On This Day the First of Days
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 834
    1st stanza:
    On this day, the first of days,
    God our Maker's name we praise;
    Who, creation’s Lord and spring
    Did the world from darkness bring.

    Curious what others think: Should this hymn be understood in the strict literal sense (i.e. 1st day referring to Sundays) or as a more general Eastertide hymn (i..e Eastertide celebrated for 50 days)? In other words, do you think it would be appropriate to sing this hymn on a another day of the week (within the Easter season) other than Sunday?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    It's a Sunday hymn - second stanza refers specifically to Easter Sunday (which, liturgically, includes its octave) and Pentecost Sunday - but it's not a specifically Eastertide text. I would not program it on other days of the week.
    Thanked by 1JL
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 834
    What about Jesus Christ is Risen Today or Christ the Lord is Risen Today? The literal sense is obvious, but could it not also be understood figuratively?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    In my experience, those are normally sung through the Easter Octave. There's a surfeit of good Eastertide hymnody and music to supply for the remainder of the season.

    In the Ordinary Form, there's a definite arc to the lections of the Sundays of Eastertide:

    1. The first three Sundays are devoted to the Resurrection event and the reception of it by the disciples.

    2. The fourth Sunday is a mid-season pivot, in the form of manifesting the fullness of the Good Shepherd within the context of the Paschal Mystery.

    3. The remaining Sundays are devoted to the Final Discourse in the context of the complete Paschal Mystery, the Lord's Ascension, and Pentecost.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    PS: I am also one of those people who has a raised eyebrow when a text like Psalm 100 is used as a recessional. I am not rigidly literal, but "Come to worship!" texts are not rendered in their best light in a "Leave worship!" context.
  • Resurrection event
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    What about Jesus Christ is Risen Today or Christ the Lord is Risen Today? The literal sense is obvious, but could it not also be understood figuratively?

    If you become a literalist, neither of those should be sung even on Easter, as Christ rose some two millennia ago. Not today. Not Easter 2018, not 2019, nor 2020.

    Or you could be super figurative and say they’re both appropriate at any time, since Christ is risen today just as he was on the historical Easter Sunday.

    Or ... you could just not worry yourself about such minutiae RE: hymns (which are an addition to the texts of the Mass anyways) and go forth singing these hymns during the Easter season if it seems to suit your parish.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    Well, if Christ's passion, death and resurrection are not made present today through anamnetic liturgy, we might as well shut down the entire Christian enterprise.
  • JL
    Posts: 170
    I don't have the text in front of me, but here's how I would break it down:

    "Who creation's Lord and spring / Did the world from darkness bring."--creation began on Sunday, the "first day"

    "On this day th'eternal Son / Over death His triumph won."--Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week

    "On this day the Spirit came / With His gifts of living flame."--the Apostles received the Holy Spirit on Sunday, the birthday of the Church

    "Father, who didst fashion man / Godlike in Thy loving plan / and so forth"--It's Sunday. Here we are. Yay!

    I tend to associate this one with Ordinary Time Sundays, but there's nothing weird about programming it in Eastertide. Weird would be programming it on a Tuesday.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 834
    The reason I raised the issue is because in the Liturgy of the Hours (USA) there are several hymns listed for the season of Easter including Jesus Christ is Risen Today and Christ the Lord is Risen Today. I was then looking in our Hymnal's seasonal index for some alternatives (for use at Morning Prayer, not Mass) and noticed it listed On this day... under the umbrella topic of Easter.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    That's the trap of the seasonal index - it does not distinguish any flow within a season. Sing "Silent Night" as the opening hymn on Epiphany or Baptism of the Lord, right? See "Christmas" in the seasonal index. Likewise, sing "Ashes" on, say, Palm Sunday.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 273
    Resurrection event


    I'm pretty sure the resurrection was an event. Moreover, Liam is clearly distinguishing the resurrection as an event (empty tomb/appearances) from reflection on the event of resurrection (Jesus as Good Shepherd) and those things that follow upon the resurrection (Ascension/Pentecost). Is there something I'm missing here?
    Thanked by 2Liam CHGiffen
  • Deacon Fritz,

    Of course the Resurrection was an event, both in time and in eternity. That wasn't the point of my criticism. Rather, when "scholars" use such terms they often intend to cast doubt on anything other than the ritual significance of the thing in question, so that the actual resurrection of Christ is called into doubt except as a sociological reference point.

    Intended or not, Fr. Krisman only heightens my concern. If we "make present the death and resurrection of Christ today", is that the same as "making it relevant to the people of our day", or, rather, showing them that it is still relevant?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    Deacon Fritz understood my reference correctly, as indicated by the flow of the context I was providing. I was not employing code for a contrary meaning. I didn't even understand the implication of Chris' question mark, that's how far from it was from my intention. (My reaction to "scholars" who employ "event" to mean "non-event" is to want to slap them upside the head - but I am not near enough to them to suffer the temptation other than virtually.)
  • Liam,
    Thank you for clarifying.
  • The Resurrection was indeed an 'event'.

    However, it has been my experience that those who believe it actually happened refer to it as The Resurrection. Those who don't, or don't literally, or have doubts refer to it as The Resurrection Event. This could be most any kind of spooky arising 'event' except the actual one that most of us believe in. Why else speak of it as The Resurrection Event rather than, simply, The Resurrection? This language comes from the same dictionary as 'Saviour Person' for those who can't quite accept that He really was a Man named Jesus, who was the Son of God --- who rose form the dead.

    As for the hymn in question. My thoughts are a twin to Liam's. It is a Sunday hymn.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,090
    I believe my use of the term "event" in the specific context could be readily understandable (as demonstrated by Deacon Fritz) to not be argot. I assumed a level of familiarity with the ABC lection cycle of the Ordinary Form that would make this a non-issue...

    I am familiar with the fact that some "scholars" have engaged in unpersuasive somersaults to turn the Resurrection into a something that was reverse-engineered by "Jesus Movement" (or whatever other silly term they choose) to explain Profound Experiences they had, but they ought not pass muster even with the most adamantine secular historian who properly employs epistemic humility (such a scholar may profess to be unpersuaded by the testimony of Christian scripture, but not engage in such silly somersaults).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,202
    I studied under a professor who is a Church historian of the Bologna School. I don't agree with most of what he thinks, but that's neither here nor there, my point being that for him, "event" is a technical term. It means a turning point: before the event, reality was one way. After the event, it had changed.

    Although it's clear to me that Liam wasn't using "event" in a technical sense at all, if he had been, it wouldn't be improper to say the Resurrection started something new.
  • drforjc
    Posts: 23
    God our Maker's name we praise;

    I'm more familiar with "God the Father's name we praise."

    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • If the politically correct version. verse 1 (referring to the First Person of the Blessed Trinity) can't use the word Father, but instead subs Maker,
    what is the PC version of the next verse, which refers to the Second Person? I wonder
    Thanked by 1drforjc