Text by Charles Wesley. Bold and jubilant. SATB (some divisi; but mostly unison and two-part) and organ.
Notes: Easter Day is the pinnacle of the church’s year, yet choirs are often sadly depleted as singers can be away on holiday. It is some comfort to know that S.S. Wesley had the same problem and as a result wrote Blessed be the God and Father for three trebles and one man!
This anthem is mostly in unison, venturing occasionally into two-parts and into four parts for one verse. If numbers are short, verse four can be sung in unison with everyone taking the soprano part and the harmonies played on the organ.
The words are strong and the singing needs to reflect this. Give it some bite and emphasize the rhythm of the Alleluias, without snatching the last syllable. Verse four is marked marcato and must be sung with energy and precision building up to the word 'skies’ at bar 76. Keep a constant momentum throughout the Alleluia coda and gradually build up the intensity and dynamic. The conductor may like to put a short break after the pause in bar 120 both for dramatic effect and to allow the singers to recover before the last phrase. If you want an anthem that will rouse the choir and congregation at Easter - this is it.
P.S. The organ part is easier than it looks.
Love's redeeming work is done,
fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo, our Sun's eclipse is o'er!
Lo, he sets in blood no more!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal!
Christ has burst the gates of hell;
death in vain forbids him rise;
Christ has opened paradise.
Lives again our victorious King;
where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once, he all doth save;
where thy victory, O grave?
Soar we now where Christ has led,
following out exalted Head;
made like him, like him we rise,
ours the cross, the grave, the skies.
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven!
Praise to thee by both be given:
thee we greet triumphant now;
hail, the Resurrection thou!