Music has a transcendent power to unite and inspire. This is evident in the moving worship song “Rejoice,” which has quickly become a popular pick in churches around the world. Though deceptively simple in its lyrics and melody, “Rejoice” resonates deeply with congregations seeking joy and hope amidst life’s anxieties.
The roots of “Rejoice” emerged organically during a songwriting session at the Getty’s home in Ireland. Bryan Fowler had Psalm 150:6 on his heart, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” and crafted an initial chorus centered on praising God with each breath we take. When Bryan shared his work, the other songwriters, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Ben Shive, and Skye Peterson, knew he was on to something powerful. Kristyn felt strongly drawn to the theme of rejoicing in the Lord amidst any circumstance, and felt the energy of the melody would immediately lift eyes up to Jesus.
Along with Psalm 150:6, Philippians 4:4 became a central theme for the song: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” As the collaborators worked and prayed together, trading ideas back and forth, the lyrics and melody came into focus like light piercing the darkness. They wanted a song to “sing the Bible”, a song to battle anxieties running rampant in youth, a song to lift eyes up to Jesus. They had that song.
Though simple, the lyrics of “Rejoice” contain profound truths. Drawing directly from Scripture, they remind us to fix our eyes on God, offer gratitude in all situations, and pray earnestly for each other. The chorus, with its energetic cry to “Praise the Lord” no matter the season, feels like an anthem – one we can march to together. For many burdened by anxiety and fear, the clarion call to rejoice comes as a bolt of lightning, igniting courage and joy within.
Musically, “Rejoice” builds momentum like a wave gathering power across the ocean. Its driving rhythms, singable melodies, and opportunities for layered harmonies make it the perfect congregational song. People from all walks of life can lift their voices together as one. The darkness cannot overcome such unanimous praise.
Today, “Rejoice” is sung in worship services all around the world, bringing Christians together through its unifying message of rejoicing in our loving Father. Though life often presents challenges, we can face them with hope and joy. When we lift our voices in praise, the Lord is with us. There are always reasons to rejoice!