Songs, Hymns & Music for Advent 4C (19 December 2021)

As well as the songs listed below, there are many other Advent songs you could sing. Here is a list of general Advent suggestions.

Micah 5:2-5a
The one of peace will come from the small clan of Judah in Bethlehem. Prophets foretold it.
  • TiS 621 / UMH435 / VU677 / LBW416 / ELW748 / GtG756 / PH289 / GC(II)717 / G(3)825 /  CP593 / W&R626 / Cha680 / 82Hml-607 O God of Every Nation (William Reid) Powerful words seeking God's redemption of the world. Can be sung to LLANGLOFFAN or PASSION CHORALE, both very familiar hymn tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. Go look at the lyrics just to bring a smile to your face. So much hope! New words to old tunes.
  • 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, sheet music and sound sample. Good for kids.
  • TiS 283 / HPP87 / CP(E) 58 / W&R167 / Srce2-382 / Lau116 / StF178 Long ago prophets knew (Fred Pratt Green) I’m never sure if I like this one, but lots of other people do and it fits the reading this week well. Suitable if you choose to focus on Christ as being the prophet who was foretold. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • AoV2-089 / Taize / MV086 / SFFS 2156 Give peace to every heart / Da Pacem Cordium (Jacques Berthier) A good, simple Taize chant. Sound samples, sheet music (not cantor lines though)  
Luke 1:46b-55
The magnificat! Yay! The magnificat!
  • CH291 When out of poverty is born (Kathy Galloway) An excellent set of words for Advent that reflects on God's good news for the poor and the strength of Mary's faith. Set to the familiar tune KINGSFOLD. Lyrics (downloads PDF) New words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource Advent begins in the darkness of night (David Bjorlin / Benjamin Brody) A haunting tune and beautiful words of Advent beginning in a place of darkness. Sheet music for purchase and download. Sound sample.
  • MV134 There was a child in Galilee / Dreaming Mary (Janet Gadeski) This is a thoughtful, imaginative song of Mary, which would be best sung by a soloist, with the words made available for the congregation to ponder. Lyrics (scroll down past the videos, but make sure you watch the "Parody of a Modern Worship Service" video on the way down)
  • A&M185 / GC(II)362 / G(3)434 / SP069 Dark is the night / Sing Alleluia (Francis Patrick O'Brien) Excellent and simple Christmas song which reflects the magnificat and the happiness of Jesus’ parents. I especially like the last verse “Hope for the poor, release for the captive, Love for the outcast, light for weary eyes; Word that brings life, embracing humanity, Jesus, companion be born into our lives”. It would be particularly good for a Christmas eve service. The chorus would also work very nicely on its own. Lead sheet and lyrics. Sound sample.
  • W&R172 For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed (Jane Parker Huber) This is one of those "Coming, but already here songs" of Advent, and could be sung at other times of year, too. Thought-provoking words about what it may have been like for Mary to bear Christ. Lyrics. Set to VOX DILECTI, but could be sung to other tunes. It fits New Britain (the tune for Amazing Grace) quite nicely. New words to old tunes
  • GA250 / StF060 My soul rejoices / Canticle of Mary (Owen Alstott) A simple, formal hymnlike Magnificat. Lyrics and pretty slow sound sample
  • TiS 172 / NCH119 / UMH198 / VU899 / GtG099 / PfAS1042 / Cha130 My soul gives glory to my God (Miriam Therese Winter) Simple and beautiful words to a simple and beautiful tune. Inclusive lyrics. Lyrics (plus lyrics to lots of other magnificats). Scroll down and look for "ecumenical". New words to old tunes
  • Online resource Magnificat (Bruce Harding) A fun magnificat, using the Latin phrase “Magnificat amina mea deum”. I think our musicians would like this one! Sound sample. Free sheet music.
  • HiOS101 My heart is leaping (Marion Kitchingman) Good words, and a joyful tune.  
  • Taizé / Iona (T1AU) / StS012 / GA545 / GC(II)522 / G(3)630 / PfAS1018 Magnificat “Magnificat amina mea dominum” (Jacques Berthier) To be honest, I think it’s kind of funny to sing “Magnificat” as a lyric, but maybe that's just me. There are also alternative English lyrics (Sing out my soul), which are good if your congregation thinks singing in Latin is quirky. A catchy and happy Taize chant. Sheet music, sound samples, and English translation.
