Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easter Hymns

Easter hymns are full of phrases about how we want to sing for joy; or that Jesus rose from the dead so we sing alleluia.  Lots of the lines in Easter hymns are about our response to the resurrection.

Some Easter hymns have a different kind of line, a more objective statement.  For example, "Let us feast this Easter day on Christ, the bread of heaven.  The word of grace has purged away the old and evil leaven."   Or "For the sheep the Lamb has bled, sinless in the sinners' stead."  Or "My Savior there was laid where our bed must be made when to the realms of light our spirit wings its flight."  Or "Love's redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won.  Lo, our Sun's eclipse is o'er; lo, He sets in blood no more."   Or "Thou, of life the author, death didst undergo."

But it seems like the wonderfully rich lines that so often show up in Lenten hymns and communion hymns (and other sections of the hymnal) are not as abundant in Easter hymns.  I don't understand that.  Look at what Easter is.  Look at all the references to it in the Old Testament and in the epistles.  There's plenty of fodder there for allusions and imagery and depth of theology.  It is there, mixed in with the alleluias. 

I guess that's why those few that are particularly meaty and beautiful and eloquent are so special. 

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