Now the Green Blade Rises

Yesterday, at our worship service for Easter, we played a modern rendition of the classic hymn, Now the Green Blade Riseth.   With lyrics written by an Anglican clergyman, John Macleod Campbell Crum, in 1928, it is based on an old French Christmas Carol tune and 15th century melody, Noël Nouvelet.

The version we rocked out on yesterday was arranged by Alex Mejias for High Street Hymns, that seeks to reclaim hymns for the good of the contemporary church.   The lyrics powerfully testify to the truth of Christ’s Resurrection:

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He’d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When engaging with those who are skeptical about the truth of the Christian faith, it all comes down to whether or not the story expressed in this hymn is a real event in history,  fantastic wishful thinking, or a really bad April Fools joke.  I’ll go with the first option.

For a more traditional version of this hymn, enjoy this by the Choir of Ely Cathedral:

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About Clarke Morledge

Clarke Morledge -- Computer Network Engineer, College of William and Mary... I hiked the Mount of the Holy Cross, one of the famous Colorado Fourteeners, with some friends in July, 2012. My buddy, Mike Scott, snapped this photo of me on the summit. View all posts by Clarke Morledge

4 responses to “Now the Green Blade Rises

  • fred nice

    thanks clarke……beautiful music. the old hymns are hard for me to understand alot of the time but this one was extra special. it helped hearing it while reading along. i loved that choir’s version.

    • John Paine

      I love what Alex and the High Street folks are doing with the traditional hymns. And having the words projected is very helpful. I attended Andy Stanley’s church recently, and they are projecting the lyrics with their live video feeds. It really helps to make a connection with the thoughts that underpin the music.

  • Clarke Morledge

    I stumbled on this version of Noël Nouvelet by Canadian Celtic songwriter Loreena McKennitt. McKennitt is probably a bit out there for some Veracity folks, but what I thought was interesting is that she is singing this in the original Old French version of the Christmas Carol, as she claims. Not having a clue about Old French, I’ll just take her word for it.

    A bit of an African/Celtic feel to it….

    Clarke

  • Virginia

    Clarke- I’ve been a Loreena McKennitt groupie for ages (!) Her Celtic does Middle Eastern music is so ethereally inspirational (& unique).. Thanx for sharing this & the beautiful hymn above. The hymns are such a rich resource of faith – i love them (!) …& my parents blast them out in the daytime… They memorize them & when he can’t sleep Papa goes through them at night.

    grace, peace & Hymn Groupies – Virginia : )

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