Songs, Hymns & Music for Proper 27A / Ordinary 32A / Pentecost +23 (November 8, 2020)

Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25  
Joshua tells the Israelites their history and asks for their allegiance to God. The Israelites choose God despite Joshua trying to talk them out of it.
  • TiS 687 God gives us a future (Elizabeth Smith) Great words to a very easy hymn tune. Careful not to let it get the tune get too pompous; the words are not! "God gives us a future, daring us to go into dreams and dangers on a path unknown. We will face tomorrow in the Spirit's power, we will let God change us for new life starts now!". Lyrics here (scroll down). The hymn has been split into two parts to include the blessing and words of mission. 
  • *AoVK-29 Remember we are your people (Tony Barr) Simple three part chant "Remember we are your people, your people O God". This would work really well as a sung refrain during the prayer of confession. Good for kids. Slightly clunky sound sample.
  • TOSB132 / NCH531 / CH542 / UMH463 / VU589 / LBW403 / ELW676 / A&M718 / HPP372 / GtG722 / PH426 / CP(E) 512 / W&R593 / LUYH754 / MP444 / VF098 Lord speak to me that I may speak / God speak to me that I may speak (Frances Havergal) Old fashioned hymn, with words of evangelism, and a reminder of the Israelites escape from Egypt with the mention of "feed thy hungry ones with manna sweet". Easy to sing and good, only slightly dated, words, depending on the hymnal. Lutheran sources have "Speak to us". Lyrics, sheet music and sound sample.
  • 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 / Lau960 / LUYH043 / MP201 / StF465 Guide me O thou great 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." Sound sample, sheet music and lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 599 / AHB 520 / NCH448 / CH502 / UMH399 / VU506 / LBW406 / ELW685 / A&M787 / HPP349 / GtG697 / PH391 / CP435 / CP(E) 581 / W&R466 / Cha609 / Srce633 / 82Hml-707 / Lau874 / StF566 / LUYH863 / MP624 / VF133 Take my life and let it be (Frances Havergal) An oldy but a goody. Lyrics and information about the author.  Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • NCH408 / WoV782 / Cha088 All my hope on God is founded (Joachim Neander) Most translations of this well known German hymn are not inclusive, but these three translations are (BUC people, we have NCH). Lyrics, sheet music & sound sampleNew words to old tunes.
Psalm 78:1-7
Keeping the history alive; telling it to the children.
  • TiS 41 / United Methodist Psalter We shall listen, Lord, to your teaching (Timothy Kimbrough) A fairly formal cantor and response Psalm. It requires a confident leader as the response is not completely intuitive. The verses can be read or sung by a leader. Lyrics (downloads an order of service).
  • Cha330 Alleluia Hear God's Story (Mary Anne Parrott) Good words of a community that reaches out together to a familiar carol tune. Talks of the importance of telling the story. I think this picks up on the idea of sharing the faith story through all generations. I would love to know if there are other songs about telling the story to children and the next generation. New words to old tunes.
  • ATW 474 You're like the sun that warms me / Bread of angels (Robin Mann) This is a nice ballad, a favourite of many in our congregation. It may not be easy for a congregation without some introduction because the structure is a little tricky. Lyrics.
  • VU792 We will tell new generations (Joachim Neander) Very simple hymn-based Psalm refrain with responsive Psalm.
  • TiS 182 / AoV2-010 / NCH11 / CH134 / VU268 / GtG760 / SFFS 2047 / HPP13 / CP395 / VF106 Bring many names beautiful and good (Brian Wren) This is a beautiful song, but it's very long (especially if sung too slowly). Try singing one verse unison, then one women, one men, then all together again, to keep people interested in what they are singing. Lyrics and sheet music samples. 
  • *PfAS078E We will tell each generation (Michael Perry)  A good metrical version of the Psalm set to the Sacred Harp tune RESTORATION.  New words to old tunes.
  • >*GtG632 / PfAS078A People of the Lord (Greg Scheer) It's in 7/8! What more do you need! Oh, and the words are good, with an echo in the verses. This would be fun. 
  • Emergent Psalter Give your ears my people to the lessons of the past (Isaac Everett) A good, slightly solemn Psalm refrain. Sheet music (refrain only).
