My Story “Altitude” Forthcoming in Passages North

My flash fiction piece “Altitude” won an honorable mention in the Just Desserts Short-Short Fiction Prize from Passages North, the literary journal of Northern Michigan University, and will be published in Volume 32.1. This contest runs in even-numbered years, alternating with their poetry and nonfiction awards. Here’s the beginning of the story; to find out what happens next, order your copy of the magazine today!


The highest point in Pennsylvania is the lowest point in Colorado. Alice had read this on one of the maps Sam had tacked up to decorate his office at the Speedy Garage. The walls’ faded mustard paint job was nearly hidden under bumpy pale pink and green relief maps, annotated maps of states other than their own, and archaic town maps with long-lost structures delineated in copper-plate script: railroad bridge, dairy farm, lunatic hospital.

Alice used to think the maps meant Sam appreciated planning as much as she did, that he understood the expectations invested in ivory notecards and tasting menus, their notarized claim on the future. But maps were also what you saw in real time when you flew above the land, west to east, so high that there were no people visible on the checkerboard of suburbs and cornfields as rust-colored cliffs gave way to slate hills and green valleys. I’ve fallen in love, he said, once at the beginning and once at the end. There were many times in the middle, as well, or Alice wouldn’t have traveled so far down the road of Hawaiian tickets and cake toppers, pew ribbons and arguments with the DJ, but it was the first and last times that mattered, as always. You can fall a lot farther in Colorado, she’d wanted to say. We’re next door to the Grand Canyon.

to be continued…

Wednesday Random Song: The Hooters, “All You Zombies”

It’s from the 1980s! And it’s about the Bible! And zombies! Awesomeness guaranteed.

Holy Moses met the Pharaoh
Yeah, he tried to set him straight
Looked him in the eye
“Let my people go”

Holy Moses on the mountain
High above the golden calf
Went to get the Ten Commandments
Yeah, he’s just gonna break them in half!

All you zombies hide your faces
All you people in the street
All you sittin’ in high places
The pieces gonna fall on you

No one ever spoke to Noah
They all laughed at him instead
Working on his ark
Working all by himself

Only Noah saw it coming
Forty days and forty nights
Took his sons and daughters with him
Yeah, they were the Israelites

The rain’s gonna fall on you

Holy Father, what’s the matter
Where have all your children gone
Sitting in the dark
Living all by themselves
You don’t have to hide any more

All you zombies show your faces…
…The pieces gonna fall on you

All you zombies show your faces
(I know you’re out there)
All you people in the street
(Let’s see you)
All you sittin’ in high places
It’s all gonna fall on you

(Lyrics courtesy of

“Barbie at 50” Wins Cervena Barva Poetry Chapbook Prize

All this time I thought I was just playing with dolls…turns out I was doing research!

Afaa Michael Weaver has selected my poetry chapbook Barbie at 50 as the winner of the 2010 poetry chapbook prize from Cervena Barva Press, an exciting small press based in the Cambridge/Boston area and edited by Gloria Mindock. The book will be published later this year.

Poems in Barbie at 50 have appeared or are forthcoming in The Broome Review, Naugatuck River Review, Phoebe, Conte, Juked, and Istanbul Literary Review, and in the Florence Poets Society annual Silkworm anthology.

Enjoy the title poem, first published in the Winter 2010 issue of Naugatuck River Review:

Barbie at 50

Her little girls no longer bite their nails,
the stubby hands that undressed her
have moved on to trouser buttons.
Pink polish, bitten to the quick,
or younger still, drawn on with purple marker —
now French tips and a diamond or later
an untanned line where the ring once was.
Barbie knows the world by hands and feet.
Her own are forever arched for heels,
hot pink, one sandal and one pump.
Barbie’s been buried in the sand
beside mother’s toes, splayed in flip-flops,
chunky piglet barefoot girls
who dunked her in a bucket,
drew on her nipples, cut and stroked her hair.
Head down in seawater,
she could have told them that midlife nirvana
doesn’t need a plane ticket.
Barbie’s naked as the widows
floating in the Ganges.
She wasn’t there when Ken died.
A lady of her age steers clear of most events
involving small boys and firecrackers.
Pink is the color of mourning
for Barbie, who wore it on every occasion
when there was someone to dress her.
Plump hands brush pink on lined and powdered cheeks.
Barbie is carried out in a box.
Hands turn over tags,
hunting garage-sale bargains.
Nude, she lies back on the picnic table,
points her inked-on breasts to the sky.

