Sunday, April 24, 2011

Betty Goes to Church

Christ and the Young Child
by Carl Heinrich Bloch
 The Founding Bettys wish all a happy Easter. In honor of the season we offer an Easter hymn, written by an Englishman.  The fact that Charles Wesley was a Methodist is rather sweet - we do have a couple of  Methodists in the canon (Fred from Marrying Mary is a staunch Methodist, and Abigail - from Saturday's Child is likely a Methodist since her father was a Methodist parson).

Here's a snippet from Wikipedia:

Charles Wesley (18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, son of Anglican clergyman and poet Samuel Wesley, the younger brother of Anglican clergyman John Wesley and Anglican clergyman Samuel Wesley (the Younger), and father of musician Samuel Wesley, and grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley. Despite their closeness, Charles and his brother John did not always agree on questions relating to their beliefs. In particular, Charles was strongly opposed to the idea of a breach with the Church of England into which they had been ordained. Charles Wesley is chiefly remembered for the many hymns he wrote.

Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav'ns and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the vict'ry won, Alleluia!
Jesus' agony is o'er, Alleluia!
Darkness veils the earth no more, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where,O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

-Charles Wesley, 1707-1788


  1. Alleluia, He is risen indeed! Blessings on all your homes.

  2. Betty Barbara here--
    As a longtime Catholic, I will have to say that we generally do NOT have a strong Choral tradition. Certainly not the equal of the Episcopalians or the Methodists. It is better now, but we have a long way to go. As a music lover (but pathetic singer), I sure do appreciate good hymns.
    Thank you for a posting most marvelous hymn. I went looking on YouTube for a good, vocal version to link to. Found several nice Organ ones, but no good vocal.

  3. Here's a clip of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing it....I like the descant in the third verse.

  4. Hey now, Betty Barbara... you should trot down and hear OUR choir. We sang the Lotti Missa Brevis Gloria for Easter Vigil... can't get more Catholic and Choral than that. :-) It was amazing to be a part of it (I'm an alto)! I think someone recorded it. If so, I'll post a link when I get one. :-) We also did tons of other choral stuff. You should come down to St. Raymond's for Easter next year. It's just south of Springfield, so a bit of a trek... but we DO have music. ;-)

  5. Betty Cyndi--
    Thanks for the invite. Your choir sounds ambitious! And I am sure y'all sound great!!
    I guess I was thinking back to my youth, where, if we sang hymns at all,they were in Latin. And then there were the "folk" Masses from the 70's (shudder). I would sometimes go to church with my Episcopal cousins and it just seemed that they sang more, much more, than we did.
    As I said in my original post, we Catholics are catching up.
    Betty Barbara

  6. I love that hymn -- thanks for the link.

    I was raised an Episcopalian, but for family reasons I almost never went to church. Oh, not because my family didn't go. Quite the contrary - they all went but couldn't take me. My mother went to music-less early service by herself (7 a.m. - she didn't expect me to get up that early), and my brothers and dad sang in the choir so I couldn't go with them.

    But we did go on Easter (I guess my mother and I went -- Daddy and the boys were in the choir), so I only know Easter hymns.

  7. Well, Betty Magdalen, if you only know one set of hymns, Easter ones are the ones to know!

    However, since I had to play the organ yesterday I might add that, although my favorite Easter hymn, "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today," looks easy (key of C), it's a tortuous finger-fumbler for keyboard hackers like I. (I would have stated "me," but I can hear a foreign-tongued doctor correcting my native tongue--perhaps the most annoying habit RDDs have--if you don't count allusions to non-existent fiancees.)

  8. I think my favorite is Hail Thee Festival Day (Ralph Vaughn Williams). Here's a clip.

  9. Betty Barbara- Thc, tch. No strong choral tradition in the Catholic Church? Maybe not in the parish churches of today but what about the 1500+year history of monastic choirs, antiphons 1700 years old still sung today and Gregorian chant? Methodists, Mormons etc. didn't even exist 600 years ago, so their choral 'tradition' is relatively recent.
    Betty Jo Dee- actually, 'like me' is appropriate. You use 'me' when the 'me' is the subject (being talked about) and you are using a preposition (near, for, by, with etc. ). "I' is the subject, 'me' is the object.
    And, yes, I know, annoying.