Songs, Hymns and Music for Maundy Thursday (29 March 2024)

The sacrifice and eating of the Passover lamb. 
 Agnus Dei
  • Online Resource O Christ, Lamb of God (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A more modern Agnus Dei, with Christ sharing our weakness. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • Sing Alleluia / Fresh Sounds 041 Jesus Lamb of God (Betty Pulkingham) This is one of my favourite Agnus Deis (what's the plural of Agnus Dei?). A little bit of the tune. Good for kids.
  • ATAR657 / The word became a song Jesus, lamb of God (Robin Mann) A nice new Agnus Dei. Quite simple to sing. Youtube.
  • Online Resource Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world (Jane Southwick Cool) A very simple and beautiful Lamb of God. Sheet music (look for the PDF symbol) and lyrics
  • ATAR648 / Online Resource Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world (Kevin Keil) A simple and quite lovely extended Agnus Dei (written for Advent, but I think you can sing it in Lent also), with extra verses of Morning Star, God with Us, Prince of Peace… Sound and sheet music samples, and download options.
  • Iona (CAYP) / SP228 / URW413 / StF790 Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world (John Bell) I really like this one (St Bride setting). A simple, and quite meditative overlapping cantor and response. It will need to be taught, but it will not take long for people to pick it up. Keep it slow. Sound sample.  
  • AoV1-196 / GC171 / GC(II)152 / RS 329 Jesus, Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) (Marty Haugen) from the Mass of Creation, so particularly good if you are using that entire setting. Sound sample and lyrics.
  • GC213 / GC(II)319 / RS 469 / URW414 Jesus Lamb of God (Michael Joncas) from his Psallite Mass. Sheet music sample.
  • GtG603 Lamb of God (Paul Vasile) This is really nice; will need to be taught. Jazzy chords! Sheet music preview.
  • GtG604 Lamb of God (Robert Farlee) A nice simple Agnus Dei. Lyrics & sound sample
  • TiS 705 / Iona (Common Ground, EoA) / W&R282 / SP320 / StF234 / Lau610 Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin (John Bell) A simple Agnus Dei. Best if you can manage to get all four parts involved. Sheet music sample.  
  • ACS960 O lamb of God / Oi Jumalan Karitsa (Petri Laaksonen) A lovely gentle Finnish Agnus Dei. Sound sample (scroll forward to 47:11 to hear it in a service). 
  • AHB 448 Holy most holy Lamb of God (Daniel Thambyrajah Niles) Funky Philippino tune. Yeah, something groovy in the AHB!
  • Music by Heart 06 Lamb of God (Robinson McClellan) A simple, and quite lovely call and response. This would be very easy to sing even if new, provided you have a good song leader. Good for kids.
  • CH778 Lamb of God you take away (Fride Gustafsson) A very simple Agnus dei. Easy to sing. 
  • Lau1011 Lamb of God (Belmont) (Christopher Walker) A very simple and beautiful meditative Agnus Dei.  Sound sample
  • GC(II)318 / G(3)392 O Lamb Of God (Robert Batastini) Quite lovely and soothing call-and-response Agnus Dei. 
  • STB129 Lamb of God (Mabel Wu) An unusual Agnus Dei set to a Taiwanese tune. Will need to be taught
  • WoV621 Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world (Marty Haugen) A canon. In 3/4. Seems quite nice and simple. 
  • Iona (T1AU) / CH790 O Lamb of God (John Bell) St Bride setting. Nice; will need to be taught before you use it. It's a little bit tricky. Sound sample.
  • Public Domain / make it up as you go along O Lamb Of God (Donald Schmidt) You can sing the Agnus Dei to the traditional tune SHALOM CHAVERIM and sing it as a round. I really like this, and it's very simple. I don't know if it's actually published anywhere. "O Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us, have mercy on us, and grant us your peace". Sheet music. New words to old tunes  Good for kids.
  • Recorded music Agnus Dei There are very very many classical versions of the Agnus Dei. It might be nice to play a recording while communion is distributed, or while people light candles for their prayers. Some favourites: Agnus Dei set to Samuel Barber's Adagio; I also like Palestrina. And Dunstable.
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Commitment to God; lifting the cup of salvation
  • TiS 709 / Taizé Chuyo chuyo (Jacques Berthier) A short Korean chant, appropriate for an intercession response, and can be sung as a round. Not hard for non-Koreans! It means "Lord hear us". Good for kids.
