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.


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!


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.


HELP WANTED: Searching for a hymn…. Welcome Happy Morning

April 16, 2015

Hi all,

I’m working on a post for L&B which will feature a playlist of about 30 traditional Easter hymns, something I’ve wanted to do for several years, but just hadn’t found the time to work on.  This year I’ve had a bit more time to pull this together.

There’s one Easter hymn I grew up singing, and which I’d love to add to my playlist, but which is proving VERY hard to find.

The hymn in question is Welcome Happy Morning (I’m specifically wanting a version to the tune Fortunatus).

I’ve searched iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube, etc. and can’t find a very good recording or audio of this.

There’s a YouTube video of an Easter Service at St. Barts in NYC from 2011. And also several YouTubes from St. John’s Detroit. Those are enjoyable to watch and I’m glad to find them, but the audio quality is not very good… one can hardly understand the words, and there’s lots of background noise.

I’d really like to find a professional  recording of this hymn for purchase (preferably as an mp3 download, but I’m open to buying a CD if there are other good hymns included!).   I’d love any leads or suggestions our readers might be able to offer.  iTunes and Amazon in the U.S. only have instrumental recordings, no choral version.

Thanks in advance for any help!  Leave info in the comments.  I would have a way to buy recordings in the UK through some of my work colleagues…


Music for Easter (Pascha): Paschal Canon Odes 1 & 3, Byzantine Choir of St. George Cathedral

April 15, 2015

 

Great&HolyPaschaBrowsing Easter music on iTunes the other day, I came across an excellent Orthodox Easter recording Great and Holy Pascha by the Byzantine Choir of St. George Orthodox Cathedral (in Pittsburgh, PA). Here’s their website.

Odes 1 and 3 of the Paschal Canon of St. John of Damascus are available in a YouTube video, which I really enjoyed.  I found the description accompanying the video particularly helpful – the words are powerful and rich, and they make a great devotional reflection.

I’ve posted that description below the YouTube video.  Note that the words don’t correspond exactly to the chant.

Verse and Hymn from the Orthodox Resurrection service – 1st and 3rd Ode chanted in the 1st Tone.

Easter is the greatest festival of the Christian year in the Orthodox Church and the Easter services abound with joyful celebration. Thus it is no surprise that the overarching theme of the Canon is the resurrection and the renewal of creation through the power of Christ who has taken upon our humanity and restored it. Also, the idea of the soul being released from the bondage of sin and the corporeal body through the Resurrection of Christ is emphasized. The second Ode is omitted due to its sombre ethos which does not fit in with the joyful mood of Pascha.

The first ode sets the scene by exclaiming that it is the ‘Day of Resurrection!’ and thus a time for rejoicing and celebrating what the Lord has done. It is the Lord’s Pascha which has ‘brought us from death to life’ and thus has brought us from earth to heaven. This is also reminiscent of Moses leading the children of Israel through the Red Sea to the Promised Land which is now our heaven. The only response that is expected from us, and not only us, but all creation, including angels (cf. Ode 5), is to sing with joyful cries the “triumphant hymns!” and to enjoy the feast; for “Christ our eternal joy has risen!”

The third Ode which is based on the barrenness of Hannah from the Old Testament, which is now renewed, and the barren rock that Moses smote and brought forth water for the “thirsty congregation and their beasts” is now done for us. Christ is the fountain of immortality who offers a drink of “a new beverage”. There are also overtones of baptism in this Ode; “fountain of Incorruption springing from the tomb of Christ” and that “I was buried with Thee, and today I arise with thy arising. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee” which are real acts enacted physically and spiritually during Baptism where a person dies with Christ in order to arise with Him after immersion.

English version:

Ode 1

Eirmos: It is the Day of Resurrection! Let us be radiant, O people! Pascha! The Lord’s Pascha! For Christ our God has brought us from death to life, and from earth unto heaven, as we sing triumphant hymns!

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead. (before each troparion).