  • CH141 / A&M548 / SP250 / URW077 / StF114 Oh the life of the world is a joy and a treasure (Kathy Galloway) This is not a Magnificat, but holds some similar concepts! Good inclusive words about God's presence in "the life of the world" (nature, seasons, childbirth, justice). The tune is a simple Celtic-style melody. Lyrics.  
  • VU323 Maker of the sun and moon and mother of the earth (Peter Sharrocks) Wonderful inclusive words, and a beautiful tune, that for me sounds a lot like "Lord Jesus Christ, Lover of All" so melodically ties Advent in with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. You may like to sing it this Sunday and leave the last verse until Christmas day. Highly recommended. Lyrics
  • Online Resource Christmas come close (Shirley Murray) Excellent words, sung to a simple hymnlike tune with some really beautiful images about difficult things and the hope that Christmas brings. A sad song, but with plenty of hope. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • ATAR639 / GC(II)782 / Lau338 My Soul Proclaims your Greatness O God (from Holden Evening Prayer) (Marty Haugen) Nice, simple to sing. Sheet music sample (you'll need to scroll through). Lyrics (where it says "Magnificat". 
  • Online Resource God make us agents of joyful rebellion (David Bjorlin / Benjamin Brody) Joy as a tool of rebellion, and our role as modern-day prophets. Set to a new tune, which is lovely to sing. Sheet music sample and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.    
  • MV120 / StS124 / R245 / ELW723 / HPP88 / GtG100 / G(II)376 / GC556 / GC(II)527 / G(3)622 / PfAS075B / URW018 My soul cries out with a joyful shout (Canticle of the Turning) (Rory Cooney) This is my favourite Magnificat! No, really!! "Could the world be about to turn?" It's sung to a folk tune (STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN). Lyrics & Sheet music samples. New words to old tunes
Alternative to the Magnificat: Psalm 80:1-7
Restore us, let your face shine that we may be saved. 
  • TiS 265 / AHB 193 / AoV1-174 / NCH116 / CH273 / UMH211 / VU001 / LBW034 / ELW283 / GA285 / HPP92 / GtG088 / PH009 / GC317 / GC(II)323 / G(3)395 / CP089 / CP(E) 32 / W&R154 / Cha119 / 82Hml-056 / Lau112 / StF280 / MP493 O come O come Emmanuel (Psalerolium Cantionum Catholicarum) A very well known ancient Advent carol. Most versions are pretty inclusive. Lyrics, sheet music. There are also two alternate versions (one by Sue Wickham and one by John Henson), set to the same tune, but with more modern lyrics and ideas. See the Facebook Group for lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • CH573 / UMH523 / GtG789 / PfAS061B / STB059 Jesus Savior Lord lo to thee I fly / Saranam Saranam (Daniel Niles) 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. You could use just the refrain if you would like a short song - it works quite well on its own.  Story Lyrics & chords.
  • TiS 42 / GA047 Lord make us turn to you, let us see your face and we shall be saved (Kathleen Boschetti) A simple refrain and mostly inclusive cantor part. We have sung this at Brunswick some years ago and it went very well. Don't forget that you can use these refrains with a reader if you don't have someone confident enough to cantor.
  • PfAS080C O Shepherd hear and lead your flock (Michael Morgan) Strong mournful and formal words to the rather Christmassy tune ST LOUIS. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Tune In / Online Resource Longing for you (Elaine Loukes) A simple chant of longing for God. Free downloadable songbook, lyrics and sound samples. Good for kids.
  • W&R632 / Cha512 When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love (Joy Patterson) Excellent words for a time of grieving violent death; this won't suit most congregations, but perhaps there is one who needs it this Advent. It's sung to the well known tune SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Emergent Psalter Restore us God (Isaac Everett) Another good refrain and read Psalm with instrumental backing. I'm still loving this book. Sheet music (refrain only, click on the Downloads tab)
  • Tune In / Online Resource Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk-like tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. "When death has taken those held dear"... Free downloadable songbook.
