Songs, Hymns & Music for Lent 2A (March 5 2023)

Genesis 12:1-4a
Abram and Sarah’s travels and the promise of the future.
  • ATA 200 / CH530 / VU639 / A&M757 / CP(E) 548 / URW109 / StF476 One more step along the world I go (Sydney Carter) A good fun kid's song which many of their (grand)parents will remember. "And it's from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you". Sheet music and lyrics. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • AoV1-137 / ATOK 403 / GA306 / G(II)286 God Of Abraham lead us (Bernadette Farrell) This one is great. Just don't try to sing all 17 verses! Choose what you like… I love this energetic call and response with the response "Lead us to your kingdom". You can sing with a cantor and response, or you could split your congregation in the middle doing half and half, or you could just have people singing all the way through. Lyrics (and a slow sound sample). Sound sample (listen to the whole thing and see how they build it up).  Good for kids.
  • NCYC ’93 / ATFG586 We will love / We will walk with you at the edges (Graeme Gardener) This is a good little rock number “We will walk with you at the edges, we will die with you at the cross roads, we will risk with you taking chances, we will love”. Or something like that. Jesus broke rules, and that's OK sometimes. Sheet music and sound samples (scroll down) Good for kids.
  • FFS14 / HPP57 Faith has set us on a journey (Shirley Murray) Good lyrics of trusting God and taking risks in our faith. Lyrics & sheet music
  • NCYC07 Labyrinth (Paul Chalson / Andrew Winton) A beautiful song about walking with God through all times. "To the heart of all that's sacred and to the margins we will walk the path with you". Excellent words. Not easy for a congregation, but if you have good musicians, they can sing it as a prayer for the congregation.
  • NCH501 We are dancing Sarah's circle (Carole Etzler) Set to the familiar tune of "We are climbing Jacob's ladder", with positive imagery of increasing the size of the circle of inclusion. Good for kids.New words to old tunes. One version of the lyrics.
  • NCH020 God of Abraham and Sarah, God of Moses, Miriam's Guide (James Gertmenian) Salvation history in one song with a focus on justice, healing, courage. I suggested this for Transfiguration as well, so it might be good to sing it again. Fits well with all themes for this week. Could also be sung to NETTLETON if you want something familiar. Lyrics (downloads a pdf). New words to old tunes.
  • MV148 Hope of Abraham and Sarah (Ruth Duck) This song is simple to sing and speaks of unity for the Abrahamic faiths (Islam, Judaism and Christianity). Lyrics.
  • Iona (LFB) / G(II)503 / GC701 / RS818 / StF464 God It Was who said to Abraham (John Bell) Easy tune. Good story words, which includes God's call to Joseph, along with a canon of others who were called by God. Note that God is masculine; I think this has been changed in more recent editions of Love From Below. Lyrics and sheet music. Slow sound sample.
  • VU634 / GtG051 / CP468 To Abraham and Sarah (Judith Fetter) A good interfaith hymn, and excellent words of being a pilgrim people. Sung to the familiar tune THORNBURY. Lyrics (about half way through the article) New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 125 / AHB 53 / NCH24 / HPP24 / GC544 / CH162 / UMH116 / LBW544 / ELW831 / A&M791 / HPP24 / GtG049 / PH488 / CP347 / W&R016 / Cha024 / 82Hml-401 / Lau712 / StF091 / MP645 The God of Abr’am praise / The God of Abraham Praise (Daniel ben Judah / paraphrased Thomas Olivers) A very well known hymn based on the Yigdal. NOTE: The lyrics are quite masculine in most hymnals, which vary widely in which verses they include. The words are inclusive, yet still old-fashioned and poetic in the NCH; or even better, sing the new version listed below. Oldy-but-a-goody. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • VU255 / CP348 The living God be praised (Daniel ben Judah) A new translation of "The God of Abraham praise". Excellent words, and of course, a familiar tune (LEONI).New words to old tunes. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • Online Resource Awake with timbrel and with dance (Mary Louise Bringle) A joyful celebration of many women of the Scriptures (including Sarah), sung to AZMON. Sheet music sample, lyrics, and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.  