Let us purify our senses and we shall behold Christ, radiant with inaccessible light of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him saying clearly, “Rejoice!” As we sing the triumphant hymns!

Let heavens rejoice in a worthy manner, the earth be glad, and the whole world, visible and the invisible, keep the Feast. For Christ our eternal joy has risen!

katavasia: It is the Day of Resurrection!…

Ode 3

Eirmos: Come, let us drink a new beverage, not miraculously drawn from a barren rock, but the fountain of Incorruption springing from the tomb of Christ in Whom we are established.

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead.

Now all things are filled with light: heaven and earth, and the nethermost regions. So let all creation celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, whereby it is established.
Yesterday, O Christ, I was buried with Thee, and today I arise with thy arising. Yesterday I was crucified with Thee. Glorify me, O Savior, with Thee in Thy Kingdom.

katavasia: Come, let us drink…

Hypakoe: When at dawn, the women with Mary came and found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher, they heard from the angel: Why seek among the dead (as if He were a mortal man) Him Who lives in everlasting light? Behold the grave-clothes. Run and tell the world that the Lord is risen, and has slain death. For He is the Son of God Who saves mankind.


Music for Easter – A wonderful anthem: Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for us – Richard Dirksen

April 13, 2015

Via the Rev. James Gibson at Vicar’s Versicles last week, I discovered this lovely Easter anthem.  Truly majestic, and a good way to remember the glorious truth of Christ’s resurrection on a Monday morning!

Richard Dirksen: Christ Our Passover

An anthem for Easter composed by Richard Dirksen (1921-2003), performed by the Washington National Cathedral Choir of Men and Girls (dir. Michael McCarthy) and members of the Washington Symphonic Brass


MUST SEE / LISTEN!! – Music for Easter – The Lord is Risen Indeed! (Easter Anthem) William Billings

April 8, 2015

WOW!!!!!   Thanks to Bruce Benedict of Cardiphonia who tweeted about this.  What a stunning Easter anthem and video.  I don’t believe I’ve ever before heard this anthem by William Billings, but even before the video finished playing, I was looking online for a version to purchase.  Here is a link to iTunes where this version of Billings’ Easter Anthem may be purchased.

This is just a fantastic mix of music and art (Russian Orthodox iconography).

Here’s what the creator of the YouTube video writes:

I received many nice responses from my fusion project involving an 18th century American hymn and Orthodox icons, so, here is a second effort. William Billings was the last prominent composer to work prior to the destruction of American sacred music during the Second Great Awakening. The harmonics, text, and a capella setting are all familiar to an Orthodox Christian. There are those doing their best to preserve this heritage. I give them my regards, wish them well, and extend to them my hope that they succeed in passing on the torch to a new generation.

This piece is sung by His Majesty’s Clerkes under the direction of Paul Hillier.

***

Here is the text of the anthem via the ChoralWiki site:

Text arranged from Edward Young’s “The Complaint”, or “Night Thoughts”, “Night Four”, 1741-44

English.png English text

The Lord is ris’n indeed,
Hallelujah.
Now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the first fruits of them that slept.
Hallelujah.
And did He rise?
Hear, O ye nations, hear it, O ye dead.
He rose, He burst the bars of death,
He burst the bars of death and triumph’d o’er the grave.
Then I rose,
then first humanity triumphant passed the crystal ports of light,
and seiz’d eternal youth.
Man, all immortal hail, hail,
Heaven, all lavish of strange gifts to man,
Thine’s all the glory, man’s the boundless bliss.

***

There’s more about William Billlings and the Easter anthem here at Hymnary.org

 


Updated Easter Music Series – Index (2014 and 2015)

April 6, 2015

Last updated 18 April 2015.  (I’ll aim to update this every Saturday during Easter)

During the Easter Octave of 2014, we posted some great Easter music.  I intend to post more throughout this Eastertide (my schedule and internet connection permitting!).  So here’s an index of our Easter Music Series entries so you can go back and find any great songs you might have missed.

