Now the Green Blade Rises

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

See the account of the resurrection narrative in the gospels - Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-16.

See also John 12:23-27 and I Corinthians 15:35-38.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Easter hymns accomplish three functions: they recount the Easter narrative, proclaim our Easter hope, and celebrate our joy at Christ’s resurrection. This hymn is built on the professions of Easter truths that are expressed primarily in Heidelberg Catechism. Note especially the following:

  • Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 declares that Christ’s resurrection makes us share in Christ’s righteousness, raises us to a new life by his power, and is a sure pledge to us of our resurrection.
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 57 comforts us to know that not only our soul but “also my very flesh will be raised by the power of God, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.”
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58 says that it may be a comfort to know that while experiencing the beginning of eternal joy now, “after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever.”

In addition, Our Song of Hope, stanza 5 professes: “On the day of the resurrection, the tomb was empty; His disciples saw Him; death was defeated; new life had come. God’s purpose for the world was sealed.”


Now the Green Blade Rises


On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God;
we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
—Isaiah 25:6-9, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

He walked out of the grave,
conqueror of sin and death—Lord of life!
We are set right with God, given new life,
and called to walk with him
in freedom from sin’s dominion.
Our World Belongs to God, st. 25
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


O Risen Christ,
even as you appeared to despondent disciples
in the garden, at your tomb, and on the road to Emmaus,
assure us now of your presence and power
during this time of need and sorrow. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

O God, whose presence is veiled from our eyes:
Grant that when we do not recognize you,
our hearts may burn within us,
and that when feeling is lost,
we may cling in faith to your Word
and the power of bread broken
in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
[Diane Karay Trip in BCW, pp. 325[281], PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
God of life,
we rejoice in the resurrection of your Son,
his defeat over death, and his gift of new life.
We praise you for the reflections of that new life
in creation . . .
in nations and governments around the world . . .
in the ministry of the church universal . . .
in our community as it . . .
in the sacrifice of those who serve . . .
in our new life in Christ . . .
To you as the giver of new life and renewed hope
we bring our prayers
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world . . .
for our nation and its leaders . . .
for this community and those who are in authority . . .
for the church universal as it works on your behalf . . .
for this local church in its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray all this in your name, the Lord and giver of life. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O Holy God, beyond our imagining and yet near to us as flesh to fingernails, we
come before you this Easter day in gratitude. We confess, O God, that we like to
think of Easter as a sunny and warm day, full of light and sweetness, redolent of all
that is fragrant in springtime. Yet no matter what the weather outside, on this day
your world remains in so many corners a dark and stormy place, sunk deep into the
cold winter of sin and evil. Those who first witnessed your Son’s resurrection found
it to be a fearful and fearsome event. For you, O great God of surprises, crashed
into our reality with something new and unexpected. But on this morning we do
not want to forget the darkness of last Friday afternoon and the way by which the
Easter victory, about which we so happily sing this day, came about. We cannot
forget the sacrifice, the bloody death, the God-forsaken pain of it all. This clash
between your kingdom and this world was fierce.
Today we do praise you for all the might, power, and creativity by which you
won the victory, Father. We praise you for raising from the dead our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, the great shepherd now of all of us sheep who follow him. But
because we cannot and must not forget also the darkness of sin that even still is
around us, we make petition this morning for all people anywhere and everywhere
who continue to feel crucified by a cruel world and yet do not perceive any Easter.
We pray for refugees, for tortured prisoners, for the innocent victims of war. We
pray for abused children and battered women, for stricken families from whom
a loved one has disappeared without a trace. We pray for the homeless poor and
those victimized and diminished by racism, discrimination, and oppression of all
kinds. We pray for all those who can see no Easter light because all that is good and
lovely has been eclipsed by a depression that will not lift, by chronic pain that will
not abate, by a stretch of unemployment with no end in sight, or by a job that is
slaying the spirit day by day because the work seems so meaningless. O Lord, the
things that led Jesus to the cross have not yet disappeared from the face of the earth.
The need for resurrection remains stubbornly present in the lives of millions. Make
us, O Spirit of the living God, life-giving spirits to minister to those in need this
Easter Sunday and always.
Right here in this congregation there are also needs aplenty. So we make petition
for the widow or widower who marks this Easter for the first time without a
beloved spouse who died since last we observed this holy day. Be with anyone who
feels that he or she needs to believe in the resurrection more than ever but is finding
it more and more difficult because the absence of that dear person is too real to
deny, too total to grasp. We pray for those who are sick this day or who are worried
about a loved one who is very ill.
And be with each of us gathered for this service. Thank you for friends and
family who are our guests this morning, and grant them a special blessing by your
Spirit. We bless you, Father God, for gracing us with musicians who spend their
talents thoughtfully and well in this place so that all of us may be edified and,
through the mystery of music, be drawn closer to you. But above all we thank you
for the presence of the Spirit of the living Lord, Christ Jesus. As we encounter nothing
short of your very self here this morning, may we know for sure that we have
indeed been in your sacred presence, and may this encounter in turn embolden us
to live an Easter life not only now but also in the days to come and forevermore.
Help us to take what we experience and learn here and to allow it to set a holy tone
for us always and everywhere. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Risen and reigning Lord,
truly you are a high priest
who has passed through the heavens.
Truly you were tested as we are,
and yet were without sin.
With boldness we approach your throne,
deeply assured of your mercy and grace
in our time of need.
And so we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning
give hope to your people.
May all who live without hope today
taste and see that you are good.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning call us, your people,
to testify to your goodness.
Equip each of us today
to be bold witnesses of Easter news.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning
call all the nations of the world
to stop their scheming and seek your peace.
May your Spirit convict all people
to submit to your rule and to pursue true peace.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning
call each of us to turn from the path of death
to the path of obedience and life.
Send your Spirit to strengthen our resolve,
and help us to live as people of life and light.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning
bring life and light and healing.
May all who suffer in the valley of the shadow of death and disease
know your healing presence.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
Your rising and your reigning
are firstfruits of all that is to come:
justice, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit.
May your kingdom come quickly.
So we pray, O Lord of glory.
May we, your Easter people,
never fail to bless and thank you
for your immeasurable love and sure promises.
All praise to you, risen Christ,
who with the Father and the Spirit lives
in perfect communion forever and ever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

