Friday, September 7, 2018

Songs, Hymns & Music for Proper 20B / Ordinary 25B / Pentcost +18 (Sept 23 2018)

Proverbs 31:10-31
A capable woman.
You may wish to choose some of the Wisdom songs from last week.

  • *NCH297 / CH736 / VU706 / StJ / AA45 / PH528 / 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).
  • TiS 696 / VU590 / CP463 / GtG201 / W&R585 A prophet-woman broke a jar (Brian Wren) A song celebrating women in Biblical story and in our lives. The tune is good, and will need to be played through to your congregation before singing it, but just once should be OK. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • Cha686 Of Women and of Women's Hopes We Sing (Shirley Murray) This song would fit the reading very well and sings of women's roles and hopes and battles for justice. It's sung to the familiar tune SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics 
  • CH230 / VU517 / StF126 Praise God for the harvest of orchard and field (Brian Wren) This is not a song specifically about women, but about the joy of working hard together for something worthwhile, and seems to fit the energy of this reading as well. And it's not just a harvest thanksgiving song either (although it starts that way). The tune is a lovely lilting English folk melody (STOWEY) and would not be difficult to sing. Lyrics
  • Online Resource Lioness (Rachel Kurtz) I think this video resonates with this depiction of a strong woman. While it's not a congregational song, perhaps you will find it inspiring "There's nothing as dangerous as a woman who knows herself". Thanks to Darren for suggesting this. Youtube.
Psalm 1
They who trust in the Lord shall be like a tree planted by the water with roots in the stream and will fruit even in drought.

  • *Online resource Blessed are those who trust in God / By the stream (Christopher Grundy) Oh my... this is just gorgeous! Best sung by a soloist for the verses. The recording is so beautiful - it's easy to pull my heartstrings with a cello and a mandolin... Youtube. Sheet music sample and purchasing options.
  • NCH Psalter001 My delight is in the law of God (Judy Hunnicutt) A very simple refrain and chanted Psalm.
  • *Online resource Like a tree by the flowing water (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Lovely simple words of connectedness, and a simple chorus. Good for kids. Lyrics, sound sample and purchasing options.
  • Linnea Good Strong as living Trees (Linnea Good) A lovely haunting chant. Good for kids and adults alike.  
  • StS116 I saw a tree by the riverside / The Tree Song (Ken Medema) A great kid’s song about roots growing down to the water, and leaves growing up to the sunshine, and bearing fruit, and all that great stuff. Good for kids. Lyrics.
  • *Online resource Like a tree by the flowing water (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) Part of a series of songs based on Psalm 1, I think the chorus of this is probably my favourite. In Australia, you might want to use only the chorus because the word "rooted" means something quite different over here. Sound samples, lyrics and purchasing options. Good for kids. 
  • NCH313 Like a tree beside the waters (James Martin) Good congregational words of richness from the waters. Tune is a little bit tricky, so will need to be introduced. It can also be sung to the more familiar HYFRYDOL. New words to old tunes 
  • CP462 The hidden stream that feeds (Thomas Troeger) Good for the end of the service "We leave this watered place to work on rocky ground, Yet even there the streams of grace sustain our daily round. Lord, through our lives may others hear your living waters drawing near."
  • 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  
  • *URW223 Happy are they who delight (Hopson) A responsively read Psalm with an African-American spiritual refrain "Like a tree that's planted by the water, we shall not be moved". I like it. New words to old tunes
  • NCH438 / UMH377 / LBW346 / ELW785 / HPP390 / GtG840 / W&R428 / Cha561 / Srce784 / MP757 When peace like a river / It is well with my soul (Horatio Spafford) An older American hymn. Hymnals vary in how old fashioned the lyrics are, and only some include the chorus. Lyrics and tune. A nice recording by Audrey Assad.
  • AoV2-006 / The tide has turned Deeper River / There's a river running deep within the silence of our souls (Digby Hannah). An excellent song of restoration for tired desert-like souls. Lyrics. 
  • PfAS001B Happy are they who trust (Robert Thompson) A simple psalm response that can also be used as a round. Good for kids 
  • PfAS001E How blest the people (Juan Espinosa) This will take a little while to learn, but the chorus is very simple, so perhaps use a cantor to sing the verses.   
  • TiS 1 / PfAS001C Happy are they who walk in God's wise way (Erik Routley) Excellent tune from Thailand. Words are a reasonable paraphrase and slightly old fashioned but quite fine. 
  • PfAS001F / URW224 Happy is the one (John Bell) Quite straightforward and good hymlike paraphrase of the Psalm. Youtube.
Alternative Hebrew Scripture: Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22  
God doesn't like death, apparently. 
You might find songs for Funerals helpful.


