Apr 18, 2011

Three Contemporary Hymns for Easter

If you’re looking for a new contemporary hymn to use in worship this Easter, here are three texts you might consider.  All three are written in relatively common meters, so it wouldn’t be difficult to find a hymn tune your people already know. I’ve included a few tune suggestions, but feel free to look for others that might work better in your context. 

These hymn texts come from Hope Publishing’s Online Hymnody website (which I highly recommend!).  You may legally use these texts if your church has purchased a CCLI, OneLicense or LicenSing copyright license.

The final triumph won,
            the full atonement made,
salvation's work is done,
            redemption's price is paid:
                        the morning breaks, the dark is fled,
                        for Christ is risen from the dead!

The tomb in which he lay
            lies empty now and bare;
the stone is rolled away,
            no lifeless form is there:
                        the sting is drawn from death and grave,
                        for Christ is risen, strong to save!

For us the Saviour died,
            with us he lives again,
to God the Father's side
            exalted now to reign:
                        to throne and crown by right restored,
                        for Christ is risen, Christ is Lord!

As one with him we rise
            to seek the things above,
in life that never dies,
            in righteousness and love:
                        let praise unite our ransomed powers,
                        for Christ is risen, Christ is ours!

Timothy Dudley-Smith, words © 2006 Hope Publishing Company, published in A Door for the Word: Thirty-Six New Hymns 2002-2005

Poetic Meter:
Possible tune:   DARWALL (“Rejoice, the Lord is King”)

This is the day the Lord has made;
     in it will we rejoice,
          praising God's everlasting love
               with heart and mind and voice.

God is my refuge and my strength,
     my might, my joy, my song,
          my shield, salvation, sure defense
               throughout my whole life long.

Open the gates of righteousness,
     Lord, let me enter there,
          that I may lift my thanks to you
               in hymn and song and prayer.

See now the wonder God has done:
     the once rejected stone
          has now become the cornerstone,
               the Lord's own Chosen One.

Blest is the One who comes to us
     in God our maker's name,
          bringing to us God's life and light,
               to every age the same.

This is the day the Lord has made;
     in it will we rejoice,
          praising God's everlasting love
               with heart and mind and voice.

Joy F. Patterson, words © 1993 Hope Publishing Company, based on Psalm 118:14-29.  Published in Come, You People of the Promise: the collected hymns of Joy F. Patterson.

Poetic Meter:
Possible tunes:  AMAZING GRACE (“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound”)
                        AZMON (“O for a thousand tongues to sing”)
                        ST. ANNE (“O God, our help in ages past”)

Christ is risen! Shout hosanna!
       Celebrate this day of days!
Christ is risen! Hush in wonder:
       all creation is amazed.
In the desert all-surrounding,
       see, a spreading tree has grown.
Healing leaves of grace abounding
       bring a taste of love unknown.

Christ is risen! Raise your spirits
       from the caverns of despair.
Walk with gladness in the morning.
       See what love can do and dare.
Drink the wine of resurrection,
       not a servant, but a friend.
Jesus is our strong companion.
       Joy and peace shall never end.

Christ is risen! Earth and heaven
       nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation
       where the world is still in pain.
Tell its grim, demonic chorus:
       "Christ is risen! Get you gone!"
God the First and Last is with us.
       Sing Hosanna everyone!

Brian Wren, words  © 1986 Hope Publishing Company
In Praising a Mystery: 30 New Hymns
Scripture references: John 15:15; Revelation 22:2, 13

Poetic Meter:
Possible tunes:  HOLY MANNA (“Brethren, we have met to worship”)
                        HYMN TO JOY (“Joyful, joyful we adore Thee”)