  • TiS 636 / VU272 / WoV715 / LBW250 / ELW533 / GtG453 / PfAS078C / PfAS078D / URW076 / 82Hml-536 / MP182 God has spoken to his people Alleluia / God has spoken to the people Alleluia (Hasidic traditional) In many versions this song is not inclusive for God, or uses specifically Christian lyrics (which is odd, since it's a Jewish hymn). VU, PfAS GtG and WoV have gender inclusive language for God: "God has spoken to the people (Alleluia), God has spoken words of wisdom, Alleluia". WoV and PfAS also have the traditional Hebrew chorus of "Torah ora torah ora hallelujah" which means "The Lord is light" and would be great to sing; and it's the original words! We haven't sung this at BUC for a while...  PfAS078D simply uses the first two lines of the first verse as a psalm refrain. The chorus is good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.
Alternative Hebrew Scripture:  Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 and 6:17-20
Words about Wisdom
  • *MV010 / GtG174 / URW099 / VF060 Come and seek the ways of wisdom (Ruth Duck) This song about the personification of Wisdom, but would work very well as a gathering song in the context of this reading. The tune in MV and GtG is a joyful 6/8 tune, but not familiar, so if it seems difficult, you could sing the same words to PICARDY (TiS 497). VF has a more challenging tune, which may be a bit tricky for a congregation. Lyrics
  • *URW206 In her house there is a table / Wisdom's Table (Doug Gay) Sung to BEACH SPRING, this song has great words of being welcomed by Wisdom at her table through times of trouble.  New words to old tunes.
  • *CH604 Holy wisdom lamp of learning (Ruth Duck) Great words seeking wisdom, judgement, and celebrating a searching faith. Sung to a good joyful and easy hymn tune (IN BABILONE). Could also be sung to BEACH SPRING.  Sample music and lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • *MV063 / StJ / GC(II)500 / G(3)583 Long before my journey’s start / Wisdom my road (Steven Warner) Song for Wisdom. Pretty straightforward.  
  • *HiOS156 Wisdom be our guide (Shirley Murray) Inspiring lyrics of peace and being grounded and inspired by Wisdom. The tune is quite simple, and the chorus will be easy to follow.
Alternative to the Alternative: Amos 5:18-24
God's cranky, and wants to see justice roll down like rivers
  • AA085 Let justice roll down like a river (Colin Gibson) Excellent song, and very easy to sing. Lyrics and sheet music. Good for kids
  • STB268 / VF033 The grain is ripe (Shirley Murray) Good words about harvest and peace sung to a simple hymnlike tune.  
  • StS033 /  GA515 / G(II)516 / GC716 / GC(II)709 / G(3)810 Let Justice Roll Like a River (Marty Haugen) 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.
  • NCH588 / StJ / WoV763 / ELW717 Let justice flow like streams (Jane Parker Huber) Excellent words to the very familiar tune ST THOMAS. New words to old tunes.
  • *ATFG563 / NCYC'03 / The Red Book How long? (Robin Mann) How long must we cry out till justice rolls down like a river? I really like this song, it's very catchy.
  • *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).
  • TiS 690 / CH259 / A&M557 / StS115 / SP237 / Srce54 Beauty for brokenness hope for despair (Graham Kendrick) Themes of healing from personal and universal suffering and an emotive chorus. “Refuge from cruel wars, havens from fear, cities for sanctuary, freedoms to share, peace to the killing-fields, scorched earth to green; Christ for the bitterness, his cross for the pain”. It's a bit schmaltzy, but that never hurt anyone. Lyrics.
  • HiOS019 / STB248 Deep in the human heart (Bill Wallace) Excellent words, but may be best sung by a soloist rather than a congregation.   
  • The red book (NCYC'03) Save our broken hearts. Thanks to Claire for this suggestion. 
Psalm for the Amos reading:  Psalm 70   
Help me God! Note that this is the same as Psalm 40:13-17 with elohim instead of YHWH (I learned this from the Emergent Psalter). After the first two suggestions, these suggestions are also good for Psalm 40.