Fans wait on line for a signed copy.


Christian Pop Star Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

My praise goes out today to the courageous and talented singer Jennifer Knapp , a star of the contemporary Christian music scene, who has come out as a lesbian and a person of faith. The Grammy nominee and Dove Awards winner stopped recording in 2003, and now her fans know why.

Though she is no longer on a “Christian” record label, her statements to the media suggest that she still considers herself a believer. The evangelical magazine Christianity Today ran an exclusive interview that is sure to cause controversy among its largely non-affirming readership. Though interviewer Mark Moring can’t resist calling her orientation a “lifestyle choice”, I think the magazine still deserves props for giving her a respectful forum to discuss an issue that many would like to pretend doesn’t exist. Here’s an excerpt (boldface emphasis mine):

Were you struggling with same-sex attraction when writing your first three albums? Those songs are so confessional, clearly coming from a place of a person who knows her need for grace and mercy.

Knapp: To be honest, it never occurred to me while writing those songs. I wasn’t seeking out a same-sex relationship during that time.

During my college years, I received some admonishment about some relationships I’d had with women. Some people said, “You might want to renegotiate that,” even though those relationships weren’t sexual. Hindsight being 20/20, I guess it makes sense. But if you remove the social problem that homosexuality brings to the church—and the debate as to whether or not it should be called a “struggle,” because there are proponents on both sides—you remove the notion that I am living my life with a great deal of joy. It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a “struggle.” The struggle I’ve had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I’ve been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I’ve always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace. So it’s difficult for me to say that I’ve struggled within myself, because I haven’t. I’ve struggled with other people. I’ve struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself.

Are you beyond those struggles?

Knapp: I don’t know. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. But now that I’m back in the U.S., I’m contending with the culture shock of moving back here. There’s some extremely volatile language and debate—on all sides—that just breaks my heart. Frankly, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t be making any kind of public statement at all. But there are people I care about within the church community who would seek to throw me out simply because of who I’ve chosen to spend my life with.

So why come out of the closet, so to speak?

Knapp: I’m in no way capable of leading a charge for some kind of activist movement. I’m just a normal human being who’s dealing with normal everyday life scenarios. As a Christian, I’m doing that as best as I can. The heartbreaking thing to me is that we’re all hopelessly deceived if we don’t think that there are people within our churches, within our communities, who want to hold on to the person they love, whatever sex that may be, and hold on to their faith. It’s a hard notion. It will be a struggle for those who are in a spot that they have to choose between one or the other. The struggle I’ve been through—and I don’t know if I will ever be fully out of it—is feeling like I have to justify my faith or the decisions that I’ve made to choose to love who I choose to love.

Have you ever felt like you had to choose between your faith or your gay feelings?

Knapp: Yes. Absolutely.

Because you felt they were incompatible?

Knapp: Well, everyone around me made it absolutely clear that this is not an option for me, to invest in this other person—and for me to choose to do so would be a denial of my faith.

What about what Scripture says on the topic?

Knapp: The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about. I’m not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn’t allow homosexuals within our church. There’s a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I’ve been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.

Some argue that the feelings of homosexuality are not sinful, but only the act. What would you say?

Knapp: I’m not capable of fully debating that well. But I’ve always struggled as a Christian with various forms of external evidence that we are obligated to show that we are Christians. I’ve found no law that commands me in any way other than to love my neighbor as myself, and that love is the greatest commandment. At a certain point I find myself so handcuffed in my own faith by trying to get it right—to try and look like a Christian, to try to do the things that Christians should do, to be all of these things externally—to fake it until I get myself all handcuffed and tied up in knots as to what I was supposed to be doing there in the first place.

If God expects me, in order to be a Christian, to be able to theologically justify every move that I make, I’m sorry. I’m going to be a miserable failure.

