Communion / Eucharist hymns

Songs to sing before communion
  • Online Resource All 'round this table here / In Breaking Bread (Shawn 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. Sheet music, lyrics and sound sample. Good for kids
  • AoVNG1 / CH685 / FFS17 / GtG769 / G(3)812 / W&R617 For everyone born / A place at the table (Shirley Murray) Words of welcome and change to everyone regardless of sex, age, sinfulness. There are three possible tunes. The Lori True tune is the most common. I like the Colin Gibson tune in FFS (and on the Hope Publishing website that follows). Use whatever you have! This song is good for a service when communion is celebrated, but it makes sense without communion, too. There is also an optional verse: "For gay and for straight...." Lyrics & sheet music.
  • NCH340 / StJ We are people on a journey / Somos pueblo que camina (Misa Popular Nicaraguense) I like this one. It has challenging lyrics, and it can be hard for middle class white folks to sing this one (in a good way).  Sheet music and lyrics.
  • Online Resource At the table all are equal (David Bjorlin / Benjamin Brody) A beautiful song of welcome, with a stirring and heartfelt chorus. This could be sung before communion, and would work during distribution too. Sound sample. Sheet music and lyrics preview and purchasing options
  • VU592 / GtG186 / StF695 Come now you blessed (Ruth Duck) Good words, based on Matthew 25:34-39, sung to a lovely 6/8 tune, with an emphasis on our call to social justice. It will need to be taught, or at least played through, the first time.  Lyrics.
  • *CH763 / MV193 God bless to us our bread (Traditional Argentinian) A lovely simple grace for meals and for communion. More Voices has Spanish and French lyrics as well as English. "God bless to us our bread, and give bread to all those who are hungry, and hunger for justice to those who are fed. God bless to us our bread". Sound sample (Track 1). Good for kids.
  • NCH344 / Iona (Enemy of Apathy) / GA385 / G(II)611 / Lau638 The time was early evening (John Bell) Great words to a familiar Celtic folk tune. We used to sing this one often on Maundy Thursday; would be good to revisit it. "Oh the food comes from the baker, the drink comes from the vine...". Sheet music preview.
  • SFFS 2265 Time Now to Gather (Mary Nelson Keithahn) Lovely words with a focus on forgiveness, and returning to God, and being welcomed in communion. Sung to a very simple tune that most congregations would probably be able to join in on immediately. Lyrics.
  • TiS 538 / AoV2-093 Feed us now Bread of life (Robin Mann) One of my favourite communion songs. Simple to sing, and beautiful simple theology. “Piece of bread, cup of wine, Lord this food is good”. Lyrics. I love how the liturgy in the link intersperses the words of institution with the singing of the song. I think it's so great that there are so many orders of worship on the Internet!
  • VU456 / AA100 / PH515 Now to your table spread (Shirley Murray) A communion hymn that recognises global faith and global responsibility. Sung to the familiar tune LOVE UNKNOWN. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource Come all you vagabonds (Stuart Townend) This song provides a welcome to all, including some who would not normally be welcome, or be easy to welcome. I'm not really sure how it would work as a congregational song, but I really like it. Sound sample (youtube), lyrics, chords
  • URW196 / StF652 Lord we come to ask your healing (Jean Holloway) Good words to speak peace in times of division, verse 3 also speaks about unity in communion. Sung to the familiar tune AR HYD Y NOS. Sound sampleNew words to old tunes.  
  • UMH621 / VU546/7 / URW301 / LUYH843 Be present at our table Lord (John Cennick) Grace or blessing for communion. Very simple, and probably familiar to older Methodists. Sung to OLD HUNDREDTH. Lyrics and story. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • GtG507 / SP&P112 Come to the table of grace (Barbara Hamm) Good for distribution of communion as it's very simple and repetitive. Particularly good for welcoming children to communion; and maybe even in Advent because it's got that Peace, Love and Joy thing going on. Good for kids. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • GtG498 Loaves were broken words were spoken (Herman Stuempfle) Communion Excellent words for communion sung to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING. Lyrics (downloads a pdf that you will need to scroll through).
  • ELW466 / FFS38 / SFFS 2255 / GtG533 In the singing in the silence (Shirley Murray) Lovely words, simple tune in FFS; there are quite a few tunes to this. Lyrics and single-use only downloadable PDF.
