heaven.

And pray for ISIS members to encounter the Risen Christ, that they might become His faithful servants too.


Easter Hymns: Jesus Lives!

April 20, 2015

One of the Easter hymns that I have enjoyed discovering over the past two years while building my Easter Hymns playlist has been Jesus Lives! no longer now can thy terrors, death, appall us (tune St. Albinus).

Here’s a wonderful choral prelude (the organ is just awesome!) of this hymn, posted by Martin Gaskell:

There is also a YouTube recording of this hymn from an Easter Evensong service from St. Catherine’s Church Gorseinon.

The version I chose to purchase for my playlist is by The Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Barry Rose & John Scott.  There’s also a good recording of this on the Easter album by All Saints Church, Beverly Hills (one of the best Easter hymns albums from the US – I’ve purchased 7 of the songs).

1. Jesus lives! thy terrors now
can no longer, death, appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
thou, O grave, canst not enthrall us.
Alleluia!

2. Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of Life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.
Alleluia!

3. Jesus lives! for us he died;
then, alone to Jesus living,
pure in heart may we abide,
glory to our Savior giving.
Alleluia!

4. Jesus lives! our hearts know well
nought from us his love shall sever;
life, nor death, nor powers of hell
tear us from his keeping ever.
Alleluia!

5. Jesus lives! to him the throne
over all the world is given:
may we go where he has gone,
rest and reign with him in heaven.

Note: I noticed that some published versions of the lyrics omit verse 2 – perhaps that verse is included more often when this is sung as a funeral hymn, and omitted when it is sung during Easter?

May the Lord help us to remember and proclaim this wonderful message today.  In Christ’s life is our life!  ALLELUIA!


Easter Resources – Presbyterian Pastor Mark D. Roberts: What is “Eastertide?” series

April 20, 2015

Digging through some old drafts of Easter posts prepared in years past, but never finalized and published, I came across some entries by Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts.  He’s one of those non-Anglicans who “gets” the importance of the liturgical seasons and the rhythms of the church year, and I have often posted his resources.  So… several prayers & quotes by Mark D. Roberts will be appearing on the blog this week.  Let me start first by posting links to his series on celebrating the full 50 Days of Easter, since that’s a theme near and dear to my heart.

***

As we all know, even for those of us from liturgical churches, it is very tempting to celebrate Easter for only one day, or one week, and very challenging to remember and practice the celebration of Easter for the full 50 Day Season of “Eastertide.”

Back in 2011 – 2012, Presbyterian pastor and blogger Mark D. Roberts wrote a series examining the tradition of the 50 Day Eastertide season, and giving some practical ideas and encouragement for how to celebrate Easter for more than just a few days.  Here are the links to his Eastertide series.  Below are exceprts from several of the entries.

***

Easter Isn’t Over Yet – An Introduction to Eastertide

During my first year as pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, I was finally introduced to a Christian community that stretched the celebration of Easter beyond just a day. Our worship director at the time, Loren Wiebe, explained to me that he took Eastertide quite seriously. This meant, for example, that we’d sing Easter hymns, not only on Easter Sunday itself, but also during worship services in the following weeks. I was ready to experiment with all of this, though I must confess it felt rather strange to sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” a couple of weeks after Easter Sunday. (“Christ the Lord is Risen Two Weeks Ago” didn’t work either.) Moreover, the word “Eastertide” sounded strange to me, like some remnant of days gone by. … Slowly, over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate celebrating Easter for more than just a single Sunday.

… I want to write about how we might let [Eastertide] be a time of spiritual growth, a season of deeper intimacy with God. I’ve come to believe that, in many ways, Easter gets short shrift in our churches. As a result, we miss out on some of the richness and joy of a full Easter celebration.

***

Fifty Days of Easter! What Would We Do?

Celebrating Easter for fifty days is not duplicating Easter Sunday fifty times over, either. Rather, it’s taking time to reflect upon and delight in the truth of Easter and its implications for our lives.

The basic truth of Easter is simple. In the classic litany of the church, it’s this: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! On Easter Sunday, we celebrate this good news, rediscovering for ourselves what the earliest followers of Jesus realized on that first Easter Sunday. Yet the implications of the resurrection are more than we can adequately ponder on one day. Every year, during my sixteen-year pastoral tenure at Irvine Presbyterian Church, when I prepared my Easter sermon, I left dozens of life-changing truths on the cutting room floor. There’s no way I could begin to probe the depths of Easter in a mere 20 minutes. So, I proclaimed the basic truth of the resurrection and explained one or perhaps two implications.

Eastertide provides an opportunity to see “the director’s cut” of the Easter sermon, if you will. The season of Easter gives us a chance to reflect more broadly and deeply on the multifaceted meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.

What might this involve? Let me suggest a few ideas:

• You could meditate upon what the resurrection says about the character of Jesus Christ as the Righteous One of God (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-28).

• You might ponder the fact that death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).

• You could reflect upon the fact that the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you today (Ephesians 1:15-23).

• You might think of how the resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).

• You could consider how the resurrection gives us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

And so on. And so on. Eastertide allows us to think deeply and to pray broadly about what the resurrection of Jesus means, both to us and to our world.

***

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

 

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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.


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