Songs, Hymns & Music for Epiphany 4A (29 January 2023)

Micah 6:1-8
  • BUC Song Project Some people spend their lives chasing money / Walk (Matthew Lees) A thoughtful song about how we choose to live. Chorus is "I'm gonna walk humbly with my Lord... with justice and mercy by my side on this road".
  • AoV1-050 Act Justly (Monica O'Brien / Trish Watts) Simple chant-like chorus, and strong verses. I love this one. Sound sample.
  • SP&P066 Help me do the justice to be done today (Christopher Grundy) A simple and hopeful song. Good for kids, and teenagers. Good for everyone else too! Highly recommended. Sound sample (YouTube).
  • Online Resource Dare to live the dream God gives you (David Bjorlin) Words of encouragement and strength, set to the very common hymn tune HOLY MANNA. Book available for purchase and download here. New words to old tunes.
  • 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, sexuality. 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). This song is good for a service when communion is celebrated, but it makes sense without communion, too. DO NOT SING ALL THE VERSES if you're looking at the Hope Publishing version. Choose the ones that work for your community. I recommend not using verse 4, which talks about both the abuser, and the abused being welcome at the table, and places the onus on the abused for forgiveness; it is a verse that Shirley Murray decided later she would have liked to remove. There is also an optional verse: "For gay and for straight...." Lyrics & sheet music.
  • AA085 Let justice roll down like a river (Colin Gibson) Excellent song, and very easy to sing. I really like this.  Lyrics and sheet music. Good for kids.
  • HPP28 / GtG023 / PH285 / W&R24 / URW083 God You Spin the Whirling Planets (Jane Parker Huber) Excellent words to a very familiar tune (TiS 772). Really good for the final hymn or response to the sermon. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Singing the Journey Act Justly (Douglas Simper) A catchy chorus, and challenging verses about the struggles of the world, including problems like food security, global warming, and the arms race. Two key changes may be excessive, but I think this would be a great song for many congregations. Book available here.
  • CH115 / MV089 / Iona (Love from Below) / A&M722 / SP292 Love is the touch of intangible joy (Alison Robertson) Great words and a simple tune. "God is where love is, for love is of God". Lyrics (scroll).
  • StS033 /  GA515 / G(II)516 / GC716 / GC(II)709 / G(3)810 Let Justice Roll Like a River (Marty Haugen) Verse 3 of this song is particularly appropriate for this passage. The song is quite simple, particularly if you use a soloist for the verses if this is new to you. Sound sample (I don't like this sample much) and sheet music sample and lyrics.
  • HiOS031 From this holy time (Marnie Barrell) Good words about going and serving "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God". Good for a closing hymn. Straightforward tune. Lyrics (including a typo!).
  • UMH729 / VU682 / LBW161 / WoV762 / ELW627 / GtG373 / PH450 / CP573 / W&R539 / Cha711 / URW140 /82Hml-597 O day of peace that dimly shines (Carl P Daw) A song of hoped-for peace. The tune in Chalice hymnal is really nice (CANDLER) or O WALY WALY which is used in URW. Other sources use JERUSALEM, which is a bit too militaristic for me. Lyrics and JERUSALEM sheet music.  New words to old tunes.  
  • ATFG589 / NCYC'99 / VU298 When you Walk From here (Linnea Good) A simple benediction, commissioning or farewell song. Lyrics.  
  • HiOS146 What does our God require (Bill Wallace) Good simple paraphrase, and development, of this passage. Earth-focussed. Sheet music.
  • Iona (WWHW) / MV223 We will go with God / Sizohamba naye (Traditional Swaziland) A simple Zulu song from Swaziland. Good for the end of the service. Video with pronunciation and parts. Note that MV has a different set of English words; neither are a direct translation. Sound sample of a more traditional version. Good for kids.
  • TiS 618 / AHB 568 / UMH441 / PH405 / CP171 / W&R686 / Cha659 / 82Hml-605 What does the Lord require for praise and offering (Albert Bayly) Some versions quite masculine. More modern hymnals are fine. The tune in TiS is SHARPTHORNE, which is quite good. Older lyrics and a different tune. Reader Susan Bloomfield has also written a new tune, available here.
  • TiS 751 / VU701 / GtG070 / StS054 / SFFS 2174 / Cha661 What does the Lord require of you? (Jim Strathdee) A good and simple three part song (or a round) that is a paraphrase of this passage. Teaching video.
  • Recorded Music: You have shown us (Martin Smith) An excellent contemporary version of this passage, written by Paul Baloche. Video. Lyrics. 
  • Recorded Music: God of Justice (Tim Hughes) Not really a congregational song, and not really my style, but this has some great words for the close of the worship service, in a more contemporary soft-pop-rock hands-in-the-air style. I suggest you stop the recording before it gets to the really tacky 80s synthesizer sounds, unless you really like that, of course. Lyrics and sound sample.  
  • Online Resource We try we fail do too little too late / Forgive us (The Many) Beautiful, moving song which you could play for your congregation during a time of reflection, or ask your musicians to present to the congregation. Youtube. Sheet music sample and purchasing options.
