Easter Hymns: Awake, Glad Soul

Words: John S. B. Monsell, 1857

Music: Rachel Henkle, 2015

Click to listen:

 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, <span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-ESV-24198G" data-link="(G)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 
Matthew 28:5-6

He is RISEN!

I hope you have a blessed day celebrating Jesus resurrection. We are looking forward to a morning at church and an afternoon with family. Looks like the weather is going to be beautiful and I am anticipating another epic Henkle Easter Egg Hunt!

I had an interesting thing happen to me on Thursday night at band practice for this morning’s service. We made a few changes to the song list for the day, and wanted to add one more worship song to our list. We flipped through our songs looking for something upbeat, familiar and fun and chose an old hymn that seemed to fit nicely. But as we sang through it, I realized that the song mentioned Jesus’ life on earth, his prayer in the garden, his walk to Calvary and his death on the cross, and then the glorious day when believers see Jesus face to face heaven. I have sung this song many times, but I never noticed what it doesn’t include. The song skips right over the resurrection. 

So, I went home and googled “Easter Hymns” and one of the first things I found on one of my favorite hymn websites was a list of no less than 312 Easter Hymns. I didn’t have to scroll down the list very far to find the song I posted today. It just might be my new favorite.

Traditionally, Easter marks the end of a six week period of fasting and preparation. My community prepared for Easter with services each day during Holy Week. I was moved by the chance to gather together and focus our attention on the cross. I have been immersed in Lenten hymns during my little project on the blog and I finished the season of Lent with a greater understanding of my certain death without Jesus’ death on the cross to pay the price for my sin. And that to has given me moments of worship and gratitude and awe for Jesus, my Savior.

But isn’t it strange that we prepare and fast and focus for six weeks on Jesus suffering and death, only to have Easter Sunday come and go like the 5-minute free-for-all egg hunt we attended this morning with our kids? When we were searching for an song to add to our worship set, I realized that our body of music is very focused on the cross, the death of Jesus. Don’t get me wrong – that is so important. But, it seems that we are not singing about the fact that JESUS IS ALIVE nearly as much as we are singing about him dying. 

I don’t know if your church has the same skew, but I believe that what we sing affects what we believe and know. Jesus’ death and resurrection must go hand in hand. One does not make sense without the other. As cheesy at it sounds, Christians should be celebrating, talking about, and living in light of Easter all year long. This is the event that changed the course of human history forever. 

It turns out that the church calendar helps us extend the celebration for more than just one day a year. Today marks the beginning of the Easter season, and it lasts for the next 50 days. If you have any influence over what your congregation sings, think about keeping the Easter hymns and songs in the rotation during the next 7 Sundays. Once you know a bunch of great Resurrection songs, keep singing them throughout the year. I am planning to post some more Easter hymns on the blog during the next 50 days as well.

If you went to church today, what songs did you sing? Do you have any favorite Easter hymns? Let me know in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Easter Hymns: Awake, Glad Soul

  1. I'm not sure if this is an actual hymn, but I love the Fernando Ortego version of “I Will Sing of My Redeemer”
    I love this song – it is a song that can bring me to tears!


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