Rejoice the Lord is King
- Text: Charles Wesley (1707 - 1788)
- Music: William Billings (1746 - 1800)
A little about this piece
William Billings was the most important composer of the early period of American church music, the last third of the eighteenth century. His compositions consisted of anthems and psalm tunes, sacred music excerpt for a handful of anthems. Charles Wesley wrote the text for "Rejoice, the Lord is King!" in 1746 The text of this hymn is also quite clear in its message: It is a call to worship the risen Christ. In fact, in its original setting, it is listed under the heading "On the Resurrection," obviously pointing towards Easter. This is a joyous text as affirmed by the refrain at the end of the first three stanzas: "Lift up your heart, lift up your voice, Rejoice; again I say, rejoice!" The call to "Lift up your heart" is also a part of the Sursum Corda that begins the Eucharistic prayer.
Sanford Dole sang all four parts of it on October 18, 2020 as a part of our pandemic inspired streaming liturgy.