Songs are grouped by Music Subcategory:

1. CCM Classics for Easter  (CCM from early 70s – early 90s.  Includes artists such as 2nd Chapter of Acts, the Imperials, Keith Green, Dallas Holm, Sandi Patty & Larnelle Harris, DeGarmo & Key, Amy Grant, Michael Card, Benny Hester, Bob Bennett, Leslie Phillips, Glad, Petra…)  [Some classic “Gospel” music is in this category too – Jesse Dixon, Andre Crouch….]

2. Easter Hymns & Classical

3. Easter Worship Songs  (Contemporary worship songs from songwriters such as Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, etc.)

4. “Contemporary CCM”  (CCM songs from the mid-90s to the present, includes artists such as Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, MercyMe, Mark Schultz, ThirdDay…)

5. World Music for Easter:  Easter worship songs from around the world in various languages!

***

1. CCM Classics for Easter 

NEW:

Gaither Vocal Band: Alpha and Omega (1984)

Steve Green: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth (from New Young Messiah 1993)

LAMB: Hallelujah (1981)

—-

***

2. Easter Hymns & Classical

NEW: 

Paschal Canon Odes 1 & 3, Byzantine Choir of St. George Cathedral

Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for us – Richard Dirksen

The Lord is Risen Indeed! (Easter Anthem) William Billings

***

3. Easter Worship Songs

NEW:

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

See what a morning (Resurrection Hymn) – Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

 Easter Season Playlist – Contemporary Worship Songs  (note this contains no audio, just a list of 45-50 good Easter-themed contemporary worship songs)

 

***

4. “Contemporary CCM”

NEW: 

Sojourn: the Warrior

Victorious, a fantastic new song by Third Day

Easter video: “Dance Your Shoes Off” (includes the song “Rise Up”)

An Easter Adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Kelley Mooney and Choir

—-

***

5. World Music for Easter

***

PLEASE READ these two important notes: 

1) Any music I have uploaded is music I have legally bought and paid for.  I HIGHLY value copyright and want to ensure artists get credit and royalties for their work.  Please respect music copyrights.  In almost every music post I have provided a link (often to the iTunes US store because that is handy for me to link) as to where you can purchase the song(s).  In some cases the post will have an embedded MP3 files.  Sometimes that’s because the albums are out of print.  In a few other cases it was because I was having problems with WordPress’ audio playlist feature.  Please do NOT download music from Lent & Beyond, but purchase the songs if you enjoy them!

2) I have gone back through posts from 2014 and prior years that are linked here to try and make sure all the links are working.  If you find a broken link, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would leave a comment telling us so I can fix it.  Thanks.


Easter around the Blogosphere 2015

April 5, 2015

I ended up with a bit of unexpected free time between Easter gatherings today, so I took a few moments to glance at some favorite blogs and websites and their Easter offerings.  Here are a few links & excerpts.  (In most cases I’ve just posted a snippet of various entries, so click on the link to view the full post.)

Scotty Smith’s Easter Sunday prayer:

Because of your resurrection, we’re less to be pitied than anybody, and more to be grateful than everybody (1 Cor. 15:14-19). You are the firstfruits and guarantee of a whole new order—the “new creation” dominion of redemption and restoration. Everything sad will come untrue, and all things broken will be made new. How we long for that Day!

     Because of your resurrection, you are already reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords. All evil dominions, wicked authorities, and malevolent powers now stand defeated, and one Day they will be fully eradicated. Hallelujah, many times over!

     Jesus, your death is the death of death, and your resurrection is the resurrection of all things. You died for our sins and have been raised for our justification. Oh, the wonder, marvel and gratitude that fills our hearts today. We are forgiven, we are beloved, and we are yours!

***

Trevin Wax:  My Jesus – Alive!

(I was deeply moved by Trevin’s “My Jesus – Dead!” entry, which I posted here in full on Good Friday.  This is the follow up.  It’s FANTASTIC.  Here’s an excerpt, but go read the whole thing!)

He is alive! This man from Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Lord of the world.

With the breath of creation, He speaks of peace, faith, and mission.

