Five exclamation points in today's title. That's how many appear in this week's hymn titles. If that doesn't tell you how to sing them, I don't know what does.
We haven't run out of Easter hymns yet, and this Sunday we're singing two of my favorites: "Hallelujah! Jesus Lives!" and "Alleluia! Jesus is Risen!" They're great pieces of music, of course, upbeat hymns of praise. I was also thinking, though, that it's their scarcity that adds to their value. (Somedays my economic and finance training interact with my music.)
There are no malls playing these hymns as part of their background music. No rock artists record albums with these tunes. No dogs will ever bark these tunes. Chances are you hear them only once or twice a year at church, yet I bet most people have at least the first verse memorized and instantly recognize the hymn from just the first few measures of the introduction. Don't those facts speak strongly of the power of music in general, as well as the educational power of church music?
While writing this post, I had fun imagining the new release of Bob Dylan's Easter album (just as horrific a train wreck as his Christmas album), and thinking how much I would love to hear Renee Fleming's performance of them. What singer or group would record your dream album of Easter hymns? What tune would be the first track?