Previous | Index | Next

The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Hymns help make Easter special

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, April 8, 2021

As Easter approaches, there is one memory that sticks like gum in a full head of hair: Easter hymns.

Also, there’s the memory of how we greet family and friends on Easter. We say, “He is risen” and the other person replies, “He is risen indeed.”

When I ask my grown kids what their favorite Easter song is, all six usually say, “Christ Arose” and, often, one or the other will begin to sing. “Low in the grave He lay, Jesus, my Savior, Waiting the coming day, Jesus, my Lord!”

And then, with great volume and joy we sing the refrain: “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes, He arose a victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with His saints to reign.” And then, with measured tempo, “He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

The hymn was written at Easter in 1874 by Robert Lowry, a preacher in Lewiston, Penn.

Before I forget, if you’re allergic to Easter lilies, remember to remove its “trumpet,” the orange center, which holds the allergens. It works with daffodils, too.

Back to more joy. Another favorite Easter song that many of us like to sing with gusto at Easter is A.H. Ackley's “He Lives,” written in 1933 at a time in our country when we were still feeling the effects of the Great Depression.

“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today.

I know that He is living, Whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer;

And just the time I need Him He’s always near.”

There are three verses and the chorus that are equally powerful.

“He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.

He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”

A similar version, “Because He lives,” was written by Bill Gaither more than a century later.

“God sent His son. They called Him Jesus.

He came to love, heal, and forgive.

He lived and died to buy my pardon.

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.


Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, all fear is gone

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living,

Just because He lives!”

The only other thing I feel I cannot live without at Easter time are my traditional yellow Peeps. I tried those Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs and agree that they are the best, too.

Easter reminds us that God holds our future in His hands and makes life worth living for all who trust in Him. “... because I live, ye shall live also,” John 14:19.

God wants to bless you this Easter. I hope to see you in church.

Previous | Index | Next