|First Line:||Lift up your hearts unto the Lord|
|Title:||Lift Up Your Hearts unto the Lord|
|Author:||Linda Stassen (1974)|
|Source:||Early Christian liturgy (st. 1-4 from)|
|Copyright:||Text, st. 5, and music © 1974, Linda Stassen. Renewed 2002 Linda L. Benjamin, New Song Creations.|
Immensely popular, this praise chorus has been included in hundreds of songbooks, both in North America and in other continents. Linda L. Stassen-Benjamin (b. Laporte, IN, 1951) originally composed what is now stanza 5 rather instantaneously (while she was in the shower!) in June 1974. The song was published and recorded by Maranatha! Music, a ministry of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California, of which Stassen-Benjamin is a member. Stassen-Benjamin was educated at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, and EI Camino College, Torrence, California. During the 1970s she sang and recorded for various ensembles, including David and New Song. Since 1981 she has been secretary, songwriter, and vocalist with New Song Ministries in Costa Mesa.
Following both oral tradition and the format in various published hymnals (including Hymns for Today's Church,1982), the Psalter Hymnal precedes Stassen-Benjamin's stanza with four other stanzas derived from early Christian liturgies and the "Easter Canticle," which quotes from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 and 15:20-22. So the text contains biblical and liturgical phrasing familiar to all English-speaking Christians. Together these textual ingredients make a powerful praise chorus. Following the tradition of many praise choruses, other stanzas can be added, for example:
Jesus is risen from the dead!
Christ is the Lord of heav'n and earth.
Praise be to God forevermore!
Before or during the Lord’s Supper; especially useful during Easter season; the “feast” in stanza 4 is clearly the Lord’s Supper, but it could also refer to other festivals of the church year.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook