Songs of Farewell and Benedictions

People are always leaving, and it's good to send them on their way with a sung blessing. Here are some - this list will grow. Most of these songs work also for general benedictions too.
 
Songs that work as both Farewells and Benedictions
  • SFFS 2281 / URW451 May you run and not be weary (Handt Hanson / Paul Murakami) A nice blessing song. Good for the ending of the service, but also good if you need to farewell someone. Lyrics
  • FFS29 God speed you on your way (Shirley Erena Murray) Farewell; benediction Good lyrics of a new beginning, or just time for leaving church at the end of the service. Joyful tune, which will need to be taught, but is really catchy! Lyrics & Sheet music.
  • Online Resource / Tune in May you go well (David Brown) Mostly easy tune, and strong words. Would work well as a benediction. Lyrics, sound sample and free downloadable songbook.
  • ATW 494 For you deep stillness (Julie Perrin) A peaceful and powerful homegrown favourite. And it has actions. Lyrics and sound sample. Good for kids.
  • ATFG589 / NCYC'99 / VU298 When you walk from here (Linnea Good) A simple benediction, commissioning or farewell song. Youtube.
  • Unknown Source May the feet of many walk beside you (Kirk Robson) A beautiful, flowing blessing; much loved by our congregation, both for its beauty and for the person who wrote it. We have some copies of this in our folders. 
  • Online Resource For all who craft their words with skill (David Bjorlin) A song originally written to farewell a beloved pastor, this is good for those who are leaving after having served the church, either as an ordained minister, student, or lay person. Set to the familiar tune RESIGNATION. Sheet music sample and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.    
  • SP&P201 Peace peace deep peace (Thomas) A very simple benediction, that could also work well as a blessing to someone who is leaving the congregation. Could be used creatively in Advent - by changing the verses each week (Peace, Love, Joy and Hope).
  • Online Resource Fount of all goodness and womb of new birth (David Bjorlin) A song originally written to farewell a beloved pastor, the text thanks God for those who work for advocacy for marginalized people, to empower people for ministry, and who have a prophetic vision for the future of the church. This is good for those who are leaving after having served the church, either as an ordained minister, student, or lay person. Set to the familiar tune SLANE. Book available for purchase. New words to old tunes.      
  • GtG448 / SP&P204 Peace of God be with you / As-salaamu lakum (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Peace / Blessing Arabic and English words, very simple to learn and sing.  Lyrics & keyboard only recording.
  • Online source May love surround you (Carole Etzler) A lovely flowing 6/8 tune, and kind words "May love surround you with warm gentle arms. May love surround you and keep you from harm. And may you always continue to grow. May you find happiness wherever you go". Can also be used as a children's recessional. Sheet music (search within the site for pdf). 
  • Online source As you go may joy surround you (John Ruben Piirainen) Another friendly farewell, encouraging further growth. Can also be used as a children's recessional. Sheet music (search within the site for pdf).  Good for kids.
  • Online source We hold you in our love / As you go (Kathleen Tracy) A friendly farewell, encouraging further growth. Can also be used as a children's recessional. Sheet music (search within the site for pdf).
  • TiS 779 / AoVK-67 / ATA 194 May the feet of God Walk with you (Robin Mann) This is beautiful, but be aware that it is quite masculine. Would be good to alternate male and female pronouns. Lyrics.
  • VU962 May the blessing of God go before you (Miriam Therese Winter) Really easy to sing and beautiful words that celebrate a feminine God. Lyrics.  
  • MV211 Go now in peace guided by the light (Pedro Rubalcava) Lovely English / Spanish benediction or comissioning prayer with an excellent rhythm. "Go now in peace guided by hte light of Christ, so you may be nourished by the Word of Life". Sound sample.
  • Online Resource Lead, kindly light (Sarah Agnew) Lovely thoughtful lyrics, written for a closure of ministry, but would work for any service where someone is moving into a new thing. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • MV 202 Bread for the Journey / Pain pour la route (Bruce Harding) A simple chant for the distribution of communion; would work well for a group of people being commissioned to go out and do something who are celebrating communion before they go. Free sheet music.
  • MV218 / GtG549 / STB315 May the love of the Lord / Wei yuan shen di ai (Maria Ling Poh Choo) Lovely alternative words to a simple Chinese melody. It will need to be taught, but is not too hard. 
  • MV222 May the peace of God be your peace (Neil McLaren) A lovely benediction where the congregation addresses each other. It's one of those ones that makes me want to look around at the congregation and sing it to each person there. It will need to be taught at first. This would be particularly nice during advent, but will work at all other times of the year too. Lyrics (scroll down).
  • MV224 May the God of Peace / Na Jijoho (Traditional Benin) A lovely traditional Benediction from Benin, West Africa. Very simple. I would sing it in English, but it (of course) also works well in the original language (Goun).
