Monthly Archives: April 2014

Perennial Hymns, Part 2 (Lent & Easter)

Following up on yesterday’s post on Easter hymns in Lift Up Your Hearts, here’s my second post on perennial CRC hymns—those that appeared in each of the four main Christian Reformed hymnals—the 1943 (red) Psalter Hymnal, the 1957 (blue) Psalter Hymnal, the 1987 (gray) Psalter Hymnal and Lift Up Your Hearts with the same tune. (The first post was on the 18 psalm settings in this category.) This post is a list of the nine Lenten and Easter hymns that appear in all four hymnals.

Lent (5)

“Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” (PH34 #355/PH57 #352/PH87 #385/LUYH #173)—AVON/MARTYRDOM

“All Glory, Laud, and Honor” (PH34 #353/PH57 #348/PH87 #376/LUYH #146/HFW #35)—ST. THEODULPH

“Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven” (PH34 #363/PH57 #360/PH87 #387/LUYH #179)—TON-Y-BOTEL/EBENEZER

“O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” (PH34 #358/PH57 #355/PH87 #383/LUYH #168/HFW #39)—PASSION CHORALE/HERZLICH TUT MICH VERLANGEN

“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (PH34 #354/PH57 #350/PH87 #384/LUYH #175/HFW #74)—HAMBURG

Easter (4)

“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (PH34 #359/PH57 #356/PH87 #388/LUYH #182/HFW #81/SWM #132)—EASTER HYMN

“Low in the Grave He Lay” (PH34 #360/PH #357/PH87 #396/LUYH #186/HFW #187)—CHRIST AROSE

“Praise the Savior, Now and Ever” (PH34 #356/PH57 #361/PH87 #400/LUYH #191/HFW #29)—UPP. MIN TUNGA

“The Strife is O’er, the Battle Done” (PH34 #361/PH57 #358/LUYH #185/HFW #71)—PALESTRINIA/VICTORY

Easter Hymns in Lift Up Your Hearts

After our Easter services yesterday, we got into a discussion comparing  the Easter hymns in Lift Up Your Hearts  to those in the gray Psalter Hymnal. Here’s the upshot:

The gray Psalter Hymnal contained 19 hymns in its Easter section. Of these 10 can be found in the Easter section of Lift Up Your Hearts:

“Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven” (LUYH #197/PH87 #387/PH57 #360)

“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (LUYH #182/PH87 #388/PH57 #356/SWM #132/HFW #81)

“Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing” (LUYH #184/PH87 #397/HFW #208)

“The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done” (LUYH #185/PH87 #391/PH57 #358/HFW #71)

“Low in the Grave Christ Lay” (LUYH #186/PH87 #396/PH57 #357/HWF #187)

“O Sons and Daughters” (LUYH #190/PH87 #393/SNT #107)

“Praise the Savior Now and Ever” (LUYH #191/PH87 #400/PH57 #361/HFW #29)

“Oh, Qué Bueno Es Jesús/O, How Good Is Christ the Lord” (LUYH #192/PH87 #401)

“Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain” (LUYH #199/PH87 #389/PH57 #362/HFW #34)

“This Joyful Eastertide” (LUYH #202/PH87 #402/HWF #163)

“I Serve a Risen Savior” (LUYH #365/PH87 #404/HFW #214) is found in Lift Up Your Hearts in the  Trusting the Triune God in Grateful Living section.

These strike me as good choices. Today we sang “I Serve a Risen Savior” at our sunrise service and “Low in the Grave Christ Lay” and “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” at our regular service. I expect we’ll sing several more of these during Easter season. (The only one with which I am unfamiliar is “O Sons and Daughters.”)

Eight of the songs were dropped from LUYH. Two of these appeared on my list of notable hymns omitted from the new hymnal:

“Sing, Choirs of New Jerusalem” (PH87 #403)

“Hail, O Once-Despised Jesus” (PH87 #395/PH57 #369)

The only other two I recall singing at Trinity are:

“A Shout Rings Out, a Joyful Voice/Daar juicht een toon” (PH87 #392).

“Alleluia, Alleluia! Give Thanks” (PH87 #402/HFW #229/SWM #129)

The other four are:

“The Day of Resurrection” (PH87 #390/PH57 #364)

 “These Things Did Thomas Count as Real” (PH87 #394)

“Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bonds” (PH87 #398/HFW #47)

“Jesus Lives, and So Do We” (PH87 #399)

So what’s new to the Lift Up Your Hearts Easter section?

Three songs were moved there from other sections in the gray Psalter Hymnal.

