My Favorite Resurrection Hymn

by Elizabeth

I wanted to pass this song on to you during Easter Vigil (the night before Easter Sunday). Perhaps you need it as much as I do.

The Paschal Troparion is an Orthodox hymn dating back to the 5th century. Originally written in Greek, one of its English translations proclaims: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”

It is a sort of bridge between a mournful Holy Saturday and a joyous Resurrection Sunday (though Orthodox believers usually celebrate Easter on a different date than Protestants and Roman Catholics).

The music and lyrics of the Paschal Troparion were reimagined by the husband/wife musical duo eine blume, and I first heard it during a Velvet Ashes retreat several years ago. Its simplicity lends it an easy memorability, and it joins the best of ancient words with a beautiful modern melody.

I love the comfort and solidarity of singing something that believers have prayed in faith for hundreds of years. This hymn has become one of the songs that our family sings to end our morning devotions. Originally we closed only with the Doxology, but now we close with either the Doxology or the Paschal Troparion (or occasionally both).

In case you haven’t heard this song, or in case you had and just needed reminding, I wanted you to have it before the dawn of Easter morn. Confluence Worship covered it here (or you can purchase it on iTunes like we did). I’ve also pasted the song below.

Christ is risen from the dead,

Trampling down death by death.

And to those in the grave

He’s given life, He’s given life.

When the Blooper Turns Into Something Bigger {Velvet Ashes}

When I signed up for the Velvet Ashes’ “Bloopers” theme, I expected to write a light-hearted story poking fun at myself. After I wrote it, I realized the story was much heavier than I had initially thought. You’ll find the original anecdote in the first half of the article, with my further reflections in the second half of the article. ~Elizabeth

Trigger Warning: this post discusses violence and includes a story featuring a gun.

“Hit the floor.”

I learned that particular phrase in pre-field training. We had just gone through the first of two simulated hostage situations. As it concluded and we began debriefing the experience, one of our trainers instructed us to “hit the floor the moment you hear gunfire.” The two simulations impacted me deeply, and although I never had need of her words during my life abroad, I never forgot them.

Fast forward ten years to 2020, the year a tiny strip of RNA brought the world to its knees – and our lives to a screeching halt. Covid-19 may not be all-powerful, but it was still powerful enough to bring us “home” prematurely. My family is now living stateside for the foreseeable future.

A year of bicontinental transition meant living in four houses in the span of ten months. My pre-field training came flooding back to me just days after we moved into our third house of the year. We had just settled in for a family movie night, when all of a sudden a man walked around the back corner of the house.

Finish reading the article at Velvet Ashes.