  • Online Resource Be a blessing (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A song of encouragement based on this Psalm. This would be a wonderful song to sing at someone's commissioning, particularly if they are heading off to a special task. It would be tricky for a congregation at first, so I would get your musicians to present it as a gift to the congregation. Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
  • Online Resource Christ within before and behind (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Based on the Lorica, a lovely simple blessing. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options
Benedictions and Sending Forth songs for the whole congregation (not farewells!)
  • Iona (WWHW) / MV223 We will go with God / Sizohamba naye (Traditional Swaziland) A simple song from Swaziland. Good for the end of the service. Sheet music. Sound sample (youtube). It would be good to sing this at Brunswick again. Note that MV has a different translation.Good for kids.
  • MV220 Hope shines as the solitary star (Catherine Faith Maclean) A nice benediction seeking personal growth and connection for the journey of faith. It will need to be taught, but once taught it's easily sung. Could be used as an Advent Candle-lighting song too. Lyrics
  • MV221 I am walking a path of peace (Jean Tissandier) A simple song for a benediction or an Advent Candle Song; words can be altered to paths of love, grace, hope, joy etc. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • WoV723 / ELW551 / SFFS 2241 The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve (Dolores Dufner) Great words of sending forth in service to the world sung to a well known hymn tune (CHESTERFIELD or LAND OF REST). Sound sample. New words to old tunes.
  • SP&P052 For you shall go out and be led forth with peace (Gellar) A good paraphrase of Isaiah 55:10-13. Slightly energetic.
  • VU586 We shall go out with hope (June Boyce-Tillman)  A thoughtful benediction to the tuen LONDONDERRY AIR. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • SP&P193 Peace be to you (Rose) A very simple benediction "peace be to you in all you do". Good for kids.
  • CH256 / VU424 / GtG765 / StF411 May the God of hope go with us every day (Alvin Schutmaat) Simple joyful song with a focus on working for peace and justice; I would sing just the first verse and chorus. A good song for the end of the service. Good for kids.
  • SP&P194 Our God's light (Amano) A contemporary blessing - not immediately easy to sing, but it's nice "Go with love…"
  • SP&P207 Now you are releasing your servant (Christopher Grundy) A more modern Nunc Dimittis that works well as a benediction, particularly during the Christmas / Epiphany seasons. This will need to be taught, because the timing is a little tricky. Sound sample (scroll down). 
  • STB288 May the Lord bless you with joy (Burma / Karen Blessing) A blessing from the Karen people of Burma. Would not be too hard to sing in Karen, but there is also a lovely English translation. Would be particularly nice in Spring time when the flowers are all in bloom. 
  • STB289 Now I know by God's own grace (Cambodia) A call and response benediction. Would be simple to sing, in English, and if you have members who speak Khmer, could be good to learn!  
  • BUC Resource May the feet of many walk beside you (Kirk Robson) A beautiful, flowing blessing; much loved by our congregation, both for its beauty and for the person who wrote it. 
  • URW444 Go in peace walk in love (Trilby Jordan)  A lovely blessing song that can be sung as a round. 
  • FFS49 May the God of new beginnings (John Murray) Lovely blessing for a new start, to a simple tune. 
  • AoVNG129 / Iona (Common Ground, T1AU) / CH798 / StJ / ELW646 / A&M845 / G(3)820 / ChaP189 / URW446 / StF774 / Lau901 The peace of the earth be with you (Guatemalan traditional / translation: Christine Carson) I really like the energy and the words of this one. Easy to sing. Some versions have "The peace of the Lord be with you" instead. Which is not the same.
  • VU454 May God who creates you (Louise Skibsted) A lovely blessing for a baptism, or a farewell. Lyrics.
  • Iona (Common Ground) / URW447 / StF648 God to enfold you (John Bell) A simple blessing. Best if you can have all the parts covered.  
  • Iona (T1AU) /  URW448 God's eye be within me (John Bell) Based on a traditional Irish blessing, and St. Patrick's Breastplate, and sung to a familiar Irish tune COLUMCILLE.
  • Online Resource Christ within before and behind (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Based on the Lorica, a lovely simple blessing. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options
  • Online Resource Do not lose heart (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) An encouraging simple blessing. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options.
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Do you have a favourite? Add a comment below to share your ideas. 

1 comment:

Judy Redman said...

You say about "May the feet of God walk with you" that it is very masculine. I just substitute 'God's' wherever it says 'his' so "May the feet of God walk with you, and God's hand hold you tight, May the eye of God rest on you and God's ear hear your cry, May the smile of God be for you, and God's breath give you life. May the Child of God grow in you and God's love bring you home." Perhaps Podlich meant the last one to refer to Christ's love, and that would also work.