5 Easter Hymns that Deserve a Second Look

Inside the Easter section of Lutheran Service Book, youll find thirty-four hymns for the season. With so many choices, it would be impossible to sing them all on Easter Sunday! But are we in the habit of returning to the same favorites over and over and perhaps neglecting some true gems? Explore our collection of five hymns that you may not be singing on Easter Sunday, or even during Eastertide, and discover why these treasures of the Church deserve a second look. You will be blessed!

1. Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands (LSB 458)

Truly the preeminent Lutheran Easter hymn, this is a must-sing for every congregation. Martin Luthers text uses vivid imagery to proclaim how sin, death, and the devil are defeated. Take time to learn the bold, sturdy tune: sing it throughout Eastertide or year-round as a Communion hymn.

It was a strange and dreadful strife
   When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life,
   The reign of death was ended.
Holy Scripture plainly saith
   That death is swallowed up by death,
Its sting is lost forever. Alleluia!
—Stanza 4

2. Jesus Lives! The Victory's Won (LSB 490)

This hymn reveals for us a direct connection between Christs victory over death and our own triumph. The tune is also used with Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense (LSB 741), which is another fine Easter hymn. We recommend using both of these hymns regularly so that the tune is familiar to the congregation at Easter and at funerals, when either hymn text is a good choice.

Jesus lives! The vict'ry's won!
   Death no longer can appall me;
Jesus lives! Death's reign is done!
   From the grave will Christ recall me.
Brighter scenes will then commence;
   This shall be my confidence.
—Stanza 1

3. Stay with Us (LSB 879)

A reflection on the story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35), this hymn surely gets overlooked because it is categorized in the Evening section of the hymnal. The simple, thoughtful poetry and the memorable tune make this hymn a delightful surprise that's perfectly suited for your Easter service.

Walk with us, the road will bend:
   Make all our weeping, wailing end.
Wipe our tears,
   Forgive our fears:
Jesus, lift the heavy cross.
—Stanza 3

4. Awake, My Heart, with Gladness (LSB 467)

Paul Gerhardts jubilant Easter hymn explores with personal language what the joy of Christ's resurrection means for you personally. The text and the dancing, triple-meter tune provide a good choice year round as a hymn for morning or for the beginning of the service.

The world against me rages,
   Its fury I disdain;
Though bitter war it wages,
   Its work is all in vain.
My heart from care is free,
   No trouble troubles me.
Misfortune now is play,
   And night is bright as day.
—Stanza 5

5. Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious (LSB 548)

Thomas Hansen Kingo wrote this hymn-originally beginning with the words Like the golden sun ascending, breaking through the gloom of night—as an Easter hymn. Though we find it in the Redeemer section of LSB, this resurrection-rich hymn should not be forgotten at Easter.

Thou hast died for my transgression,
   All my sins on Thee were laid;
Thou hast won for me salvation,
   On the cross my debt was paid.
From the grave I shall arise
   And shall meet Thee in the skies.
Death itself is transitory;
   I shall lift my head in glory.
—Stanza 2

Listen to our complete Easter hymns playlist below for even more Easter favorites!

Listen to Easter Hymns

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