  • Online Resource Restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A hopeful contemporary song. This is simple enough for a congregation to sing the first time, I think, but if you're feeling less hopeful about the singing ability of your congregation, they could just join in on the VERY simple chorus! Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
  • Online Resource / 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. Sound sample, sheet music sample and purchasing options. Good for kids. 
  • VU239 O great Spirit how I long to hear (Doreen Clellamin) Written by a First Nations Canadian woman, this very simple song would be best with a good hand-clapping rhythm or drumming. Lyrics (in an order of service)
  • StJ / G(II)346 / GC506 / GC(II)508 / G(3)586 You Are All We Have (Francis Patrick O'Brien) A nice refrain and good cantor parts. Somewhat formal. Sound sample, sheet music sample and a different sound sample. 
  • NCH563 / MV143 / HPP260 / GC710 / GC(II)703 / G(3)811 / RS 636 / Cha684 / URW169 / Lau688 We cannot own the sunlit sky / Abundant life (Ruth Duck) I like these words full of hope for the future. I would prefer to sing it to the tune of "How can I keep From singing". LA GRANGE is the other option. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Psalm Project (2010) Shout for Joy Turn and restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a little bit country. Very cool, and I think a younger congregation would probably pick this up fairly quickly. Sound sample.    
  • G(II)69 / GC74 The vineyard of the Lord (Michael Guimont) A very simple refrain and read or cantored Psalm. Sample refrain music and lyrics. Sound sample.
Hebrews 10:5-10
Christ did God's will.
  • Iona (Common Ground, M&G, T1AU) / CH805 / MV151 / StJ / A&M412  / ELW741 / G(II)416 / GC592 / SP210 / URW440 / StF760 Your will be done on earth, O Lord / Mayenziwe 'ntando yakho (South African - Xhosa) This is a really good South African song, simple to sing, beautiful harmonies and would work well for reflection for reflection, sung slowly. Maybe it could even be sung in a minor key? Sound sample. Good for kids.
  • Lost resource I delight to do your will (Dean Spalding) I am a little entranced with this lovely simple chant that Dean Spalding sent through. It's designed for repetitive singing, and builds beautifully with a number of (optional) parts. Unfortunately it's not online anymore and I can't find it. This is here to remind me to look for it more diligently some day. 
  • God Comes Tomorrow (Iona) Give us this year (Iona) Beautiful words seeking a more mature response to Christmas, sung to an old hymn tune (NEUMARK). The tune is not familiar to me, but is not difficult to sing, and if you have a choir, sounds particularly lovely. New words to old tunesLyrics
Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) 
Mary and Elizabeth, but not the Annunciation (then the Magnificat).
Not many songs out there for this story....
 

  • Online Resource Hey Mary! (Malcolm Gordon & Samuel Gordon) A lovely children's song about the annunciation. It captures the surprise and the universality of God's arrival to each of us. Youtube and sheet music.
  • VU012 She walked in the summer / The Visit (Miriam Therese Winter) I think the first two verses of this are really lovely, though more suited to a soloist than a congregation. I'm not wild about the rest, sadly. Lyrics (scroll down).
  • Taizé / TiS 731 /  SFFS 2017 / GtG155 / G(II)377 / GC557 / GC(II)535 / G(3)618 / W&R212 / PfAS100G / URW383 / Lau691 Raise a song of gladness / Jubilate Servite (Taize) Glorious, fun round. If your congregation balks at singing in Latin, it can be sung in English as "Raise a song of gladness, all the earth, Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart, Alleluia Alleluia, Joy to every heart (x2)". This is not a Gloria, but it has the feel of one!  Good for kids (and kids like Latin sometimes!) For Advent you may like to change it to "Christ will come" if singing in English. Sound sample and lyrics.
  • CH291 When out of poverty is born (Kathy Galloway) An excellent set of words for Advent that reflects on God's good news for the poor and the strength of Mary's faith. Set to the familiar tune KINGSFOLD. Sound sample. New words to old tunes
  • Online Resource / TiS 287 / CH287 / GtG101 / StS011 / GC(II)768 / G(3)876 No wind at the window (John Bell) Wonderful words to the familiar Celtic tune COLUMCILLE that focus on Mary's decision to say "Yes" to God. Very easy to sing. Works well for Advent and Christmas. Sound and sheet music sample, and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.
