Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Easter 5A (May 14, 2017)

Acts 7:55-60
Stephen’s vision and his stoning
  • Tune in The people will perish without a vision strong (Whelan) A rock song about being strong in vision and courage. Lyrics, sound sample and songbook. 
  • Tune in: We are the dream that's longing / Jesus is waiting. An honest catchy rock song about our hesitation to follow and Jesus not only waiting, but continuing to work and change the world. A good sending-out song. Sound sample, lyrics and songbook 
  • Iona (M&G, T1AU) / MV099 / GC(II)673 / G(3)763 / Lau996 Stand O Stand Firm (Cameroon) I love having an excuse to sing this simple and powerful song. Very easy for your congregation. You can make up cantor parts too “Oh my sisters…. Oh my brothers… Oh my children….” or you can name countries you are praying for in your intercessions. Good for kids. Scottish sound sample. Lead sheet. 
  • TIS 624 / W&R453 / StF492 Christ be my leader by night as by day Excellent words of following Christ in times of struggle to a traditional Scottish melody. Lyrics New words to old tunes   
  • TiS 611 / AHB 543 / NCH436 / UMH577 / VU686 / LBW415 / ELW705 / A&M648 / HPP456 / PH420 / GtG307 / CP577 / CP(E) 448 / W&R569 / Cha464 / 82Hml-594 / StF682 / MP192 God of Grace and God of Glory (Fosdick) A song about being courageous and wise. There are many possible tunes and many sets of words to this hymn. NCH has the most inclusive words, but TiS and AHB are okay too. They don’t hold back in verse 3. Chorus: “Grant us wisdom, Grant us courage, for the facing of this hour”. Don’t know about everyone else, but I know best the tune AHB 543 (ii). One version of the lyrics. New words to old tunes  
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
God as refuge and redeemer


  • *Worldmaking.net O Holy One (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A very simple song for the start of worship. It could be sung altogether as a congregation or responsively. We sang this once last year, would be good to do it again. Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids. 
  • GC42 / GC(II)31 Abba Abba I Put My Life in Your Hands / Pongo mi Vida (Haas) Spanish and English lyrics for this simple version of Psalm 31. Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample. 
  • MV083 / FFS41 Let my spirit always sing (Murray) Good words about getting old. May be sund to a number of different tunes. A song for those who are aged or infirm. A good song to play in nursing homes, or in congregations with a large proportion of elderly who are wrestling with what it means to live in a body that doesn't do what it used to manage!  
  • *PfAS031C / URW256 (Refrain 2) My times are in your hands (Meyer Bush) A simple two part. This would be worth teaching. (It's not the old chorus) It can be sung on its own, or as a Psalm refrain, or prayer response.  Good for kids. 
  • *GtG811 / PfAS031D / URW256 (Refrain 1) Make your face to shine upon your servant / Haz resplandecer tu rostro (Wilkey) This is a lovely song. It can be sung on its own, or as a Psalm refrain, as in URW (use the section "Make your face to shine… loving kindness save me" as the refrain, and the section beginning "But as for me" at the conclusion of the Psalm).   
  • *ATAR669 Be my strength (Mann) Words about familiar comforting things, and about becoming older and more frail. Excellent.  
  • TiS 19 / Iona (PPP&P) / ATOK 339 In you O Lord I found refuge (Bell) A simple cantor and response Psalm. Really brief sound sample. 
  • Ps Project Into Your Hands (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A very very very very simple chant. 
  • *CP517 / W&R503 O God your constant care and love (Lanier) Quite good words about God's presence with us through our lives. Sung to a standard hymn tune. Lyrics and tune sample. New words to old tunes
  • TiS 240 / AHB182 / CH393 / StF640 We turn to God when we are sorely pressed (Bonhoeffer) Excellent words of our need for God, God's suffering, and God's generosity. Sung to a standard hymn tune. Lyrics and a number of translations. I much prefer the Church Hymnary version to the translations in TiS and AHB. 
  • CH725 Today I live one day shall come my death An unusual theme remarking on the inevitability of death and that we have no need to fear it. Lovely tune. Lyrics. 
  • *TiS 682 / ATW 490 / GA236 / A&M355 / AA151 / SP148 When human voices cannot sing (Murray) Lovely words of healing in the face of grief. I prefer this sung to ST COLUMBA, which is the tune in GA and TiS. Lyrics New words to old tunes    
  • StJ / G(II)346 / GC506 / GC(II)508 / G(3)586 You Are All We Have (O'Brien) A nice refrain and good cantor parts. Somewhat formal. Sound sample, sheet music sample and a different sound sample. 
  • *AoV2-070 / ATW 496 / MV090 / StJ / G(3)719 Don't be afraid (Bell) Excellent. I love this song of reassurance. "Don't be afraid, my love is stronger. My love is stronger than your fear". This song can be used as a response to intercessions. Good for kids. Sound sample.  This song could be used as a Psalm response I think. 
  • *Iona / CH788 / MV104 / GtG659 Know that God is Good / Mungu ni mwema (Traditional Congo) This traditional African refrain is just lots of fun and very simple to sing. Good for kids and adults! Sound sample (Scottish). It's a while since we've sung this, but it's great! Lyrics.
