The month of April encompasses four of the Sundays of Eastertide. The music and hymnody for these services will reflect the glory of the risen Christ. The Episcopal hymnal includes a wondrous plethora of Easter hymns, 39 to be exact. Some of that Easter hymnody includes:
Hail thee, festival day! #175
this ancient processional hymn is derived from a sixth-century Latin poem that was handed down through the middle Ages. Though it has been adapted for nearly every feast in the church calendar, modern versions are usually customized for Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. (www.hymnary.com)
O sons and daughters, let us sing! #203
Not very many Easter hymns focus on the disciples’ response to the astounding story that their beloved Master, Jesus Christ, was no longer dead but alive. This old hymn from France tells just that story. (www.hymnary.com)
Good Christians all, rejoice and sing! #205
not all dreams are equal: the fourteenth century mystic Heinrich Susa claimed that in one of his ecstatic visions, he danced with the angels while they sang this hymn. That’s a bit more exciting than a daydream about getting out of class early. (www.hymnary.com)
The day of resurrection! #210
this eighth-century hymn of celebration was traditionally sung at midnight on Easter in the Greek Church. (www.hymnary.com)
To learn more of the hymns of the church, visit www.hymnary.com.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a church musician and concert organist. She and her husband David are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.