With lungs full of air, He breathes on His disciples and grants His Spirit. My Jesus – alive!

The eyes that saw the darkness of death now drink in the sunlight of Easter. My Jesus – alive!

The arms that hung from a cross of wood now embrace a a world of grief. My Jesus – alive!

The hands that bear the scars of love now lift the head of doubters. My Jesus – alive!

The ears that were deafened by death are now filled with the joy of God’s people. My Jesus – alive!

***

Emily Polis Gibson at Barnstorming:  In the Midst of Joy – Everything Sad Becoming Untrue

And so we awake, rush to tend the dead and find death emptied out.  He is standing, walking, eating, calling us by name.  What He came to us to accomplish is done: nothing is the same and everything is changed.  We need no longer hide in darkness, fear death,  dwell in loneliness,  starve and thirst, despair in impossible situations because only He can do the impossible.

Because everything sad has become untrue by His bravery, His endurance, His sacrifice for our salvation.

All is fresh and made new.
Christ, yes God become man, Christ is risen indeed!

***

Biola’s Lent Project Site:  – includes an amazing live rendition of Matt Maher’s Christ is Risen

The music selection for today is Christ is Risen by Matt Maher and Mia Fieldes from Maher’s Alive Again album (2011). This song is not only a musical celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, it is also an invitation for us to let the resurrected Christ change our lives. The chorus in particular, after noting that Christ has trampled over death, continues with the summons for us to “come awake,” to be changed by the risen Christ, to “come and rise up from the grave” with Him. So also the musical bridge invites us to remember the life-changing power of the resurrection: “O church, come stand in the light. Our God is not dead; He’s alive! He’s alive!” And this changes everything.

***

Malcolm GuiteA Sonnet for Easter Dawn

XV Easter Dawn

He blesses every love which weeps and grieves

And now he blesses hers who stood and wept

And would not be consoled, or leave her love’s

Last touching place, but watched as low light crept

Up from the east. A sound behind her stirs

A scatter of bright birdsong through the air.

She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,

Or recognise the Gardener standing there.

She hardly hears his gentle question ‘Why,

Why are you weeping?’, or sees the play of light

That brightens as she chokes out her reply

‘They took my love away, my day is night’

And then she hears her name, she hears Love say

The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.

***

Kendall Harmon, of course, has a great wealth of entries (poems, music, meditations) for Easter at TitusOneNine.  Here’s his Easter Category link.

***

Pat Dague at Incline Your Heart (and Transfigurations):  Morning Breaks Upon the Tomb, a poem by William Collyer

Positive Infinity blog has a nice version of Hail Thee Festival Day

Anglicans Ablaze: A Medley of Easter Hymns and Carols [Videos]

Patrick Comerford:  ‘Rise, Heart, Thy Lord is Risen’

***

ok, that’s it for now…  I might be able to add some more entries in a few hours.   A blessed Easter to all.

Christ is Risen, Hallelujah!


Easter Music – Classic Hymns: The Strife is O’er – Truro Cathedral Choir

April 5, 2015

(I can’t resist reposting this even though I’ve posted it in other years.  I need these words this Easter Morn!  Look for new Easter devotional entries beginning Monday.)

easter-lily

For this morning’s Easter musical selection, I’m choosing one of my favorite classic hymns:

The Strife is O’er performed by the Truro Cathedral Choir.

(Should the embedded music file not display or play, use this link, but please respect copyright and purchase the file should you wish to keep it.)

This version appears on the 2009 album Easter Joy, with 51 hymns and songs by assorted artists.

Here is a pretty close version of the lyrics (there are a few minor differences)

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
Now is the Victor’s triumph won;
Now be the song of praise begun.
Alleluia!

2. Death’s mightiest powers have done their worst,
And Jesus hath His foes dispersed;
Let shouts of praise and joy outburst.
Alleluia!

3. On the third morn He rose again
Glorious in majesty to reign;
Oh, let us swell the joyful strain!
Alleluia!

4. He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let songs of praise His triumph tell.
Alleluia!

5. Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee.
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free
That we may live and sing to Thee.
Alleluia!