1 Peter 2:2-10
Taste that the Lord is good, living stones, christ the foundation, God's people
  • TIS 624 / W&R453 / StF492 Christ be my leader by night as by day Excellent words of following Christ in times of struggle to a traditional Scottish melody. Lyrics New words to old tunes    
  • NCH371 God creation's great designer (Parker Huber) Excellent words, particularly if you worship in an older church building, or have an anniversary to celebrate. Sung to a well-known tune (HOLY MANNA). New words to old tunes   
  • *NCH387 / GtG361 / PH443 / GC(II)646 / RS782 / CP524 / Lau829 O christ the great foundation (Lew) Excellent words of salvation and justice from Timothy Tingfang Lew, sung to the tune of "The church's one foundation" (AURELIA); we have sung this, but not for a while. New words to old tunes Lyrics
  • TiS 636 / VU272 / WoV715 / LBW250 / ELW533 / GtG453 / PfAS078C / PfAS078D / URW076 / 82Hml-536 / Lau472 / MP182 God has spoken to his people Alleluia / God has spoken to the people Alleluia (Hasidic traditional) In many versions this song is not inclusive for God, or uses specifically Christian lyrics (which is odd, since it's a Jewish hymn). VU, PfAS GtG and WoV have gender inclusive language for God: "God has spoken to the people (Alleluia), God has spoken words of wisdom, Alleluia". WoV and PfAS also have the traditional Hebrew chorus of "Torah ora torah ora hallelujah" which means "The Lord is light" which would be great to sing and are the original words!  PfAS078D simply uses the first two lines of the first verse as a psalm refrain. The chorus is good for kids. One version of the lyrics. 
  • NCH70 / UMH660 / VU389 / WoV719 / ELW526 / A&M445 / HPP486 / GtG409 / PH461 / GC741 / GC(II)737 / G(3)843 / CP(E) 301 / W&R1 / Cha280 / STB049 / StF025 God is here as we your people (Pratt Green). Great lyrics, but not inclusive in all sources and set to a range of tunes. I like it sung to the familiar tune ABBOT'S LEIGH. Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music sample. New words to old tunes. 
  • NCH454 / UMH402 / HPP323 / GtG729 / PH372 / W&R457 / Cha589 Lord I want to be a Christian (Traditional African-American) This repetitive old song could be quite good, I think. More suitable for American congregations, I suspect. Oldy-but-a-goody. Lyrics and warbly sound sample. 
  • A&M504 / GC(II)644 / W&R577 / G(3)743 / SP167 / StF689 / Lau836 Summoned by the God who made us / Sing a New Church (Dufner) Excellent words of Christian unity and justice to the well-known tune NETTLETON (TiS 392). Would be a good final hymn. Lyrics and sheet music here. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 666 / AoV2-113 / AoVK-126 / ATOK 409 / NCH526 / Iona (Common Ground, Freedom is Coming) / CH516 / VU646/647 / WoV650 / ELW866 / A&M483 / SFFS 2235 / HPP153 / GtG853 / G(II)357 / GC513 / GC(II)516 / G(3)594 / Cha442 / SP235 / Srce737 / StF483 / MP954 We are marching in the light of God / Siyahamba / Caminando (South African) A very popular chorus, with possible alternate verses, depending on your source. Sometimes people get anxious about the word "marching", but remember that this song comes from apartheid-era South Africa, where people were protesting so that they could vote in their own country. Good for kids.     
  • TiS 468 / NCH309 / PH436 We are your people Spirit of grace (Wren) I really like the lyrics to this one. The tune is a bit funny and the hymn is quite long - needs something to stop people plodding through it; maybe split the singing into male/female or different sides of the congregation. Lyrics (to a different tune) 
  • *HiOS70 I'm a living stone (Gibson) A good call and response song that would work well for kids; there is only one line that is different between the leaders and the responders. Good for kids 
  • *Iona (LFB) Unsure when what was bright turns dark / Stumbling blocks and stepping stones (Iona) Doubt, suffering, healing of relationships. Very powerful lyrics. Tune is MARY MORRISON, but can also be sung to YE BANKS AND BRAES. New words to old tunes. 
  • SP&P115 We are all God's chosen people (Nix) A simple chorus about us all being equal in God's sight. Good for kids
John 14:1-14
In my father’s house there are many dwelling places – Christ going to prepare a place for us. I am the way… exclusiveness of the gospel, the unity of Christ and the Father.
  • ATAR616 In my father's house (Somerville) A great new song of unity, with an inspiring, and very singable chorus; we sang this at the opening of Vic / Tas Synod some years ago. Highly recommended. Good for older kids & teenagers.     
  • Worldmaking.net Brother Jesus right beside me (Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a great rock song, especially good for kids because it's pretty simple. Lyrics and a very silly sound sample that IMHO does no justice to the song at all. We really rock it. Great for kids!  
  • Tune in: We are the dream that's longing / Jesus is waiting (Brown) An honest catchy rock song about our hesitation to follow and Jesus not only waiting, but continuing to work and change the world. A good sending-out song. Sound sample, lyrics and songbook  
  • AoV2-089 / Taize / MV086 / SFFS 2156 Give peace to every heart / Da Pacem Cordium (Berthier) A good, simple Taize chant. Sound samples, sheet music (not cantor lines though). 
  • ATW 494 For you deep stillness (Perrin / Mann). This homegrown favourite is just excellent. Lyrics and mp3 sample. Might be nice to sing this at the end of the service.