Amen to that! Enjoy this 2008 live performance of her song “Whole Again”:

Daddy, daddy do you miss me.
The way I crawled upon your knee.
Those childish games of hide and seek
Seem a million miles away.

Am I lost in some illusion.
Or am I what you thought I’d be.
Now it seems I’ve found myself
In need to be forgiven.
Is there still room upon that knee?

If I give my Life, If I lay it down
Can you turn this Life around, around
Can I be made clean
By this offering of my soul.
Can I be made whole again?

Have I labored all for nothing.
Trying to make it on my own.
Fear to reach out to the hand
Of one who understands me
Say I’d rather be here all alone.

It’s all my fault I sit and wallow in seclusion.
As if I had no hope at all,
I guess truth becomes you
I have seen it all in motion
That Pride comes before the fall.

If I give my Life, If I lay it down
Can you turn this Life around, around
Can I be made clean
By this offering of my soul.
Can I be made whole again?

Can I offer up this simple prayer.

Pray it finds a simple ear.
A scratch in your infinite time.
Not withstanding my fallings
Not withstanding my crime!

If I give my Life, If I lay it down

Can you turn this Life around, around
Can I be made clean,
By this offering of my soul.
Can I be made whole again?

If I give my Life, If I lay it down

Can you turn this Life around, around
Can I be made clean
By this offering of my soul.
Can I be made whole again?

(Lyrics courtesy of

Heterosexism 101: Mike Huckabee

Today’s lesson in straight privilege is brought to you by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and possibly again in 2012. He is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister. In a recent interview with The Perspective, the student newspaper of the College of New Jersey, he repeated the old slur that legalizing gay marriage is equivalent to approving drug abuse, incest, and polygamy. As quoted in the Associated Press:

Huckabee added that his goal isn’t to tell others how to live, but that the burden of proving that a gay marriage can be successful rests with the activists in favor of changing the law.

“I don’t have to prove that marriage is a man and a woman in a relationship for life,” he said. “They have to prove that two men can have an equally definable relationship called marriage, and somehow that that can mean the same thing.”

Thank you, Mike, for defining inequality in a nutshell. We don’t think often enough about burdens of proof and why they fall where they do. More often, we take sides in existing debates without asking how one group seized the benefits of normalcy and whether they ought to retain it.

Do straights deserve to put gays on the defensive because we’re a majority? I thought one of the cornerstones of our American civil religion was the belief, embodied in the Bill of Rights, that the individual has certain fundamental human rights that shouldn’t be subject to majority vote.

Because we populate the planet? The harsh realities of nomadic desert life could explain why the Abrahamic faiths discouraged non-procreative sex, but environmentalists might say we need the reverse incentive now.

Because we’ve done such a good job keeping our marital vows? Three words: 50% divorce rate.

I think many traditionalists refuse to listen to gay-rights arguments because it’s scary to consider that our favorite “natural” hierarchies might be arbitrary and self-serving. Without even realizing it, we’re all somewhat invested in upholding social categories that make us feel better about ourselves.

The Bible has a word for basing our self-esteem on something other than God’s unmerited love for us. It’s called idolatry.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Hello Hangover

We’ve seen kid-sized stripper poles and thongs for tots, but the campaign to turn Romper Room into the Champagne Room isn’t complete without the right beverages. This item comes to us from the e-newsletter of the Marin Institute, a nonprofit that raises awareness about the social costs of alcohol and the marketing of addictive substances to youth.

Hello Kitty—the iconic cartoon image gracing thousands of children’s toys and clothing throughout the globe—is now promoting alcoholic beverages. Wine with names like “Hello Kitty Angel” (white) and “Hello Kitty Devil” (red) will be available for purchase in May.

The Rosé label features Hello Kitty in a little black dress, winking and holding a glass of wine. The “Devil” and “Angel” wine labels show Hello Kitty with a devil’s tail and angel wings, respectively, and heart-shaped tattoos on each of their behinds. The Brut Rose label displays Hello Kitty in a pink onesie with hearts, and has a special prize hanging on each bottle: a little Hello Kitty pendant on a chain.

