Songs, Hymns and Music for Easter Sunday (9 April 2023)

John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12
  • Online Resource Roll away the stone before us (Hannah Brown) Excellent new words set to the traditional tune RESTORATION. I really like the energy of the refrain "Tell your people all my story, I will rise again with you". Sheet music sample and purchasing options.
  • Tune In / Online Resource God is walking in the garden (Dave Brown) A gentle song perfect for Easter. Free downloadable songbook and recordings. 
  • TiS 383 Joyful the morning when Jesus Christ is risen (Traditional Torres Strait Islander) It's beautiful and joyful and from the Torres Strait Islands! We sang this last year (and the year before) at our dawn service and it was lovely Sound sample. 
  • Tune In / Online Resource Making things new (Sheree Anderson). A groovy one. Great for kids, and lots of fun. Free downloadable songbook and recordings. Good for kids.
  • BUC Song Project I will sing of love / Celebrate (Dave Brown)  A song that celebrates new beginnings and the beauty of creation. It's a bit like a salsa. It's cool. 
  • Online Resource / CH408 At dawn the women made their way (Mary Louise Bringle) Lovely gentle lyrics of the women discovering the empty tomb to an old tune that may be familiar (VOX DILECTI). Sheet music sample, lyrics, and purchasing options. New words to old tunes.
  • BUC Song Project Jesus set me free (Dave Brown) Celebrating Jesus' presence and the freedom we have in Christ. It will need to be sung by the musicians first, I reckon.
  • CH428 Alleluia alleluia Jesus risen Lord of life! / Word of the Father: Jesus Christ! (Bernadette Farrell) A good song to start an Easter Sunday service, or for an Easter vigil. It uses a cantor line for the call, and the congregation responds "Jesus Christ!". Very joyous. Eastertide Acclamation. Sound sample (Youtube).  
  • Tune In / Online Resource In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help and a call for God to enter our world. Free downloadable songbook and recordings. 
  • NCH231 / VU178 / AA007 / PH105 / GtG249 / W&R292 Because you live O Christ (Shirley Murray) Excellent words to the well known Easter tune VRUECHTEN. AA has it set to CRAWSHAW which is less familiar. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • GtG229 In the darkness of the morning (Adam Tice) Excellent story telling song; particularly good for a dawn service. Sung to a simple Latvian folk tune. Sheet music sample.
  • TiS 660 / CP235 Myrrh-bearing Mary From Magdala came (Rae Whitney) A song that follows the Marys involved in the adult life, death and resurrection of Christ. Sheet music and sound sample.
  • Iona (LFB) / CH409 / A&M206 / SP079 / StF304 Jesus is risen alleluia! (Bernard Kyamanywa) From Tanzania, and set to a traditional Tanzanian melody. Pretty good and straightforward. The use of a small group to sing the harmony "responses" would be great, and particularly wonderful at an Easter Vigil or at the start of an Easter Morning service. Choral version (I'd do it more energetically). Lyrics.
  • GC(II)464 / CP230 The Tomb Is Empty (Sylvia Dunstan) This one is so joyful it gives me goosebumps! It would be a great start to worship on Easter Day. The verses say "Come and see", "Come and hear", "Come and touch", "Come and meet", "Come and serve". Lyrics and sample sheet music. Sound sample.
  • ELW375 / HPP199 / GtG253 Alleluia Christ is arisen / Aleluya! Cristo resucitó (Luis Bojos) A cool Latin American hymn. I would sing the refrain twice each time because it's short, and so joyful!
  • CH422 / AA015 Christ is alive and the universe must celebrate (Shirley Murray) Good celebratory Easter words. The tune will need to be taught. Lyrics and sheet music
  • ACS938 / CH430 / SFFS2115 / GtG231 / G(II)308 / GC452 / GC(II)465 / G(3)530 / Iona / StF296 Christ has risen while earth slumbers (John Bell / Graham Maule) There are a number of tune setting for this. I prefer HOLY MANNA. Lead sheet. Sound Sample. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 393 / GA365 / Lau270 Christ is alive with joy we sing (Pamela Stotter) Joyful alleluias, and Easter images of Christ as grain of wheat, rising sun, vine and bread. Sung to the familiar tune VULPIUS. Lyrics (powerpoint slides) and videos.
  • Singing the Journey Alleluia Christ is risen (Cecily Sheehy / Douglas Simper) Great words "Love has overcome our fear"... and a powerful tune. Book available here.
  • FFS55 Relentless lover God in Christ (Marnie Barrell) Great words! Can also be sung to KINGSFOLD if you don't want to explore a new tune. Lyrics.
  • CH348 / StS001 / LBW196 / ELW843 / A&M762 / G(3)625 / CP397 / W&R93 / SP304 / URW090 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (Rusty Edwards) Good words of Christ's ministry to all. Can be sung to the familiar tune NETTLETON, or the less familiar and very lovely tune JOEL. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • ACS933 / GtG242 Day of delight and beauty unbounded (Delores Dufner) A joyful 16th century dance tune, and happy lyrics of salvation and life! Sheet music (including lyrics) and sound sample.
  • ACS935 / GtG241 / Cha223 Woman Weeping in the Garden (Daniel Damon) Great words about the woman weeping, then waiting, then walking, then weeping again, then dancing. Free sheet music and lyrics.
  • TiS 363 / AHB 281 / NCH244 / CH431 / UMH317 / VU170 / LBW514 / ELW820 / A&M213 / GtG235 / PH116 / GC423 / GC(II)446 / G(3)532 / CP228 / CP(E)154 / W&R313 / Cha220 / 82Hml-203 / Lau280 O sons and daughters let us sing (Jean Tisserand) Many versions and many verses. AHB has emphasis on Thomas verses, but Gather hymnals have some nice verses about the women finding Christ risen. This tune can be really pretty cool - either as plainchant, hymn or fairly majestic contemporary mass music. Lyrics and sheet music. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • 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 I danced in the morning / Lord of the Dance (Sydney Carter). Lyrics and tune sample. You all know this one, right? Good for kids
  • Online Resource Sweet the morning (Pat Mayberry) More a song for a choir, or for your musicians to present to the congregation - flexible arrangement - works in unison or SSA, SAA, or SAB. Excellent lyrics, and a Hallelujah-filled chorus. Free sheet music.  
  • ATW 452 Halle Halle / Why do you look among the dead (Robin Mann) Storytelling Easter song, with catchy hallelujahs. Lyrics. 
  • Online Resource I am full of the Spirit (Heather Price) A joyful song that celebrates that, because of Christ, death is not the end. Good for kids. Sound sample and music for purchase
  • TiS 380 / AHB 303 / NCH253 / CH419 / UMH308 / VU173 / LBW145 / ELW376 / A&M218 / HPP203 / GtG238 / PH122 / CP210 / CP(E)160 / W&R310 / Cha218 / Srce694 / Lau287 / StF313 / MP689 Thine be the glory risen conquering Son (Edmond Budry) One of the few older hymns that doesn't require updating, and beautiful harmonies... A great classic hymn!  Lyrics and tune. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Online Resource Yours be the glory, risen dauntless Love (Sarah Agnew) A rewrite of Thine be the glory that you may like to use. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 370 / AHB 290 / NCH367 / CH411 / UMH302 / VU157 / LBW128 / ELW369 / GtG245 / G(II)315 / GC437 / GC(II)439 / G(3)523 / CP206 / W&R288 / Lau273 / StF298 / MP076 Christ the Lord is risen today (Charles Wesley) It's not quite Easter for me without this hymn, but be aware that the lyrics vary widely between hymnals. TiS is good, although some may not like the Kingly language. If you want fully inclusive language, the NCH has good lyrics. An example of lyrics and tune. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 382 / AoV2-131 / ATN 15 / NCH238 / CH417 / UMH311 / VU186 / LBW280 / ELW570 / GA364 / A&M212 / HPP210 / GtG247 / G(II)318 / GC444 / GC(II)456 / G(3)534 / CP237 / CP(E) 153 / W&R311 / Cha230 / 82Hml-204 / Lau278 / StF306 Now the green blade rises (John McLeod Campbell Crum) I love these words and this simple French folk tune. I particularly like this played to guitar, but TiS has an excellent piano arrangement too. Lyrics and tune sample. New words to old tunes
  • Online Resource / CH407 Comes Mary to the grave (Michael Perry) Simple words focused on the peaceful morning and Mary's joy at finding the risen Christ. Tune in CH (CHURCH CLOSE) is simple, but probably best sung by a soloist or small group. Lyrics. Sound sample. Lyrics and purchasable score for a different tune (PASCAL DAWN) which is not that easy either. 
  • TiS 392 At the dawning of salvation (Jock Curle) Good hymn words of Easter theology and Christ’s presence at Creation to a fun standard American folk tune (NETTLETON). Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 367 / AHB 287 / NCH242 / CH412 / UMH306 / VU159 / LBW135 / ELW366 / A&M217 / GtG236 / PH119 / GC446 / GC(II)459 / G(3)525 / CP212 / CP(E)159 / W&R290 / Cha221 / 82Hml-208 / Lau275 / MP670 The strife is o'er the battle done (Francis Pott) There are two possible tunes for this hymn. I prefer to sing it to the tune by James Minchin (THE STRIFE IS O’ER), which is found in the Australian Hymn Book, rather than the more traditional minstrellish VULPIUS. The newer tune is pretty groovy (I loved it as a kid!), and has lots and lots of alleluias. The words also vary a lot between hymnals. So, the best would be a combination of the TiS words and the AHB tune 287 (ii). Yeah, this was my other church rock favourite of 1979. Lyrics.
  • VU168 / StS101 / ELW390 / GtG257 The risen Christ who walks on wounded feet (Nigel Weaver) Good words of resurrection and an excellent outward looking last verse. A good final hymn for Easter Day "May we Christ's body walk and serva dn stand with the oppressed in this and every land, till all are blessed and can a blessing be, restored in Christ to true humanity". Sung to the familiar tune WOODLANDS / GREATOREX. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • ELW375 / HPP199 / GtG253 Alleluia Christ is arisen / Aleluya! Cristo resucitó (Luis Bojos) A cool Latin American hymn. I would sing the refrain twice each time because it's short, and so joyful! Sound sample
  • G(II)312 / GC432 / GC(II)443 / G(3)535 Resucitó (Kiko Arguello) This is delightful! Here's a great version!
  • ATA 160 The Son is up the Word is out / Resurrection shout (Robin Mann) A bit silly, but could be fun on Easter day with lots of kids who have had a chance to learn it. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • ATW 445 Roll the rock (Leigh Newton) It’s pretty silly, again probably more for a church camp. Lyrics and chords. It has a lot of words, but the chorus is catchy and Good for kids.
  • TiS 381 / AHB 302 / NCH232 / CH415 / VU177 / WoV676 / LBW149 / ELW391 / A&M219 / GtG244 / GC434 / CP(E) 161 / W&R308 / 82Hml-192 / Lau286 / StF314 This joyful Eastertide (George Woodward) A fairly old-school traditional hymn; still good! Lyrics.
  • TiS 387 / CH416 / UMH318 / VU158 / PH108 / LBW363 / ELW389 / A&M199 / GtG246 / PH108 / CP(E) 140 / W&R312 / 82Hml-182 / Lau272 / StF297 Christ is alive Let Christians sing (Brian Wren) Excellent words of Christ's saving, and still relevant grace. A couple of tunes are offered in different hymn books. I prefer TRURO. Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
  • Iona (TI1AU) / MV038 Glory to God / Nzamuranza (Mozambique / Matsikenyiri) Simple African call and response song. Great harmonies and particularly good for Easter Day. Thanks to Noodle Thrower for this suggestion. Sound sample.
  • FFS21 Forgive us O God (Colin Gibson) Touching lyrics of the ways we have crucified Christ again, and the hope we have in Easter. A more solemn prayer of confession than is often used on Easter Day, but could work well.  
  • Online Resource I have seen, I know what I know (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A powerful chant about believing in our own experiences, and the stories of women. I love this. Meditation video.
Shorter songs
Of course, you might like to sing an Alleluia! Here's a list!
  • TiS 728 Jesuchristo reina reina ya! (Unknown) A fun Latin American song. It's particularly fun if someone is brave enough to yell out a "call" at the start of each verse. Sound sample. Good for kids.
  • Taizé / GtG243 / G(3)516 Be not afraid sing out for joy / Nebojte se (Jacques Berthier)  Happy joyful Taizé chant! Sheet music and sound samples
  • Music by heart 43 Dying you destroyed our death (Marilyn Haskel) A very simple round of Christ's death and resurrection.
  • Iona (Love From Below) / CH434 / CP232 Jesus is risen from the grave (John Bell) Good, simple rhythm and tune. You can even make up some verses if you like. Sound sample. Good for kids. 
  • Taizé / ATA 107 / VU247 / GC555 / CP308 / W&R303 / Lau691 Jubilate Deo (Praetorius) A very simple fun round from the community at Taizé. Sound sample and practice parts. Good for kids.
  • TiS 720 / AHB 295 / AoVK-85 / AoV2-046 / ATOK 319 / NCH236 / Iona (Many & Great, There is one among us) / CH345 / VU958 / StJ / A&M836 / SFFS 2026 / HPP571 / GtG591 / GC(II)261 / G(3)329 / W&R005 / Cha041 / ZSS76 / SP324 / PfAS150G / URW370 / Lau178 Halle halle hallelujah (Traditional Caribbean) A good Alleluia would work well for this passage, and I think this one is particularly excellent – simple, great for kids, good rhythm. Good for kids. Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample (youtube).
  • GA338 People of God O welcome the light (Jane Wood) Quite good simple refrain for the start of an Easter celebration
  • 82Hml-713 Christ is arisen / Christ ist erstanden Alleluia (German hymn adapted by Richard Rudolf Klein) Based on an ancient Easter Day round. History. Sound sample (not as a round). Lyrics.
  • CH753 / SFFS 2078 / GtG589 / GC(II)271 / G(3)338 / PfAS147A Alleluia alleluia (Glover / Honduras) I would just sing the refrain of this. It would make a great introit or postlude for Easter Day. Sheet music and lyrics (chorus only). I'm not wild about the sound sample, but it gives you some ideas.
  • ATW 463 / Iona (T1AU) / ELW721 / SFFS 2219 / A&M835 / GtG750 / GC(II)451 / G(3)528 / W&R296 / URW436 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 (I like how they drop the organ partway through!). Good for kids.
  • TiS 541 / CH674 / WoV722 / ELW535 / GtG538 / G(II)394 / GC562 / GC(II)529 / G(3)626 / CP082 / SP&P190 / W&R709 / ZSS198 / URW400 Hallelujah we sing your praises / Haleluyah! Pelo Tsa Rona (Traditional South African) Joyous and simple song. Sound sample. Sheet music sample. Good for kids.
  • CH797 The Lord is risen from the dead (Dimi Halleyi) Simple chant, that can be sung in a round for Easter day. Sound sample. Good for kids.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24  
Any Holy, holy, holy / Sanctus will work well. 
I will suggest some of these again next week, so this could be a good time to introduce a new song.
  • Linnea Good / MV008 And on this path (Linnea Good) An energetic gospel style song. Here's a youtube video. We sing it much slower than this and as a gospel style song with big chords and a groovy bass part. I thought I'd never say that we sing something slower than anyone! Good for kids.
  • TiS 74 / GA070 This is the day the Lord has made (Christopher Willcock) Unusual timing in this refrain, but once you've nailed it, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the week, which is what I like about Psalm refrains.
  • STB046 Your Word Will Be A Lamp (Malaysia) (Unknown) This song is in English and set to a Tamil melody, so will need to be taught. It's a little tricky.
  • VU175 This is the day that God has made (Natalie Sleeth) Good for kids especially. Here's some cute kids in choir robes singing it.
  • MV122 / Online Resource This is the day (Bruce Harding) This is a really simple nice jazzy song. Sheet music. Good for kids.
  • PfAS118D This is the day the lord has made (Joy Patterson) A good 7/8 setting of the Psalm. It will need to be taught, but will be enjoyed. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • Online Resource / PfAS118G This is the day the lord has made (Leon Roberts) A bright and cheerful refrain for the Psalm. Sound sample (choral version).
  • TiS 156 / AHB 91 / AoV1-135 / ATA 123 / CH212 / UMH145 / VU409 / ELW556 / GA537 / A&M545 / HPP267 / GtG664 / PH469 / G(II)546 / GC756 / GC(II)748 / G(3)855 / CP003 / W&R35 / Cha053 / URW186 / 82Hml-008 / StF136 / Lau671 / MP467 Morning has broken (Eleanor Farjeon) This song makes me smile every time. Here's Yusuf Islam (when he was Cat Stevens) in 1976 (love those green boots).Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Taizé / MV016 / StJ / ELW528 / GA430 / SFFS 2157 / HPP410 / G(II)398 / GC570 / GC(II)550 / RS710 / CP402 / URW378 Come and Fill our hearts/ Confitemini Domino (Jacques Berthier) Can be sun in English as "Come and fill our hearts with your peace, you alone O God are holy. Come and fill our hearts with your peace, Alleluia". Sound samples and sheet music.
  • VU956 Your word is a lamp (Eleanor Daley) A simple refrain for this Psalm, or could be used as a response before reading the scriptures. 
  • NCH387 / PH443 / GC(II)646 / RS782 / CP524 / Lau829 O Christ the great foundation (Timothy T'ingfang Lew) Excellent words of salvation and justice from Timothy Tingfang Lew, sung to the tune of "The church's one foundation" (AURELIA). Lyrics
  • MV187 / ELW682 We give our thanks / Re a mo leboga (Traditional Botswana) A great song to sing for the offering. Older style version. More upbeat version. Amazing video with a newer version. Good for kids.
  • STB019 Glory be to You O God / Joy Probhu tomari joy (Bangladesh) (Shaha) A happy song from Bangladesh. The tune will need to be taught, but it's not difficult and the words are quite simple in English. The first phrase could be sung in Bengali if you would like to include some language other than English, but don't want to learn a lot of words in another language.
  • TiS 48 / AoV1-153 / ATOK 411 / VU808 / WoV779 / ELW787 / GA452 / HPP385 / G(II)433 / GC611 / GC(II)593 / G(3)691 / CP531 / W&R438 / PfAS091E / Cha077 / Lau952 You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord / On Eagle's Wings (Michael Joncas) This is a big favourite all over the place. It has masculine imagery for God. This doesn't have to be sung slowly and meditatively - it also works very well as a more upbeat song. If it is not familiar to you, a cantor can be used for the verses. It is not inclusive in all sources.
  • Cry Hosanna 14 This, this is the day (Brian Howard) I really like this song. Sheet music. Here's a youtube version; a little more strident than I would sing it, but it will give you an idea.
  • TiS 653 / NCH417 / CH526 / UMH383 / GC(II)453 / W&R355 / Cha518 This is a day of new beginnings (Brian Wren) "This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that's gone." Excellent words of reconciliation. A good start to the Easter season. There are two possible tunes. I prefer the more simple hymn-like tune by Carlton Young which is in most resources (including TiS). There is an optional final verse that can be used for Communion. Lyrics.
What will you be singing? If it's something not listed here, please let me know in the comments below.