  • TiS 387 / CH416 / UMH318 / VU158 / LBW363 / ELW389 / A&M199 / GtG246 / PH108 / CP(E) 140 / W&R312 / 82Hml-182 / Lau272 / StF297 Christ is alive Let Christians sing (Wren) Excellent words of Christ's saving, and still relevant grace. A couple of tunes are offered in different hymn books. I prefer TRURO. Lyrics and sound sample.  New words to old tunes.    
  • TiS 687 God gives us a future (Smith) Great words to a very easy hymn tune. Careful not to let it get the tune get too pompous; the words are not! "God gives us a future, daring us to go into dreams and dangers on a path unknown. We will face tomorrow in the Spirit's power, we will let God change us for new life starts now!". Lyrics here (scroll down). Notice how the hymn has been split into to two parts to include the blessing and words of mission. New words to old tunes.   
  • TiS 636 / VU272 / WoV715 / LBW250 / ELW533 / GtG453 / PfAS078C / PfAS078D / URW076 / 82Hml-536 / Lau472 / MP182 God has spoken to his people Alleluia / God has spoken to the people Alleluia (Hasidic traditional) In many versions this song is not inclusive for God, or uses specifically Christian lyrics (which is odd, since it's a Jewish hymn). VU, PfAS GtG and WoV have gender inclusive language for God: "God has spoken to the people (Alleluia), God has spoken words of wisdom, Alleluia". WoV and PfAS also have the traditional Hebrew chorus of "Torah ora torah ora hallelujah" which means "The Lord is light" which would be great to sing and are the original words!  PfAS078D simply uses the first two lines of the first verse as a psalm refrain. The chorus is good for kids. One version of the lyrics. 
  • TIS 624 / W&R453 / StF492 Christ be my leader by night as by day Excellent words of following Christ in times of struggle to a traditional Scottish melody. Lyrics New words to old tunes     
  • AoV2-085 / Iona (T1AU) / MV115 / A&M328 / SP129 Behold behold I Make All Things New (Bell) A nice hopeful upbeat short song. Highly recommended. Sound sample (scroll down) Good for kids. 
  • VU283 / AA047 God is the One whom we seek together (Gibson) Simple song. Tune is a little tricky. 
  • NCH072 / UMH552 / VU362 / ELW530 / GtG311 / PH465 / CP534 / W&R597 / Cha278 Here O Lord Your Servants Gather / Sekai no Tomo (Yamaguchi) Beautiful song about being a community of faith seeking strength and courage. Lovely simple Japanese tune. The story of this hymn. Lyrics.  
  • W&R104 / URW102 Hidden Christ Alive for Ever (Wren) Wonderful and inspiring words of Christ in all things. Can be sung to HYFRYDOL or HOLY MANNA, so would be easily sung by most congregations. A good song for just after the sermon. Music and lyricsNew words to old tunes     
  • TiS 420 Holy Spirit go before us every mind and heart prepare (Elizabeth Smith) Great words of evangelism and justice to a simple lilting melody. If you think your congregation can't cope with a new tune this week, it can be sung to AUSTRIA (TiS 93). New words to old tunes    
  • GA527 / G(II)540 / GC745 / GC(II)730 / G(3)847 / Lau1000 Jesus Christ Yesterday Today and Forever (Toolan) A very simple refrain in English and Spanish, and multilingual cantor parts. That's fun! Works well without the cantor part too. Sheet music sample. Sound sample. 
  • *Taize / TiS 739 / AoV2-041 / ATOK 404 / VU290 / GA269 / SFFS 2054 / GtG820 / G(II)451 / GC639 / GC(II)626 / G(3)733 / CP568 / W&R421 / URW388 / Lau947 Nothing Can Trouble / Nada te turbe (Berthier) Excellent and quite well known Taize chant. Spanish lyrics are not too hard for non-Spanish speakers. Sheet music, sound samples, lyrics and translations. Good for kids.  
  • TiS 380 / AHB 303 / NCH253 / CH419 / UMH308 / VU173 / LBW145 / ELW376 / A&M218 / HPP203 / GtG238 / PH122 / CP210 / CP(E)160 / W&R310 / Cha218 / Srce694 / Lau287 / StF313 / MP689 Thine be the glory risen conquering Son (Budry) One of the few older hymns that doesn't require updating, and beautiful harmonies... A great classic hymn! Lyrics and tune. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • *Recorded Music One Road to Freedom (Ben Harper) "Do you know which road you're travelling? Do you know where you want to be? With so many roads to travel, there's just one can set you free". A good song to help people think about what it means for there to be only one way to God. Don't forget that if you are playing recorded music to your congregation, it's a good idea to have the lyrics printed out or projected. Lyrics. Sound sample on a youtube video.
What ideas do you have? Please share them with others (and me!) by adding a comment below.

Songs, Hymns & Music for Easter 4A (7 May 2017)

Acts 2:42-47
Life of the early church: sharing food and money, worshipping and growing daily
  • Tune In: Hail the fisherfolk (Brown) A bluesy litany of the saints, including the fishermen of yesterday and the fisherfolk of today. Sound sample and lyrics.
  • ATFG561 / Tune In Community (Brown) A song about being welcomed and part of a community. Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids.
  • Tune In: Kingdom Come (Lees) A song about how things are not what we expect in God’s kingdom. Lots of words and good images including "when forced to carry one mile, go two" Sound sample and lyrics 
  • BUC Song Project In Breaking Bread (Whelan) A great song, with lots of repetition "In breaking bread Christ is here; When wine is shared Christ is here". Particularly appropriate if there is also communion, but will make sense without it. Good for kids. 