  • SP&P155 O God please rescue me (Angela Salvaggione) An upbeat paraphrase of Psalm 40, that also works for this Psalm ('cos they're the same!).
  • *Emergent Psalter Be pleased and deliver me (Isaac Everett) A simple refrain which would work with a spoken reading of the Psalm. Sample sheet music.
  • GA445 / G(II)421 / GC597 / GC(II)581 / G(3)676 I Say "Yes," Lord / Digo "Sí," Señor (Donna Pena) A simple song which speaks of sticking with God through good times and bad. Lyrics and sample sheet music. Sound sample.
  • Emergent Psalter You are my help and my rescuer (Isaac Everett) A simple and lovely Psalm refrain to Psalm 40. Sample sheet music. You can also alternate between these two refrains as described in the book. 
  • CH541 Lord I pray if today (Jean Keegstra-DeBoer) Very simple words, quite child like, but memorable.
  • TiS 23 O Lord do not withold your mercy (Don Saliers) A really lovely and simple refrain. 
  • ATW 480 On the day I called (Bernadette Farrell) A simple song. Sound sample. 
  • Taizé / CH276 / VU22 / GtG090 / ELW262 / GA283 / A&M053 / G(II)256 / GC332 / GC(II)340 / G(3)406 / CP094 / W&R166 / PfAS037B / SP28 / URW396 / Lau088 Wait for the Lord (Jacques Berthier) Wait for the Lord whose day is near, wait for the Lord, keep watch, take heart. A lovely simple Taize chant; some sources have cantor lines, and some older sources are not inclusive. Sheet music, translations and sound samples.
  • PfAS070B God make speed to save me (David Lee) A simple and very effective Psalm response. 
  • Iona (Common Ground, Ps PPP) / CH31 / GtG651 / PfAS040B / URW266 I waited patiently for God (John Bell) Surprisingly positive for such a gloomy Psalm (Psalm 40). Lyrics. Can be sung to NEW BRITAIN / AMAZING GRACE as well. 
  • Iona (M&G) / CH267 Blest be God blest be God for ever (Salvador Martinez) Beautiful words to a beautiful, but tricky Philippino melody (unless you have a Philippino congregation, in which case it's just a familiar folk tune). This would be great to ask a small group to sing if you have some good singers in your congregation. Works especially nicely with a guitar.
  • Cha740a God your mercy is upon us as we place our trust in you Responsive psalm with joyous sung refrain to a familiar hymn tune.
  • TiS 560 / AHB 465 / NCH408 / CH192 / UMH132 / VU654/655 / WoV782 / ELW757 / A&M584 / CP529 / CP(E) 368 / Cha088 / Srce2-15 / 82Hml-665 / Lau959 / StF455 / MP016 All my hope on God is founded / is firmly grounded (Joachim Neander) Most translations of this well known German hymn are not inclusive, but the NCH and WoV are, so if you have those books (BUC people, we have NCH and WoV). One inclusive version of the lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Taizé / TiS 741 / AoV1-017 / ATE 282 / LBW368 / ELW407 / 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   
  • *CH573 / UMH523 / GtG789 / StB059 Jesus Savior Lord lo to thee I fly / Saranam Saranam (Sri Lankan) I think this would be an excellent song to sing, not only because the words are good and because the tune is simple and beautiful, but because we need to keep praying for the people of Sri Lanka. 
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Prediction of the return of Christ; See also the songs listed below for Matthew 25.
  • Tune in / Online Resource We are the dream that's longing / Jesus is waiting (Dave Brown) An honest catchy rock song about our hesitation to follow and Jesus not only waiting, but continuing to work and change the world. A good sending-out song. Come, be our liberator, bless and make us free. Come be the light upon the shore. Come be the freedom for the prison of our time. Come now and open up the door”. Free downloadable songbook, including sheet music and sound samples.
  • TiS 123 / AHB 48 / NCH488 / CH691 / UMH534 / VU652 / A&M594 / GtG819 / CP(E) 384 / W&R451 / Cha 566 / Src69 / Lau780 Be still my soul (Kathrina von Schlegel) Sometimes this can be a bit mushy, but the words are really very strong and helpful. Lyrics and sound sample. 