  • Unknown Source Psalm 116 (Linnea Good) 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”. I think this is in our folders at church. I cannot find it online. Good for kids.
  • URW311 I love you Lord you hear my cry (Isaac Watts) A simple song with two verses, or PfAS116D uses it as a Psalm refrain. 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. Older versions are not inclusive. Lyrics.   Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 71 / VU617 / G(II)97 / GC108 I will walk in the presence of the Lord (Richard Proulx) A beautiful cantored Psalm. The refrain is very simple. Doesn’t make sense without the cantor. Lyrics (in an order of worship).
  • GC109 I Will Walk in the Presence of God (Garry Daigle) A simple lilting refrain. Inclusive verses. This could maybe be used as a chant on its own. Sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample.
  • 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 (Jacques 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 
  • TiS 727 / SiS361 / ATE 208 / CH121 / AA70 / PfAS022F In the presence of your people (Brent 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 which uses the refrain only for singing with a reading of a different Psalm, but it would also work for this one too. Lyrics (3 verses, but I only ever sing the first one).
  • GC(II)755 / G(3)864 O the weary world is trudging / The trumpet in the morning (Rory Cooney) Song of release of prisoners and the trumpet's blast. Sound sample. Lead sheet.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 and John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The words of institution;
You might also like to look at the Communion songs page.
  • BUC Resource We are humbled by your grace (David Stephens, Ian Ferguson, Saide Cameron) Some years ago, this song was written for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is in our folders.  
  • Praise for all Seasons I Remember (David Brown) Our musicians sang this in 2014 while people were moving in to the space for communion "I remember a man who came for his last meal, ate it with a group of friends and it changed the world".
  • 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)
  • ATAR659 The night of his betrayal / Remember now my children (John Ylvisaker) A good simple song of the words of institution. Will be easy to sing
  • Online Resource / 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? Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options. New words to old tunes 
  • 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. Our musicians sang it a couple of times in the last few years, and it was just lovely. Sound sample, sheet music sample, purhasing options.
  • Online Resourrce / GtG207 Sharing Pascal bread and wine / Shadows lengthen into night (Mary Louise Bringle) Maundy Thursday A great song for a Tenebrae service, with the chorus "Shadows lengthen into night", but could work for other services too. Sheet music sample and purchasing options
  • CH763 / MV193 God bless to us our bread (Frederico Pagura / 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.
  • 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.
  • NCH344 / Iona (Enemy of Apathy) / GA385 / G(II)611 / Lau638 The time was early evening / Song of the Supper (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...". Sample sheet music.
  • ATW 472 / NCYC'99 As we take this bread (Jane Dyson) A lovely simple communion chant. Good for kids.
  • 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
  • VU458 / AA017 / W&R276 Christ let us come with you (Shirley Murray) Tune in AA is  simple, but not familiar. Good song for Maundy Thursday and the last week of Lent. Lyrics and sheet music
  • ACS966 / GtG498 Loaves were broken words were spoken (Herman Stuempfle) Communion Excellent words for communion sung to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING (in GTG) or a new tune by Marty Haugen (in ACS). Lyrics (downloads a pdf that you will need to scroll through) New words to old tunes (if using BEACH SPRING).
  • TiS 707 / Iona (Common Ground, LFB) / A&M429 / SP214 / StF576 Bread is blessed and broken (John Bell / Graham Maule) Very simple. Good for distribution of communion; not all versions are inclusive. Lyrics.
  • ACS931 Where charity and love are shown / Donde hay caridad y amor  (Joaquin Madurga) A joyful song telling the story of all of us gathering around the table together. Sound sample lyric video (in Spanish) with guitar chords.  