  • AoV1-057 / G(II)485 /  GC678 / GC(II)663 / G(3)766 / Lau824 Awake from your slumber / City of God (Schutte) I love the joyousness and sense of mission in this one. A really positive song “Let us build the city of God, let us turn our morning to dancing, for the Lord, our light and our love, has turned the night into day”. There is a little bit of non-inclusiveness in the middle "bridge" section; we often just omit it, which has the benefit of making the song less confusing for a congregation as well! Sample sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample. 
  • STB163 Lord We Thank You for This Food (Taiwan) (Loh) Simple table grace based on a Taiwanese melody. If you are sharing a meal this Sunday, you could sing this. It's fun to do it with the two groups making the sound of pounding rice!
  • *HiOS055 Here I stand among God's people (Barrell) Excellent words for a confirmation, about offering ourselves to the common life. Lyrics talk about the whole of being part of a Christian community. It's sung to a good new tune. 
  • W&R604 Great God as We Are Gathering (Pratt) Excellent words seeking Christian unity, even when times are difficult. Sung to the familiar hymn tune MORNING SONG. Sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 711 / ATOK 334 / Iona (M&G) / WoV681 / VU383 / SFFS 2124 / GtG283 / G(II)330 / StF038 Come O Holy Spirit / Wa Wa Wa Emimimo (Nigeria) This song is just fun. And very easy. Try to sing it in its original language (Yoruba), it sounds a bit inane in English and it’s not hard!! Encourage your congregation to dance a simple side-to-side step to this; they will enjoy it even more. If we can’t go a little crazy on Pentecost, what hope is there for us, really? A good song to help us remember that our faith is global, and to think of the church and all people in Africa. Sound sample including John Bell teaching the song. I have been thinking lately that this song would be really fun sung with more of a "highlife" sensibility, like Nigerian pop music. Good for kids.    
  • TiS 411 / AHB 328 / NCH266 / UMH537 / VU194 / A&M633 / CP658 / CP(E) 425 / W&R331 Filled with the Spirit's power Excellent inclusive words to a very well known hymn tune. I prefer it sung to WOODLANDS. Lyrics and hymn tune samples. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 468 / NCH309 / PH436 We are your people Spirit of grace (Wren) I really like the lyrics to this one. The tune is a bit funny and the hymn is quite long - needs something to stop people plodding through it; maybe split the singing into male/female or different sides of the congregation. Sheet music.
  • TiS 414 / NCH294 / CH616 / UMH192 / VU582 / HPP134 / PH433 / GC550 / CP(E) 198 / Cha257 / StF398 There's a Spirit in the Air  (Wren) A good song of getting the business of following Christ done. Speaking out, caring for others, being changed. A joyful tune (it looks less so in TiS, but think of it in 6/8 instead of 6/4). Seven verses – you might want to have women sing a verse and men sing another to keep people going. The TiS suggestion to use INVERCARRY is (in my opinion) not necessary; it’s easier to the set tune. Lyrics and tune sample.   
  • TiS 650 / ATA 191 / CH694 / A&M604 / NCH539 / VU595 / ELW659 / AA08 / SFFS 2222 / HPP442 / GtG727 / G(II)476 / GC683 / GC(II)661 / G(3)751 / CP500 / CP(E) 393 / W&R391 / Cha490 / SP263 / URW117 / StF611 / Lau924 Brother, sister, let me serve you / Won't you let me be your servant? (Gillard) I think you all know this one. Lyrics. NCH has a nice turn on the lyrics with "Won't you let me be your servant?" as the first line.  Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • AoV1-130 / NCH444 / SFFS 2223 / HPP495 / GtG300 / G(II)533 / GC735 / GC(II)728 / G(3)835 / W&R595 / Cha494 We are one in the Spirit / They’ll know we are Christians by our love (Scholtes) A classic 60's song of unity and being an example to others. It's still pretty groovy, I reckon. Older version are really masculine. We often syncopate it a bit at Brunswick. Note that the 3-6 Sunday School class learned this song this term, so would be good to use. Lyrics and pretty silly sound sample. Good for kids 
  • Iona (HSNW) / G(2)366 Shake up the morning (Iona) Not a very easy song, but good to sing if familiar to you. Lyrics (note that this is not the set tune).
  • *TiS 511 / AHB 433 / AoV2-098 / NCH330 / UMH618 / VU480 / LBW212 / ELW471 / HPP524 / GtG525 / PH513 / GC832 / GC(II)832 / W&R699 / Cha425 / 82Hml-325 / StF592 / MP414 Let us break bread together on our knees / with the Lord (Trad/US Folk) A good one for people to join in on without needing to look at lyric sheets or projections if you are celebrating communion this week. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • HPP447 / CP304 / W&R687 All Things Are Yours (Leech) A good hymn for the congregation to sing during the offering, if that is your habit. Sung to the familiar hymn tune GERMANY. Sheet music. 
  • *W&R704 / URW130 We Meet as Friends at Table (Wren) Excellent words of community. Sung to a familiar tune (MERLE'S TUNE). This hymn could be sung partly before distribution and sing the final two verses after communion. "With food and drink for sharing the table soon is spread, the freedom-meal of Jesus is crowned with wine and bread, and all, without exception, may eat, and speak, and stay, for this is Christ's own table, where none is turned away." New words to old tunes.