  • TiS 547 / AHB 455 / AoV1-009 / NCH451 / CH465 / A&M595 / UMH451 / VU642 / WoV776 / ELW793 / HPP353 / GtG450 / PH339 / CP505 / CP(E) 386 / W&R502 / Cha595 / Srce70 / URW180 / 82Hml-488 / Lau970 / StF545 / MP051  Be thou my vision O Lord of my heart (8th century Irish, translated Eleanor Hull) Most recent hymnals are fairly inclusive for this. Note that the High King phrase has been changed in some hymnals because it is masculine, but it simply means Chieftan (which these days is male or female). Maybe you could change the words to "Chieftan of Heaven"? Lyrics and sheet music. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Tune In / Online Resource Cover us with love (Elaine Loukes) Challenging lyrics to listen, and see where God is leading us. Sound sample, sheet music sample and free downloadable songbook
  • Tune in / Online Resource May you go well into paths still unknown (Dave Brown) Mostly easy tune, and strong words. Would work well as a benediction. Lyrics, sound sample and free downloadable songbook.
  • FFS32 God who sets us on a journey (Joy Dine) Good words about discernment. I think it would be easy to sing this to HYFRYDOL or BLAENWERN. Thanks to Magnus for this suggestion. Lyrics (in comments of a Youtube video). New words to old tunes.
  • AoVNG125 / MV146 / GC(II)637 / G(3)740 / PfAS024D / Taize The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the holy spirit (Taize) "Come, Lord and open in us the gates of your kingdom". A nice joyful Taize chant. Sheet music and sound samples of parts for practice. Good for kids..
  • TiS 671 / AoV2-121 Made in God's Likeness (Alister Lewis / Patricia Spence) Excellent Australian imagery. This is one of my very favourite songs. It is not difficult if you have a good musician at the helm. If it is new to your congregation, they will be able to join in on the verses by the time you get to the 3rd one. The change in tone with the verse really lifts this song. Lyrics & a sound sample. I had an interesting discussion with a friend at church who doesn't like the line "Called to create a new world for the Lord", and I realised that I was interpreting the line quite differently to her. I think of it as a world being created that is for God, like when you vote for someone.  
  • TiS 569 / AHB 478 / NCH18/19 / CH167 / UMH127 / VU651 / LBW343 / ELW618 /StF465 / A&M652 / HPP432 / GtG065 / PH281 / CP565 / CP(E) 455 / W&R501 / Cha622 / 82Hml690 / StF465 / Lau960 / MP201 Guide me O thou great Jehovah / Redeemer (William Williams) A rousing hymn of God’s presence and strength and making it to the other side. "Bread of heaven, feed me now and evermore." Sheet music and lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • W&R584 / Cha454 Come Celebrate the Call of God (Brian Wren) Good words to a lilting intuitive tune. This song is written to recognise a commissioning or the gift of a particular person's call, but it can also be sung with "our" instead of "her" to make it a song for a whole congregation. New words to old tunes. Lyrics & sheet music.
Psalm 121
  • Online Resource / Resounding Voices Esa Einai (Beth Hamon) A beautiful folky setting of this Psalm with words in Hebrew and English. Will need to be taught. Sound sample. Free book download here.  
  • Online Resource I scan the mountains for a sign (David Bjorlin) Excellent words based on this Psalm, set to the familiar tune YE BANKS AND BRAES. Sound sample and lyrics. Sheet music sample and purchasing options
  • Linnea Good I lift up my eyes (Linnea Good) A paraphrase. Has some jumps that could be tricky for the congregation, so would be good for musicians to present for the congregation. A flute, recorder or violin might be a nice addition. Book available here.
  • Online Resource Going out and coming in (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). A very simple Psalm refrain that could be used as a reflective chant or a refrain to a read version the Psalm. Sound sample
  • AoV2-024 URW407 Holy Darkness (Dan Schutte) Beautiful words based on John of the Cross; picks up the idea of God being our shelter. Might want to use a cantor if this is not familiar to your congregation. URW has only the refrain. Lyrics and sound sample.
  • TiS 548 / VU629 / A&M014 / PH340 / CP(E) 415 / W&R418 / SP3 / 82Hml-465 Eternal light shine in my heart (Christopher Idle) I really love this beautiful inclusive and ancient prayer. It is not familiar, but would be beautiful sung by a soloist until your congregation grows to know it. Lyrics.
  • Ps Project God Is Holding Your Life (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Lovely words, and a simple, repetitive chorus. Sung to a well known tune (O WALY WALY) with a simple chorus added! Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids.
  • AoVK-12 God is our shelter truly a friend indeed (Chris O'Hara) Groovy little round / more like a call and response really. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • Online resource I lift my eyes to the hills (Bruce Harding) A three part canon. It would be good to teach one, two, or all three parts to your congregation, and then sing it together. Take time to do this well, and it will stick with them. Free sheet music.
  • Emergent Psalter When I look around (Brown) Another great refrain from this book. Sheet music (refrain only).
  • The Beatles Help (John Lennon) Isaac Everett, in the Emergent Psalter, also suggested using the chorus of John Lennon's "Help" as a Psalm refrain. I think that would work really well, especially if it's a bit laid back. Video.
  • TiS 77 / URW314 / Iona (PPPP) Lifting my eyes up to the hills (John Bell) While the version published in TiS has a masculine God, the version in URW is more inclusive - and possibly more recent Iona publications may also be inclusive. This is not very easy to sing, and will need to be taught. Sound sample
  • TiS 626 / AHB 557 / CH500 / GA423 / Lau869 Lord of creation to you be all praise! (Jack Winslow) A wonderful older and quite inclusive hymn to the familiar tune SLANE. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Cha760 My help comes From God the maker of earth and sky (Marshall) Sung response, and responsively read passage.
  • TiS 47 / AHB 46 / AoV1-175 / NCH25 / CH161 / UMH117 / VU806 / LBW504 / ELW806 / GA459 / A&M746 / HPP1 / GtG687 / PH210 / GC614 / GC(II)588 / G(3)688 / CP528 / CP(E) 537 / W&R84 / Cha067 /  Srce2-441 / URW200 / 82Hml-680 / PfAS090B / Lau955 / StF132 / MP498 O God our help in ages past (Isaac Watts) A good solid very well known hymn! The surprising thing about this one is that the language is inclusive for God in most sources. Not all sources are inclusive for humanity, so check. Lyrics and sheet music. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • PfAS121D My help comes only from the Lord (Daniel Richardson / Angel Napieralski) A nice simple, and quite happy refrain.
  • MV129 / GtG845 / PfAS121F / STB053 To the hills I lift my eyes / To the high and kindly hills / Naega sanul hyanghayo (Song-suk Im) Korean setting of the Psalm. Lovely tune. The translations vary, but are good. Tune will need to be taught, or sung by your musicians.  Sound sample.
  • Recorded Music Look up child (Lauren Daigle) This is not for congregational singing, but if you have space to listen this week, it's a fun pop song that fits this theme. Youtube.
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
The promise to Abraham came through his faith. Belief even in the face of impossibility.
The songs listed above will also fit well.
  • Online Resource / AoVK-28 / ATOK 376 Faith, Hope and Love (Trisha Watts) We haven't sung this for a while. It's great for kids and the musicians always seem to find a new way to interpret it. Sound sample and purchasing options.
  • TiS 691 Faith will not grow from words alone (Elizabeth Smith) Excellent strong words of a questioning faith to a familiar hymn tune. Lyrics (scroll down). New words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource / GC(II)651 / G(3)755 You must never give up / Sizo Bambelela (South African) An excellent song from an amazing church in Capetown, South Africa. The phrase Bambelela means "Hold on". It would be fun to get a few singers together to sing the parts to this. If you purchase the music on this link, all royalties go to support the JL Zwane Church and their programs. Sheet music and sound sample, and purchasing optionsGood for kids. 
John 3:1-17
Nicodemus and the famous John 3:16
  • GtB God is love and love is giving (Ross Langmead) A simple kids' song about God's love. A round. We love this! Sound sample. Good for kids.
