Communion / Eucharist hymns

Songs to sing before communion

  • 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).  
  • 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. 
  • *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..." 
  • 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.
  • 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 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 New words to old tunes.  
  • UMH621 / VU546/7 / URW301 / LUYH843 Be present at our table Lord (John Wesley) Grace or blessing for communion. Very simple. Sung to OLD HUNDREDTH. 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 musicNew 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 (pdf).
  • 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.  
  • *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.
Songs for the distribution
  • 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. Limited release of free mp3 and free 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
  • URW429 Come you hungry / Drink living water (Colleen Fulmer) 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.
  • AoVNG15 Bread of Life (Michael John Poirier) A nice gentle song. Would be good for distribution of communion. Particularly good for Maundy Thursday. Our musicians sang it last year (and the year before), and it was just lovely. I think we could just do it again!
  • 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?   
  • 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".
  • 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  
  • *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". 
  • 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.
Songs for before AND after communion
  • URW134 God wills a full life for us all (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". 

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