Italian winemaker Tenimenti Castelrotto, along with with Camomilla, an Italian fashion company, collaborated to sell the wine with the Hello Kitty brand worldwide. Their rationale for this campaign: “Hello Kitty is not just for children. She is a recognized cult fashion icon among teenagers and adults around the world.”

Visit the Hello Kitty Wine website to see Kitty dodging paparazzi and hitting the sauce. Recipes include “Feline Fizz”, which sounds like an idea that should never have left the litterbox.

Drink responsibly, kids.

Of Empty Tombs

They crucified my Savior upon a common cross.
They crucified my Savior upon a common cross.
They crucified my Savior upon a common cross,
And God’s grace will lead my spirit home.

    –“Christ Rose“, 18th-century African-American spiritual

The following story comes from the April 11, 2010 Associated Press newswire (not reprinted here in full for copyright reasons):

THIES, Senegal – Even death cannot stop the violence against gays in this corner of the world any more.

Madieye Diallo’s body had only been in the ground for a few hours when the mob descended on the weedy cemetery with shovels. They yanked out the corpse, spit on its torso, dragged it away and dumped it in front of the home of his elderly parents.

The scene of May 2, 2009 was filmed on a cell phone and the video sold at the market. It passed from phone to phone, sowing panic among gay men who say they now feel like hunted animals.

“I locked myself inside my room and didn’t come out for days,” says a 31-year-old gay friend of Diallo’s who is ill with HIV. “I’m afraid of what will happen to me after I die. Will my parents be able to bury me?”

A wave of intense homophobia is washing across Africa, where homosexuality is already illegal in at least 37 countries.

In the last year alone, gay men have been arrested in Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. In Uganda, lawmakers are considering a bill that would sentence homosexuals to life in prison and include capital punishment for ‘repeat offenders.’ And in South Africa, the only country that recognizes gay rights, gangs have carried out so-called “corrective” rapes on lesbians.

“Across many parts of Africa, we’ve seen a rise in homophobic violence,” says London-based gay-rights activist Peter Tatchell, whose organization tracks abuse against gays and lesbians in Africa. “It’s been steadily building for the last 10 years but has got markedly worse in the last year.”

To the long list of abuse meted out to suspected homosexuals in Africa, Senegal has added a new form of degradation — the desecration of their bodies.

In the past two years, at least four men suspected of being gay have been exhumed by angry mobs in cemeteries in Senegal. The violence is especially shocking because Senegal, unlike other countries in the region, is considered a model of tolerance….

The article goes on to say that the current backlash in Senegal began in 2008 when a tabloid published pictures of a clandestine gay wedding. Suspected gays were arrested and tortured. Worsening economic conditions also fueled the search for a scapegoat, Cheikh Ibrahima Niang, a professor of social anthropology at Senegal’s largest university, told the AP reporter.

…The crackdown also coincided with spiraling food prices. Niang says political and religious leaders saw an easy way to reach constituents through the inflammatory topic of homosexuality.
“They found a way to explain the difficulties people are facing as a deviation from religious life,” says Niang. “So if people are poor — it’s because there are prostitutes in the street. If they don’t have enough to eat, it’s because there are homosexuals.”

Muslim imams preached in favor of killing gays. The same sentiments were published in Senegalese newspapers and magazines. Some people evidently took the exhortations to heart:

…Around this time, in May 2008, a middle-aged man called Serigne Mbaye fell ill and died in a suburb of Dakar.

His children tried to bury him in his village but were turned back from the cemetery because of widespread rumors that he was gay. His sons drove his body around trying to find a cemetery that would accept him. They were finally forced to bury him on the side of a road, using their own hands to dig a hole, according to media reports.

The grave was too shallow and the wind blew away the dirt. When the decomposing body was later discovered, Mbaye’s children were arrested and charged with improperly burying their father.

In the town of Kaolack three months later, residents exhumed the grave of another man believed to be gay. In November 2008, residents in Pikine removed a corpse from a mosque of another suspected homosexual and left it on the side of the road….

…Among the people who appeared in the photograph published from the gay wedding was a young man in his 30s from Thies. He was an activist and a leader of a gay organization called And Ligay, meaning “Working together,” which he ran out of his parents’ house.

He was HIV-positive and on medication.

