CNP Logo Home
Online Catalog
Musical Musings
Liturgical Planners
Submit Your Music
Contact Us
Company Description
CanticaNOVA Publications
Bookmark and Share

A Gradient of Easter Hymns

by Gary Penkala

The Risen Christ

Apart from the "non-seasonal" season of Ordinary Time, Eastertide is the longest season in the liturgical year. Its seven full weeks offer a challenge to music directors, especially in programming hymns thoughout the season, both in keeping the Easter theme going through 50 days and in not getting tedious or overly repetitive. Parallel this with Christmastide, the shortest season at a mere 2-3 weeks, with a multitude of familiar hymns and carols.

So how do we plan Eastertide. Certainly by singing seasonal music throughout. I said in another article:

Celebrate the entire season with festive rejoicing, with exuberant song, and, yes, with Easter hymns. There is technically nothing wrong with singing "Jesus Christ Is Ris'n Today" on Pentecost — it is a day within the Easter Season, and it commemorates the fulfillment of the Easter event.

In theory that's correct, but practically speaking — it may not work. There is a certain progression to Eastertide, beginning with the Exodus at the Vigil and the Resurrection event on Easter Sunday, through the various appearances of the Risen Lord during Easter Week. We always hear of Thomas' incredulity on 2 Easter, Emmaus and the post-Resurrection meals on 3 Easter, Good Shepherd on 4 Easter, followed by the mystic passages from Saint John, the Ascension, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and finally the fulfillment of that Gift.

Couldn't our hymns have a similar progression? Here's my casual interpretation of a Gradient of Easter Hymns. Some of it is clearly understandable: "Through the Red Sea Brought at Last" at the very beginning of the season (Easter Vigil) and "Come, Holy Ghost" at the very end. Other choices are more arbitary, and the order can certainly be altered.

For what it's worth, Hymns for the Great Fifty Days:

  1. Through the Red Sea Brought At Last
  2. Come and Let Us Drink of That New River
  3. Jesus Christ Is Risen Today
  4. That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright
  5. Ye Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing
  6. All You on Earth
  7. Christ Is Alive
  8. Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise
  9. Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands
  10. Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain
  11. Good Christian Men, Rejoice and Sing
  12. This Is the Lord's Day (Kathleen Pluth) from Hymns for the Liturgical Year
  13. This Is the Day
  14. Be Joyful, Mary, Heavenly Queen
  15. Hail, O Once Despised Jesus
  16. At the Lamb's High Feast
  17. My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
  18. The King of Love My Shepherd Is
  19. The Living God My Shepherd Is
  20. Now the Green Blade Rises
  21. He Is Risen
  22. This Is the Feast of Victory
  23. Hail Thee, Festival Day
  24. Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
  25. God Is My Strong Salvation
  26. Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
  27. This Joyful Eastertide
  28. A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing
  29. All Nations Clap Your Hands
  30. Ascend Your Throne, O Righteous One (Kathleen Pluth) from Hymns for the Liturgical Year
  31. Go Make of All Disciples
  32. God of Gods, We Sound His Praises
  33. Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise
  34. Look, O Look, the Sight Is Glorious
  35. Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor
  36. Lord, You Gave the Great Commission
  37. Praise Him As He Mounts the Skies
  38. Rejoice, Angelic Choirs
  39. See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph
  40. Come, Creator Spirit
  41. Come Down, O Love Divine
  42. Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest
  43. Come, Holy Spirit, As a Fire (Kathleen Pluth) from Hymns for the Liturgical Year
  44. O Holy Spirit, By Whose Breath
  45. Send Forth from the Heaven
  46. Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayer
  47. Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest
  48. Fire of God, Undying Flame
  49. Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
  50. Joy! Because the Circling Year
CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town, WV 25414-7388
Send website comments or questions to: