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Music of the Month: Notes of Gladness

This collection by Benjamin Kolodziej features Easter organ settings of moderate difficulty. Each employs various musical textures to convey the spirit of the hymn texts to the congregation. From meditative and lush treatments of LANCASHIRE and VRUECHTEN to a sprightly trio arrangement of BESANÇON to a setting of DUKE STREET suitable for showcasing a solo trumpet, organists will find these settings invigorating and fun to play.

Music of the Month: Christ Being Raised

A perfect selection for the Easter season comes in this SATB anthem based on Romans 6:9. Beginning with joyous alleluias, the music rises in sequence, portraying the text “raised from the dead.” The melodic sequences and voice leading make the music easy to learn while still sounding dramatic and powerful.

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.

Reflecting on Holy Week Music after Easter

Holy Week, that crowning week of the Church Year taking us through the Passion of our Lord to His glorious resurrection, has passed and with it some of the most beautiful and wonderful music many of us hear in church during the year. I invite you to take a moment to reflect on that music and to revel in your recollection.

How Easter Got Its Calendar Date

This post is adapted from The Year of the Lord by Theodore J. Kleinhans.

Just as the first Easter set the pattern for Sunday, so it also set the pattern for the Church Year. An event of such significance as the resurrection soon formed a natural focus for the entire year. No wonder one of the Church Fathers called it the festival of all festivals—the festum festorum.

Music of the Month: Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

Hart Morris’s arrangement of “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” is a Level III piece scored for 3–5 octave handbells. With roots in the Ancient Church and strong theological undercurrents, the piece is well placed on Easter Day or any Sunday during the Easter season.

Music of the Month: Easter Fantasy on Ancient Hymns

Sondra K. Tucker’s arrangement of “Easter Fantasy on Ancient Hymns for Brass Quintet and Organ” combines two hymn tunes with Dupré’s celebrated organ solo “Cortège et Litanie.” The triumphant tone and historical relevance make the piece perfect for Easter Day or any time during the Easter season. Listen to “Easter Fantasy” here, and at the end of the post, preview the score on CPH.org.

Last-Minute Music Selections for Lent and Easter

Lent has started and Easter is quickly approaching! If you’re scrambling to find music selections for your church, don’t worry—there are tons of options available. Browse the list below to discover pieces that will work for the musicians at your church. Explore pieces for organ, handbell, choirs, and instrumentalists (with or without choral accompaniment). 

Reflection on “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing”

As I reflect on the glorious triumph of the Easter season, I remember the final hymn my congregation sang on Easter Sunday: “At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing” (LSB 633). One of my all-time favorite hymns, it has a text that rightly captures both the joy of the day and the ultimate joy of the glorious Easter feast of heaven.

Easter is a time of rejoicing, and one of the best ways to rejoice is to throw a feast. In fact, for the past several Easter Sundays, I have had the opportunity to celebrate with food and fellowship. This feasting is a continuation of the joy of the Sunday-morning proclamation that “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” It is also a foretaste of the celebration of heaven, that great feast of victory.

Product of the Month: I Am Making All Things New

Revelation 21:4–5, which talks about God wiping away every tear from our eyes, is not a usual text for Easter Vigil services. But David von Kampen is all about using the unexpected in his compositions. He’s a master at creating musical experiences that reinforce scriptural truths, and that’s exactly what he did with his new piece “I Am Making All Things New.”

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