One of my favorite anthems for the Ascension is by Gerald Finzi, a British composer from the first half of the twentieth century. His anthem, “God is gone up” uses an unusual text by Edward Taylor (c.1642-1729). It’s a difficult anthem and one that we have sung a few times at the Cathedral.
“God Is Gone Up” by Gerald Finzi
Sung by the Wells Cathedral Choir
God is gone up with a triumphant shout:
The Lord with sounding Trumpets' melodies:
Sing Praise, sing Praise, sing Praise, sing Praises out,
Unto our King sing praise seraphicwise!
Lift up your Heads, ye lasting Doors, they sing,
And let the King of Glory enter in.
Methinks I see Heaven's sparkling courtiers fly,
In flakes of Glory down him to attend,
And hear Heart-cramping notes of Melody Surround his Chariot as it did ascend;
Mixing their Music, making ev'ry string More to enravish as they this tune sing.