16 April 2009

Is there anything

more joyfully wonderful than the music of the Paschal feast? LSB features not only the usual fare, but I'm especially impressed by three newer texts.

The first is a Pelz setting of a three-stanza Franzmann text on the epistle for Easter Divine Service (1 Cor. 5), "Our Paschal Lamb that Sets Us Free," LSB #473 - note especially the musical painting on the allelluias that follow: "let alleluias leap!"

The second is Dudley-Smith's "Long before the World is Waking" (LSB 485) - set to a fabulously sturdy German tune (All Saints) - and giving the whole encounter in John 21 in vivid detail: Charcoal embers, brightly burning, bread and fish upon them laid; Jesus stands at day's returning, in His risen life arrayed...

The final is a Stuempfle text set to the old American tune Jefferson: "Who Are You Who Walk in Sorrow" (LSB 476). This text pulls you into the account of the Emmaus disciples: "Nameless mourners, we will join you, we, who also mourn our dead; We have stood by graves unyielding, Eaten death's bare, bitter bread." And then the great surprise of who walks with us: "Who are You? Our hearts are opened In the breaking of the bread - Christ the victim, Christ the victor Living, risen from the dead!"

Paschal joy continues to call forth new music for the Church to delight in singing to the Risen Lord! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I also appreciate each of these texts. "Long Before the World is Waking" is the best thing Dudley-Smith has done, I think. Likewise, "Who are These Who Walk in Sorrow" is Stuempfle's best effort. I like the Franzmann hymn, too, though singing it too frequently would become tiresome, in my opinion.

Another solid Paschal hymn, now in LSB after first appearing in HS98, is Stephen Starke's "All the Earth with Joy Is Sounding." Good stuff.

William Weedon said...

Yes, that's a good one too! I was thinking about you celebrating the Days of Easter this week, and wondering if you got to sing any of these songs on the days when they seem most fitting...and being a little regretful that when we observe them, they're spoken and so we don't sing hymns those days at all. :(

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Yes, we sang "Who Are These Who Walk in Sorrow" on Easter Monday (with St. Luke 24), and "Long Before the World Is Waking" on Easter Wednesday (with St. John 21). Likewise, we sang "Our Paschal Lamb That Sets Us Free" (with 1 Corinthians 5) on Easter Sunday. Makes for a tight fit.

We don't get huge numbers of folks, obviously, coming out for these days of Easter week, but a number of large homeschooling families makes it possible to have a decent attendance. We've had a couple dozen each day, and probably three dozen or more on Easter Wednesday evening. Easter Thursday morning was well attended, too. We observe Easter Monday through Easter Wednesday as full festival services, and Easter Thursday through Easter Saturday as brief spoken services. For those spoken services, we do sing a hymn in the place of an offertory, as the Lord's Table is being prepared for the Sacrament. It works well for us here, and I do delight in that, gratefully.