Sunday, April 4, 2010
Does the Ceiling of Your House of Worship Shake From the Sound of Your Worship?
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!
Charles Wesley wrote this hymn in 1739, in celebration of the first service of London's first Wesleyan Chapel. This chapel was known as the Foundry Meeting House, as it was a deserted foundry. Charles Wesley purchased the building to house his growing number of converts.
Originally published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739, this hymn was eleven four-line stanzas long. Martin Madan's Collection of Psalms and Hymns, 1760, included eight stanzas, with many lines rearranged. Only four stanzas are commonly sung now.
The "Alleluia" which we sing at the end of each line was not part of the original hymn, it was added later by some unknown editor, to better fit the tune. "Alleluia," or "Hallelujah" is a common expression of praise, "Praise ye the Lord," from the early Christian Church. Early Christians would greet each other Easter morning, "Alleluia, the Lord is risen!" Jerome, who died in 420, was an important leader of the early church, who translated the Bible into Latin. He wrote that the very ceilings of houses of worship were often shaken with the reverberating "Hallelujahs" when believers sang their praises to God