Songs for the Ascension (Plus one "En Français")

18:49

Thursday is the greatest day of the year — Ascension Day! There aren't nearly enough worship songs nowadays about the Ascension of Christ, so — in anticipation of the big day itself — here are a few songs on the theme of the Ascension of our Lord. Click on the title of the first one for a video and the next three for simple audio recordings. (There's also a link to the first one in French — il y a aussi un lien vers le premier chanson en français.)

1. Before the Throne of God Above  [Words, Chords and Sheet Music]  (Charitie Bancroft)

Surely this must be one of the greatest hymns of all time. It's certainly one of my favourites, and a favourite in my assembly too. There are some songs that people mumble along to for years, but there are others where longstanding members and brand new people alike just suddenly burst into song with joy. In our church, this is one of those. (Also, Charitie Bancroft was from Northern Ireland, like me.) The wonderful new tune we all know it to was written by Vikki Cook. (For another Vikki Cook ascension song, see under Hail the Day below).

(And just for good measure, here it is in French — Voici un vidéo de la traduction française.)


2. See the Conqueror Mounts in Triumph  [Words]  (Christopher Wordsworth)
     (RH 198; NRH 274)
     Tune: Hyfrydol (I will sing the wondrous story)

This hymn is full of fantastic ascension theology. We've been singing every year at Ascensiontide since I came to Leeds 5 years ago. (We didn't know the tune in the book, so we just chose a tune we did know, and it works quite well that way.)


3. Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise   [Words]  (Charles Wesley)
     (RH 188; NRH 266)
     Tune: Llanfair  (it will also work the tune of Christ the Lord is Risen Today)
   
If you want something more contemporary, Steve and Vikki Cook (who wrote the tune we all know for Before the Throne of God) have adapted the words of this one and set it to new music with a chorus and bridge. Have a listen to their version here.


4. Where High the Heavenly Temple Stands   [Words]  (Old Scottish Paraphrase for Heb. 4:14 ff.)
     (RH 201; NRH 281)
      Tune: Boston  (the American tune for When I Survey the Wondrous Cross)

The Old Scottish Paraphrases have never had a great press, but their job was simply to put what the Bible says in ways that could be sung. You could almost think of this as a sermon in song — and what a sermon this one is! Here's one verse as an example:
In every pang that rends the heart
The Man of Sorrows has a part;
He sympathizes with our grief,
And to the sufferer sends relief.

5. He is the King of Kings (Glorified, Risen and Ascended)

Okay, I thought I'd find a video of this on Youtube to link to, but it turns out I couldn't find it anywhere. However it's the sort of old Pentecostal chorus that I'm sure lots of people know.

He is the King of Kings;
He is the Lord of Lords;
He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 
Glorified, Risen and Ascended;
Glorified, Risen Lord.
Glorified, Risen and Ascended;
Glorified, Risen Lord.

P.S. Here's a post from a few years ago on singing Ascension Day Psalms.
P.P.S. For more on the Ascension, click on the Ascension label at the bottom of the blog.

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The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

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