  • GC(II)781 O Mary of Promise (Steven Warner) A lovely song to a gentle tune. This will probably be too Marian for some, but not for me.  Lyrics and leader sheet. Sound sample.
Recorded music Heaven When We're Home (Wailin' Jennys) Something about this song makes me think of Advent. The idea that we're not sure what we're looking for, or even whether and where we should be looking, but we know that our hope is not ill-founded. It's a beautiful song, so enjoy it regardless. Sound sample.

What will you be singing? Add a comment below...

Songs, Hymns and Music for Epiphany (January 6 2022)

You can still sing Christmas carols
  • Online Resource Song of the Magi (Anais Mitchell) This powerful song reflects on modern day Bethlehem and the struggles there, and may be appropriate to play to your congregation. Lyrics. Original Song. Powerful video cover version recorded in Bethlehem at the Israeli West Bank barrier. 
  • NCH160 / GtG127 Hark the herald angels sing / Jesus the light of the world (Charles Wesley / George Elderkin) This is a fun variation on Hark the Herald Angels sing, with a Gospel Chorus of Jesus the Light of the World. Great for Epiphany. Sample sheet music.
Isaiah 60:1-6
  • Online Resource O Children of the Light / Ay Farzandane Nur (Anonymous Farsi) This is simple enough if you just limit yourself to one verse and chorus in both languages. Sheet music, Farsi, transliteration and English translation (the English translation is not for singing). Sound sample on youtube (which includes a singable English translation). Don't do it too fast! 
  • Online Resource Lift your head / Your light has come (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A really lovely refrain that could be used at various points throughout the service. Sound sample, lyrics & sheet music.
  • 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 to the familiar tune ST. THOMAS (TiS 271). Sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 666 / AoV2-113 / AoVK-126 / ATOK 409 / NCH526 / Iona (Common Ground, Freedom is Coming) / CH516 / VU646/647 / WoV650 / ELW866 / A&M483 / SFFS 2235 / HPP153 / GtG853 / G(II)357 / GC513 / GC(II)516 / G(3)594 / Cha442 / SP235 / Srce737 / StF483 / MP954 We are marching in the light of God / Siyahamba / Caminando (South African) A very popular chorus, with possible alternate verses, depending on your source. Sometimes people get anxious about the word "marching", but remember that this song comes from apartheid-era South Africa, where people were protesting so that they could vote in their own country. And the marching is toi-toing, much less militaristic than what you may imagine. Lyrics & sound samples. Good for kids. 
  • SP&P070 Although it looks as if the sky is falling / Isaiah's Dream (Bill Green) Joyful words; the tune will need to be taught. Sound sample with a great video for guitarists to see the chords.
  • Music by Heart 61 Arise shine for your light has come (Ruth Cunningham) A simple two-part chant, which can easily be taught before, or during, the service. Sheet music. Good for kids.
  • UMH725 / SP25 Arise shine out your light has come (Brian Wren) Excellent hopeful words sung to the hymn tune DUNEDIN; it also works quite nicely to CHURCH TRIUMPHANT. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Online resource Arise Shine! (Bruce Harding) A simple repeated chorus. It would work well at the end of the service. Sound sample and free sheet music
  • NCH158 / UMH247 / LBW076 / GtG827 / W&R230 / Cha105 O Morning Star How Fair and Bright! / O Morning Star how clear and bright (Philipp Nicolai transl. Catherine Winkworth) A traditional German Epiphany chorale.  Lyrics and sound sample.
  • NCH112 Keep awake be always ready (Arthur Clyde) New words to the tune for "Wake awake for night is flying". I particularly like the second verse of this one. WACHET AUF. Lyrics (in a PDF). New words to old tunes.
  • ATOK 389 Light of the nations (Robin Mann) A simple yet powerful song. Lyrics.
  • URW432 Radiant light divine (Rufino Zaragoza) This is pretty lovely. A nice chant based on the Phos Hilaron. Sound sample.
  • ATA 128 / NCH584 / VU087 / Cha469 I Am the Light of the World you people come and follow me (Jim Strathdee) Good song for the Christmas season (not immediately after Christmas day. Reflects on Jesus as the coming of the light, which we should follow. Lyrics.
