537. Awake, All Who Sleep

Text Information
First Line: Awake, all who sleep, and arise from the dead
Title: Awake, All Who Sleep
Author: Petro Parson (1857)
Translator: Stanley M. Wiersma (1982)
Meter: 11 9 11 9 11 11
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ;
Topic: Invitation; Judge, God/Christ as; Church and Mission (4 more...)
Copyright: Translation © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Johannes G. Bastiaans (1868)
Meter: 11 9 11 9 11 11
Key: C Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Eph. 5:14
st. 3 = Acts 17:30-31

Petro Parson (b. Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1803; d:.Steenwijk, the Netherlands, 1878) wrote this text ("Ontwaak, gij die slaapt") during his long tenure as a pastor in Steenwijk (1831-1875). After studies at theological schools in Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Leiden, he briefly served one other congregation in Kuinre (1829-1831) before moving to Steenwijk, where he lived until retirement.

The best of Parson's devotional poetry, this text was first published in the Christelijke Gezangen der Herstelde Evangelisch Lutherse Gemeente in Nederland (1857) and then in the Vervolgbundel op de Evangelische Gezangen (1868). Stanley M. Wiersma (PHH 25) translated the text into English in 1982.

The primary image of "Awake, All Who Sleep" comes from Ephesians 5:14, in which Paul is thought to quote an early Christian hymn, “Wake Up, O Sleeper, Rise from the Dead, and Christ Will Shine on You.” The text presents an urgent, insistent reveille, a call to arise and turn to Christ now for eternal life, or face him later as the judge who condemns unbelievers to eternal death.

Liturgical Use:
As an invitation hymn in evangelistic services, or possibly during regular Sunday worship after the sermon (when the cry "Awake" could do double duty!); useful during the Easter Vigil or Easter season.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Johannes G. Bastiaans (PHH 418) composed ONTWAAK (awake) in 1866 for the original Dutch text. The tune was one of thirty that Bastiaans provided for the Vervolgbundel op de Evangelische Gezangen (1868) after being commissioned to do so by the Nederlandse Hervormde Kerk. ONTWAAK is also one of several of Bastiaans's tunes that remain popular to this day in the Dutch Reformed churches.

The tune is a bar form (AAB), a rarity in Bastiaans's tunes. Its melodic contour consists of a delicate balance of larger intervals and stepwise motion. Sing either in unison or in harmony. A more dramatic rendition might involve soloists singing stanzas 1-3 and the entire group singing stanza 4.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us