Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
love lives again, that with the dead has been;
love is come again like wheat arising green.
-from Now the Green Blade Rises
Text by John M.C. Crum
This is the first verse of Now the Green Blade Rises (#237 in the Common Praise). It is my favourite Easter hymn (my all-time favourite hymn, actually). I wonder what your favourite Easter hymn is.
I don’t think this hymn sounds like the usual songs that we sing for Easter: it is not triumphant, there are no alleluias – in fact, it makes me feel a little sad. However, that is part of the reason that I love it so much. I feel that this haunting melody speaks to my understanding and experience of Easter and the Resurrection, perhaps especially this Easter, which is a whirlwind of emotions: joy, sadness, longing, hope, and more, all mixed up together – so many that it can be difficult to express with words alone.
However, the other reason I love this hymn is because of those beautiful words, evoking the imagery of green, growing things to wonder about the meaning and mystery of Easter – love coming again “like wheat arising green.”
I hope that this song may be a gift to you this season. As we journey further into Springtime and Eastertide, may every bud be a reminder for you of Easter, every sprouting seed a symbol of the Resurrection, and every green blade that rises a sign of hope, and of God’s great love for you and the whole world.
Thanks be to God!