205

Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Composed in many short phrases, this Easter text moves from one image to the next in a series of joyful exclamations. The progression is from Easter resurrection to eschatological consummation, with each stanza ending in an exultant refrain.
 
-Sing! A New Creation

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.”
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Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen

Call to Worship

Joyful is the sound we make this morning!
For this day liberates us from doubt and fear.
Thankful is the song we sing!
For this day moves us past darkness and despair.
Hopeful is the prayer upon our lips!
For this day awakens in us long-awaited new life.
Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered in my name,
I am there among them.”
Christ lives here and now.
He is among us at this and every moment!
May his peace and presence be known to you.
And also to you.
Let us greet one another with expressions of Christian love.
—based on Matthew 18:20
[Reformed Worship 58:19]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

In life and in death we belong to God.
Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.
We trust in Jesus Christ,
fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor
and release to the captives,
forgiving sinners,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
Jesus was crucified,
suffering the depths of human pain
and giving his life for the sins of the world.
God raised Jesus from the dead,
vindicating his sinless life,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to life eternal.
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
—from A Brief Statement of Faith
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation;
for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created,
things visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—
all things have been created through him and for him.
He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church;
he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
so that he might come to have first place in everything.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
by making peace through the blood of his cross.
—from Colossians 1:15-20, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

This is the good news that we have received,
in which we stand, and by which we are saved:
Christ died for our sins, was buried,
was raised on the third day,
and appeared first to the women,
then to Peter and the Twelve,
and then to many faithful witnesses.
We believe Jesus is the Christ,
the Anointed One of God,
the firstborn of all creation,
the firstborn from the dead,
in whom all things hold together,
in whom the fullness of God
was pleased to dwell
by the power of the Spirit.
Christ is the head of the body, the church,
and by the blood of the cross reconciles all things to God. Amen.
—based on 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Colossians 1:15-20
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Christ has died!
Christ has risen!
Christ will come again!
[ancient source, PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

This office the Lord Jesus most willingly undertook,
and in order to discharge its obligations
he was born under the law and perfectly fulfilled it.
He endured most grievous torments in his soul
and most painful sufferings in his body;
he was crucified, died, and was buried;
he remained under the power of death,
yet his body did not undergo decay;
and he arose from the dead on the third day
with the same body in which he had suffered.
In this body he ascended into heaven,
where he sits at the right hand of his Father, making intercession,
and he shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the age.
The Lord Jesus, by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself—
which he through the eternal Spirit once offered up to God—
has fully satisfied the justice of his Father.
He purchased not only reconciliation
but also an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven
for all whom the Father has given to him.
—from Westminster Confession (MESV), Chap. VIII, Sec. 4-5
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

O Father God of the risen Christ,
in whose resurrection we find new life,
send your Spirit to dwell among us in this day of worship.
O risen Christ, Son of the Father,
may we hear your word of peace today.
O Spirit of the living God,
teach us once more to live in the power of Christ’s resurrection,
in whose name we pray. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is particularly appropriate for the opening of an evening service focusing on
the Emmaus text (Luke 24:13-35).
Stay with us, Lord Jesus, for the day is almost over.
Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus,
we face times of depression, hopelessness, and fear.
Just when we think we understand your plan,
we are again baffled by an unforeseen series of events.
Dwell with us. Teach us more about you.
Feed us with your holy bread. Reveal yourself to us.
Lead us with your light and truth to such exceeding joy
that we respond in praise
and eagerly proclaim your good news.
In your holy name and in the power of your Spirit we pray. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us,
that the bread we break and the cup we bless
may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit make us one with Christ,
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place.
As this bread is Christ’s body for us,
send us out to be the body of Christ in the world.
[BCW, p 321[272], alt., PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
205

Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen

Tune Information

Name
EARTH AND ALL STARS
Meter
4.5.10 D refrain 10.5.4

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

This tune, well known in conjunction with the text “Earth and All Stars,” receives new life when attached to this text. Use varied organ registrations on the different stanzas, then pull out all the stops for the final stanza and refrain. Brass instruments on the refrain will add to the thrill of the piece. Its energy may tempt you to speed; resist, feeling in one beat per bar.
 
Choreograph this richly evocative text for liturgical dance, or do more simple movements: have the congregation slowly raise their arms on “Jesus is risen and we shall arise” and then wave their hands in the air (the American Sign Language sign for “praise”) while singing “give God the glory! Alleluia!” Or set a group of children around the perimeter and in the aisles of the worship area to wave colorful scarves or wide ribbons attached to dowels while the refrain is sung. 
205

Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen

Hymn Story/Background

Herbert Brokering was asked to prepare an Easter text to fit EARTH AND ALL STARS, a tune named for a creation hymn text he had written earlier to fit that same tune; the new combination was first published in With One Voice (2005). Like the “catalog” nature of “Earth and All Stars,” he spun out many exclamations in this new exhuberant text, with “Christ in the center, telling the story to open our eyes” (st. 2), rejoicing in the refrain that “Jesus is risen and we shall arise: give God the glory! Alleluia!” 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Herbert F. Brokering (b. Beatrice, Nebraska, May 21, 1926; d. Bloomington, Minnesota, November 7, 2009) was a Lutheran pastor with German roots, an author of more than forty books, and a poet and hymn writer known especially for two hymn texts, “Earth and All Stars” and “Alleluia! Christ Is Risen,” both set to the same tune. He was born in Nebraska, the son of a German Lutheran pastor; earned degrees from Wartburg College in Iowa, University of Iowa, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH, and pursued graduate study in Germany at the University of Kiel and the Universtiy of Erlangen. He served as a pastor of three Lutheran congregations, in Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas; taught at the Navy Chaplain’s Career School in Newport, Rhode Island, Luther Seminary and Trinity Seminary, and was also active in the Lutheran World Federation services and the World Council of Churches.
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

David Johnson (b. San Antonio, Texas, 1922; d. Phoenix, Arizona, 1987), former music department chairman at St. Olaf College, composed EARTH AND ALL STARS and published it in his Twelve Folksongs and Spirituals (1968). Johnson studied at Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and received his master's and doctoral degrees in music from Syracuse University, New York. In addition to St. Olaf, he taught at Syracuse University; Alfred University, Alfred, New York; and Arizona State University. Johnson was organist at Syracuse University and organist and choir director at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix. His publications include Instruction Book for Beginning Organists and Organ Teacher's Guide; his compositions number over three hundred and include hymn tunes, varied harmonizations, and hymn preludes.
— Bert Polman
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.



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