  • TiS 285 / VU363 / STB187  Your coming Lord to earth in Bethlehem (Wesley Milgate) Tricky tune, but good solid words and images. Verse 4 is particularly good if you are celebrating communion, and could be omitted if you don’t like to sing songs about communion when you are not celebrating it. 
  • StS121 / FFS50 Nothing is lost on the breath of God (Colin Gibson) A beautiful song and very easy to sing even if new. "Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost for ever; God's breath is love, and that love will remain, holding the world for ever. No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory; no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air, but is counted and told in God's story." Words and full sheet music. Sound sample.
  • *NCH599 / UMH704 / HPP469 / G(II)559 / GC773 / GC(II)766 / G(3)868 / CP(E) 579 / W&R527 / Cha644 Steal Away to Jesus (African-American) This is a beautiful song which could fit with this passage well. May not be terribly well known in Australian congregations. They may be more familiar with the version recorded by Cafe at the Gate of Salvation. But here's a video of Mahalia Jackson and Nat King Cole singing it. 
  • Recorded music: Meet me in the middle of the air (Paul Kelly) It's mainly based on Psalm 23 except for that "middle of the air" bit. It's a beautiful song. Listen to a nice a cappella rendition here. Lyrics are here. It's on Paul Kelly's 2005 album "Foggy Highway"
Matthew 25:1-13
The parable of the ten bridesmaids. Keep awake. Be always ready.
  • TiS 280 When he comes back, our lamps will be burning to welcome him when he comes back (Malcolm Stewart) I really like this song, and wish for excuses to sing it more often. The words are particularly appropriate for this reading and the tune has a simple lilting joy to it. 
  • ATN 85 / SLW04 Give me oil in my lamp (Traditional) A little bit of silly happy-clappy stuff is sometimes good fun. The littler kids will like this, and the older ones may even stop looking too cool for school for a moment. Good for kids
  • AoV2-003 / ATOK 313 / CH543 / StJ / GA404 / A&M042 / ELW715 / GtG314 / GC(II)512 / G(3)590 / SP13 / URW114 / Lau883 Longing for light we wait in darkness / Christ, be our light (Bernadette Farrell) One of my favourites, especially if someone can sing or play the descant line in the later verses. Sound and sheet music sample here. Good for kids.
  • *NCH369 / StS118 / GtG350 / Traditional Keep your lamp trimmed and burning (African-American) Bob Franke has an excellent post on this song here including a great recording of Willie Johnson playing and singing this old song. I like this version by Guy Davis too 
  • 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. Lyrics. Video with poor image but good sound. 
  • *World Council of Churches / GC(II)651 / G(3)755 You must never give up / Sizo Bambelela (South African) An excellent song! We have sung this once recently; it would be good to do it again. It would be fun to get a few singers together to sing the parts to this, though maybe not as many times through as in the sound sample. Be very clear in your leading - you will need to teach the congregation which part to sing! Sound sample. Good for kids. Free sheet music (and sound samples of all parts!). 
  • *Taizé / AoV2-088 / ATOK 395 / CH793 / VU950 / ELW348 / GA325 / A&M172 / SFFS 2198 / GtG204 / W&R286 / SP61 / Lau249 Stay with me / Bleibet hier (Jacques Berthier) A very well known chant. Sheet music and sound samples.
  • 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
  • AoV1-057 / G(II)485 / GC678 / GC(II)663 / G(3)766 / Lau824 Awake from your slumber / City of God (Dan Schutte) I love the joyousness and sense of mission in this one. A really positive song “Let us build the city of God, let us turn our morning to dancing, for the Lord, our light and our love, has turned the night into day”. There is a little bit of non-inclusiveness in the middle "bridge" section; you know you could just miss it, and that would make the song less confusing! Sample sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample.
  • ATA 187 Help us Lord to wait for you (Trad / Douglas Simper) Simple short song
  • Choral Audivi Vocem de caelo (John Taverner) A lovely piece of Tudor choral music, if you have some stellar singers, they could sing it - or you could play a recording. It's in Latin, so maybe you should say something about the translation before it's sung. Sheet music, sound samples and translations.
What ideas do you have? Please share your knowledge in a comment below!

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