  • *MV027 Creator God you gave us life (Judith Snowdon) A lovely song, with a stirring chorus. I think it would be quite straightforward to sing: "Through hands that paint majestic skies, and voices chanting melody, with words that reach beyond the page, we comprehend your mystery. Lyrics (loads a pdf).
Alternative to the Alternative: Jeremiah 11:18-20 
God, won't you get revenge on these evil people for me?
  • ATW 463 / Iona (T1AU) / ELW721 / SFFS 2219 / A&M835 / GtG750 / GC(II)451 / G(3)528 / W&R296 / URW436 / LUYH707 Goodness is stronger than evil (Desmond 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.
  • ATFG563 / NCYC'03 / The Red Book How long must we cry out? (Robin Mann) This is a big Brunswick favourite, great for young people in particular. "Teach me to do what is right, walk in the darkness, trust in the light and may love be the path I walk upon". Lyrics. Good for teenagers.
Psalm for the Alternative Hebrew Scriptures: Psalm 54
  • TaizĂ© / 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 TaizĂ© 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   
  • NCH Psalter 54 God is the upholder of my life (Robert Fryson) A fairly standard, and very simple Psalm response. 
  • Emergent Psalter You are my helper (Isaac Everett) A good refrain to a read Psalm I think this one could be Good for kids.  Sheet music (click on downloads tab) for refrain only.
James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a 
More on wisdom 
  • NCH510 Grant us wisdom to perceive you (Rae Whitney) A hymn with great words seeking wisdom in perception, faithfulness in prayer, diligence in action, courage in evangelism. Sung to an old German carol tune which is not too hard. Could also be sung to other tunes if you like. 
  • *GA183 Come Holy Spirit, the spirit of Wisdom (Christopher Willcock) Good song. It's in 7/8 so you can't go wrong. The words are also excellent about God-with-us and the coming of the Spirit. This is also in New Song in an Ancient Land Vol 1 (in the Liturgy Library at BUC). 
  • Online Resource / Tune In Alive in me (Sheree Anderson) “Spirit of the Father, spirit of my brother, spirit of the living one alive in me. Spirit of the Mother, tenderhearted lover, wisdom to discover alive in me”… etc. A good upbeat song. Lyrics, sample and downloadable songbook.
  • *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. Sound sample (youtube); note that someone has also posted the lyrics in the comments. New words to old tunes
  • VU892 / CP392 / Cha258 Who comes from God as word and breath, Holy Wisdom (Patrick Michaels) Solid words about the place of wisdom in the Godhead. "Who lifts her voice for all to hear? Joyful Wisdom.Who shapes a thought and makes it clear? Truthful Wisdom: Teacher, drawing out our best, magnifies what we invest, names our truth, directs our quest. Wisest one, radiant one, welcome, holy Wisdom!". Lyrics and tune sample.  
  • TiS 407 / AHB 320 / NCH292 / CH596 / UMH420 / VU382 / StJ / LBW488 / A&M236 / GA432 / HPP227 / GtG286 / PH316 / GC800 / GC(II)800 / CP649 / CP(E) 174 / W&R461 / Cha254 / Srce81 / URW167 / 82Hml-508 / Lau302 / StF370 / LUYH747 / MP067 Breathe on me Breath of God (Edwin Hatch) An older style inclusive hymn. Good words seeking the spirits gifts of new life, purity and unity with Christ. If you sing this version, it can be sung to a lovely simple, and quite intuitive Celtic tune (ST COLUMBA). If you sing this version, it can also be sung to HAMPTON, TRENTHAM, or DURHAM. Recently, one my readers Adam Kukuk posted a reworking of this hymn which I think it pretty darn cool. Have a listen here (lead sheets available at the link on his site). Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 549 / AHB 456 / CH538 / VU430 / CP(E) 439 / 82Hml-694 / Lau914 God be in my head and in my understanding (Walford Davies) I like these words from the Book of Hours. It could be sung just before the sermon, or for a period of reflection. If this is new to your congregation, I think it would need to be taught, but it is very short so could be sung a few times. "God be in my mouth, and in my speaking"  I'm going to suggest this again next week, so you could sing it two weeks in a row so people can get to know it better. Lyrics and sheet music. Susan Bloomfield, a reader of this site has also offered this fun tune which makes it pretty Good for kids. Please contact her through her website if you use it.
  • 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   
  • CH177 / A&M745 / SP300 O God of blessings all praise to you! / Soli Deo Gloria (Marty Haugen) Majestic, and a touch schmaltzy, but really very good. This hymn is an "all-rounder", and includes a verse specifically about wisdom, as well as verses giving thanks for prophets, music & Jesus, so would fit well this week. Lyrics
  • TiS 430 / AHB 337 / Cha324 / StF164 Your words to me are life and health (G Currie Martin) I really like this old hymn. It’s a bit old fashioned, but it still works, I think. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • On the road Mystery of servant love (Ross Langmead) Excellent song, with much feeling about Christ's suffering, death, and servanthood, and our desire to live with the same depth of love for others. Sound sample.
Mark 9:30-37
The disciples argue about who is greatest; Jesus welcomes the children.

