Monday, March 23, 2015

Songs, Hymns and Music for Easter Sunday (16 April 2017)

Acts 10:34-43 or Jeremiah 31:1-6  
Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43 
John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10


  • Tune In God is walking in the garden (Brown) A gentle song perfect for Easter. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook.
  • BUC Song Project I will sing of love / Celebrate (Brown)  A song that celebrates new beginnings and the beauty of creation. It's a bit like a salsa. It's cool.
  • *BUC Song Project Jesus set me free (Brown) Celebrating Jesus' presence and the freedom we have in Christ. It will need to be sung by the musicians first, I reckon. 
  • *Tune In In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help and a call for God to enter our world. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook.
  • Tune In Making things new (Anderson). A groovy one. Great for kids, and lots of fun. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook. Good for kids. 
  • GtG229 In the darkness of the morning (Tice) Excellent story telling song; particularly good for a dawn service. Sung to a simple Latvian folk tune. Sheet music sample. 
  • Iona (LFB) / CH409 / A&M206 / SP079 / StF304 Jesus is risen alleluia! (Bernard Kyamanywa) From Tanzania, and set to a traditional Tanzanian melody. Pretty good and straightforward. The use of a small group to sing the harmony "responses" would be great, and particularly wonderful at an Easter Vigil or at the start of an Easter Morning service.
  • CH408 At dawn the women made their way (Bringle) Lovely gentle lyrics of the women discovering the empty tomb to an old tune that may be familiar (VOX DILECTI) 
  • CH428 Alleluia alleluia Jesus risen Lord of life! / Word of the Father: Jesus Christ!(Bernadette Farrell) A good song to start an Easter Sunday service, or for an Easter vigil. It uses a cantor line for the call, and the congregation responds "Jesus Christ!". Very joyous. Eastertide Acclamation
  • CH407 Comes Mary to the grave (Perry) Simple words focused on the peace ful morning and Mary's joy at finding the risen Christ. Tune is simple, but will need to be taught.
  • **TiS 383 Joyful the morning when Jesus Christ is risen (Traditional Torres Strait Islander) It's beautiful and joyful and from the Torres Straits! We should sing this! I can't believe I hadn't noticed this song before! Sound sample.  
  • *Iona / CH430 / SFFS2115 / GtG231 / G(II)308 / GC452 / GC(II)465 / G(3)530 / StF296 Christ has risen while earth slumbers (Bell / Maule) There are a number of tune setting for this. I prefer HOLY MANNA. Lead sheet. Sound Sample. New words to old tunes.
  • VU253 / G(II)2 / GC2 / GC(II)2 / G(3)003 / URW178 Sing Your Joy Proclaim God's Glory (God is alive) (Haas) Easter hymn. A good opening song for worship. Each verse ends joyously "God is alive! Allelluia". Quite straightforward to sing. 
  • *CH348 / StS001 / LBW196 / ELW843 / A&M762 / G(3)625 / CP397 / W&R93 / SP304 / URW090 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (Edwards) Good words of Christ's ministry to all. Can be sung to the familiar tune NETTLETON, or the less familiar and very lovely tune JOEL. Lyrics.  New words to old tunes
  • NCH231 / VU178 / AA007 / PH105 / GtG249 / W&R292 Because you live O Christ (Murray) Excellent words to the well known Easter tune VRUECHTEN. AA has it set to CRAWSHAW which is less familiar. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • GtG241 / Cha223 Woman Weeping in the Garden (Damon) Great words about the woman weeping, then waiting, then walking, then weeping again, then dancing.   
  • *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 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.
  • ATW 452 Halle Halle / Why do you look among the dead (Mann) Storytelling Easter song, with catchy hallelujahs. Lyrics. 
  • *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.
  • TiS 660 / CP235 Myrrh-bearing Mary From Magdala came (Whitney) A song that follows the Marys involved in the adult life, death and resurrection of Christ. 
  • *TiS 370 / AHB 290 / NCH367 / CH411 / UMH302 / VU157 / LBW128 / ELW369 / GtG245 / G(II)315 / GC437 / GC(II)439 / G(3)523 / CP206 / W&R288 / Lau273 / StF298 / MP076 Christ the Lord is risen today (Wesley) (Llanfair) It's not quite Easter for me without this hymn, but be aware that the lyrics vary widely between hymnals. TiS is good, although some may not like the Kingly language. If you want fully inclusive language, the NCH has good lyrics. An example of lyrics and tune. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • 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
