1 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus;
his the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph,
his the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood:
"Jesus, out of ev'ry nation
has redeemed us by his blood."
2 Alleluia! Bread of heaven,
here on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful
flee to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners,
earth's Redeemer, hear our plea
where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.
3 Alleluia! Not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! he is near us;
faith believes, nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him
when the forty days were o'er,
shall our hearts forget his promise:
"I am with you evermore"?
Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #606
|First Line:||Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the scepter, His the throne|
|Title:||Alleluia! Sing to Jesus|
|Author:||W. Chatterton Dix (1866)|
|Liturgical Use:||Communion Songs|
st. 1 = Rev. 5:9
st. 2 = John 14:18, Acts 1:9, Matt. 28:20
In 1866 William C. Dix (PHH 358) wrote this text for the celebration of the Lord's Supper at Ascension services. Originally entitled "Redemption by the Precious Blood," the five-stanza text, in which stanza 5 was a repeat of stanza 1, was published in Dix's Altar Songs, Verses on the Eucharist (1867). The original stanza 4 as well as the repeated stanza are omitted here. As in earlier editions of the Psalter Hymnal, stanza 3 changes the original text, which was "Alleluia! Bread of heaven, Thou on earth our food, our stay."
The "alleluias" that begin each stanza create a joyful tone of praise for the entire hymn. As we sing, we acclaim the glory of Christ now that the work of redemption is finished (st. 1); we are reminded that Christ has ascended but is always present with his people by his Spirit (st. 2); and we petition Christ to hear the cry of sinners and be our Intercessor" (st. 3).
Ascension Day, many other occasions.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Alleluia, sing to Jesus. W. C. Dix. [Holy Communion.] Written about the year 1866, the author's design being to assist in supplying a then acknowledged lack of Eucharistic hymns in Church of England hymnals. It was first published in his Altar Songs, 1867, No. vii., in 5 stanzas of 8 lines, and appointed especially for Ascensiontide, with the title “Redemption by the Precious Blood." From Altar Songs it passed, unaltered, into the Appendix to Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1868, No. 350, and subsequently into numerous collections both in Great Britain and America, sometimes in a slightly altered and abbreviated form.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Revelation 5:9 describes this eschatological scene of joy and glory: “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God members of every tribe and language and nation.’” In the glorious hymn, “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!” author William C. Dix invites us to sing that new song of praise to our ascended Savior. This hymn is a declaration of Jesus’ victory over death, and his continued presence among his people.
When a friend moves away or leaves us for a long time, our first response is to feel sad and lonely. In this hymn, however, Dix reminds us that though Christ physically left earth in the ascension, he does not leave us “as orphans”, but rather remains with us always, all the while interceding for us to the Father. And so we raise our voices to cry “Alleluia!” to the ascended, yet ever-present Christ.
Almost no two hymnals contain exactly the same text for this hymn, so choosing what text to use will depend a lot on your tradition or preference. Here are some of the major differences to help you choose:
The most commonly used tune for this hymn is HYFRYDOL (key of F), composed by Rowland H. Prichard in 1830. ALLELUIA (Wesley) and HYMN TO JOY are used as well. HYMN TO JOY especially allows for the emphasis on the "Alleluias" at the beginning of each verse, and should be done at a quick, driving tempo: check out Casting Crown's version with the text, "Joyful, Joyful" to give you an idea of how this classic tune could be adapted for worship band, and see Greg Scheer's website for a pdf lead sheet and information for downloading a piano score.
This joyful hymn of praise, originally titled “Redemption by the Precious Blood,” was written by William C. Dix in 1866 for the Lord’s Supper during Ascension Day, and remains a popular choice for Ascension services. The original third stanza, “Alleluia! Bread of Heaven, Thou on earth our food, our stay,” makes the hymn particularly appropriate for celebrating Communion, but it could be used throughout a worship service, especially when that text reads, “Alleluia! Heavenly High Priest.”
The text, especially stanza two, is specific to Ascension Day, but it could be used as a hymn of praise throughout the year. It could be particularly powerful as a hymn of response after a sermon or Scripture passage about Christ’s defeat over death: stanza one declares Christ’s victory, stanza two assures the believer of Christ’s continued presence, and stanza three reminds us of Jesus’ role in the Trinity as intercessor for us. Thus, a hymn about one particular event, it is also a hymn of Christ’s continued work in our lives.
Laura de Jong, Hymnary.org