Rejoice, the Lord is King!

Full Text

1 Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

2 Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains,
He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

3 His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o'er earth and heav'n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv'n:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

4 Rejoice in glorious hope!
Our Lord and judge shall come
And take His servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Baptist Hymnal, 1991

Author: Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley, the son of Samuel Wesley, was born at Epworth, Dec. 18, 1707. He was educated at Westminster School and afterwards at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated M.A. In 1735, he took Orders and immediately proceeded with his brother John to Georgia, both being employed as missionaries of the S.P.G. He returned to England in 1736. For many years he engaged with his brother in preaching the Gospel. He died March 29, 1788. To Charles Wesley has been justly assigned the appellation of the "Bard of Methodism." His prominence in hymn writing may be judged from the fact that in the "Wesleyan Hymn Book," 623 of the 770 hymns were written by him; and he published more than thirty poetical works, written either by himself alone,… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Rejoice, the Lord is King: Your Lord and King adore
Title: Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Author: Charles Wesley (1744)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Life up your heart, lift up your voice


Scripture References:
st. 2 = Rev. 1:18
st. 3 = Acts 5:31, Heb. 1:3
st. 4 = 1 Cor. 15:52, 1 Thess. 4:16, Rev. 20:11-15
ref. = Phil. 4:4

Charles Wesley (PHH 267) wrote this text for Easter and Ascension in six stanzas. First published in John Wesley's Moral and Sacred Poems (1744), the text was also published in Charles Wesley's Hymns for our Lord's Resurrection (1746). The original stanzas 2 and 5 are not included.

The text rejoices in the kingship of Christ (st. 1) whose rule extends "o'er earth and heaven" (st. 2). All will bow the knee to Christ (st. 3) when he returns in glory to judge "the living and dead" (st. 4). The refrain line based on Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice,” is the keynote of the entire text.

Liturgical Use:
Ascension; Easter; a great hymn of praise suitable for any worship service (fits well with the royal psalms in the Old Testament); funeral or memorial service.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Rejoice, the Lord is King. C. Wesley. [Easter or Ascension.] This is No. viii. of 16 hymns printed in 1746 as Hymns for Our Lord's Resurrection. It is in 6 st.anzas of 6 lines. It had previously appeared in J. Wesley's Moral and Sacred Poems, 1744. (P. Works, iv. p. 140.) It has been included, either in full or in part, in most hymnbooks of any moment from Whitefield’s, in 1753, to Thring's, in 1882, with the result that it is in extensive use in all English-speaking countries. Curiously enough, however, it was not given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book until the revised ed. of 1875.

A cento for harvest beginning with the first stanza is found in some Unitarian hymnbooks both old and new, including Ellen Courtauld's Psalms, Hymns and Anthems, 1860. It is in 5 st., the first stanza and lines5,6, of each of the others being from this hymn, whilst the rest are by John Taylor in Enfield's Norwich Selection of Hymns, 1795. In R. Bingham's Hymno. Christ. Latina, 1871, st. i., ii., iv., vi., slightly altered, are rendered into Latin as, "Rex est Dominus! Laetantes."

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Composed by John Darwall (b. Haughton, Staffordshire, England, 1731; d. Walsall, Staffordshire, England, 1789), DARWALL'S 148TH was first published as a setting for Psalm 148 in Aaron William's New Universal Psalmodist (1770) with only soprano and bass parts. The harmonization dates from the ninete…

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