Jesus Christ is ris’n today

Text: 14th century Bohemian Latin hymn
Music: John Walsh (c.1750-1825),
rev. by John Arnold (1720-1792)
Tune name: EASTER HYMN

The original Latin hymn, “Surrexit Christus hodie,” references Matthew 28:6, Acts 2:32, 1 Peter 3:18, and Revelation 1:17-18. It was translated into English by the Irish cleric John Baptist Walsh for his Lyra Davidica, or a Collection of Divine Songs and Hymns, partly newly composed, partly translated from the High German and Latin Hymns, first published in 1708. The fourth verse, with its trinitarian conclusion, was added by Charles Wesley in 1749.


EASTER HYMN as we know it is based on a much more elaborate and ornamental tune that Walsh devised for Lyra Davidica. It was later tamed and tempered by John Arnold in his 1749 Compleat Psalmodist (a reprint edition of which is available online). The Alleluias at the end of each line retain a celebratory exuberance.


“Jesus Christ is ris’n today” sung by
the All Saints Choir, Wallace Hornady, organ