  • *VU456 / AA100 / PH515 Now to your table spread (Murray) A communion hymn that recognises global faith and global responsibility. Sung to the familiar tune LOVE UNKNOWN New words to old tunes.
  • MV199 / HiOS148 / GtG537 When at this table I receive a blessing (Murray) Particularly appropriate if you are celebrating communion this week. Excellent, strong words of communion and the different prayers that we may bring to the table, including prayers for forgiveness. 
Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd
  • TiS 10 / AHB 16 / AoV1-144 / NCH479 / Iona (Common Ground) / CH14/16 / UMH136 / VU747/8 / StS099 / LBW451 / ELW778 / GA473 / HPP55 / GtG801 / PH170 / CP519 / CP(E) 594 / W&R86 / Cha0789 / Srce662 / Lau806 / StF480 / MP660 The Lord's my Shepherd I'll not want / God is my shepherd It's not inclusive, but I think it's more than a sentimental favourite. NCH, VU and Chalice all have an inclusive language version. Traditional lyrics and sound sample. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *MV126 Are you a shepherd? (Duck) Good and joyous. Lots of images of God: shepherd, teacher, mother, father. We sung this once last year, and it would be good to do it again. A catchy chorus. Good for kids. 
  • ELW438 / HPP52 / GtG803 / PH172 / Cha080 / PfAS023A / 82Hml-664 My Shepherd Will Supply My Need / My Shepherd You Supply My Need (Watts) I quite like this version of the 23rd Psalm, although hymnals vary widely in how inclusive their lyrics are; I prefer the Chalice version. The tune (RESIGNATION) is from Southern Harmony. Chalice also has a nice responsive reading (Cha081) that fits with this version. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *Cha734 (I) / URW244 My shepherd you supply my need and holy is your name Responsive psalm with sung refrain to the tune of the first line of Brother James' Air. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Tune In Like the sun upon my skin / God’s Mercy A beautiful ballad about identifying God's mercy in the beauty of creation. Lyrics, sound sample and songbook.
  • Tune In / ATAR596 He comes with his arms open wide / The God that I know (Anderson) A ballad drawing on God’s strength and comfort; not easy if unfamiliar. Lyrics and sample and songbook here.
  • NCYC'07 Lead me on (Gioia) A pretty cool gospel rock song. We used to sing this a lot, but not so much lately. Maybe worth reviving?
  • PfAS023I My shepherd is the Lord (Villarreal) I quite like this tune, and the paraphrase is good. It's particularly good for Spanish-speaking (or bilingual) congregations; it's fine in English too. Could also use the verses with a cantor.  
  • AoV1-033 / WoV690 / ELW423 / SFFS 2058 / GtG473 / G(II)29 / GC31 / GC(II)23 / G(3)035 / PfAS023H / Lau951 Shepherd Me O God (Haugen) A nice reworking of the 23rd Psalm. The verses are a little challenging, so I would use the chant on its own: “Shepherd me O God beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life”. Lyrics and a slightly odd sound sample.
  • *Cha734(ii) / PfAS023G Shepherd Me O God (Haugen) Same as the above, but the chorus only, used as a Psalm refrain. 
  • TiS 011 / AHB 98 / UMH137 / GA025 / G(3)034 My shepherd is the Lord (Gelineau) Of the two listed here, I prefer Response 1 (Gelineau). A good alternative if you would like to use a cantored Psalm.
  • G(II)458 / GC654 / GC(II)628 / G(3)725 With a Shepherd's Care (Chepponis) Very nice words with feminine and masculine images for God. Would be very straightforward to sing. Sound sample of a choral arrangement.
  • *CH355 / VU210 / HPP81 / GtG274 / GC(II)525 / G(3)628 / CP630 / W&R99 / URW098 You Lord Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (Dunstan) Beautiful words. Can be sung to many tunes. I like it to PICARDY or WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Sound sample, lyrics and sheet music sample here. New words to old tunes.
  • *Taizé / GtG814 / CP563 / PfAS062D In God alone my soul can find rest and peace / Mon ame se repose (Berthier) A beautiful healing chant from Taize. Words and music and sound samples for learning the parts  Good for kids.
  • FFS39 It all depends on where I'm going (Gibson) Good words of God's constant presence through all of life's travels, sung to a simple Celtic-style tune (TE HORO). Full music and lyrics here.
  • CH716 / VU374 / FFS10 / SFFS 2128 / W&R477 / Cha575 Come and find the quiet centre (Murray) A good song for the beginning of worship. We usually sing it to BEACH SPRING (TiS 493). Sheet music & lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • *W&R655 / URW202 Come Away from Rush and Hurry (Dawn) Excellent words of resting in a sacred space to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING (TiS 493). New words to old tunes.
  • *Online Resource Breathe in the morning air (Wiltshire) Lovely words for a soloist to sing at the start of a morning service to welcome the congregation. Sung to LOVE UNKNOWN. Free sheet music (downloads a whole book!).  New words to old tunes.
  • Recorded Music 23rd Psalm (Bobby McFerrin) A beautiful feminine rendering of the Psalm. From the album Medicine Man. Listen to it here on Youtube. If you'd like to sing it, it's also in the Unitarian Universalist book "Singing the Journey" and "Music for Liturgy" from St. Gregory of Nyssa.