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
Praise for a just and righteous king Solomon
  • Emergent Psalter For he shall deliver the poor (Isaac Everett) A Psalm refrain. It's not amazing, but I'm having trouble finding good Psalm refrains for this particular Psalm. Sheet music sample (refrain only).
  • NCH36 / PH219 To God compose a song of joy (Ruth Duck) “The God of Justice comes to save; let earth make melody; For God will judge with righteousness and rule with equity” Beautiful words. I prefer this sung to the tune in NCH – the standard hymn tune RICHMOND (TiS 425). New words to old tunes. 
  • WCC website: Hear the message we now are proclaiming / El mensaje que hoy proclamamos (Eleazar Torreglosa) This jubilant Colombian song of liberty and new life for the poor and suffering would fit well with this reading. Free sheet music!
  • NCH588 / StJ / WoV763 / ELW717 Let justice flow like streams (Jane Parker Huber) Excellent words to the very familiar tune ST THOMAS. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • SP&P137 The world is hungry for justice / Sweet Justice (Louis Gilio / Scott Ressman) This song is new to me, and the words are very suitable for this reading. It's a ballad and the verses would be best sung by the musicians at first, with the congregation joining in on the chorus until they get to know it.
  • Online Resource / AoV2-137 / Iona (SBL) / CH262 For the world and all its people (Iona Community) This is a beautiful, haunting song set to the tune of Somos pueblo que camino (Welcome, pilgrims on the journey). It will need to be taught t, but once your congregation gets it, I'm sure they'll love it. Particularly good to use during intercessions. Lyrics. Sound sample and purchasing options. More traditional tune sound sample (different words).
  • Online Resource Be a blessing (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A song of encouragement based on this Psalm. This would be a wonderful song to sing at someone's commissioning, or as a benediction song to your congregation. It would be tricky for a congregation at first, so I would get your musicians to present it as a gift to the congregation. Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
Ephesians 3:1-12  
Paul's call & mission; inclusion into the body of Christ.
  • 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.
  • TiS 417 / AoV2-133 / ATW 448 / VU387 / StJ / WoV683 / ELW397 / AA94 / HPP237 / GtG293 / PH323 / CP657 / W&R135 / Cha244 / URW203 / StB220 / VF051 Loving Spirit, Loving Spirit (Shirley Murray). There are about a zillion tunes set for this. I prefer FELICITY (by Colin Gibson TiS 417), but also like RESTORATION and OMNI DIE. Lyrics
  • TiS 428 / AHB 340 Help us O Lord to learn (William Reid) Great challenging (but quite formal) words about being committed to learning the faith. Good for a New Year message. Boring tune though. I would sing it to ST THOMAS (TiS 271 / AHB 198) Lyrics (with thees and thys, which are not in TiS). New words to old tunes.
Matthew 2:1-12
Here come the Magi...
  • Online Resource We had seen the star (Leigh Newton) A beautiful song, better for a soloist than a congregation. Sheet music and sound samples.
  • URW416 Listen to the song of the wind (Thomas Turner) This is quite lovely, and you could choose whichever verses are most appropriate for any service; this week, you might like to sing "Listen to the dreams in the night". Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • CoC49 Who are these who ride by starlight? (Marnie Barrell) Powerful words! The tune is simple enough too. Lyrics.
  • VU94 / Cha175 / STB132 Lovely star in the sky (Korean text) Good words. Lovely simple Korean tune. The peoples of the two Koreas could do with some songs from us. Sound sample.
  • CoC51 / Online Resource Wise men came journeying (Shirley Murray) Good, imaginative words, including reference to New Year, sung either to a new tune or to BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL if you need something familiar. New words to old tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. 
  • Online Resource / NCH155 The magi who to Bethlehem did go / Los magos que llegaron a Belén (Manuel Fernandez Juncas) Traditional Puerto Rican carol. This is so much fun to sing. A great alternative for Epiphany. Sound sample (in Spanish) and purchasing options.
  • AoVK-60 / AA04 / CoC05 And did you see him little star? (Helen Clyde) I quite like this song. It's very imaginative and good for kids. Lyrics (scroll down).
