Blogger: Rachel Kent
This post is one I posted a couple years ago on Good Friday. I am very sick today, so I decided it was a good day to discuss our favorite hymns/songs again. I hope you enjoy reflecting on the music of this special week.
As we celebrate and remember what Jesus did for us today and throughout the weekend, I find myself looking forward to singing my favorite songs of Good Friday and Easter. Lyrics are an extremely powerful version of writing. Like poetry, they can touch us differently at different times in our lives and the meaning we get from a song is so personal.
During the early part of our dating relationship, my husband and I would send song lyrics back and forth and discuss what they meant to each of us. (Odd? Perhaps.) This was an amazing way to get to know each other because it forced us to share feelings and events that had influenced us in our lives and were coloring our interpretations of different songs. Being an English major, I was always over-analyzing every word in each song and I’d find meanings in lyrics that were probably not even intended by the song writer. My husband was more focused on the feelings the words evoked.
My favorite Good Friday song that we’ll sing tonight during the Tenebrae service is When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts (1707). That song always gets me crying. I can see Jesus taking on the cross for me as we sing it. I also love the Chris Tomlin version, The Wonderful Cross.
My favorite Easter morning song is Christ the Lord is Risen Today (Charles Wesley, 1739). Our Easter service often starts with this one and with the guitars and drums updating the song it sets a wonderful, joyous mood for the day of celebration.
Have you ever written song lyrics or poetry? How does that writing process differ from writing novels or nonfiction projects?
What are your favorite Holy Week songs?
I’m sorry to hear you’re sick, Rachel. I’m sure many of us will be praying for you to feel well by Easter so you can enjoy the celebration.
One of my favorite songs about Jesus’s atoning sacrifice is actually a variation of one we sing at Christmas.
In “What Child is This,” in place of the chorus, “This, this is Christ the King…” for the second verse is the following:
Nail, spear shall pierce him through.
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary.
The incarnation means everything only because of the crucifixion and resurrection.
Carol, your comment reminded me of my grandma’s pastor way back when I was a wee child. He always had the congregation sing one Easter hymn at Christmas and a Christmas carol at Easter. Otherwise, he told us, it was just another baby born and another man dying for his cause.
*Thus, I like Angels We Have Heard on High teamed with Christ the Lord Is Risen Today. Glory Hallelujah!
*And Rachel, I think exchanging hymn lyrics is a wonderful way to include God in your poetic romance. I hope you have those old letters tied with ribbon, saved for your children to read in their old age.
*Feel better soon!
I love that song, Carol. My sister and I sang that as a duet in our elementary school in Tyler, Texas … so long ago. I’ll never forget.
Rachel, prayers for your speedy recovery!
* I’ve written precisely three poems. One when I was a kid, and two a few years ago. They said what they were meant to say, and I never saw the need to write another. Kind of strange; the poetic expression was limited, and quite complete.
* Song lyrics…I don’t write them, but I modify them. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” has become “Goats Dwelling On The Mountain”, and, forgive me, but I’ll give you the Garden of Gethsemane verse…
“As He knelt in the Garden praying,
His disciples slept in the grass,
and when He saw how they was laying,
they got a sandal in the…
GOATS dwelling on the mountain!
Over the hills and EVERY-where!
Goats dwelling on the mountain
where Jesus Christ was born!”
* As for favourite Holy Week music, I have three secular selections –
– Billy Joel’s “Goodnight Saigon”
– Joe Strummer’s version of “Minstrel Boy”
– “Mansions Of The Lord” (which you may remember from Ronald Reagan’s funeral)
* Our best to everyone for a Wonderful Easter!
For what it may be worth, my traditional Easter Morning song is from the Bee Gees…I have an indelible mental image of Jesus, Risen, gettin’ DOWN to “Staying Alive”.
* if He doesn’t have a broad sense of humour, I am in very serious trouble.
My grandfather led the singing at their tiny church … when I was a little girl. So Wednesday night at church, as we were singing … I thought how each song not only reminds me of Jesus, but also of all my family who love the Lord. It’s precious moments, precious memories of what Jesus did for us, and the godly heritage passed to us through “family.”
*Right now, I really love “Touch the Sky” Hillsong. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1RQciil7B0 … I love this lyric, “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground” … beautiful.
*I’ve written a little poetry/song … I usually write them when I need to pour out my heart, when I need a good cry, but my poetry isn’t written within the lines … I’ve not studied how to write poetry, not really … I just ensure it rhymes. 🙂 They are much shorter works, of course, than novels, but they equal in that they are both out-pourings of the heart.
*Good Friday! And prayers … feel better soon.
Jennifer Zarifeh Major
First, I hope you get better soon!
Second, odd? Not at all!! People share books and films, and all kinds of music.
I LOVE Keith Green’s Easter Song.
For me, as a singer ( and not a bad one, either, despite that punk band summer…) other than Christ the Lord is risen Today, and Sandi Patty’s Was It A Morning Like This?, this song IS pretty much it.
“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” is my favorite hymn and I have told my husband to include part of the text on my gravestone – not like he will remember, but still!
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
I will not be seeing any of my kids for Easter this year, but it is for a wonderful reason. My son plays keyboards and his church and his wife is on staff. My daughter is the worship director at one church and her husband is worship director at another church (young and too poor to quit their jobs, but they make it work), and my youngest son is worship director at his church.
So every Sunday morning, I sit in my pew, and know exactly where all my kids are and what they are doing, though far away. I take that time to pray for their ministries and effective worship at their many churches.
BTW – anybody else old enough to remember 2nd Chapter of Acts Easter Song?
What we remember today is the most pivotal act/event of all time and eternity. Please allow my small contribution. Thank you. In remembrance…