As you may know, the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services are often difficult to navigate musically. Just like Christmas, there are many great old hymns of the faith that are foundational for many believers. However, many of these are difficult to translate musically into a modern sound.
This didn’t stop me from using a classic hymn for one of our biggest services. Last year for Easter Sunday I tackled “Christ Arose”. Talk about a challenge! I found a pretty contemporary groove for the verses, but there was just no getting around the awkward metering on the chorus “Up from the grave He arose!”. I made several attempts to “straighten it out”, but I just couldn’t come up with anything that worked. In addition, that song is so well known within my church denomination, I was afraid they would sing it the traditional way no matter what I tried to do to it!
I ultimately decided to just go with the traditional version of the song. I figured our teens and twenty-somethings needed a shot of tradition on Easter. In the end, it worked and was very meaningful. I could see some smiles from the older folks as they recalled the last time they had sung the song. The young folks probably thought it was some new retro style post-modern worship anthem :).
So don’t be afraid of digging out the traditional hymn every now and then even if you can’t make them sound like Chris Tomlin. In the end it will bless your people and connect the generations.
So what big songs are you planning this Easter, new or old? Let’s hear about it!