  • Online Resource From the void sprang all creation (David Bjorlin) Words linking the birth of the cosmos to the birth of Christ and all human birth. Set to the familiar tune AR HYD Y NOS. Sheet music sample, lyrics and purchasing options. New words to old tunes
  • TiS 314 / AHB 239 / NCH159 / CH326 / VU81 / A7M094 / LBW082 / ELW302 / HPP144 / PH063 / GtG150 / GC374 / GC(II)384 / CP160 / CP(E) 83 / W&R236 / Cha173 / Srce2-39 / 82Hml-119 / Lau166 / StF224 / MP039 As with gladness men of old / those of old / sages bold (William Dix) A well known traditional Epiphany carol. Oldy-but-a-goody. Lyrics and tune.
  • GC(II)386 / G(3)462 Every nation sees the glory (Francis Patrick O'Brien) BEACH SPRING (TiS 493) Beautiful words and very familiar tune. “Every nation sees the glory of a star that pierced the night. As we tell the wondrous story we are bathed in radiant light. Star sent forth from highest heaven, dancing light of God’s design, Shine upon the gift that’s given; Word made flesh now born in time.” Highly recommended! Lyrics and sound sample. New words to old tunes.
  • NCH370 / W&R685 / URW127 What gift can we bring? (Jane Marshall) A good offering song. Also good for a church anniversary. Lyrics. This song has great words for the offering, and seems appropriate to both Epiphany and New Year. The tune is a bit tricky.
  • TiS 281 / AHB 214 When God Almighty came to be one of us (Michael Hewlett) This is a great Christmas and Epiphany song. It’s also set to a very easy (and fun) tune to sing (URQUHART). I especially love verse 3 "Wise men, they called them, earnest astrologers, watching for meaning in the moving stars, science or fancy, learned or laughable, theirs was a vision that was brought to pass. Sing all you wise men, dance all the scientists whether your theories are false or true. God uses knowledge, God uses ignorance. God at his coming had a need of you". Lyrics. Good for kids? I liked it when I was a kid.
  • AA014 / CoC09 / STB144 / StF194 Child of joy and peace (Shirley Murray) Excellent words for Christmas and Epiphany; recognises the poverty of Christ and constrasts it with the greed of Christmas - without being too heavy handed. I like Ian Render tune (JENNIFER'S GIFT) best, even though it's a little tricky. Lyrics and sheet music sample.
  • SFFS 2094 I sought him dressed in finest clothes (John Bell) Excellent words that speak of the search for a king in high places, and finding him among the poor. Sung to a Celtic folkish tune. Lyrics.
  • VU092 In the darkness shines the splendour (Bernadette Gasslein) Good new words sung to the tune IRBY (Once in Royal David's City). Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • LBW648 / ELW312 / CP437 / W&R669 / SP28 / URW085 Jesus come for we invite you (Christopher Idle) Excellent words to a well known hymn tune. This picks up themes of the Wedding at Cana, the transformative power of Christ to energise our faith. "Jesus,come! surprise our dullness; Make us willing to receive More than we can yet imagine, All the best you have to give: Let us find your hidden riches, Taste your love,believe,and live!". It's set to the tune UNION SEMINARY, which is not in that many hymnals. You could also sing it to WESTMINSTER ABBEY (TiS 432). New words to old tunes. Lyric and sheet music
  • TiS 307 / AHB 232 / CH300 / VU73 / SFFS 2098 / G(II)264 / GC345 / GC(II)378 / G(3)454 / CP128 The Virgin Mary had a baby boy (Traditional) This carol includes those wise men. Sound sample (timing and chords are slightly different to most hymnals). Lyrics. Good for kids Oldy-but-a-goody
  • Online Resource / HiOS105 Now the star of Christmas (Shirley Murray) A multifaith epiphany song: "Where the three kings travel, three great faiths arise: Jesus Christ for Christians, Jesus, Judah's son, Prophet for the Muslim, wisdom in each one". Some congregations will find this a bit too much, but others will find much to celebrate in this song. Can also be sung to NOEL NOUVELET if you don't want to try a new tune (the new tune is not hard). Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • Recorded Music Heavenly Child (Peter Mayer) This is a great song from the viewpoint of one of the wise men. A great song for those who have travelled far in their spiritual journey but hold on to the image of the heavenly child. Lyrics and sound sample
  • UMH243 / VU089 / PH064 / W&R238 From a Distant Home / De Tierra Lejana Venimos (Puerto Rican) Nice tune and pretty standard words. Would be a good change for Epiphany. Sound sample.