  • NCH297 / CH736 / VU706 / StJ / AA45 / HPSS528 / W&R518 / Cha649 / URW131 Give thanks for life the measure of our days (Shirley Murray) This song is also good for funerals and is sung to the familiar tune SINE NOMINE. "Give thanks for life, the measure of our days, mortal we pass through beauty that decays, yet sing to God our hope, our love, our praise: Alleluia, Alleluia!". Lyrics (scroll down). New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 721 / Iona (LFB) / URW431 / StF344 / Lau124 He became poor that we may be rich (John Bell) A simple chant. Timing is a little bit tricky, so you will need to take a little time to teach it initially. This has gorgeous parts if you have some singers. Sound sample
  • Iona (M&G) / ATAR609 / CH359 / MV033 / GtG137 / ZSS54 / StJ / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love/ Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) A lovely simple song - you can make up words and have a lot of fun with this if you also use some drums. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • Online Resource / 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. Sound samples and free downloadable song book
  • ACS943 / HiOS007 / GtG292 As the wind song through the trees (Shirley Murray, tune Lim Swee Hong) This is really lovely and draws parallels between the the movement of the wind, the warming of the heart, and the rainbow after rain with the movement of the Spirit. Lyrics. Sound sample (in Mandarin and English).
  • 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 / StF247 I danced in the morning / Lord of the Dance (Sidney Carter) Lyrics and sheet music.  You all know this one, right? Good for kids
  • Taizé / CP530 By night we hasten in darkness / De noche (Jacques Berthier) One of my favourite Taize chants. Sheet music, lyrics, translations and sound samples.  
  • Online Resource Holy Holy Holy One (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) An energetic rocky song about God's love. Sound sample, lyrics etc.
  • TiS 494 / W&R678 / Cha375 In water we grow (Brian Wren) Great words, especially if you have a baptism this week. Tune is quite straightforward. Lyrics
  • ATW 451 / SoG789 Jesus Saviour of the world (David Schubert / Sue Westhorp) Simple chant-like song. Additional information.
  • Taizé / MV100 / Lau782 Lord God you love us, source of compassion (Jacques Berthier) A very simple refrain, which would work well as a response during prayers of confession or of intercession. Sound sample, sheet music and translations.
  • TiS 174 / UMH194 / A&M544 / CP(E)259 / 82Hml-585 / StF012 Morning glory starlit sky (William Vanstone) Quite formal words, but very very beautiful song of God's boundless love "Drained is love in making full, bound in setting others free, poor in making many rich, weak in giving power to be". Not all sources are inclusive. The tune is not difficult, but will need to be taught to a congregation if not familiar. The lyrics could also be read as a poem, and challenges the image of Christ as monarch, but also affirms God's reign. Lyrics.
  • AoV1-003 / HPP258 / GA394 / G(II)342 / GC497 / GC(II)495 / G(3)576 / Lau693 / StF803 / MP648 The heavens are telling the glory of God / Canticle of the Sun (Marty Haugen) Energetic waltz of cosmic praise with great lyrics "Come dance in the forest, come play in the field, and sing, sing to the glory of the Lord". Sound sample. Lyrics and sheet music sample
  • NCH271 / UMH538 / VU196 / PH131 / CP249 / W&R333Wind who makes all winds that blow (Thomas Troeger) Excellent words. Familiar tune (ABERYSTWYTH). Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • Various Sources Blowin' in the wind (Bob Dylan) Thanks to Ed in LA for this suggestion. "The wind blows where it will". This could be a good song to add to this reading. Lyrics.
  • Recorded Music You must be born again (Mahalia Jackson) A good old song - if you have good musicians, they could do their own version of this classic. Lyrics and Youtube.
Alternate reading: Matthew 17:1-9 
See the post for Transfiguration Sunday

What will you be singing? Please let me know YOUR suggestions by adding a comment below!


Magnus Ramage said...

Reading your excellent list for the Genesis passage reminds me of one of my favourite hymns, 'God who sets us on a journey' by Joy Dine. I see you've got it elsewhere on the site but I think it works really well for this text also.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Harding's music is now at

Beth Simmons said...

Another good choice for the John text might be "O Mighty God, When I Survey in Wonder" (NCH35). The last line is particularly fitting, but the entire text is lovely, and the tune is familiar: O STORE GUD, "How Great Thou Art."