Happy Easter


The Rev. Canon Ian Smith, Area Dean of West Doncaster, writes

Do you have a favourite Easter hymn or song? If you do could you look it up and read the words please? We are possibly first attracted by the tune it has or an association of the hymn with a place or people special to us. But it may be the words and the combination of tune, people and place. It is so for me.

‘This joyful Eastertide’ was introduced to me in Woking in my very happy second curacy. Oh, getting the twiddly bits right was demanding but then the tune was one I could hum. Written in 1894, its words repeat ancient Christian truths; ‘Had Christ, who once was slain, ne’er burst his three-day prison, our faith had been in vain’ is virtually a copy of 1 Corinthians 15 verse 14.

The other verses remind me I can rest and die in a sure hope because of Jesus and his victory over death; that I should have no more to do with sin because of his resurrection and that the amazing truth, that ‘now hath Christ arisen’, can be repeated in the chorus, louder and louder. What Easter hymn do you like most and why? What does it teach you?