  • *TiS 392 At the dawning of salvation (Curle) Good hymn words of Easter theology and Christ’s presence at Creation to a fun standard American folk tune (NETTLETON). New words to old tunes. 
  • TiS 367 / AHB 287 / NCH242 / CH412 / UMH306 / VU159 / LBW135 / ELW366 / A&M217 / GtG236 / PH119 / GC446 / GC(II)459 / G(3)525 / CP212 / CP(E)159 / W&R290 / Cha221 / 82Hml-208 / Lau275 / MP670 The strife is o'er the battle done There are two possible tunes for this hymn. I prefer to sing it to the tune by James Minchin (THE STRIFE IS O’ER), which is found in the Australian Hymn Book, rather than the more traditional minstrellish VULPIUS. The newer tune is pretty groovy (I loved it as a kid!), and has lots and lots of alleluias. The words also vary a lot between hymnals. So, the best would be a combination of the TiS words and the AHB tune 287 (ii). Yeah, this was my other church rock favourite of 1979. 
  • VU168 / StS101 / ELW390 / GtG257 The risen Christ who walks on wounded feet (Weaver) Good words of resurrection and an excellent outward looking last verse. A good final hymn for Easter Day "May we Christ's body walk and serva dn stand with the oppressed in this and every land, till all are blessed and can a blessing be, restored in Christ to true humanity". Sung to the familiar tune WOODLANDS / GREATOREX. Lyrics. New words to old tunes 
  • ELW375 / HPP199 / GtG253 Alleluia Christ is arisen / Aleluya! Cristo resucitó (Bojos) A cool Latin American hymn. I would sing the refrain twice each time because it's short, and so joyful! 
  • G(II)312 / GC432 / GC(II)443 / G(3)535 Resucitó (Arguello) Think of this with Latin rhythm and more upbeat than the recorded version available all over the internet. Here's a mushy version. Here's a gypsy flamenco version. No, really. But in my head it's different to all of these... 
  • ATA 160 The Son is up the Word is out / Resurrection shout (Mann) A bit silly, but could be fun on Easter day with lots of kids. Good for kids. 
  • *GC(II)464 / CP230 The Tomb Is Empty (Dunstan) This one is so joyful it gives me goosebumps!! It would be a great start to worship on Easter Day. The verses say "Come and see", "Come and hear", "Come and touch", "Come and meet", "Come and serve". Lyrics and sample sheet music. Sound sample. 
  • *ATW 445 Roll the rock It’s a bit silly, but very joyous, catchy and Good for kids. 
  • TiS 363 / AHB 281 / NCH244 / CH431 / UMH317 / VU170 / LBW514 / ELW820 / A&M213 / GtG235 / PH116 / GC423 / GC(II)446 / G(3)532 / CP228 / CP(E)154 / W&R313 / Cha220 / 82Hml-203 / Lau280 O sons and daughters let us sing (O FILII ET FILIAE) Many versions and many verses. AHB has emphasis on Thomas verses, but Gather hymnals have some nice verses about the women finding Christ risen. This tune can be really pretty cool - either as plainchant, hymn or fairly majestic contemporary mass music. Older version lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • CH422 / AA015 Christ is alive and the universe must celebrate (Murray) Good celebratory Easter words. The tune will need to be taught. Lyrics and sheet music 
  • TiS 381 / AHB 302 / NCH232 / CH415 / VU177 / WoV676 / LBW149 / ELW391 / A&M219 / GtG244 / GC434 / CP(E) 161 / W&R308 / 82Hml-192 / Lau286 / StF314 This joyful Eastertide (Woodward) A fairly old-school traditional hymn; still good! 
  • *TiS 387 / CH416 / UMH318 / VU158 / PH108 / 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, sound sample and sheet music. 
  • TiS 393 / GA365 / Lau270 Christ is alive with joy we sing (Stotter) Joyful alleluias, and Easter images of Christ as grain of wheat, rising sun, vine and bread. Sung to the familiar tune VULPIUS.  
  • *Iona (TI1AU) / MV038 Glory to God / Nzamuranza (Mozambique / Matsikenyiri) Simple African call and response song. Great harmonies and particularly good for Easter Day. Thanks to Noodle Thrower for this suggestion. 
  • FFS21 Forgive us O God (Baxter / Gibson) Touching lyrics of the ways we have crucified Christ again, and the hope we have in Easter. A more solemn prayer of confession than is often used on Easter Day, but could work well.    
  • *FFS55 Relentless lover God in Christ (Barrell/Gibson) Great words! Can also be sung to KINGSFOLD if you don't want to explore a new tune. Lyrics.  
  • Online resource Sing out with joy! (Patterson) A lovely energetic song for a children's choir. Sound sample and available here. Sample sheet music.