  • TiS 536 / AHB 453 / VU130 / GtG202 / PH094 / CP(E) 130 / W&R275 / Cha385 / Lau248 An upper room did our Lord prepare (Fred Pratt Green) I really love this song, but we have not sung it much, even though it's so easy and lovely. Sung to the tune O WALY WALY. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • SP&P059 Yours is the wheat and yours the grape (Maren Tirabassi) This short song has beautiful words for communion and would be good sung either as a short refrain before distribution as a regular part of the liturgy, or sung as a chant during the distribution.  Lyrics
  • ATOK 397 / Iona (LFB) / CH658 / VU462 / A&M426 / GtG428 / CP610 / Cha391 / SP211 Before I take the body of my Lord / These I lay down (John Bell) A pre-communion confession. Lovely tune which is easy to sing.  Lyrics. Sheet music.
  • VU280 Mother and God (Miriam Therese Winter) A slightly longer short song, suitable for before the intercessions or communion. Beautiful words; some may find the breastfeeding God image a little challenging. Simple tune. Lyrics.
  • Online Resource / Tune In / NCYC'09 / ATAR598 God has laid a feasting table / Invitation (Shawn Whelan). Feminine imagery of God gathering her guests to a feasting table. Fun Cuban rhythm. Samples and free downloadable songbook.
  • AoVK-105 We give thanks for the goodness of love that is shared (Trish Watts / Monica O'Brien) I like it! Joyful communion song. Sheet music
  • Unknown Source Give give us our daily bread (Per Harling) This is a very joyful song. While it's not specifically about communion, I wanted people to be aware of it, and this seemed a good spot to list it. Youtube
  • StF023 Come Holy Spirit. Maranatha! (John Bell) A simple call and response chant. Excellent. This chant could be good to use as part of the invocation of the Holy Spirit to descend on the bread and wine prior to communion. Lyrics and teaching notes.
  • SP&P065 As the grain was scattered on the hills (Arthur Clyde) A beautiful and simple melody with words from the Didache. This would be very beautiful before or during the distribution of communion, particularly when the congregation has been on a difficult journey. "On hillsides you feed us, through deserts you lead us, now at this table all are one in Christ. We have new life". Lyrics
  • MV199 / HiOS148 / GtG537 When at this table I receive a blessing (Shirley 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. HiOS has a slow 3/4 minor key tune from Colin Gibson which is quite lovely, and MV and GtG have a different tune by Jane Marshall which is also really good; it can be found here with the lyrics. David MacGregor also offers this tune. I like them all. For Brunswick, I would choose the Jane Marshall tune.   
  • Online Resource Taste and See (Rob Leveridge) This would be a good song for the musicians to sing during distribution. The lyrics express such welcome. Sound sample & lyrics. Sheet music
  • StF150 This is the day of rest to use as God intended (John Bell) A hymn with excellent words about the Sabbath, as gift from God, feast of Christ, and time for the Spirit to bring change. The tune is new and will need to be taught, but should be picked up fairly quickly. 
  • Online Resource Bread from the ripe fields of the land / Meal of Creation (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A gentle song calling all of Creation to communion. This will need to be taught - start by just getting the congregation to join in on the lilting chorus. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options.  
Songs for the distribution
  • Online Resource In the taking, in the sharing (Shawn Whelan) A quiet meditative chant with cantor part; great for distribution. Sheet music, lyrics and sound sample. Good for kids
  • Online Resource When you're not sure who you really are / All belong here (Lenora Rand / Hannah Rand / The Many) Excellent words of God's radical inclusion at the Table. Lyrics, sound samples and sheet music
  • Online Resource Bread from the ripe fields of the land / Meal of Creation  (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) I imagine this is something that would work really well during distribution of communion. Love it. Sound sample, lyrics
  • Online Resource / URW429 Come you hungry / Drink living water / Tomen Agua Viva (Colleen Fulmer-Barrientos / Rufino Zaragoza) This simple song could be used with many verses during a reflection, or during distribution of communion. You could also choose to use just a single verse for a special focus, or selected verses in prayers of confession as appropriate. Sound sample (in Spanish) and downloads for purchase. Lyrics (English).
  • Online Resource / AoVNG15 Bread of Life (Michael John Poirier) A nice gentle song. Would be good for distribution of communion. Particularly good for Maundy Thursday. Sound sample and purchasing options.