When the tabloid published the photograph, Diallo went into hiding, according to a close friend who asked not to be named because he too is gay. Unable to go to the doctor, Diallo stopped taking his anti-retrovirals. By the spring of 2009, he was so ill that his family checked him into St. Jean de Dieu, a Catholic hospital in downtown Thies, says the friend.

He was in a coma when he died at 5:50 a.m. on May 2, 2009, according to the hospital’s records. Although the hospital has a unit dedicated to treating HIV patients, the young man’s family never disclosed his illness, according to the doctor in charge.

Several gay friends tried to see Diallo in the hospital but were told to stay away by his family, says the friend.

When the AP tried to speak to Diallo’s elderly father at his shop on the main thoroughfare in Thies, his other children demanded the reporter leave. One sister covered her face and sobbed. Another said, “There are no homosexuals here.”

Hours after he died, his family took Diallo’s body to a nearby mosque, where custom holds the corpse should be bathed and wrapped in a white cloth. Before the family could bathe him, news reached the mosque that Diallo was gay and they were chased out, says the dead man’s friend. His relatives hastily wrapped him in a sheet and headed to the cemetery, where they carried him past the home of Babacar Sene.

“A man that’s known as being a homosexual can’t be buried in a cemetery. His body needs to be thrown away like trash,” says Sene. “His parents knew that he was gay and they did nothing about it. So when he died we wanted to make sure he was punished.”

Where in this story is the Savior who was crucified? On which side do you think you’ll find him?

In Memoriam: The Internet Monk

Dennis Michael Spencer, the Christian blogger known as the Internet Monk, passed away on April 5 at age 53 after a four-month battle with cancer. He left behind him a devoted community of readers who were inspired and challenged by his “dispatches from the post-evangelical wilderness”.

Michael never shrank from pointing out uncomfortable truths about American Christianity’s militarism, materialism, shallowness, and other distractions from a faith centered on God’s grace and Christ’s saving work. He gave a voice to many people who felt that their church was no longer a safe place to admit that they weren’t perfect. While I had trouble with his conservatism on sexuality and gender, and wish he could have extended his wonderful critique of legalism to include these issues, the work he did is enduring and valuable, and (in my opinion) led by the Holy Spirit.

I’m happy to see that his literary agent, Jeff Dunn, and the guest preachers who filled in on his blog when he became ill, plan to continue the iMonk website and community. Among other projects, they will be promoting his book Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality, forthcoming from WaterBrook Press in September. Pre-order your copy at now.

One of the most popular and representative of Michael’s blog posts was “Wretched Urgency“, in which he confronts Christians’ “guilt-inducing, blood on your hands” panic about making converts. We should be zealous to know Christ and be transformed into his image, Michael says, but a “humble and quiet rest in who God is and what God does” should always come first. God’s grace saves the world, not us.

My personal favorite from the iMonk archives, though, is the 2006 post “I Hear Pepper Talking“. I thought I was the only one who felt compassion for inanimate objects. Without sliding into pantheism, Michael defends his tendency to personification, saying it’s not only a sign of respect for God’s creation, but an ethically useful habit of mind that counteracts our tendency to dehumanize people:

…The smallest thing I ever personified was a packet of pepper. I got it in the cafeteria line and didn’t use it, so I put it in my pocket. When I got ready to throw it away, it said “Please, sir. I was created to be useful to someone’s food. Can’t you give me another chance? Don’t throw me away and waste my life.”…

…If someone were to film our family personifying animals, they would conclude we were several fries short of a happy meal. We enjoy the fun. We’ve passed on this little habit to our kids, and along the way, taught them to think about what they were doing to a toy, or how it felt to be lost and misplaced, or why something given as a gift wants to be shared.

God took the dust of the earth and made human beings. He took a rib and made Eve. These are stories of God making persons out of the impersonal. Capon (via Augustine) says that we are given our meaning in the mind of God, who conceived of us as persons when we were not yet, and had done nothing. He thought of us, as we are at every stage and moment of life, loved us in Jesus, and reconciled himself to us… all before we existed. He delights in us in his own thoughts in perfect grace….and then he makes us persons in his image and in his Son.

