Saturday, April 3, 2021

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Tomorrow Easter is celebrated in most of the Christian world, also sometimes called "Resurrection Day," the day in which the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated.  

I say "most" of the Christian world because Orthodox churches follow a different calendar and their Easter Sunday is different from other Christians traditions. This year it's a whole month later. I won't get into all of that -- mainly because I don't understand it -- but suffice it to say, at one point or another, Christians the world over celebrate the resurrection of Christ. 

As a lifelong church attender, I have rarely missed an Easter Sunday in church. Last year, with the pandemic, was one of those rare years. Tomorrow we will be with my daughter and her family. Her church is having an outdoor service. Since I'm only half-way vaccinated, I'm thankful for that. 

My favorite hymn of all time is ""Christ the Lord is Risen Today." Most traditional churches have it played as the opening hymn on Easter Sunday. In the Methodist Church in the small south Arkansas town where I grew up, as it was played and the adult choir processed down the aisle to take their place in the choir loft, there was often a brass quartet accompanying the pipe organ. It was glorious and it gave me chills. 

The text was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. The first verse is as follows:

Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia!

Sons of Men and Angels Say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens and earth, reply, Alleluia!

There are a total of six verses, although I'm only familiar with the first four. The words are stirring and I would urge you, if you are so inclined, to read or listen to all of them. 

Early in my adult life, I joined a non-denominational church. It's where Wife and I met. An offshoot of the one we attended in Little Rock, Arkansas is the one we are now a part of here in the Nashville area. It's great, but I don't love the music, and I miss hymns like this one. There might or might not be a version of this played/sung, but it won't be in the traditional way (I won't be there tomorrow, anyway, and of course I have no idea if Daughter's church will sing it). 

But thanks to technology, a stirring rendition of this old favorite is as close as YouTube. I'll also go into my living room, open my old Methodist Hymnal, play it on the piano and sing it myself. 

Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen! He is risen indeed!  



Kelly said...

Happy Easter, Bob. He is risen indeed!!

Debby said...

Happy Easter Bob. Our church has made the decision (at this point) to open May 2nd. How wonderful it will be to see everyone again!

Ed said...

It is normally the opening song in our church and was this past Sunday though for the first time in my memory, we couldn't sing the words to it. After the first couple months of the pandemic, our church opened up but required masks, only every third pew could be used with 6 feet between family groups and no singing. Two weeks ago, it changed to every other pew but still masks and no singing. But unlike every other church in town, we are the only one that hasn't had a mass outbreak and/or deaths as a result of a church service so I'm not complaining. But it will be nice to go back to full mass again where we are allowed to sing and shake hands.

Jeff said...

It is hard to have an Easter Service and not sing! But for the second year in a row... At least this year we were meeting in person. I hope you had a blessed Easter, Bob!