“Christ Is Alive! Let Christians Sing” (LUYH #206/PH87 #413) was in the Ascension and Reign section of the gray Psalter Hymnal. The lyrics have been revised by the composer, Brian Wren. Stanza 1 (“Christ is alive! Let Christians sing…”) is the same. Stanza 2 (“Christ is alive! No longer bound…”) has been altered, e.g., “conquer every place and time” becomes “touching every place and time.” The third stanza in the Psalter Hymnal (“Not decked with gold, remotely high…”) is now gone. The next stanza (“In every insult, rift and war…”) is revised. LUYH’s fourth stanza (“Women and men, in age and youth…”)  is new. The final stanza (“Christ is alive, and come to bring…) is almost entirely rewritten. We sang this hymn during our Easter service.

“Alleluia” (LUYH #189/PH87 #639) is a Taizé alleluia by Jacques Berthier.

“Give Thanks to God for All His Goodness” (PFAS #118H/LUYH #196/PH87 #118) is a setting of Psalm 118.

Five of LUYH’s Easter songs appeared in Sing! A New Creation: Two of these we sang during our Easter service:

“Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna” (LUYH #204/SNC #147) has lyrics by Brian Wren set to Beethoven’s ODE TO JOY. The version of the hymn in Sing! A New Creation sets the same lyrics to W ZLOBIE LEZY (“Infant Holy, Infant Lowly”).

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.

“Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen” (LUYH #205/SNC #150) is set to EARTH AND ALL STARS with lyrics by “Earth and All Stars” lyricist Herbert Brokering.

Alleluia! Jesus is risen!
Trumpets resounding in glorious light!
Splendor, the Lamb, heaven forever!
Oh, what a miracle God has in sight!

Jesus has risen and we shall arise;
give God the glory! Alleluia!

The three other songs from Sing! A New Creation are:

“Come to Us, Beloved Stranger” (LUYH #207/SNC #) is based on the Road to Emmaus story and set to BEACH SPRING. I expect we’ll sing it during the Third Sunday of Easter when that story is the gospel lesson.

“Aleluya/Alleluia” (LUYH #183/SNC #149) is a Honduran alleluia arranged by John Bell for the Iona Community.

“Celtic Alleluia” (LUYH #198) is just the chorus of the “Celtic Alleluia” (SNC #148) in Sing! A New Creation. 

Eight songs in Lift Up Your Hearts Easter section appeared in neither the gray Psalter Hymnal nor Sing! A New Creation. Two of these are Psalm settings:

“Refuge and Rock” (LUYH #194/PFAS #18A) is a setting of Psalm 18 set to EARTH AND ALL STARS. Here is sample.

“Praise the Lord, the Day Is Won” (LUYH #200/PFAS #105C) is a setting of Psalm 105 (lyrics by Michael Morgan) sung to the tune of “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain.” (It is set to a different tune in Psalms for All Seasons.)

The other six new songs are:

“I Know that My Redeemer Lives” (LUYH #193/HFW #108) is set to DUKE STREET (“Jesus Shall Reign”). Here is a sample.

“Thine is the Glory” (LUYH #187/HFW #161) is set to Handel’s JUDAS MACCABAEUS, which was used in the Psalter Hymnal for “Praised Be the Father” (PH87 #582).

“See, What a Morning” (LUYH #181) is a modern hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. I’m planning on using this in an upcoming service.

“Mfurahini, haleluya/Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia” (LUYH #188) is a Tanzanian song that appeared in Global Songs for Worship. (It is one of 28 song from that book to appear in LUYH.) We’ve sung it at Trinity. Here is a sample.

“Christo Vive/Christ Is Risen” (LUYH #197) is by Ar­gen­ti­nian composer Nicolás Martínez.

“Now the Green Blade Rises” (LUYH #203) is a traditional French carol.

Psalms 47 & 93

The Revised Common Lectionary designates either Psalm 27 or Psalm 93 as the psalm for Ascension Sunday so our Sunday school class looked at both of them on March 30. The psalms are both about God’s reign, but focus on different demonstrations of that reign.

Psalm 93 is about creation, using the image of conquering the primeval water found in Genesis. Not only are the waters unable to move the world God established (v. 1) or his throne (v. 2), the majesty of its waves pales in comparison to majesty of the Lord (vv. 3-4). This brief psalm concludes by declaring that God’s decrees, like his reign, are “very sure” and his holiness, evident in creation, adorn his temple “for endless days” (v. 5).

In Psalm 47, the reign of God is demonstrated through subduing and ruling over “the nations,” perhaps referring specifically to Israel’s conquering the Promised Land under Joshua. The psalm is filled with calls to worship with by clapping, singing, shouting, and sounding a trumpet (maybe in reference to Jericho). The language of verse 5 (“God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of trumpet”) suggests the psalm’s use for celebrating Jesus’ Ascension.

The only Psalm 47 setting that appears in Lift Up Your Hearts is “Nations, Clap Your Hands” (PFAS #47E/LUYH #216/PH87 #47) which is set to GENEVAN 47. According to the Psalter Hymnal Handbook, “Cor Wm. Barendrecht originally versified this psalm in an unrhymed text in 1980; the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee added rhyme and recast a number of lines to arrive at the current versification.” Each of the three stanzas consists of five rhyming couplets.