Note, as is often the case, the American version of the hymn is somewhat different.


Easter Music – A wonderful African Lutheran hymn: Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia (Mfurahini, Haleluya)

April 24, 2014

Another Easter hymn this morning…. I’ll return to posting some CCM and contemporary worship this evening, I hope.  Somehow this feels like a hymn morning again!

Yesterday I posted a hymn classic.  Today I’m posting a modern, but wonderful, hymn that I’ve just discovered this year.  It is a Tanzanian Lutheran hymn, originally in Swahili, Christ has Arisen, Alleluia!  You can find the background the the hymn and the Swahili lyrics here.

First, here’s a YouTube  with a Tanzanian choir singing the Swahili version.  The choir is the Azania Front Lutheran Cathedral Choir – Kwaya Kuu – from Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania in East Africa.  You can find out more about the choir and their music here.

Then below, I’ve uploaded the English version I bought on iTunes last week.  Guaranteed to help you keep the Easter joy!

Now for the English version:  it’s from the album Hymns for All Saints:  Lent, Easter and Pentecost, by Concordia Publishing, 2006.

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

Christ has arisen, alleluia.
Rejoice and praise Him, alleluia.
For our Redeemer burst from the tomb,
Even from death, dispelling its gloom.

Refrain: Let us sing praise to Him with endless joy;
Death’s fearful sting He has come to destroy.
Our sin forgiving, alleluia!
Jesus is living, alleluia!

For three long days the grave did its worst
Until its strength by God was dispersed.
He who gives life did death undergo;
And in its conquest His might did show. Refrain

The angel said to them, “Do not fear!
You look for Jesus who is not here.
See for yourselves the tomb is all bare;
Only the grave cloths are lying there.” Refrain

“Go spread the news: He’s not in the grave;
He has arisen this world to save.
Jesus’ redeeming labors are done;
Even the battle with sin is won.” Refrain

Christ has arisen; He sets us free;
Alleluia, to Him praises be.
Jesus is living! Let us all sing;
He reigns triumphant, heavenly King. Refrain

Text: Bernard Kyamanywa,; tr. Howard S. Olson
Tune: Tanzanian

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Updates:

I’ve found another video at YouTube featuring a live version of this hymn being sung by a choir in an Anglican parish in Canada:  St Pauls Rothesay, New Brunswick Canada

Also, there’s a wonderful handbell arrangement for purchase, and you can hear the MP3 (look for the link “long sample”)

Ok, one more update, I found a fantastic choral arrangement of this hymn by John A, Behnke, available from Northwestern Publishing House  It’s TRULY excellent, and you can listen to a high quality 4 minute sample of the recording by clicking on the “Audio Sample” link.


Easter Music – Classic Hymns: The Strife is O’er – Truro Cathedral Choir

April 23, 2014

easter-lily

For this morning’s Easter musical selection, I’m choosing one of my favorite classic hymns:

The Strife is O’er performed by the Truro Cathedral Choir.

(Should the embedded music file not display or play, use this link, but please respect copyright and purchase the file should you wish to keep it.)

This version appears on the 2009 album Easter Joy, with 51 hymns and songs by assorted artists.

Here is a pretty close version of the lyrics (there are a few minor differences)

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
Now is the Victor’s triumph won;
Now be the song of praise begun.
Alleluia!

2. Death’s mightiest powers have done their worst,
And Jesus hath His foes dispersed;
Let shouts of praise and joy outburst.
Alleluia!

3. On the third morn He rose again
Glorious in majesty to reign;
Oh, let us swell the joyful strain!
Alleluia!

4. He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let songs of praise His triumph tell.
Alleluia!

5. Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee.
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free
That we may live and sing to Thee.
Alleluia!

Note, as is often the case, the American version of the hymn is somewhat different.


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

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(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!
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.
Alleluia!

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.
Alleluia!

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.
Alleluia!

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!
Alleluia!

from here

 


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