You, O Christ, are Lord of all creation.
You are exalted above all.
Every knee will bow,
and every tongue will confess that you are Lord!
We join with all creation
and sing of your glory: “Alleluia, Amen!”
By your death and resurrection you conquered evil.
By your Spirit sustain us in our struggle with the powers of evil.
By your resurrection you lead us from death to life.
By your Spirit unite us to you,
and help us turn away from sin
and toward life everlasting.
By your resurrection you evoked worship from astonished guards
and gave your disciples joy and peace that surpass understanding.
By your Spirit help us to live our lives
in resurrection-shaped gratitude, joy, and peace.
[After a brief silence, the leader continues the prayer:]
God of grace and glory,
whether we are weak or strong,
old or young,
struggling or flourishing,
help us to see Jesus, our risen Lord.
Give us joy in the knowledge that
your Spirit unites us with Jesus,
helps us cross over from death to life,
and strengthens us to live an Easter life
both now and forever.
We pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Now the Green Blade Rises

Tune Information

f minor

Now the Green Blade Rises

Hymn Story/Background

This fifteenth-century French Easter carol was written to be sung to the tune, NOËL NOUVELET. This melody was the inspiration for Marcel Dupré when composing his “Variations on a Noël.” The harmonization was created by Martin F. Shaw for The Oxford Book of Carols (1928).
— New Century Hymnal Companion

Author Information

A graduate of New Coll­ege, Ox­ford (BA 1895, MA 1901), J.M.C. Crum (b. Mere Old Hall, Cheshire, England, October 12, 1872; d. Farnham, Surrey, England, December 19, 1958) was or­dained as a dea­con in 1897, and priest in 1900. He was as­sist­ant cur­ate at St. John the Evan­gel­ist, Dar­ling­ton (1897-1901); do­mes­tic chap­lain to Fran­cis Pa­get, Bi­shop of Ox­ford (1901-10); as­sist­ant cur­ate, Win­dsor (1907-10); Vicar of Ment­more with Led­burn (1910-12); Rec­tor of Farn­ham (1913-28); and Ca­non of Can­ter­bu­ry (1928-43).
— Cyberhymnal.org

Composer Information

Martin Fallis Shaw (b. London, England, March 9, 1875; d. Southwold, Suffolk, England, October 24, 1958) was educated at the Royal College of Music in London and was organist and choirmaster at St. Mary's, Primrose Hill (1908-1920), St. Martin's in the Fields (1920-1924), and the Eccleston Guild House (1924-1935). From 1935 to 1945 he served as music director for the diocese of Chelmsford. He established the Purcell Operatic Society and was a founder of the Plainsong and Medieval Society and what later became the Royal Society of Church Music.
Author of The Principles of English Church Music Composition (1921), Shaw was a notable reformer of English church music. He worked with Percy Dearmer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and his brother Geoffrey Shaw in publishing hymnals such as Son of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). A leader in the revival of English opera and folk music scholarship, Shaw composed some one hundred songs as well as anthems and service music; some of his best hymn tunes were published in his Additional Tunes in Use at St. Mary's (1915).
— Bert Polman

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