  • Online Resource All of my days (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A gentle song with the chorus "All of my days, God's mercy follows". Would be simple to have the congregation join in on the chorus. Breathy sound sample, lyrics; sheet music available for purchase.
  • Online Resource Surely Goodness and Mercy (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A gentle psalm refrain with a read psalm. Breathy sound sample, lyrics; sheet music available for purchase.
1 Peter 2:19-25
Suffering. Non-violence. Return to the shepherd (some of the suggestions for the Psalm will work here).
  • TIS 624 / W&R453 Christ be my leader by night as by day. Excellent words of following Christ in times of struggle to a traditional Scottish melody. Lyrics 
  • *MV091 Cradle me in your arms (Harding) A simple assuring chant in times of suffering. Sound sample. Sheet music sample. Purchase online. 
  • *Iona (LFB) Unsure when what was bright turns dark / Stumbling blocks and stepping stones (Iona) Doubt, suffering, healing of relationships. Very powerful lyrics. Tune is MARY MORRISON, but can also be sung to YE BANKS AND BRAES. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 240 / AHB182 / CH393 / StF640 We turn to God when we are sorely pressed (Bonhoeffer) Excellent words of our need for God, God's suffering, and God's generosity. Sung to a standard hymn tune. Lyrics and a number of translations. I much prefer the Church Hymnary version to the translations in TiS and AHB.  
  • Tune In / ATAR663 Save us in the time of trial (Whelan) A song with a reflective almost-Taize-like chorus. We have sung this a cuople of different ways, it's quite flexible. I will suggest this quite a bit during Lent. Lyrics, sound sample and songbook available. 
  • *Tune In: Shepherd of the night (Loukes) "Have you ever felt the velvet night wrap you in her warmth". A lovely song with a theme of God’s protection. This is tricky for a congregation, so you might want to ask the musicians to play this. Lyrics, sound sample and songbook. 
  • TiS 494 / W&R678 / Cha375 In water we grow (Wren) Great words, especially if you have a baptism this week. Tune is quite straightforward. Lyrics 
  • *Iona (We walk his way) / G(3)517 We walk his way / Ewe Thina A joyful, simple African song. I'm guessing it's from South Africa; we sung this once last year. Sound sample. Good for kids.
John 10:1-10
Shepherd; Jesus as the gate. Above songs listed for Psalm 23 will also be suitable.
  • TIS 624 / W&R453 Christ be my leader by night as by day. Excellent words of following Christ in times of struggle to a traditional Scottish melody. Lyrics
  • Tune In: Come O God and visit us sick we pray / Your abundant life (Brown) A joyful song "Lead us into your abundant life". Lyrics and sound sample.
  • *MV161 I have called you by your name (Damon) Commitment, confirmation, ordination, commissionings, but also ordinary Sundays. Easy, natural tune and good words about having courage to follow where God leads. 
  • *CH355 / VU210 / HPP81 / GtG274 / GC(II)525 / G(3)628 / CP630 / W&R99 / URW098 You Lord Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (Dunstan) Beautiful words. Can be sung to many tunes. I like it to PICARDY or WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Sound sample, lyrics and sheet music sample here. New words to old tunes.
  • UMH581 / LBW423 / ELW712 / PH427 / GC681 / GC(II)668 / G(3)764 / Cha461 / CP585 / W&R575 / URW204 / 82Hml-610 / Lau885 Lord Whose Love in Humble Service / Lord whose love through humble service (Bayly) Good solid words of mission to a familiar tune (IN BABILONE or BEACH SPRING). Not all sources are inclusive. Lyrics and youtube video of someone singing and playing it quite nicely.  Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 477 / Iona (LFB, Common Ground) / CH510 / StJ / GA529 / A&M450 / CP059 / SP218 / URW056 / StF028 Jesus calls us here to meet him as through word and song and prayer Good words and a rollicking or gentle Celtic tune (depending on how you play it!). Don't get too gentle though, or it is very hard to sing. Notice that there should not need to be a breath after EVERY line! Lyrics (downloads PowerPoint slides) 4th verse (not in TiS, but in Iona sources) leads to communion. “Jesus calls us to confess him Word of life and Lord of all, sharer of our flesh and frailness saving all who fail or fall”.   
  • *NCH563 / MV143 / HPP260 / GC710 / GC(II)703 / G(3)811 / RS 636 / Cha684 / URW169 / Lau688 We cannot own the sunlit sky / Abundant life (Duck) I like these words full of hope for the future. I would prefer to sing it to the tune of "How can I keep From singing". LA GRANGE is the other option. Lyrics (downloads a pdf).
Any ideas you'd like to share? Please add a comment below.

Songs, Hymns and Music for Easter 3A (April 30 2017)

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Paul's sermon: What’s the appropriate response to the resurrection? Repent and be baptised!
You might like to sing one of these songs about baptism
  • *MV135 Called by earth and sky (Mayberry) Gentle song about the blessings of water, air, soil and fire. While it doesn't explicitly mention baptism, it is really beautiful and would work well.
  • *CH614 / AA043 / CP642 From the waiting comes the sign (Murray) Lovely haunting song. Lines 1, 3 and 5 may be sung by a cantor, with the congregation responding on the other repetitive lines. Sung, this way, the repetition makes it quite good for kids.
