Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Glorious Day - Behind the Music

The song "Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)" was made famous by the contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns. The lyrics came from the John Wilbur Chapman hymn ¨One Day When Heaven Was Filled With His Praises¨ or more often called ¨One Day¨ which was written in 1909.  The credits for the modern version of the song are Words by J. Wilbur Chapman (1909), Music by Michael Bleecker @ 2008 Word Music.

Behind the Music | Glorious Day - Michael Bleecker

Easter was approaching, and I was having a difficult time finding good Easter songs to sing. As a worship pastor, that can be very disheartening. So I did what any God-fearing worship pastor would do: I Googled "Easter Worship Songs." I browsed around trying to find the right song when my eye caught the word "Hymnal."

I walked over to my stack of hymnals and pulled out the 1939 copy of "The Hymns of Praise - Numbers One and Two Combined" from a church in Kenosha, Wisconsin (I don't know how it got to my bookshelf). I flipped through the yellowed pages and found "One Day." As I carefully pulled back page 172, I read:

Living, He loved me; dying He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming - oh glorious day!

That's the gospel in four creatively written lines. The verses of the song expound each line of the chorus: verse one describes the birth of Christ, verse two the death of Christ, verse three the ascension of Christ and verse four the return of Christ.

I'm grateful for the Presbyterian evangelist Rev. John Wilbur Chapman and his hymn from the late 1800s. From combining his words with a melody the Lord gave me in five minutes, came "Glorious Day." I pray that it be used to teach the gospel and stir the affections of others for Jesus Christ.

- Michael Bleecker (© 2012 The Village Church)

The following is the original song:

One day When Heaven Was Filled with His Praises

One day when heaven was filled with his praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin—
Dwelt amongst men, my example is he!

Living, he loved me; dying, he saved me;
Buried, he carried my sins far away;
Rising, he justified freely, for ever:
One day he's coming—O, glorious day!

One day they led him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed him to die on the tree;
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected:
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is he!

One day they left him alone in the garden,
One day he rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er his tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Saviour is he!

One day the grave could conceal him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then he arose, over death he had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!

One day the trumpet will sound for his coming,
One day the skies with his glories will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Saviour, this Jesus is mine!


  1. Made famous by Casting Crowns???? This glorious hymn has been around since before the members of Casting Crowns were born. It was a favorite of many at my Church.

  2. Powerful how these hymns of old are something we should never forget or celebrate through singing no matter how much our music changes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Powerful how these hymns of old are something we should never forget or celebrate through singing no matter how much our music changes. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sometimes it is hard for me to comprehend people and groups who make a claim of making a song famous when people have been singing certain songs when I was little as my mother directed many choirs singing that song as we as children called it "The Easter Song" Today she would be 108. I am happy for casting crowns and enjoy heir music but our church use to shout, dance and get happy back in the fifties and sixties!

  5. Many old hymns have been resurrected to be more popular, which is what Casting Crowns has done. This song is one of them. I used to play this when I was young, it was my mother's favorite. I enjoy it now also. I'm glad to hear people singing it with a renewed joy for the love of our Lord and what He went through for each and every one of us. It doesn't matter if it was an old hymn it just matters that it touches peoples hearts.