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See, What a Morning

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Easter hymns accomplish three functions: they recount the Easter narrative, proclaim our Easter hope, and celebrate our joy at Christ’s resurrection. This hymn is built on the professions of Easter truths that are expressed primarily in Heidelberg Catechism. Note especially the following:
  • Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 declares that Christ’s resurrection makes us share in Christ’s righteousness, raises us to a new life by his power, and is a sure pledge to us of our resurrection.
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 57 comforts us to know that not only our soul but “also my very flesh will be raised by the power of God, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.”
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58 says that it may be a comfort to know that while experiencing the beginning of eternal joy now, “after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever.”
In addition, Our Song of Hope, stanza 5 professes: “On the day of the resurrection, the tomb was empty; His disciples saw Him; death was defeated; new life had come. God’s purpose for the world was sealed.”

Tune Information

Name
SEE, WHAT A MORNING
Key
D Major

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Because of the diversity and richness of the text, this song’s use is certainly not limited to Easter vigils or Easter morning. Townend states that he “really wanted to convey the immediacy of the Easter morning experience, and how that morning changed history forever.” With that in mind, this hymn can be sung at different times in worship. The celebration of that resurrection morning can be sung in the weeks following Easter, especially as the third stanza leads us into Ascension and Pentecost. In addition, you could use this as an opening song of praise in any service or as a response to an assurance of pardon. The text is also testimonial, which means it could be sung during a service where there is a profession of faith or baptism, or even before or after a personal testimony. Finally, if the situation allows or is pastorally appropriate, there may even be room for this song at the conclusion of a memorial service or funeral.
 
The triumphant nature of the music and text make this song a great candidate for a plethora of instruments. If your number of instruments is limited, it could be played by just a trumpet and keyboard or by guitars with drums. However, if you have the capacity, this is the kind of song for which you can pull out all the stops. The tempo should not be too slow; but it should never be sung so fast that the richness of the text is minimized.
 
You may want to begin the second stanza quietly with only drums or one small instrument to suggest the image of Mary’s sorrow, with a slow crescendo until all instruments join in at the center of the stanza, where we sing the realization “It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!” Another possibility for the second stanza would be to have a female soloist sing the first half of the stanza, portraying the lone voice of Mary.
 
The third stanza could be sung on its own apart from the other stanzas as a doxology, or the second half of the last stanza could simply be repeated a cappella.
 
One final suggestion: have a drama or dance group act out the images painted by the text, as was suggested for the song “When the Son of God Was Dying.”
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 102)
— Brenda Kuyper

Hymn Story/Background

Keith Getty and Stuart Townend are known for writing “story songs,” hymns that let the worshipper sing through part of the Gospel story. Getty was itching to write a triumphant melody, and immediately thought to write a song that told the story of the resurrection. He sent Townend a melody, and in writing lyrics, Townend strove to convey the immediacy of the Easter morning experience, which leads the worshipper to respond in the third verse with nothing but praise to the triune God.
— Laura de Jong

Author and Composer Information

Stuart Townend (b. 1963) grew up in West Yorkshire, England, the youngest son of an Anglican vicar. He started learning piano at a young age, and began writing music at age 22. He has produced albums for Keith Routledge and Vinesong, among many others, and has also released eight solo albums to date. Some of his better-known songs include “How Deep the Father’s Love,” “The King of Love,” and “The Power of the Cross.” He continues to work closely with friends Keith and Kristyn Getty, and is currently a worship leader in Church of Christ the King in Brighton, where he lives with wife Caroline, and children Joseph, Emma and Eden.
Keith Getty (b. December 16, 1974) developed a passion for writing good songs for the church in his twenties, and began writing for his small Baptist church. He is passionate about writing theologically astute lyrics and tunes that are easy to sing. Growing up in Ireland, he now lives with his wife Kristyn and daughter Eliza Joy in Nashville. Getty writes and performs predominantly with Kristyn, and the couple regularly tour the United States and the United Kingdom.
 
— Laura de Jong
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.