  • *TiS 530 / AHB 450 / CH675 / UMH634 / VU483 / A&M456 / CP(E) 315 / W&R715 / SP220 / Lau647 / StF596 Now let us from this table rise (Kaan) Good words to sing after communion. Hymnals vary to the extent that the language is inclusive. NCH and VU have gender-inclusive language for God. I prefer it to NIAGARA (in TiS and AHB) but other sources have different tunes. New words to old tunes Lyrics, and an alternative tune.
  • *AoV1-074 Come To The Water (Andersen) A beautiful song about God providing (from Isaiah 55). Familiar to many, but easy to sing if not. Works well for communion also. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • *TiS 494 / W&R678 / Cha375 In water we grow (Wren) Great words, especially if you have a baptism this week. Tune is quite straightforward. Lyrics
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
Thanksgiving; A vow to the Lord, and lifting the cup of salvation…?
  • GC109 I Will Walk in the Presence of God (Daigle) A simple lilting refrain. Inclusive verses. This could maybe be used as a chant on its own. Sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample. 
  • PfAS116D I love the Lord who heard my cry (Watts)  This uses just the first line of the old Watts hymn, with inclusive language, as a Psalm refrain. Nice.  Oldy-but-a-goody.  
  • URW311 I love you Lord you hear my cry (Watts) A simple song with two verses, or you could use it as a Psalm refrain with the text read by a leader. It would be pretty amazing if you can sing it in 4 parts, I reckon. The 2nd verse could be quite appropriate on its own during intercessions. 
  • TiS 71 / VU617 / G(II)97 / GC108 I will walk in the presence of the Lord (Proulx) A beautiful cantored Psalm. The refrain is very simple. Doesn’t make sense without the cantor. 
  • Taizé / TiS 741 / AoV1-017 / ATE 282 / LBW368 / ELW751 / GA431 / SFFS 2200 / GtG471 / G(II)410 / GC586 / GC(II)566 / G(3)666 / W&R484 / Srce519 / URW390 / Lau929 / PfAS013A / PfAS102A / MP908 O Lord hear my prayer (Berthier) A simple and very well known Taizé chant. Works well during intercessions. You could read the Psalm between repeats of this chant, or just use as a chant as is. Sheet music samples. Good for kids 
  • *Linnea Good Psalm 116 is particularly beautiful and simple “I love you God; I know you listen. You listened on the day I cried. When I called out to you in anguish, you were my presence and my guide”. Good for kids. 
  • *TiS 709 / Taizé Chuyo chuyo (Berthier) A Korean hymn, appropriate for an intercession response. Not hard for non-Koreans! It means "Lord hear us".  
  • TiS 727 / SiS361 / ATE 208 / CH121 / AA70 / PfAS022F In the presence of your people (Chambers) A good Yiddish tune - lots of fun for kids and adults. Good to get fast and dance around on this one. Good for kids. Or you could try:*VU745 In the presence of your people (Chambers - refrain only) Refrain only for singing with a reading of a different Psalm, but it would also work for this one too.
  • GC(II)755 / G(3)864 O the weary world is trudging / The trumpet in the morning (Cooney) Song of release of prisoners and the trumpet's blast. Sound sample. Lead sheet.
1 Peter 1:17-23
Sacrificial lamb; now you are purified, love one another deeply. Being born anew.
You may like to sing an Agnus Dei.
  • TiS 427 / AHB 333 / CP561 / CP(E) 515 Lord your word abiding (Baker) Some use archaic language. Simple words and melody. Lyrics.
  • ATW 498 / Iona (T1AU) / MV 196 / SP&P182 / URW438 We will take what you offer. An excellent simple short song that works well either as an upbeat chorus or as a reflective chant. "We will take what you offer. We will live by your word. We will love one another. And be fed by you Lord". Good for kids. Sound sample. 
  • *TiS 705 / Iona (Common Ground, EoA) / W&R282 / SP320 / StF234 / Lau610 Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin (Bell) A simple Agnus Dei. Best if you can manage to get all four parts involved. 
  • *Online Resource O Christ, Lamb of God (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A more modern Agnus Dei, with Christ sharing our weakness. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • *ATAR648 Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world (Keil) A simple and quite lovely extended Agnus Dei, with extra verses of Morning Star, God with Us, Prince of Peace…      
  • *Sing Alleluia Jesus Lamb of God (Pulkingham) This is one of my absolute favourite Agni Deis (if that's the term you can use for the plural) A little bit of the tune. Good for kids.
  • TiS 545 / Iona (LFB) / CH676 / VU482 / StF598 Shout for joy! The Lord has let us feast (Bell) Particularly appropriate if you are celebrating communion. Energetic and quite simple to sing. Lyrics 
Luke 24:13-35
Emmaus story.
  • *StS098 / GC(II)445 / G(3)538 / URW123 / Lau288 / StF308 On the Journey to Emmaus (Haugen) Excellent words to a very familiar tune (COLUMCILLE). Highly recommended. Sample sheet music. Sound sample. New words to old tunes
  • SP&P005 Holy one may your presence here (Grundy) A joyful and quite quick chorus seeking enlightenment from the presence of Christ.   
  • *BUC Song Project Now we see (Loukes) This song is particularly focussed on this reading and its application to today. It's not easy for the congregation at first, but is catchy once known - it would be good at least for the musicians to sing it. Particularly appropriate if there is also communion, but will make sense without it. 
  • *WoV743 / SFFS 2199 / SP&P093 / URW115 Stay with us (Brokering) Simple song of comfort. This is a slightly mournful song, that could pick up on the disciple's sense of loss, and their desire to hang out with Jesus. I like the tune STAY WITH US best (WoV, URW, SP&P). Lyrics (downloads a pdf - scroll through). 
