Today’s hymn from Sing Praise is “Earth, earth, awake!” by Herman G Stümpfler Jr. I’m grateful to John for suggesting the tune ‘Lasst uns erfreuen’ (better known set to St Francis’ Canticle of Creation) rather than the one in the book; I enjoyed singing the harmony to the alleluias in the YouTube video.
This is very much an Easter hymn of praise. As I observed yesterday, in the Easter season we are reminded that Christ’s resurrection revealed on Easter day was as like a new morning for the world.
The first verse invites the whole creation – earth, sun and stars – to awake and sing praise to the risen King. The second invites us to join all nature as it “sings of hope reborn [as] Christ lives to comfort those who mourn”. This weekend of course, our nation mourns its senior Prince, who has passed into Glory honourably and of natural causes at the ripe old age of 99, but there will be many people also who are mourning for those who have died young, in tragic circumstances or of Coronavirus or other diseases. Their grief may be deeper, and their acceptance of their loved one’s death longer, than when a death was expected and natural. But whatever the circumstances, may they know God’s comfort.
Verse three makes the common comparison between winter turning into spring, and the new life of the resurrection. Whilst the first Easter did happen around Passover time in April, there is a very long-standing tradition of making this link with the time of year when flowers and buds appear and animals give birth (at least in the northern hemisphere where Christianity started). The final verse is a song of praise to the Trinity (see yesterday’s comments).