Hymn #233: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) published this Easter hymn in 1739 in eleven stanzas.  With his brother John, Wesley was the power behind one of the greatest religious revivals in English history and one of the founders of the Methodist Church.

 

Charles Wesley, known as the "sweet singer" of Methodism, traveled hundreds of miles in the United States on horseback, preaching to crowds of thousands, often in open fields or on city streets.  Although critical of the established church, he remained a lifelong Anglican clergyman.

EASTER HYMN, the name of this anonymous tune, was originally the setting for another Easter hymn, "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today."  Around 1753, the named was changed to CHRISTMAS DAY when it was paired with a Christmas text by Charles Wesley, but it is now reestablished as an Easter tune.

 

Lyra Davidica, the source of this tune, was a hymnal printed in London, England, in 1708 by J. Walsh.  It contained a total of twenty-five tunes: nine German chorales, two Latin melodies, and fourteen of English origin, including this one.