 Nations, clap your hands; shout with joy, you lands.
Awesome is the LORD; spread his fame abroad.
He rules every land with a mighty hand.
God brings nations low; he subdues each foe.
From his mighty throne God protects his own.

 Psalms for All Seasons has four other hymn settings of Psalm 47.

“Clap Your Hands, O Faithful People!” (PFAS #47A) is set to NETTLETON (“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”) with lyrics by Michael Morgan, lyricist of our class theme song “Trees” (PFAS #I),  “All on Earth and All in Heaven” (PFAS #29A/LUYH #922), and “O Shepherd, Hear and Guide Your Flock” (PFAS #80C/LUYH #64). (He is credited with 23 songs found in PFAS and 16 in LUYH.) The hymn is a loose versification of the psalm. It’s the probably the best of the PFAS settings for congregational singing.

We enjoyed the three other settings in PFAS although each would require a song leader or choir for us to use in worship.

“God Has Gone Up” (PFAS #47B) has a chorus focusing on Ascension (“God has gone up with a shout of rejoicing: he has ascended in glory! O clap your hands, clap your hands all you people: he has ascended in glory!”) and an explicitly Christological final stanza. A sample is here.

“Clap You Hands, All Ye Nations” (PFAS #47C) has a catchy syncopated rhythm. Its refrain focuses on God’s being “King over all the earth.”

“Clap Your Hands, All You Nations” (PFAS #47D) has lyrics by Gren Scheer set to a Yoruba folk song. It has a call-and-response format; the leader’s part is written as a descant.

A strange omission from the new hymnals is “Clap Your Hands” (PH87 #166/SWM #2), which is on my list of notable psalm hymns in the gray Psalter Hymnal that were left out of Lift Up Your Hearts. It’s a lively canon (with up to four parts) based on the first verse of Psalm 47. I don’t understand why it didn’t even make Psalm for All Seasons.

Clap your hands, all you people;
shout unto God with a voice of triumph!
Clap your hands, all you people;
shout unto God with a voice of praise!

Sing with Me includes a second, Ascension-based stanza by Bert Polman.

 Clap your hands, all you people;
Christ has ascended into heaven!
Clap your hands, all you people;
Christ has ascended with shouts of joy!

We enjoyed singing this in a round and I expect to use the Sing with Me version during our Ascension Sunday service (and likely none of the others—there are just too many good Ascension songs from which to choose).

Sing! A New Creation includes another Psalm 47 song, “Clap Your Hands All You Nations” (SNC #156), an Iona Community song by John Bell. A sample is here. The first two lines are use in Psalm for All Seasons’ responsorial setting “Clap Your Hands All You Nations” (PFAS #47E).

The blue Psalter Hymnal contains two Psalm 47 settings: “Praise the Lord, Ye Lands” (PH57 #86) and “All Nations, Clap Your Hands” (PH57 #87).

The CRC hymnals contain only three hymn settings of Psalm 93, with just one in the two new hymnals. “Robed in Majesty” (PFAS #93A/LUYH #546) has modern lyrics set to the frequently used tune SALZBURG. [SALZBURG is the tune of three additional songs in Lift Up Your Hearts: “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” (LYUH #104/PH87 #361), “God, You Call Us to This Place” (LUYH #531/SNC #14), and “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (LUYH #832)].

Robed in majesty, he reigns,
sovereign from eternity;
praise the Lord, the God of strength,
robed in awesome majesty.
Firm and sure the world will stand;
here the Maker’s power is shown—
yet, predating even time,
firmer, surer stands his throne.

Neither of the Psalm 93 settings in the gray Psalter Hymnal were included in Lift Up Your Hearts. “The LORD in King” (PH87 #172) was versified for the gray Psalter Hymnal by Clarence Walhout and set to GENEVAN 93. “The LORD is King, Enthroned” (PH87 #93/PH57 #184) is from the 1912 Psalter, where it was titled “Jehovah Sits Enthroned.” It is set to RIALTO.

The responsorial setting is “Every Since the World Began” (PFAS #93B).

(This is the  23rd post in my continuing series on the Psalms for All Seasons Sunday school class I co-teach with Andrew Friend. Each week we sing psalm settings from Psalms for All Seasons, Lift Up Your Hearts, and other CRC hymnals. Previous posts is the series focused on Psalm 121, Psalm 122Psalms 2/99Psalm 72Psalm 95Psalm 147,  Psalm 112,  Psalm 29,  Psalm 40Psalm 23Psalm 27Psalm 130Psalm 15Psalm 51,  Psalm 6Psalm 32,  Psalm 143,  Psalms 38/102Psalm 31Psalm 116Psalm 16, Psalm 22, and Psalm 118.)