Psalm 15
Songs for the Micah passage above also fit with this reading.
Only those who live right will live with God.
  • Online Resource That's how we walk (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This very simple chorus would be great to sing with kids, either during the service or in a Sunday School setting. Good for kids. Sheet music, sound sample and lyrics.
  • VU575 / SFFS 2153 / GtG700 / PH369 / SP&P139 / W&R574 / Cha614 I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me (African American traditional) Good simple tune and meaningful words. Easy to sing and play around with. Good for kids, non-readers and for people for whom English is a second language. Sound sample.Alternatively: PfAS015C I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me (African American traditional) A version of the same song, used as a Psalm refrain. Good for kids Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 657 / CH263 / VU700 / A&M559 / AA50 / CP(E) 447 / Cha656 / SP242 God of freedom God of justice (Shirley Murray) Powerful lyrics. Can be sung to either TREDEGAR (new, but not too hard) or PICARDY (very familiar). Lyrics and sheet music sample. New words to old tunes. There is also a nice tune from Douglas Simper in his book if you'd like something quite new, but still hymn-like.
  • Online Resource We want to be close to your heart (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is another song that would be simple enough for the congregation to sing the first time they hear it. It's great for kids too. Good for kids. Sheet music, sound sample and lyrics.
  • Iona (M&G, T1AU) / MV099 / GC(II)673 / G(3)763 / Lau996 Stand O Stand Firm (Cameroon) I love having an excuse to sing this simple and powerful song. Very easy for your congregation. You can make up cantor parts too “Oh my sisters…. Oh my brothers… Oh my children….” or you can name countries you are praying for in your intercessions. Good for kids. Scottish sound sample. Lead sheet.
  • PfAS015A Lord who are they that may dwell (James Seddon) A hymnlike paraphrase of the Psalm. Fairly formal, but inclusive words. Sheet music.
  • PfAS015B Lord who shall be welcome (Steven Warner) A nice contemporary sung paraphrase of the Psalm. Easy to sing. Sound sample.
  • CH008 Lord who may enter your house? Whoever leads a blameless life (John Bell) A lovely simple psalm response to a chanted or read paraphrase of the Psalm. 
  • Emergent Psalter Who may abide on your holy hill? (Isaac Everett) Simple response with read Psalm. Sheet music. 
  • TiS 5 Justice alone is the way of the Lord (S.T. Kimbrough / Carlton Young) Good cantor and response. Also in UMH Psalter. Lyrics (response only)
  • Cha729 Let justice roll down like the water (Lon Oliver) Responsive psalm with sung refrain.
  • ATW 505 Whatever you do (John Ylvisaker) Simple and fun. Good for kids
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
The foolishness of the cross
  • TiS 356 / CH385 / Cha203 / StF273 Here hangs a man discarded (Brian Wren) Excellent words, particularly for this reading “Can such a clown of sorrows still bring a useful word where faith and love seem phantoms and every hope absurd?”. Also works very well with TiS 339 (Passion Chorale) if your congregation is scared of new tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes
  • TiS 422 / CH594 / CP(E) 179 Come Holy Spirit come inflame our souls with love (Michael Lindsay Forster) Excellent words to a well known hymn tune. It is not gender-inclusive for God. Lyrics (links to a very impressive pew sheet). New words to old tunes
  • TiS 179 / NCH273 / VU312 / StJ / URW073 Praise with Joy the World's Creator (John Bell) One of my favourite hymns - strongly Trinitarian lyrics and excellent imagery. Lyrics (scroll down or search).New words to old tunes
  • VU284 /  GtG230 / G(II)550 / GC760 / Cha333 Joyful Is the Dark (Brian Wren) I really like these words. Hymnals vary widely in the tunes they have set these lyrics to. GtG uses a really difficult key but the tune is nice. VU uses this tune. I'm really not a big fan of either tune, but I think the tune in VU may be simpler.
  • TiS 262 When pain and terror strike by chance (Brian Wren) These excellent words may be particularly helpful if you are in a community where there has been recent loss / disaster. Very familiar Irish folk tune. Lyrics.
  • Recorded Music The cross is foolishness (John Michael Talbot) I don't really know this song, but came across a sample and the lyrics. I think it would be a good one to listen to, or play if someone has the music. 
  • Unusual sources It really is a worry / Right side up (Downie) A good kid's song about how God's world is not upside down, but right side up. We have this in the folders at church. It's also in a book called "Praise God Together" and in "Kidsource 2". Good for kids.
  • Unknown source Alleluia, the great storm is over (Bob Franke) lift up your wings and fly! I especially love the image of the infant sleeping while the mother sang until the bridegroom returned. The chorus is really catchy and very easy to sing. If not familiar, you can use a cantor or soloist for the verses and invite the congregation to join in the chorus. We tend to sing this more like a gospel anthem, but I don't think we've sung it in quite a while. Lyrics. Video with poor image but good sound
Matthew 5:1-12
