Many of us would be in the midst of our Lenten journey for this year. This journey varies from one person to another, depending on the discipline each has chosen to practise. One thing remains the same: we are all moving in one direction, guided by the same faith and led by the Holy Spirit.
By the time this issue of Methodist Message is released, the Holy Week will be two weeks away. If we attend the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, our journey will be “complete” come Easter. Our participation in the life, suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through this journey will bring us to a renewed understanding of the heart of our Christian faith.
But where is this renewed understanding leading us? The Church calendar points us to yet another journey: a journey through Easter. Although Eastertide is celebrated for 50 days, practising or living the resurrection is a life-long journey. It is through telling and retelling the stories of the life and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ that we grow in love for Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. As we grow, we learn to live responsibly, towards both God and our neighbour.
Here is a hymn that narrates the Easter story. Stanzas 1 through 5 document the Easter narrative, while stanzas 6 through 9 tell of Thomas, who doubted Jesus’ resurrection. It is a great hymn to begin worship on Easter Sunday as it sets the tone and theme for the day. It may also be sung as the hymn of preparation before the message is preached.
This hymn was originally written by a Franciscan monk, Jean Tisserand. There are many translations of the hymn but the most popular English translation was done in 1851 by John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest, scholar and hymn writer.1
May we continue our Lenten journey with deep reflection, celebrate the good news of Easter with great joy, and live our lives with the hope of the resurrection.
O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing (UMH 317)
The refrain is sung at the beginning, before stanza 1, and after stanza 5. It is sung twice in the beginning: first by the soloist and then with the congregation.
1 O sons and daughters, let us sing!
The King of heaven, the glorious King,
o’er death and hell rose triumphing.
2 That Easter morn at break of day,
the faithful women went their way
to seek the tomb where Jesus lay.
3 An angel clad in white they see,
who sat and spoke unto the three,
“Your Lord has gone to Galilee.”
4 That night the apostles met in fear;
amidst them came their Lord most dear,
and said, “My peace be on all here.”
5 On this most holy day of days
our hearts and voices, Lord, we raise
to thee, in jubilee and praise.
6 When Thomas first the tidings heard,
how they had seen the risen Lord,
he doubted the disciples’ word.
7 “My pierced side, O Thomas, see;
my hands, my feet, I show to thee;
not faithless but believing be.”
8 No longer Thomas then denied;
he saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried.
9 How blest are they who have not seen,
and yet whose faith hath constant been,
for they eternal life shall win.
Alleluia, alleluia. Alleluia.
Text: Jean Tisserand, 15th cent., trans. John Mason Neale, 1852
Tune: O FILII ET FILIAE(French melody, 15th cent.)
1 Carlton Young, ed., Companion to the United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1993), 528.
Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.
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