Shorter songs  

Of course, you might like to sing an Alleluia! Here's a list!.
  • *TiS 728 Jesu christo reina reina ya! A fun Latin American song. It's particularly fun if someone is brave enough to yell out a "call" at the start of each verse.  Good for kids. 
  • Taizé / GtG243 / G(3)516 Be not afraid sing out for joy / Nebojte se (Berthier)  Happy joyful Taizé chant! Sheet music and sound samples. Good for kids. 
  • *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. 
  • Music by heart 43 Dying you destroyed our death (Haskel) A very simple round of Christ's death and resurrection. 
  • Taizé / ATA 107 / VU247 / GC555 / CP308 / W&R303 / Lau691 Jubilate Deo (Praetorius) A very simple fun round from the community at Taizé. Sound sample and practice parts. Good for kids. 
  • *TiS 720 / AHB 295 / AoVK-85 / AoV2-046 / ATOK 319 / NCH236 / Iona (Many & Great, There is one among us) / CH345 / VU958 / StJ / A&M836 / SFFS 2026 / HPP571 / GtG591 / GC(II)261 / G(3)329 / W&R005 / Cha041 / ZSS76 / SP324 / PfAS150G / URW370 / Lau178 Halle halle hallelujah (Traditional Caribbean) A good Alleluia would work well for this passage, and I think this one is particularly excellent – simple, great for kids, good rhythm. Good for kids. Sound sample. 
  • 82Hml-713 Christ is arisen / Christ ist erstanden (German hymn) An ancient Easter Day round.  
  • *CH753 / SFFS 2078 / GtG589 / GC(II)271 / G(3)338 / PfAS147A Alleluia alleluia (Glover / Honduras) I would just sing the refrain of this. It would make a great introit or postlude for Easter Day. Sheet music and lyrics (chorus only). I'm not wild about the sound sample, but it gives you some ideas.  
  • *ATW 463 / Iona (T1AU) / ELW721 / SFFS 2219 / A&M835 / GtG750 / GC(II)451 / G(3)528 / W&R296 / URW436 Goodness is stronger than evil (Tutu / Iona) Words from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. "Victory is ours, victory is ours, through him who loves us". Some congregations change the last line to "Compassion is ours, compassion is ours...". It depends on the context in which you sing it, I suppose. Sound sample. Good for kids.   
  • *TiS 541 / CH674 / WoV722 / ELW535 / GtG538 / G(II)394 / GC562 / GC(II)529 / G(3)626 / CP082 / SP&P190 / W&R709 / ZSS198 / URW400 Hallelujah we sing your praises / Haleluyah! Pelo Tsa Rona. Joyous and simple song. Sound sample. Sheet music sample. Good for kids. 
  • GA338 People of God O welcome the light (Wood) Quite good simple refrain for the start of an Easter celebration  
  • *CH797 The Lord is risen from the dead (Halleyi) Simple chant for Easter day.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Any Holy, holy, holy / Sanctus will work well. 

I will suggest some of these again next week, so this could be a good time to introduce a new song.

