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Music of the Month: Four Easter Hymns for Twelve Bells

Sandra Eithun’s primary collection of popular Easter hymns and second set of popular Easter hymns are perfect for the busy Easter season, especially if you are shorthanded for church services or would like to travel with a small group ringers. Each piece uses only twelve bells, spanning F5 to C7. Because not every piece is in the key of F, these collections offer a wide variety of harmonic possibilities while still maintaining a small number of ringers. Scored for 3 octave handbells or handchimes. Set 1 is Level II–II+. Set 2 is Level II.

SET 1

Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (HYFRYDOL)

Though not in the Easter section of Lutheran Service Book, the text of this hymn is rich with triumphal Easter overtones, and they are conveyed in this prelude. “Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion” ring out the Easter message: “Jesus out of ev’ry nation Has redeemed us by His blood.”

Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia (MFURAHINI HALELUYA)

This Tanzanian Easter anthem takes on a new flavor in this arrangement. This simple but energetic prelude would be a good way to introduce this tune to a congregation that may not yet have this hymn in its Easter singing repertoire.

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today (EASTER HYMN)

This beloved, grand Easter hymn is set in the key of A-flat major for a fresh and different feel. This prelude would be a lovely way to welcome Easter morning congregants into any church sanctuary.

The Day of Resurrection (LANCASHIRE)

This arrangement of an ancient stalwart in Lutheran Easter hymnody beautifully paints the joyous resurrection text: “Now let the heav’ns be joyful, Let earth its song begin … Let all things, seen and unseen, Their notes of gladness blend; For Christ the Lord has risen, Our joy that has no end!”
 

SET 2

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Alleluia (LLANFAIR)

This arrangement takes another beloved Easter anthem and gives it the joyous strains appropriate for celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. The melody bounces around among octaves, keeping the setting spritely and moving forward.
 

I Know That My Redeemer Lives (DUKE STREET)

This setting of yet another Easter staple makes use of staccato techniques to give the melody a unique flavor. It also takes on a reflective nature appropriate for considering the profundity of the resurrection, even in the face of death.

Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)

This arrangement adds to the resounding sound of joy that makes up the Easter song of glory, as the text of the hymn says. Since this hymn tune accompanies four hymns in Lutheran Service Book, this prelude is useful not only during the season of Easter but also at the end of the season at Ascension and throughout the Church Year.

The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done (VICTORY)

The ringing-out of Easter alleluias in this hymn continues in the prelude. This setting also rings out the melody of the hymn crisply and clearly, making it an effective piece to introduce the tune to a congregation that may not be familiar with it.

Check out these and many more Easter season hymns.
 
Browse all Easter music
Written by

Nathan Grime

Nathan Grime is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a 2020 graduate of Hillsdale College, where he studied rhetoric, public address, and journalism. Currently, Nathan is the organist and Kantor intern at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hillsdale, Michigan.

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