For Easter, the Raphael Choir will be singing a song called He is Risen. It was written by an Anglo-Irish hymnodist named Cecil Frances Alexander. She lived in Ireland in the 1800’s and began writing verse in her childhood. By the time she was in her twenties, she was already known as a hymn writer, and her compositions were soon included in the Church of Ireland hymnbooks. She also wrote other secular literary works, including lyric and narrative poems and translations of French poetry. One of her other hymns which is very well known to St. Joseph parishioners is Once in Royal David’s City which is sung at the opening of each and every Advent Lessons and Carols service. As a person, Alexander was involved in charitable work for much of her life and even used money from her publications to help build the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. Her work also involved assisting “fallen women” and developing a district nurses service. On the flip side, however, she was a strong supporter of the class system. In one verse of another of her hymns, she essentially asserted that it was God who created the rich and the poor, and that their station in life was ordained by God as well. After her death, she was honored with a panel of three stained glass windows in a Derry cathedral.