Read the opening message from Andrew Cardiasmenos below or click here to download a PDF of the full edition from FPCC’s website.
| Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
We just finished a joyous, triumphant Easter service at FPCC, complete with brass, a full choir with guest singers, and two songs from Grateful Heart! The church pews were quite full as the congregation exuberantly spread the good news of the glorious Resurrection.
It’s only appropriate during this season that we take a moment to reflect today on the most celebratory hymn of our church calendar, Christ the Lord is Risen Today.
Christ the Lord is Risen Today is one of the most recognizable melodies in the Western church. For many, it simply would not feel like Easter without a rendition of this hymn as a triumphant opener. Almost all Christian denominations share the use of this hymn each year, making it one of the most widely accepted hymns in the Christian church. (The Orthodox would be one notable exception, with a different ancient melody for Christ is Risen).
The melody is extremely memorable and catchy, and the lyrics are joyous and celebratory, including its characteristic Alleluias.
All this said, this traditional Easter hymn has an interesting history that may not be super familiar to everyone.
When Charles Wesley first wrote the hymn in 1754, it didn’t have any Alleluias at all! The original poem was eleven verses of four lines each, and the melody was quite different. It wasn’t until the early 19th Century that the lines were reduced to six, and the Alleluias were added to conform the meter to fit the melody Easter Hymn that we all now know and love.
The Alleluias were initially not very well received by congregations, some complaining that 24 Alleluias were simply too many and unnecessary. Yet with time, people adjusted to the new hymn meter and melody, and it soon became the Easter classic as we know it today.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge all the amazing contributions from Pastor Johanna to Worship and Music during her leadership at FPCC.
Pastor Johanna improved our service live stream in so many ways, including sound engineering, video and camera quality, and post-production. With a strong musical ear and a keen visual perception, she dedicated hours of her time to make sure certain instruments came through in the stream and camera transitions were handled smoothly.
In addition, through her leadership, we now run slides using Proclaim software rather than a traditional Power-point, saving time, money, and resources.
Whenever she did have extra time, she sang in Grateful Heart and led praise songs beautifully. Thank you, Pastor Johanna, for all your tireless contributions to make worship and music an inspirational experience. We will all miss you greatly!
Worship and Music Director