  • TiS 536 / AHB 453 / VU130 / GtG202 / PH094 / CP(E) 130 / W&R275 / Cha385 / Lau248 / StF569 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. Lyrics.New words to old tunes 
  • TiS 357 / ATA 147 When his time was over the palms lay where they fell / When our life began again (Robin Mann) Beautiful and mournful. Lyrics.
  • BUC Song Project Harvest our love (Dave Brown). This song is just perfect for every communion service ever. It would be good to sing this again, because it's been a while. Jazz.
  • TiS 737 / Iona (Common Ground, HSNW, T1AU) / A&M516 / SP142 / URW427 / Lau437 Lord Jesus Christ lover of all (John Bell) A beautiful and simple chant. Note that some versions (T1AU at least) have a beautiful 4 part harmony arrangement with excellent moving parts in the lower registers. Would work well during intercessions or during times of movement in the service. Sound sample.
  • ATA 135 / VU132 Bitter was the night (Sydney Carter) Lyrics based on Peter's denial of Christ. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • Iona (T1AU) / Cha430 Lo I Am With You to the end of the world (John Bell) Simple repetitive verses, in a nice minor key. Sound sample (youtube).
  • ATOK 397 / Iona (LFB) / CH658 / VU462 / A&M426 / GtG428 / CP610 / Cha391 / SP211 / StF575 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.
  • Taizé / TiS 714 / AoV1-125 /ATE 270 / CH661 / UMH628 / VU466 / WoV709 / ELW472 / GtG527 / GA205 / A&M442 / G(II)588 / GC838 / GC(II)806 / G(3)941 / RS928 / CP063 / W&R697 / Cha414 / SP229 / URW379 / Lau633 / StF583 Eat this bread drink this cup (Robert Batastini) 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".Sound sample.
  • 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. Sound sample.
  • Iona (Enemy of Apathy) He comes in the gathering gloom (John Bell)
  • CH484 / UMH579 / WoV666 / ELW358 / A&M169 / PH353 / CP442 / CP(E) 133 / W&R55 / SP57 / URW087 / StF499 Great God Your Love Has Called Us Here (Brian Wren) Good words to a standard hymn tune (MELITA). Gathering, confession, response, communion, and sending out all in one hymn. This is a good all-rounder. Sheet music and lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • STB297 Broken communion tore you apart / Gallajin apŭmŭl(Junchol Hong) A simple and solemn Korean chant, including a section that is just hummed; the two sections could be sung at the same time. Can be sung in English or Korean. Sample sheet music.
Songs for foot-washing:
  • TiS 640 / AHB 561 / ATE 310 / NCH498 / UMH432 / VU593 / WoV765 / ELW708 / HPP446 / GtG203 / PH367 / G(II)296 / GC409 / GC(II)429 / G(3)505 / CP504 / W&R273 / Cha600 / URW116 / 82Hml-602 / Lau241 / StF249 Jesu Jesu fill us with your love / Kneels at the feet of his friends (Tom Colvin & people of Ghana) Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • On the road Mystery of servant love (Ross Langmead) Excellent song, with much feeling about Christ's suffering, death, and servanthood. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource In this room a towel and basin (Carolyn Winfrey Gillette) Excellent words, set to a standard hymn tune. Lyrics.
  • Recorded Music The basin and the towel (Michael Card) Excellent lyrics about how this story lives again every time we "wash the feet" of others. You could play the song, or ask your musicians to sing it. Thanks to Pam Purdin in the Facebook group for suggesting this song. Lyrics. Youtube. Sheet music.
  • GC(II)431 / G(3)507 Jesus our teacher and our Lord / So you must do (Marty Haugen) A nice song for the musicians to sing during foot-washing; it's not so easy. Lead sheet. Sound sample.
  • Taizé / CH801 / MV170 / StJ / GtG205 / WoV665 / ELW642 / SFFS 2179 / GC408 / GC(II)430 / G(3)500 / CP553 / W&R399 / Cha523 / URW394 / StF783 / Lau244b Live in charity / Ubi Caritas (Jacques Berthier) Usually sung in Latin, but can also be sung just as beautifully as "Live in charity and steadfast love, live in charity; God will dwell with you." Sheet music and sound samples for practice. Good for kids.  
End of service:
  • Online Resource / BUC Song Project The night is dark and lonely / In Darkness (for Maundy Thursday) (Julia Potter) A lovely chant that can be sung as a round. It will need to be taught; once you get it, it's mesmerising. Free sheet music, sound sample and lyrics.
