Archive for Easter

O Sons and Daughters


This stirring hymn was written in Latin by the Franciscan friar Jean Tisserand (b. France, 15th century; d. 1494). According to it was found in an untitled booklet printed in Paris between 1518 and 1536. A popular preacher (“The most hardened hearts could not resist his sermons,” says the French Wikipedia essay.), Tisserand also founded the Refuge of St. Madeleine, an institution for women seeking refuge from prostitution.

John M. Neale translated the text into twelve stanzas, which were published in his Medieval Hymns and Sequences (1851). Since then, versions of Tissand’s hymn and Neale’s translation have been published in 156 hymnals.

Thanks to Breviary Hymns for leading me to this video.


Refrain: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

1. O sons and daughters of the King,
Whom heav’nly hosts in glory sing,
Today the grave hath lost its sting!

2. That Easter morn, at break of day,
The faithful women went their way
To seek the tomb where Jesus lay.

3. An angel clad in white they see
Who sits and speaks unto the three,
“Your Lord will go to Galilee.”

4. That night the Apostles met in fear;
Among them came their master dear
And said: “My peace be with you here.”

5. When Thomas first the tidings heard
That they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.

6. “My pierced side, O Thomas, see,
And look upon My hands, My feet;
Not faithless but believing be.”

7. No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“You are my Lord and God!” he cried.

8. How blest are they that have not seen
And yet whose faith has constant been,
For they eternal life shall will.

9. On this most holy day of days
Be laud and jubilee and praise:
To God your hearts and voices raise.

Church of Saint Michael
Stillwater, MN
Music Director – Jayne Windnagel
Organist – Joseph Clarke

Risen indeed

Isenheim resurrection

The Resurrection
Matthias Grünewald, 1512–1516.
from the Isenheim Altarpiece

A blade of green

Photo by  Mihael Simonič Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Mihael Simonič
Wikimedia Commons


The Saturday of Easter Vigil had unexpectedly exploded into anger and pain. Bewildered, grieving–all the feelings you have when struggling with someone you love–I found myself inside the Church’s most joyful service and, not being reconciled, unable to bring myself to receive communion.

The service continued: the long drama of worship leading up to the moment when the Resurrection was announced and the congregation would ring bells–sounding the victory while the priest walked the aisles casting baptismal water on the parish. That night I had no bell and, I remember searching frantically during the festal shout for something I could substitute–keys, a ringtone. The moment was passing, and overwhelmed by loneliness, I knew only that Easter was far away.

Then in the midst of all my despair, a single drop of water hit me and broke the spell. I was brought out of myself–not to joy, but at least to life. I was in a place where Easter was proclaimed. It was a moment of grace in deep darkness. A touch to call me back.


When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain
Thy touch can call us back to life again…


Now the Green Blade Riseth
Text by John Macleod Campbell Crum
Tune: Noël Nou­ve­let, 15th Cen­tu­ry French mel­o­dy

Couldn’t keep it to myself

Life of Christ Visualized: no.2053 1943 Photo: VCU Libraries

Life of Christ Visualized: no.2053 1943
Image: VCU Libraries


As he was now drawing near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

 Luke 19:37-40


I said I wasn’t gonna tell nobody, but I couldn’t keep it to myself…
what the Lord has done for me.
You oughta been there when He saved my soul.
That Sunday morning when He put my name on the roll.
I started walking, started talking, started singing, started shouting
about what the Lord has done for me. 

–Professor Alex Bradford

Xristos Anesti!

Vintage Russian Easter postcard


Today Christians in the Orthodox Church are celebrating Easter.  Rita Wilson tells a wonderful story about her family’s Greek Orthodox traditions in this 2007 “On Faith” guest column.

So take a moment and join in this declaration:

Xristos Anesti! – Christ is Risen!”
Alithos Anesti! – Truly, He is Risen!”


Greek Orthodox Easter Eggs
photo credit: Arthur Etchells

Suffering and joy in community

Last week was a tough one. My town had some local violence to deal with on top of all the other trauma and sadness. I feel like I’ve spent the past ten days in prayer.

I also feel like I’ve learned some things about community. In these times, the technology that connects us daily intensifies our experience of of events as they occur. We feel the anxiety of not knowing and impatience for events to unfold. We have all the power of the internet, and yet we cannot find answers to our questions.

What we can do, what we have done, is be in community–in space and online. Suffering, both ours and others’, often makes us aware of our place in larger communities than we had imagined we were part of. Our shared humanity becomes achingly apparent to us, and we express ourselves in public acts of grief, anger, support, and remembrance. The web can do that too.

This is our part of our call as Christians. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. I’ve known that for years, but last week I got a bigger sense of what that might mean.

So here we are on Monday morning. There’s a new week beginning and it’s still Easter. I think I’ll give thanks and share a bit of Presbyterian Seminarian humor that was sent to me a while back. It also reminds me that I am part of a very large community–the Church Universal, they call it–and that is a wonderful thing.


“A little present for those Presbyterians (PCUSA) gearing up for ordination exams this week. Just a reminder of how wonderful — and wonderfully ridiculous — our tradition is. Thanks to all those who helped — both PCA and PCUSA alike.”

Our soul is escaped

Our Soul is Escaped


Psalm 124

A song of degrees of David.

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.


From the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible
Designed and illustrated by Barry Moser

The Seven Stars


In anticipation of the light that is coming: Jonathan Dove’s choral setting of Amos 5:8 and Psalm 139, ‘Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars’


Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion
and turneth the shadow of death into the morning.
Alleluia, yea, the darkness shineth as the day,
the night is light about me.