  • *Linnea Good / MV008 And on this path (Good) An energetic gospel style song. Here's a youtube video. We sing it much slower than this and as a gospel style song with big chords and a groovy bass part. I thought I'd never say that we sing something slower than anyone! Good for kids.
  • *TiS 74 / GA070 This is the day the Lord has made (Willcock) Unusual timing in this refrain, but once you've nailed it, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week, which is what I like about Psalm refrains.
  • STB046 Your Word Will Be A Lamp (Malaysia) (Anonymous) This song is in English and set to a Tamil melody, so will need to be taught. It's a little tricky.
  • VU175 This is the day that God has made (Sleeth) Good for kids especially 
  • *MV122 / Online Resource This is the day (Harding) This is a really simple nice jazzy song. Sound sample. Sample sheet music. Good for kids. 
  • PfAS118G This is the day the lord has made (Roberts) A bright and cheerful refrain for the Psalm. 
  • *Taizé / MV016 / StJ / ELW528 / GA430 / SFFS 2157 / HPP410 / G(II)398 / GC570 / GC(II)550 / RS710 / CP402 / URW378 Come and Fill our hearts/ Confitemini Domino Can be sun in English as "Come and fill our hearts with your peace, you alone O God are holy. Come and fill our hearts with your peace, Alleluia". Sound samples and sheet music. 
  • *NCH387 / 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). Lyrics 
  • *MV187 / ELW682 We give our thanks / Reamo leboga (Traditional Botswana) A great song to sing for the offering. Video of some guys and a keyboard having fun with it. Good for kids.  
  • STB019 Glory be to You O God / Joy Probhu tomari joy (Bangladesh) (Shaha) A happy song from Bangladesh. The tune will need to be taught, but it's not difficult and the words are quite simple in English. The first phrase could be sung in Bengali if you would like to include some language other than English, but don't want to learn a lot of words in another language.
  • TiS 48 / AoV1-153 / ATOK 411 / VU808 / WoV779 / ELW787 / GA452 / HPP385 / G(II)433 / GC611 / GC(II)593 / G(3)691 / CP531 / W&R438 / PfAS091E / Cha077 / Lau952 You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord / On Eagle's Wings (Joncas) This is a big favourite all over the place. It has masculine imagery for God. This doesn't have to be sung slowly and meditatively - it also works very well as a more upbeat song. If it is not familiar to you, a cantor can be used for the verses. It is not inclusive in all sources. 
  • PfAS118D This is the day the lord has made (Patterson) A good 7/8 setting of the Psalm. It will need to be taught, but will be enjoyed. 
  • *Cry Hosanna 14 This, this is the day (Brian Howard) I really like this song. Here are the lyrics, but I can't even share a tune with you. If anyone out there recognises the lyrics, I'd love it if you could share the source. Here's a youtube version; a little more strident than I would sing it, but it will give you an idea. 
  • *TiS 653 / NCH417 / CH526 / UMH383 / GC(II)453 / W&R355 / Cha518 This is a day of new beginnings "This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that's gone." Excellent words of reconciliation from Brian Wren. A good start to the Easter season. There are two possible tunes. I prefer the more simple hymn-like tune by Carlton Young which is in most resources (including TiS). There is an optional final verse that can be used for Communion. Lyrics.
  • *TiS 156 / AHB 91 / AoV1-135 / ATA 123 / CH212 / UMH145 / VU409 / ELW556 / GA537 / A&M545 / HPP267 / GtG664 / PH469 / G(II)546 / GC756 / GC(II)748 / G(3)855 / CP003 / W&R35 / Cha053 / URW186 / 82Hml-008 / StF136 / Lau671 / MP467 Morning has broken (Farjeon) This song makes me smile every time. Here's Yusuf Islam (when he was Cat Stevens) in 1976 (love those green boots). Oldy-but-a-goody. 
What will you be singing? If it's something not listed here, please let me know in the comments below.

5 comments:

Margaret chivers said...


469 TiS fits in well with Easter. It has a good tune, or Darwall is a good substitute.

Jennie Gordon said...

Thanks so much Natalie - I love the treasures you find, old and new.
I'm using "In the darkness of the morning" - to Love Divine - and have added and extra 2 lines to make it 3 full verses (and to complete that bit of the story)

In the glowing rays of daylight, she went back and told the men,
“I have seen him! He is with us! Jesus Christ; alive again!”

lkm said...

What about "See what a morning" (Resurrection Hymn) by Townend & Gettys
Mission Praise 1105
- Len Makin

Leah Fowler said...

What communion hymn do you recommend for this Easter?

Mj said...

We sing "This is the day" from 'Scripture in Song Book One - Songs of Praise'.
That version is by Les Garrett, and has only one verse.
The others in your link fit quite well of course. It's catchy and fun and has easy guitar chords as well as piano score.