Oh, the Beatitudes... my favourite! (OK, one of my favourites, really)
  • Online Resource / Resounding Voices Blesséd how blesséd (Susan Palo Cherwien) Good new lyrics about the beatitudes, set to a traditional Scottish lament (FLOWERS OF THE FOREST). Free book download here.  
  • Online Resource / Iona (L&A) / ATW 436 / MV112 Amen amen it shall be so! (John Bell) A beautiful chant with verses. Works well with a cantor or small choir leading the verses and the congregation joining in on the “Amen, amen it shall be so, amen, it shall be so”. You could do this song instead of reading the passage. I guarantee it will be remembered! Sheet music sample, sound sample and purchasing options.
  • NCH164 / VU79 / StS030 / WoV652 / LBW652 / ELW314 / PH411 / GtG744 / W&R231 / URW138 Arise your light is come! (Ruth Duck) Good general words of Christ coming to bring justice; I like it sung to the familiar tune ST. THOMAS (TiS 271). Lyrics and video (to a different tunes) New words to old tunes.
  • StS041 / GC(II)515 / G(3)592 / Lau817 Blessed are they who are poor in spirit / We are the light of the world (Jean Anthony Greif) Yep. Okay! Would be best with a cantor, or small choir and the congregation can respond with the chorus. You could even do this instead of the reading. Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource Blessed are the poor in spirit (Carolyn Winfrey Gillette) Good words based on this passage to a familiar hymn tune (NETTLETON). Thanks for this suggestion Susan Malthouse. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 697 All the sleepy should have a place to sleep (Rusty Edwards) Great chorus "Make love happen by God's grace and by God's power. Let God move you on this day and in this hour. New creations will then blossom like a flower for together we can be the hands of God". Lyrics.
  • A Singing Faith God teach us peacemaking, justice and love (Jane Parker Huber) Set to the familiar tune SLANE. This is more appropriate for congregations in the USA, I think, based on what fragments I have seen. I do not have a copy of this book, so am not sure.  
  • STB260 Hope for the children in our midst (Douglas Clark) Lovely hopeful words for peace and justice for the world's children. Sung to a simple Taiwanese-style tune. Lyrics (downloads a PDF).
  • Taize How blessed are you who are poor the kingdom of God is yours (Taize Community) A lovely simple chant. Sheet music sample.
  • Iona (I will not sing alone) Blessed are the ones I call the poor / Hey my love (John Bell / Graham Maule) A lovely lilting tune (LADY MAISY). This gentle song would be good for a reflection. Sound sample
  • Online Resource Blessed are the poor (Adam Tice / Kate Williams) A lovely song. Not so much a congregational song, but you may find a good way to use it in your congregation. The chorus is very moving, and if you will be focusing on the salt and light readings next week, it would be a good time to introduce a new song.  Sheet music sample, lyrics, sound sample, and purchasing options.
  • TiS 607 / AoV2-126 / ATN 95 / CH528 / VU684 / StJ / A&M725 / SFFS 2171 / HPP406 / GtG753 / G(II)524 / GC726 / GC(II)721 / G(3)828 / CP(E)519/ W&R587 / Srce 462 / Lau898 / StF707 / MP456 Make me a channel of your peace (Sebastian Temple). Lovely. Nice if you can just start a capella...  Youtube video of Sinead O'Connor singing it and lyrics. Original recording!
  • TiS 288 / Iona Not the powerful not the privileged (John Bell) I think it is close enough to Christmas that this song can still be sung. Lyrics (PPT).
  • Online Resource Blessings whenever you are poor (Richard Bruxvoort Colligan) A gentle jazzy song. Not quite sure how to use it with a congregation - perhaps musicians can sing it for the congregation? "You're in holy company".... it's lovely. Sound sample, lyrics and purchasing options
  • Cha185 Blessed are the poor in spirit (Unknown) A simple response to the Beatitudes which can be read responsively with this refrain. 
  • Tune In / Online Resource Kingdom Come (Matthew Lees) A song about how things are not what we expect in God’s kingdom. Lots of words and good images including "there's no blacklist or admission fee" Sound samples, lyrics and free downloadable songbook   
  • HiOS074 If you shut your eyes (Colin Gibson) Powerful words to a lovely tune (SONG OF THE POOR) calling us to wake up and stand with the poor. 
Do you have ideas that you could add? I would love to hear them! Please add a comment below... 


Susan Malthouse said...

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has a good one for the Gospel, "Blessed are the poor in Spirit".

Mary Moser said...

Graham Kendrick has a lovely, upbeat praise song: Blessed Are The Humble (The Beatitudes):

Bill Jones said...

And from Jane Parker Huber, on the Beatitudes - "God Teach Us Peacemaking" - No. 64 in "A Singing Faith"

Angela said...

any chance anyone could post the lyrics for "God Teach us Peacemaking?"

Sunny Hallanan said...

You shall cross the barren desert / Be not afraid is one of my favourites for the Beatitudes

Pat Farra said...

Do you have any suggestions for the Presentation, which is celebrated February 2?
That's what our lectionary guide is proposing.
Pat Farra

Unknown said...

Mike Stern has a great song to Micah 6:8, it's also a really good sing along.

Belinda said...

I am a child of God - Cheryl and Bruce Harding - also touches on the material from Matthew 5:1-12