Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.@1 Corinthians 15:20

William J. Irons, 1873, alt. This hymn was sung at the funeral of American president Ronald Reagan.

Hymn to Joy from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; adapted by Edward Hodges, 1824 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Sing with all the saints in glory,
Sing the resurrection song!
Death and sorrow, earth’s dark story,
To the former days belong.
All around the clouds are breaking,
Soon the storms of time shall cease;
In God’s likeness we, awaking,
Know the everlasting peace.

O what glory, far exceeding
All that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts, for ages pleading,
Never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it,
There on high our welcome waits.
Every humble spirit shares it;
Christ has passed th’eternal gates.

Life eternal! Heav’n rejoices;
Jesus lives, who once was dead.
Join we now the deathless voices;
Child of God, lift up your head!
Patriarchs from distant ages,
Saints all longing for their heav’n,
Prophets, psalmists, seers, sages,
All await the glory given.

Life eternal! O what wonders
Crowd on faith; what joy unknown,
When, amidst earth’s closing thunders,
Saints shall stand before the throne!
O to enter that bright portal,
See that glowing firmament;
Know, with Thee, O God immortal,
Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.