The Easter season brings sights, stories, and songs that are familiar to many who have grown up in the Church. Each spring, we remember the final weeks and days of Jesus’ life in the time leading up to Easter Sunday. In preparing for this season, Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, senior pastor at North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, recognized a gap in liturgy to be filled.

“Most of our hymns about the resurrection are about Easter day, and there’s an entire season of Eastertide,” he said. “The resurrection is an ongoing gift of God’s power of salvation and that needs to be celebrated as days of resurrection, not just one single day.”

Out of this need for liturgy, Wood penned the hymn, “Hail the Days of Resurrection,” which is intended to celebrate the resurrection for the duration of the Eastertide season.

About four years ago when Wood began to write the lyrics, he was also impacted by the social injustices that were happening in our country.

He explained, “It seemed that there needed to be an affirmation of our faith in the resurrection, that really gives a sense of hope in light of all of those problems.”
This past April, the hymn took life as voices of the choir filled the empty sanctuary at North UMC and were live streamed to the congregation, who were still worshipping from home. The lyrics seemed to embody hope at a point in the pandemic when it was needed.

The hymn is written to the tune, “Holy Manna,” composed by William Moore. According to Discipleship Ministries, this hymn tune has been used in at least 45 hymns and is popular for it’s singability. When writing the lyrics, Wood paid attention to the cadence of the phrases to make sure that they fit well with the meter of the tune. Wood noted that “Holy Manna” embodies the energy of the resurrection, making it a good fit for his hymn.

In June, Discipleship Ministries, an agency that provides resources and training for United Methodist leaders, published the hymn for public use. The lyrics and sheet music can be found here.

While it remains to be seen where it will go next, the hymn is available for congregations to use in celebration of the hope found in the resurrection.

Story by: Jesse Schmit