  • ATW 475 Come to the banquet there’s a place for you (Fay White) An excellent song of God's radical inclusion of all. Good if you are celebrating communion, but would also work well as an opening song. It also welcomes men and women, so would fit with the Proverbs reading too. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • SP&P115 We are all God's chosen people (Stephen Nix) A simple, slightly groovy short song about all of us being God's chosen people. "There's no-one less, there's no-one greater".  Good for kids.
  • TiS 229 / AHB 166 / AoVK-46 / NCH327 / CH564 / UMH191 / VU365 / ELW595 / HPP143 / PH304 / GtG188 / W&R437 / Cha113 Jesus loves me this I know (Anna Bartlett Warner) This is not a favourite of mine, but I know that it is very meaningful for many older people, so am listing it. Note that newer versions generally have slightly altered lyrics that reflect more contemporary theology (e.g. AHB vs TiS). Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • 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 
  • TiS 613 / AHB 546 / ATOK 405 / CH166 / LBW469 / ELW765 / A&M713 / SFFS2197 / HPP265 / GtG683 / GC578 / GC(II)560 / G(3)663 / CP506 / CP(E) 507 / W&R469 / URW179 / 82Hml-482 / Lau969 / StF526 / MP882 Lord of all hopefulness Lord of all joy (Jan Struther) Excellent straightforward Irish tune (SLANE), and beautiful words. Would be a good choice for the final song. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Online Resource / Tune In Kingdom Come (Matthew Lees) song about how things are not what we expect in God’s kingdom. Lots of words and good images; Good for older kids. Lyrics, sample and downloadable songbook.
  • FFS22 Gentle is the way of Jesus (Shirley Murray) Good words about the victory of gentleness over selfishness. A nice tune too, which should be picked up quite quickly. Lyrics, and an alternate tune which is pretty groovy. 
  • VU366 / SFFS 2092 / HPP86 / W&R162 / Cha133 Like a Child love would send (Daniel Damon) Simple song with lovely words about Christ as a child, and Christ's likeness in all kinds of children. Lyrics and sheet music (scroll down for lyrics, click on the PDF symbols for sheet music).
  • Online Resource Who is greatest in the kingdom (Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette) Excellent words based on this passage, sung to the familiar tune NETTLETON. Lyrics.
  • Online Resource Blessed be children (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). Sung to BUNESSAN (Morning has broken) this song recognises the openness of children and is a prayer that we may be more like them. Can also be sung to RAABE (ELW 374) Lyrics & sound sample. New words to old tunes 
  • TiS 491 / AoV1-024 / ATN 4 Father welcomes all his children (Robin Mann) I know this is not gender inclusive for God, but it's really good for kids, really catchy and just right for this reading. If you're feeling radical you could change a chorus to "Mother welcomes all her children", but I think most congregations would struggle with that more than it's worth. Lyrics  and mp3 Good for kids 
  • Unknown source Jesus loves me all the time (Beale) A great call and response rhythmic song for kids. This is really catchy. Good for kids 
  • Online Resource Brother Jesus right beside me (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a great rock song, good for little kids and much older ones too. Lyrics and a very silly sound sample that does no justice to the song at all. Great for kids  
  • W&R629 / Cha511 Strong Gentle Children, God made you beautiful (Daniel Damon) The words to this are excellent - I don't actually know what the tune is like, but if you have a copy of either book, I think you should check it out. 
  • CH342 / StF510 Says Jesus Come and gather round (Leith Fisher) Good words that talk, not just about this reading, but the need to continue asking questions, just as children do. Set to a quite lovely French carol tune. Lyrics (downloads a pdf).
  • *MV157 I am a child of God (Bruce Harding) A simple song with powerful words. Very easy to learn. I would just sing the first verse this week, as a round. Good for kids.
What ideas do you have? If you have some suggestions for any of the above readings, please join the conversation and post them in the comments below. I'd love to know what you're singing (or would like to sing...)    

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Natalie,
Thank you so much for these posts that you are sharing. It sure makes hymn selections more fun and much easier.
Wendy