This past Sunday at St. Bartholomew’s, after 40 days of Lent, and then the contrast of joy and passion during Holy Week, we welcomed Resurrection Sunday (Easter) with joy and gladness, lift our voices in songs of “Alleluia!”
We began the services with a new acclamation, based on the traditional Easter proclamation:
LEADER: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
PEOPLE: The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
I wrote this setting to be easy for both celebrant and congregation to sing, with a desire that in its simplicity it not be trite or quickly boring. For “learning-as-we-go,” it seemed to go pretty well on Sunday. I’ll use it each week of Easter up until Pentecost. For a PDF of the score, which you are free to reproduce and use if you desire, click [HERE].
We began the Processional with a choral introit I had written last year for the choir, based on Antiphon 2 the Antiphons for Easter, segueing to “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” with a descant I composed in 2006 for St. B’s on the final stanza.
Our Songs of Praises included the refrain and alleluia verse of Laudate Dominum (in both Latin and English from Taizé), my setting of the Gloria, and concluding with Resurrection Hymn (See What a Morning) from modern hymn writers Keith Getty & Stuart Townend.
Our responsorial psalm setting of Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 used a congregational antiphon based on the Exultant which I had set to music in 2010 for the Easter Vigil, with 2 cantors sharing the verses. For the sequence hymn, we sang Andrew Carter‘s text “Joy Is Come!” adapted for congregation by the anthem from Oxford University Press.
The Parish Choir (all-volunteer) offered Eleanor Daly‘s “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” for the offertory (thanks to Elizabeth Smith at Lois Fyfe Music for the suggestion), and concluding with the presentation “Praise God from Whom All Blessing Flow” – DEDICATION ANTHEM (known in Mennonite circles as simply 606).
Music during communion included two anthems by The Parish Choir: ”The Joyful Eastertide” (which I arranged for this Easter, a cappella with a faux bourdon 2nd verse – click [HERE] for octavo at not cost) and “Now the Green Blade Riseth” arranged for choir by John Carter, accompanied by organ. The congregation then joined us on “Beautiful Savior (All My Days)” by Stuart Townend, “King of Love,” written by St. B’s own (the late and sorely-missed) Tom Howard with Gary Sadler, “In Christ Alone” and our recessional hymn “Lift High the Cross.”
It was a glorious, joyful celebration of the resurrection.