Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter [NOOK Book]

Overview

The treasured traditions of Easter—little bunnies, parades, new Easter outfits, sunrise services, passion plays, and more—infuse our celebration of the season with meaning and glowing memories. And in ways you may not realize, they point us to the resurrection of Christ and our hope of life beyond the grave. Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter reveals the events and backgrounds that shaped the best-loved customs and songs of Easter, introducing you to stories you’ve never heard and a deeper ...
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Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter

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Overview

The treasured traditions of Easter—little bunnies, parades, new Easter outfits, sunrise services, passion plays, and more—infuse our celebration of the season with meaning and glowing memories. And in ways you may not realize, they point us to the resurrection of Christ and our hope of life beyond the grave. Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter reveals the events and backgrounds that shaped the best-loved customs and songs of Easter, introducing you to stories you’ve never heard and a deeper appreciation for the holiday’s familiar hallmarks.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This latest from Collins is a counterpart to his Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmasand Turn Your Radio On. Touching on history with a light hand, Collins briefly explores Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, dressing up for Easter, and, most especially, the stories behind hymns and gospel songs associated with the holiday, treating the likes of Fanny Crosby and Frances Ridley Havergal with respect and candor. His selections run up almost to the present day with "Ten Thousand Angels Cried," which was recorded by LeAnn Rimes. Collins's books are clearly—and effectively—aimed at the gift-book market and are suitable for most collections.


—Graham Christian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310542261
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Sold by: Zondervan Publishing
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ace Collins is the writer of more than sixty books, including several bestsellers: Stories behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Stories behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, The Cathedrals, and Lassie: A Dog’s Life. Based in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, He continues to publish several new titles each year, including a series of novels, the first of which is Farraday Road. Ace has appeared on scores of television shows, including CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight.

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Read an Excerpt

Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter


By Ace Collins

Zondervan

Copyright © 2007 Andrew Collins
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-26315-9

Contents

Introduction: The History of the Easter Celebration.....................11 1. All Glory, Laud, and Honor...........................................17 2. Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed (At the Cross?)........................23 3. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.....................................30 4. The History of Lent..................................................35 5. Christ the Lord Is Risen Today.......................................41 6. Were You There.......................................................48 7. Jesus Paid It All....................................................54 8. The History of Passion Plays.........................................60 9. Near the Cross.......................................................65 10. I Gave My Life for Thee.............................................74 11. Hallelujah! Christ Is Risen.........................................81 12. The Tradition of Sunrise Services...................................87 13. Beneath the Cross of Jesus..........................................91 14. Crown Him with Many Crowns..........................................97 15. Christ Arose (Lo, in the Grave He Lay)..............................105 16. The Tradition of Easter Parades.....................................111 17. At Calvary..........................................................116 18. Blessed Redeemer....................................................123 19. One Day.............................................................129 20. The Custom of Dressing Up for Easter................................135 21. The Old Rugged Cross................................................141 22. Living for Jesus....................................................147 23. The History of the Easter Egg.......................................153 24. Lead Me to Calvary..................................................158 25. He Lives!...........................................................164 26. The History of the Easter Bunny.....................................170 27. Because He Lives....................................................174 28. Ten Thousand Angels Cried...........................................178

Chapter One

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Easter music was being written more than a thousand years ago. Even in the early church, monks composed scripturally based songs for use during the forty days of Lent and the Easter weekend. Though few of these early efforts have survived, there can be little doubt the ancient praise anthems offered great inspiration to the worshipers of their day.

Written around 820, "All Glory, Laud, and Honor" is probably the oldest Easter hymn still commonly sung by Christians. Because of its uplifting music and positive message, most of us don't know that this song of praise and hope was composed in a dark prison cell by a man who knew he would never emerge from within its walls. Our still knowing and singing this hymn today is due to the tireless study of this isolated man, a person deemed unfit for public ser vice by the leaders of his church. So the story behind this magnificent hymn is a testament to God's ability to bring people of faith together and to use these people in a mighty fashion no matter how isolated they are. Though separated by a thousand years, two men, intimately connected by their unswerving devotion to their Lord, paved the way for the world's most powerful Palm Sunday anthem.