  • BUC Song Project Jesus Was a Carpenter (Chris Lees) A slightly daggy but cool song for kids. Brunswick UCA only, as it's not published yet. Good for kids
  • TiS 666 / AoV2-113 / AoVK-126 / ATOK 409 / NCH526 / Iona (Common Ground, Freedom is Coming) / CH516 / VU646/647 / WoV650 / ELW866 / A&M483 / SFFS 2235 / HPP153 / GtG853 / G(II)357 / GC513 / GC(II)516 / G(3)594 / Cha442 / SP235 / Srce737 / StF483 / MP954 We are marching in the light of God / Siyahamba / Caminando (South African) A very popular chorus, with possible alternate verses, depending on your source. Sometimes people get anxious about the word "marching", but remember that this song comes from apartheid-era South Africa, where people were protesting so that they could vote in their own country. And the marching is toi-toing, much less militaristic than what you may imagine. Sound sample. Good for kids.  
  • TiS 255 / CH135 / VU434 / CP018 O laughing Light O first-born of creation (Sylvia Dunstan) A slightly more modern version of the Phos Hilaron. Words are good but the tune in TiS (ADRIAN) is a little tricky.  Sound samples with a range of possible tunes.
  • URW432 Radiant light divine (Rufino Zaragoza) This is pretty lovely. A nice chant based on the Phos Hilaron. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource Last night among the stars (Helen Wiltshire) Imaginative words, to a standard hymn tune about the sorry of the word, and the hope of the Christ Child. "We join the sages from afar and bring the gift of who we are". Free songbook download.
  • VU093 When heaven's bright with mystery (Rob Johns) Good new words to the tune SUSSEX CAROL. New words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource Set the sun dancing (Shirley Murray) Joyful song of celebration, with an uplifting key change for the chorus. Lyrics and sheet music
  • Online Resource God help the weary travellers (Daniel Damon) Timely lyrics with reference to travellers who may be refugees, and/or women fleeing from domestic violence and a lovely simple tune and our call to travel with love. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • UMH254 / WoV646 / GA299 / HPP148 / A&M574 / PH066 / GtG151 / GC373 / GC(II)382 / CP(E) 91 / W&R233 / Cha172 / 82Hml-128 / Lau170 We Three Kings of Orient Are (John Hopkins) I used to think this carol was silly until I read the lyrics properly. Lyrics and story. Good for kids, just for the O-o-o, bit. Oldy-but-a-goody
  • VU096 Will you come and see the light? (Brian Wren) Excellent Christmas / Epiphany words to the tune KELVINGROVE (The Summons) "Will you hide, or decide to meet the light?". Lyrics and sheet music sample.
  • Online Resource A Star Shone Bright (Richard Garland) Sung to the familiar tune O WALY WALY, this new set of words sing of the star of long ago, still leading us today. New words to old tunes. Free sheet music. 
  • Online Resource Wise Men Seeking Jesus (James East) Simple, welcoming words about seeing Jesus in our everyday world. It's a little old-fashioned, and it may help to share the story of the origin of the hymn. Thanks to David Higham for sharing this hymn. Lyrics and sheet music. Story of the hymn
  • GtG152 / PH068 / GC378 / GC(II)389 / G(3)461 What Star Is This? (Charles Coffin) Slothful hearts could do with singing this sometimes. A standard hymn sung to PUER NOBIS NASCITUR. Lyrics. Different words to old tunes.
  • AoV1-165 / NCH148 / UMH219 / VU074 / LBW040 / ELW296 / HPP138 / PH053 / GtG145 / GC380 / GC(II)387 / G(3)466 / CP137 / CP(E) 74 / W&R184 / Cha162 / 82Hml-115 / Lau145 What child is this? (William Dix) "Come bring him incense, gold & myrrh"...  LyricsOldy-but-a-goody.
  • ATAR632 Share your gift (Busch) A good song for the offering, particularly on Sundays when the theme of being part of the body of Christ, or sharing gifts or talents is being explored. Words are simple enough to make sense to kids. Good for kids.
What will you be singing? Join the conversation and share your thoughts in a comment below.