Margaret chivers said...

469 TiS fits in well with Easter. It has a good tune, or Darwall is a good substitute.

Jennie Gordon said...

Thanks so much Natalie - I love the treasures you find, old and new.
I'm using "In the darkness of the morning" - to Love Divine - and have added and extra 2 lines to make it 3 full verses (and to complete that bit of the story)

In the glowing rays of daylight, she went back and told the men,
“I have seen him! He is with us! Jesus Christ; alive again!”

lkm said...

What about "See what a morning" (Resurrection Hymn) by Townend & Gettys
Mission Praise 1105
- Len Makin

Unknown said...

What communion hymn do you recommend for this Easter?

Mj said...

We sing "This is the day" from 'Scripture in Song Book One - Songs of Praise'.
That version is by Les Garrett, and has only one verse.
The others in your link fit quite well of course. It's catchy and fun and has easy guitar chords as well as piano score.

Pat Farra said...

I love Resurrection Hymn, as well. Also these: Rise Up With Him by Janet Vogt
Blessing, Honor and Glory by Geoff Bullock & David Reidy

Радомир Эра said...
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Geoff Smith said...

Hi, not usually someone who posts here... but we've been sent this gift for these times & will be using it on Sunday.


This Easter Celebration
AURELIA D ("The Church's One Foundation")
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

As I understand it, Carolyn has offered it as a gift for any congregational use - including livestreaming, with appropriate attribution.

Sorry to make this post so long, but here are the Lyrics.

This Easter celebration is not like ones we’ve known.
We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone.
We’re distant from our neighbors— from worship leaders, too.
No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.

No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way.
O God of love and promise, where’s joy this Easter Day?
With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place
we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.

Our joy won’t come from worship that’s in a crowded room
but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb.
Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see—
who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.

In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well:
Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell.
Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day!
Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.

We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be
a scattered, faithful body that’s doing ministry.
In homes and in the places of help and healing, too,
we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.

Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.

A safe & happy Easter to you all.

Cheers, Geoff

Rev Geoff Smith
Galston Uniting Church

sarah said...

One I wrote for Easter is 'Open invitation: now, abundant life' - reimagining 'Yours be the glory' (Maccabeus) (TiS 380)

JPB said...

The StF314 "This joyful Eastertide" is not the George Woodward one, rather it is the Fred Pratt Green one (

Cathlin Baker said...

I am searching for music for "I have seen, I know what I know" (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). Any leads?

Cathlin Baker said...

I am looking for music for "I have seen, I know what I know" (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). Any suggestions where to look?