  • Iona (The courage to say no) / CH371 / StS085 Lay down your head Lord Jesus Christ (John Bell / Graham Maule) This song would be good for the end of a Maundy Thursday service, particularly if sung simply by a soloist if it is not familiar to your congregation. "What lies ahead we fear to guess… Lay down your head and, by your side, we'll sleep and stay".We sang this a couple of years ago. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource  Watch and pray with me a while (Helen Wright) A lovely simple song, particularly appropriate for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Youtube and link to downloads.
  • Iona (T1AU) / Cha430 Lo I am with you to the end of the world (John Bell) Simple repetitive verses, in a nice minor key. Sheet music sample
  • Online Resource O Jesus who travelled (Hannah Brown / Sally Ann Morris) Following Jesus on the journey to the cross. If you choose to use this, I recommend using it again on Good Friday. The tune is excellent and immediately singable. Beautiful. Lyrics, sheet music and sound sample, and purchasing options.
  • Online Resource Pray with me the night has come (David Bjorlin) A beautiful song of waiting and watching; sufficiently repetitive for people to sing without lyrics if you would like. Sung to a beautiful old Welsh tune. Lyrics, sheet music sample, sound sample, and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.     
  • Taizé / AoV2-088 / ATOK 395 / CH793 / VU950 / ELW348 / GA325 / A&M172 / SFFS 2198 / GtG204 / W&R286 / SP61 / Lau249 / StF780 Stay with me / Bleibet hier (Jacques Berthier) A very well known chant. Sheet music and sound samples.
  • Iona / VU33 Watch, watch and pray (John Bell) This Advent chant also has lyrics for Maundy Thursday.
  • Taizé / ATE 287 / WoV667 / GA321 / G(II)298 / GC411 / GC(II)433 / G(3)502 Stay here and keep watch (Jacques Berthier) Not very well known, but very good for the end of Maundy Thursday. Most would use "Stay with me, remain with me", but this is a nice alternative. Sound sample
  • Taizé / CP194 / URW392 Stay with us / Bleib mit deiner Gnade / Night will soon fall (Jacques Berthier) Another good one from Taize. The phrase "Night will soon fall" is particularly appropriate for Maundy Thursday. Sheet music and sound samples.
  • VU182 Stay with us through the night (Walter Farquharson) Simple and gentle sorrowful, but hopeful song. Instrumental sound sample.
  • AoV2-024 / URW407 Holy Darkness (Dan Schutte) Beautiful words based on John of the Cross. Might want to use a cantor if this is not familiar to your congregation. URW has only the refrain. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • StF267 Jesus in the olive grove (Fred Pratt Green) This is full of the horror of the end of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I'm not sure that I actually like it, but Good Friday's not necessary a day full of songs that make you feel good. Particularly suitable for a tenebrae service.  Lyrics.
  • Online Resource Darkness is a gift of God (David Bjorlin / Swee Hong Lim) Not specifically about Maundy Thursday, but since this is one of the few evening services we have at our church, this reflection on the presence of God particularly in darkness could work. Lyrics and sheet music sample, and purchasing options
Share your ideas - what will you be singing? What did you sing this year? Post a comment below.


Sean Meade said...

Go to Dark Gethsemane
In The Garden (Michael Card)

Shaun C said...

For Footwashing:
"Jesus Took a Towel" (Chrysogonus Waddell)
Gather Comprehensive #414
Worship: a hymnal and service book for Roman Catholics (3rd ed.) #432
Lift Up Your Hearts: Songs for Creative Worship (1990) #146

Page scan of sheet music:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for many helpful suggestions of what to sing through Holy Week and Easter. Much appreciate your comments and variety. Best wishes from North Wales, UK

Jane Hessdorfer said...

Another for Foot Washing - Humble King by Brenton Brown
1999 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Music Services)
CCLI Song No. 2650388

......You are the God of the broken, The friend of the weak;
You wash the feet of the weary, Embrace the ones in need.....

Anonymous said...

Song for footwashing 'Christ, grant me grace to let you wash my feet' as found here CCLI Song No 3800711. Could also be sung to ELLERS (Saviour, again to your dear name we raise), MORECAMBE (Spirit of God, descend upon my heart) or TOULON (Lord of all good)