18. Christ the Lord is risen today !
The great hymn-writer Charles Wesley based his hymn on a much older hymn from Bohemia called, ‘Jesus Christ is risen today’ which is also in our hymn books. The hymn was first sung in a converted foundry building in 1739 which was then used as a Methodist chapel . The hymn was omitted from The Methodist hymnal by Charles’ brother John as he did not wish to have any seasonal material in the new hymn book.
The hymn however first made it into publication in 1831 and it was around this time that the word , ‘Alleluia!’
was added to each line.
Manning; a Methodist historian once wrote…
I was uncertain about the prayers, there was no gamble about the hymns.
I knew we should have Charles Wesley’s Easter hymn, “Christ the Lord Is
Risen Today,” with its 24 “Alleluias”: and we did have it. Among any
Dissenters worth the name that hymn is as certain
to come on Easter Day as the Easter Collect in the Established Church
(the Church of England). And mark this further—those 24 “Alleluias” are
not there for nothing: the special use of “Alleluia” at Easter comes
down to us from the most venerable liturgies.
Our hymns are our liturgy, an excellent liturgy. Let us study it,
respect it, use it, develop it, and boast of it.
When I read this, I knew this had to be the hymn choice for today
I am supposed to be at Limeuil this morning breaking bread and sharing in the celebration of Christ’s resurrection with the good people there. I would love to be singing this hymn at the top of my voice and seeing all the joyful faces in that church.
I pray that the day will soon come when we can gather together again!
My heart is heavy that this cannot be possible this morning but I rejoice in the
truth of the words of Charles Wesley’s hymn.
Though we are not able to be together, we can each of us say, or
Christ the Lord is risen today ! Alleluiah !
- Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
- Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
- Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
- Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
- Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
- King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!