STLT#268, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Live from New Orleans – it’s Hymn by Hymn with Friends! Today’s guest is the sweet Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris.

What a great conversation! We sang this hymn and realized that even ministers don’t always pay attention to all the words – and it’s easy with this joyful tune, to get caught up with the fun of singing it and not pay much attention. In our conversation, which I will post tomorrow (I’m running into some technical issues with my cloud storage), we talked about that, plus how much we struggle with the theology of Easter (and a colleague’s solution), and Katie even shared a story or two about one of our other hymns. Plus, if you do listen, you’ll get a preview of a conversation I’ll be sharing later this week.

What I am glad of, though, is that we do have this hymn, which I love singing on Easter Sunday and really no other time of the year unless you’re doing a series like this. Here are our lyrics:

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Hearts are strong, and voices sing, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
As he died his truth to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Living out the words he said, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

I can’t help it. I love this tune, I love this song, I love how fully we dive into the Easter message here. We last sang the tune to lyrics by our man Sam Longfellow, a lyric I have sometimes used on Easter to help those struggling with Easter to think more broadly about resurrection. But WOW I love this lyric, by Methodist co-founded and prolific hymn writer Charles Wesley; they say he wrote over 6,500 hymns – must be some kind of record.

Today’s the last of my New Orleans conversations – what this has proven to me is how wonderful it is to sing hymns with others, and how personal they are, despite the communal experience. I’ll be doing more of this here and there, but tomorrow, it’s back to the solitary practice. Hope you enjoyed it!

One response to “STLT#268, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”

  1. I’m sure you’re likely aware, but others may not realize the lyric in SLT is modified from the original (which I grew up with as a Baptist; belting that thing out in someone’s ear was my chief motivation for going to Easter Sunrise services.) That being said, this rewrite is a pretty good one – modifies some Lord-and-King theological language, but it also rhymes and scans well and doesn’t significantly change the message of the original.

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