We are persons, made in God’s image, only because God gives to us a voice, significance and life. We have life in Christ. His life is the light of men. He gives creation its personal character. We are persons because we reflect our creator, and not just the creation or other beings. We are made persons by God’s personal action to cause us to be, and to be again.

Jesus treated all those he met with love, dignity and compassion. He made persons out of the non-persons in his culture. He included the sinful, the excluded and the dehumanized. Oppressors have always used the process of dehumanization to cement their power over the world, but God causes the downtrodden to be lifted up, the forgotten to be remembered, and the dead to be raised up.

Now we who are loyal to Jesus and worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ are person-makers as well. We follow Jesus when we look upon the world and endow it, again, with its God-given character. All that God has created displays dimensions of his being, and the wonderful work of his hands. We do not merely exist, use or consume, but we worship God as stewards and namers of creation. We are creative because we want to take the someTHING and show that it all related to and speaks for someONE.

Most significantly of all, we give voice and significant to other persons in a dehumanizing, empty world. We make persons out of the lonely, the overlooked and the suffering. We refuse to live dumbly and distracted in a world where people are numbers and statistics. We seek to joyfully live and serve in a way that gives human dignity, human respect and God’s love and grace to every person who knows us, works with us or lives with us.

Our personification is ongoing, as God makes us, through the Spirit, more and more like himself. Our giving personal significance to others is ongoing as well. Whether we are parents, teachers, artists, counselors or caregivers, we imitate and obey God when we make those around us more the persons God created of for whom Christ died.

Rest in peace, generous heart.

Dorothea Lasky: “Whatever you paid for that sweater, it was worth it”

Sometimes I have a very specific, weird experience, and am amazed to find that another poet has written about this exact thing. I had this feeling when I came across this poem from Dorothea Lasky’s book AWE on the Wave Books website. For me, it describes the exhilaration, terror, and shame of writing a novel about someone who lives a much wilder life than I do.

When I say that my inner self (or some previously-repressed aspect of it) is a man, and a rather oversexed and sarcastic man at that, what am I saying about the ways that being a woman limits my life? And are those limitations cultural or inherent? In this poem, the woman who is murdered is apparently also set free, “careening back there up into the stars”. Even more than the license to be a sexual adventurer, which I don’t especially want except in fantasy, the freedom from the pressure to be “good” and “nice” seems like a privilege associated with masculinity. At the same time, I am a woman, and I need to find some way to affirm that female energy, or I fall into another type of self-betrayal.

My protagonist is a fashion photographer, and so my book includes some exploration of artifice versus nature, and concealment versus intimacy. I think he’d appreciate the poem’s incongruous title, whose throwaway pop-culture lightness seems to be telling the narrator not to take her lyricism and high drama too seriously. The confession is disavowed even before it’s made.

Whatever you paid for that sweater, it was worth it

Be scared of yourself
The real self
Is very scary.
It is a man
But more importantly
The man is tall
And is everything in you that is an absolute
   reverse of all your actions
In you he will do things and in you no one
   will know the difference
Still the honey and the herb, the bright lights.

The piece of fiscal fish, the lemons,
The blank above with stars will praise you
But he, he puts his legs over frail women
And tries to get to the thing they won’t give up.
Just as true loneliness gets to the very real
   thing in you
Scary or not, is part man for all it is wanting
   and can’t get
To the place where it has married woman, it sits
In a sea of lemons, its tail dragged bloody across
   the floor.

Still, here I do not speak of mutilation.
The real self is not muddy, it is pure
Still here it is a thing of murder
The self comes off itself and murders the woman
   in its path
Her skirts effortlessly careening back there up
   into the stars.

Reprinted by permission of Wave Books. Visit Dorothea Lasky’s page on their website here, to read more poems and to order AWE and her new book Black Life.

Easter Hymn: “Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”

A belated happy Easter to my readers! (The liturgical season of Easter is actually 50 days long, so this post is not as untimely as it might appear.) has posted a list of 188 Easter hymns, with lyrics and music to sing along. This is one of my favorites. Listen to the melody here.

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.

“Alleluia!” now we cry to our King immortal,
Who, triumphant, burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
“Alleluia!” with the Son, God the Father praising,
“Alleluia!” yet again to the Spirit raising.