If ever a man listened to Christ's directives and took them to heart, it was Theodulph of Orleans. Born in 760 in Italy, Theodulph was of royal blood. As a child he enjoyed wealth and protection not afforded to most people during those times. Theodulph also had the benefits of education and a staff of servants at his beck and call. In today's language, he had it made. Yet despite living in a world that demanded nothing of him, Theodulph heard a call stronger than the lure of luxury and power. After reading Jesus' challenge to the rich young man, Theodulph gave up his money, property, and title and surrendered his life to the Lord's ser vice.

Overnight the former nobleman joined the ranks of the commoner as a priest. In this capacity he sought out the poorest of the poor, feeding them while he shared the story of Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. His devotion to "the least of these" made him incredibly popular with the region's people and an enigma to the royals whose lifestyle he had once shared. Yet just as these men and women of privilege did not forget Theodulph, he did not forget them. In fact, he constantly looked to them for the funding needed to provide for those in dire circumstances.

As he continued his mission in God's ser vice, Theodulph migrated to a monastery in Florence, Italy. The twenty-one-year-old priest's passion for living out Christ's directives toward the poor caught the eye of one of the world's most powerful men. Charlemagne ordered Theodulph to come to his castle. After their meeting, the ruler appointed the priest as the Bishop of Orleans and moved him to France. Though again affiliated with the ruling class, Theodulph still devoted most of his time to the sick, the orphans, the poor, and the lost. For the next thirty-seven years, Theodulph was the bridge between the royal family and the country's poor.

Because of Theodulph's influence, Charlemagne took an interest in not just feeding the people of his kingdom but educating them. Under Theodulph's guidance, priests across France set up schools devoted to teaching the children of poor families. For the first time, common people enjoyed a privilege once reserved for only the elite. Such was his status that Theodulph had only to ask, and the financing for God's work was set in motion. Yet when Charlemagne died, Theodulph, who had so closely followed the steps of Christ, found his life suddenly mirroring that of Paul.

France's new ruler, Louis the Pious, was intimidated by Theodulph's power. He felt the bishop's popularity and influence might challenge his own authority, so he charged Theodulph with treason and ordered him to spend the remainder of his days in prison. The bishop was now in his late fifties. Unable to reach out to the poor he so deeply loved, he turned to those who had also lost their freedom. They became his flock. As he shared the gospel with these men, a fact became clear in his mind. The king who had imprisoned him was nothing more than a figurehead. The only real King was the one he had served since the day he had given up his title and possessions. Power was therefore not in the royal castle but in the hearts of all who believed in Christ as King. So, he reasoned, even in prison, he was still a powerful man.

All Glory, Laud, and Honor

All glory, laud, and honor To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. Thou art the King of Israel, Thou David's royal Son, Who in the Lord's name comest, The King and Blessed One.

All glory, laud, and honor To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. The company of angels Are praising thee on high, And mortal men and all things Created make reply.

All glory, laud, and honor To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. The people of the Hebrews With psalms before thee went; Our praise and prayer and anthems Before thee we present.

All glory, laud, and honor To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. To thee, before thy Passion, They sang their hymns of praise; To thee, now high exalted, Our melody we raise.

All glory, laud, and honor To thee, Redeemer, King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas ring. Thou didst accept their praises; Accept the prayers we bring, Who in all good delightest, Thou good and gracious King.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Stories Behind the Traditions and Songs of Easter by Ace Collins Copyright © 2007 by Andrew Collins. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: The History of the Easter Celebration     11
All Glory, Laud, and Honor     17
Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed (At the Cross?)     23
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross     30
The History of Lent     35
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today     41
Were You There     48
Jesus Paid It All     54
The History of Passion Plays     60
Near the Cross     65
I Gave My Life for Thee     74
Hallelujah! Christ Is Risen     81
The Tradition of Sunrise Services     87
Beneath the Cross of Jesus     91
Crown Him with Many Crowns     97
Christ Arose (Lo, in the Grave He Lay)     105
The Tradition of Easter Parades     111
At Calvary     116
Blessed Redeemer     123
One Day     129
The Custom of Dressing Up for Easter     135
The Old Rugged Cross     141
Living for Jesus     147
The History of the Easter Egg     153
Lead Me to Calvary     158
He Lives!     164
The History of the Easter Bunny     170
Because He Lives     174
TenThousand Angels Cried     178
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