Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ascension of our Lord: A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing

The Ascension is often a forgotten festival. 40 days after our Lord's resurrection, he ascends into heaven. The church celebrates this in real time, which makes to day the 40th day after Easter Sunday.

My favorite hymns for this day are "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing" and "Up Through Endless Ranks of Angels." I was unable to locate video for the latter, but the tune for the former has many settings available. While most settings are joyous and exuberant, there are a couple of surprisingly meditative setting towards the latter half of this hymn.

The text from Lutheran Service Book is under copyright, so here is the public domain text as found on the original Cyber Hymnal.


A setting by Paul Manz


A hymn of glory let us sing
New songs throughout the world shall ring
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Christ, by a road before untrod
Ascendeth to the throne of God.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

A setting of the tune for brass and organ


The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand
Alleluia, Alleluia.
And with His followers they see
Jesus’ resplendent majesty
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

The organ at the Chapel of our Lord
Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois


To Whom the angels drawing nigh,
“Why stand and gaze upon the sky?”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“This is the Savior,” thus they say.
“This is His noble triumph day.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting for Ocarina
based on Ralph Vaughn Williams


“Again ye shall behold Him so,
As ye have today seen Him go.”
Alleluia, Alleluia.
“In glorious pomp ascending high
Up to the portals of the sky.”
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Classic hymn setting
with a little improv here and there.


O grant us thitherward to tend
And with unwearied hearts ascend,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Unto Thy kingdom’s throne, where Thou
As is our faith, art seated now,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Organ Improvisation/Meditation


Be Thou our Joy and strong Defense,
Who art our future Recompense,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
So shall the light that springs from Thee
Be ours through all eternity,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting for Bagpipe and Drum


O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to Thee let earth accord,
Alleluia, Alleluia.
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit One,
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

Setting by Dan Miller
This one uses interesting rhythms


  1. This is an awesome piece. I just purchased it this week myself. Fast and easy to learn as well......Always a plus!

    Here is a link to purchase it if you're interested.

  2. Thanks, Steve! I was blessed to sing this song at this evening's eucharist. It made for a nice communion hymn because I could sing the alleluias as I approached and left the altar.

  3. Find me a person who doesn't love the "Alleluia." They're pretty irresitable...

    I often wonder how many people REALLY understand what they are singing when they sing or respond with an "Alleluia." They obviusly know they've sung it countless times and feel the joy and satisfying peace it creates in their soul somehow. Perhaps for some it's just a peace due to it's familiarity to them. As humans, we all naturally tend to migrate to those familiar things or surroundings to find peace, rest and comfort.

    But do they realize the word "Alleluia" is Hebrew for "praise the Lord" (though in its Greek spelling). It is a word of joy and gladness. So, when we sing or speak that "Alleluia" we are really saying - "praise the Lord!".

    So how much more powerful could our "Alleluia's" be in knowing that? Even greater! As Christian's those "Alleluia's" come from deep within. They come from that place where God himself has written HIS name our hearts marking us as his own.

    Now those "Alleluia's" become even more familiar to us. Not just in history and repition, but in knowing we are a child of God. Chosen and saved by his redeeming grace. In knowing and believing that, is when we find our TRUE sense of peace. What more could we ask for? There is nothing more. As a Christian, we have everything we need. What overwhelming peace, joy and comfort that is.

    ** ALLELUIA! **

  4. See, you would make a great blogger! In the mean time, you might find your comments here making their way to its own blogpost here at All for Hymn, giving credit where credit is due, of course!

    Blessings to you, Steve. Drop me a note if you do start your own blog.


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