  • BUC Song Project In Breaking Bread (Whelan) A great song, with lots of repetition "In breaking bread Christ is here; When wine is shared Christ is here". Particularly appropriate if there is also communion, but will make sense without it. Good for kids. 
  • Online Resource Brother Jesus right beside me (Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a great rock song, good for little and slightly older kids. Lyrics and a very silly sound sample that IMHO does no justice to the song at all. We really rock it. Great for kids! 
  • Tune In / ATAR612 God is walking in the garden (Brown) A gentle song that starts in the Garden of Eden and ends with Easter. "We heard you walking, We hid because we're afraid". A great song for the start of Lent. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook.
  • TiS 242 / AHB 183 / AoV1-018 / ATN 27 / CH404 / UMH261 / VU352 / A&M667 / HPP163 / GtG157 / PH302 / G(II)481 / GC708 / GC(II)689 / G(3)796 / CP(E) 468 / W&R118 / Lau765 / StF247 I danced in the morning / Lord of the Dance (Carter / SIMPLE GIFTS). Lyrics and tune sample. You all know this one, right? Good for kids Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Iona (Love From Below) / CH434 / CP232 Jesus is risen from the grave (CHILDER) Good, simple rhythm and tune. You can even make up some verses if you like. Good for kids.
  • TiS 382 / AoV2-131 / ATN 15 / NCH238 / CH417 / UMH311 / VU186 / LBW280 / ELW570 / GA364 / A&M212 / HPP210 / GtG247 / G(II)318 / GC444 / GC(II)456 / G(3)534 / CP237 / CP(E) 153 / W&R311 / Cha230 / 82Hml-204 / Lau278 / StF306 Now the green blade rises (NOEL NOUVELET) I love these words and this simple French folk tune. I particularly like this played to guitar, but TiS has an excellent piano arrangement too. Lyrics and tune sample. New words to old tunes   
  • HiOS002 A stranger met by chance (Barrell) Excellent words. The tune will probably need to be taught. Lyrics. 
  • FFS03 As we walk along beside you Excellent words or recognising Christ in the word, the bread, the resurrection. A simple tune. 
  • Iona / VU184 As we walked home at close of day / Easter Evening (Iona) Good words and good tune.  
  • Iona From heav'n to here and from here to heav'n (Iona) Good words to a traditional Irish tune. Great chorus "So come Lord Christ in the stranger's guise…" Lyrics (downloads a pdf). 
  • Cha231 /  Lau285 Sing of One Who Walks Beside Us (Wright) Good words, simple familiar tune (HOLY MANNA).  Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • The tide has turned songbook Jerusalem to Emmaus two people walked that day (Emmaus story) (Hannah) Great words. Not an easy congregational song, but worth some effort. Good for kids.  
  • *MV079 / GtG692 Spirit open my heart (Duck) Lovely words of openess to the Spirit, lovely tune. WILD MOUNTAIN THYME. New words to old tunes
  • *ATAR656 Heavy our hearts (Watts / Lord) A lovely soothing chant naming our heaviness and seeking God's shelter and healing.
Songs about Christ giving Peace... 
  • *NCYC'87 Peace will be with you my friends so do not be frightened (Unknown author) A lovely simple song.
  • *NCH249 / GA517 Peace I leave with you my friends (Norbert) Slow, simple and excellent words. A congregation will pick this up the first time through, I think.
  • FFS07 Bring peace to us (John Murray) A simple chant with two possible tunes. Both are good. The first is a round. "Bring peace to us, bring peace through us, O God bring peace". Good for kids.
  • *Iona (LFB) / G(II)407 / GC583 God give us peace that lasts (Bell) Lovely words and a simple hymn tune. Prayer for peace, hope and love. This can also be sung to LOVE UNKNOWN, which would make it New words to old tunes "God give us peace that lasts, not through the fear of might, but through the force of love, and love of life and right. Where costly wars and weapons lure, Show us our Lord among the poor". Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music
  • GC(II)722 Jesus give us your peace (Mahler) Gospel song. It kind of merges personal peace with global peace. "Jesus bring us your peace, bring us together, let all the fighting cease…" Lyrics and lead sheet. Sound sample. 
  • *AoV1-091 / AoVK-68 / StS016 / G(II)527 / GC(II)720 Peace before us peace behind us (Haas) love this one. Reflective. Careful not too get too schmaltzy because it's long. Less is more. Lyrics, sound sample, and melody line sheet music here (search for "prayer of peace"). Good for kids.
  • *CH786 May the God of peace go with us (Jamieson) A lovely benediction to a traditional Scottish tune. "May the God of peace go with us as we travel from this place; may the love of Jesus keep us firm in hope and full of grace". It's a little bit tricky.
  • *MV168 May peace be with you / Salamun Kullaheen (Traditional Lebanese) Simple chant in English and Arabic.
  • *SP&P034 Come and fill all my life (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A gentle and very simple song. Would be good for a meditation.
  • Seeds of Faith Peace Be With You (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A very simple kids song about peace, and sharing peace. Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids.
  • Tune In Peace In Our Time (Brown) A groovy bossa nova song of peace and action for peace. Lyrics. Sound sample. Songbook. 
I'd love to hear your ideas too! Please add a comment below, especially if it's something I haven't thought of.