  • ATAR658 Jesus, you are the bread we long for (Bernadette Farrell) Excellent communion song, with 5 verses about God being bread and wine for those who starve and thirst; themes of healing, restoration and justice. Very straightforward flowing melody. We sang this not long ago, and it is really beautiful. It would be good to sing it again. Lyrics (in an order of service)
  • TiS 707 / Iona (Common Ground, LFB) / A&M429 / SP214 Bread is blessed and broken
  • (John Bell) Very simple. Good for distribution of communion; not all versions are inclusive. Lyrics
  • *WoV701 / ELW487 / URW119 What Feast of Love (Dolores Dufner) Very poetic devotional language about Christ as the bread, light and wine. Sung to GREENSLEEVES. Maybe better as a solo initially so people can just listen to the beauty of the words. Perhaps sung during distribution of communion, or a song to sing while thinking about the prepared table? Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • Taizé / TiS 714 / AoV1-125 /ATE 270 / CH661 / UMH628 / VU466 / WoV709 / ELW472 / GA205 / A&M442 / G(II)588 / GC838 / GC(II)806 / G(3)941 / RS928 / CP063 / W&R697 / Cha414 / SP229 / URW379 / Lau633 Eat this bread drink this cup (John Batastini / Taize) Excellent, particularly if you have a capable cantor. Some resources say "Come to him and never be hungry", but others have "come to me / trust in me". Sheet music.
  • ATW 472 / NCYC'99 As we take this bread (Jane Dyson) A lovely simple communion chant. Good for kids. 
  • ATW 478 / Iona (T1AU) / CH799 / A&M469 / G(3)951 / SP230 / URW420 This is the body of Christ (John Bell) A very simple and gentle chant for distribution of communion "This is the body of Christ, broken that we may be whole; This cup, as promised by God, true to God's word, cradles our Lord: food for the good of the soul." Note, I did a sneaky little lyric change there... see if you can find it.
  • SP&P059 Yours is the wheat and yours the grape (Maren Tirabassi) This short song has beautiful words for communion and would be good sung either as a short refrain before distribution as a regular part of the liturgy, or sung as a chant during the distribution.  Lyrics.  
  • SP&P020 We are waiting for you (Christopher Grundy) A gentle song of waiting. Would be good for the musicians to sing for the congregation during a meditative part of the service, or to commence the service. This song would also work well during distribution of communion. Sound sample.
  • SP&P153 Eat of this bread (Barbara Hamm) A very simple chant appropriate for distribution of communion.   
  • CH659 / MV173 / StJ / A&M566 / G(3)824 / W&R389 / SP251 Put peace into each other’s hands (Fred Kaan) Good words for communion; tune is quite simple and flows nicely. Slow sound sample, sheet music with lyrics. Good for kids  
  • Online Resource / ELW474 / GtG497 / G(II)590 / GC821 / G(3)943 / Lau622 Bread of Life From Heaven / Pan de Vida Eterna (Suzanne Briehl) Refrain to tune of Santo Santo. The refrain could be used on its own. Verse lyrics are quite formal, and maybe a bit clunky? "Bread of life From heaven, your blood and body given, we eat this bread and drink this cup until you come again". Sound sample, sheet music sample and purchase options
  • SP&P065 As the grain was scattered on the hills (Arthur Clyde) A beautiful and simple melody with words from the Didache. This would be very beautiful before or during the distribution of communion, particularly when the congregation has been on a difficult journey. "On hillsides you feed us, through deserts you lead us, now at this table all are one in Christ. We have new life". Lyrics
  • Online Resource At the table all are equal (David Bjorlin / Benjamin Brody) A beautiful song of welcome, with a stirring and heartfelt chorus. This could be sung before communion, and would work during distribution too. Sound sample. Sheet music and lyrics preview and purchasing options.
  • SP&P106 Bread is broken eyes are opened (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan / Fowler) Very simple communion chant. Could be sung as a round; would work for distribution in a small group.
  • Online Resource Eat this mystery (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A lovely simple song for distribution of communion. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options
Songs for before AND after communion
  • URW134 God wills a full life for us all (Paul Gregory) Great words sung to the familiar tune AZMON; The first 3 verses could be sung before communion, and the last two afterwards. New words to old tunes. "Thanks be to God for faith renewed and unity restored. We go, one world, one family, to live Gods' loving word". 
What are your go-to songs for communion? Please add any advice in a comment below.

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