Monday, January 23, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Epiphany 6A (February 12th 2017)

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Love God, follow God's commandments and hold fast to God - it's the best way, really.
  • God Gives 1: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and love all humankind as you would love yourselves and…. I really like this old Sunday School round, with a groovy 50s feel to it. Great for kids.
  • Iona (We walk his way) / G(3)517 / StF775 We walk his way / Ewe Thina A joyful, simple South African song. Sound sample. 
  • VU250 / GA415 / G(II)372 / GC546 O God of Matchless Glory (Duck) Good song, simple tune (HASTINGS). Lyrics and sheet music. Sound sample. 
  • TiS 430 / AHB 337 / Cha324 Your words to me are life and health (Martin) I really like this old hymn. It’s a bit old fashioned, but it still works, I think. Sound sample and lyrics.
  • TiS 430 / AHB 337 / Cha324 / StF164 Your words to me are life and health (Martin) I really like this old hymn. It’s a bit old fashioned, but it still works, I think. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • CP447 / W&R671 Lord we hear your word with gladness (Clarkson) Good words honouring the word and the Word of God, set to a well known hymn tune (NETTLETON). Lyrics and tune sample.  New words to old tunes
  • CH115 / MV089 / Iona (Love from Below) / A&M722 / SP292 Love is the touch of intangible joy (Robertson / Bell) Great words and a simple tune. "God is where love is, for love is of God". Lyrics (scroll).
  • NCH350 Now in the days of youth (Mathams) Sung to the familiar tune DIADEMATA, this song has great words for young people, including those being confirmed, asking for knowledge to use their lives wisely and to love truthfully.  New words to old tunes
Alternative Hebrew Scripture: Sirach 15:15-20
Choose. It's up to you.
  • AoV2-063 / G(II)627 / GC873 Love is patient love is kind / In Love We Choose to Live (Cotter) Gentle words based directly on 1 Corinthians 13. It might be nice to sing just the chorus with this Sirach reading.
  • *SFFS 2129 / HPP322 / W&R344 / Cha344 / Srce2-244 / MP272 I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (Singh) Good simple traditional chorus. Do you know the story behind it? I didn't. Read it here. This Australian video from Perth has some nice chords. Oldy-but-a-goody.  
  • 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. 
  • ATFG563 / NCYC'03 / The Red Book How long must we cry out? (Mann) This is a big Brunswick favourite, great for young people in particular. BUC liturgists please note that we have not sung this since 2010! "Teach me to do what is right, walk in the darkness, trust in the light and may love be the path I walk upon". Good for teenagers.  
Psalm 119:1-8
Happy are they who walk in God's way
NOTE: This theme will continue next week, so it's a good time to choose a song you can repeat!
  • Iona (We walk his way) / G(3)517 / StF775 We walk his way / Ewe Thina A joyful, simple African song. I'm guessing it's from South Africa. Sound sample.  
  • *Iona (WWHW) / MV223 We will go with God / Sizohamba naye (Traditional Swaziland) A simple song from Swaziland. Good for the end of the service. Video with pronunciation and parts. Note that MV has a different translation. Good for kids.  
  • NCH Psalter p701 (at the back of NCH) has a very good arrangement of Psalm 119 by Elaine Kirkland. The refrain is “Teach me, O God, the way of your statutes” and can be sung in 4 parts. Note that there are three sections. This week's reading is on p701. 
  • *URW143 The Grace of God is like a road (Hudson) Really beautiful words sung to a very familiar Celtic hymn tune (THE GIFT OF LOVE, which is very similar to O WALY WALY). Highly recommended. I would even print these words for the congregation to take home with them and meditate with during the week. A good song to sing after the sermon. We sang this once, three years ago when we read this passage. Would be good to sing it again. LyricsNew words to old tunes.
  • *MV45 / SP&P051 Hamba nathi (Zulu). There are a lot of translations of this song. I like "Come walk with us, the journey is long". Here's a good version, with some great harmonies. And, a version which is slightly different from what's published in the hymnals. Good for kids
  • PfAS119G / PfAS199H O Lord my delight (Hopson) Simple psalm refrain for verses 1-8.   
  • GtG064 I long for your commandments (Janzen)  Good words that pick up many of the themes of Psalm 119. You may like to introduce it this week, and sing it again in the weeks to come as we keep reading the Psalm. The tune is very old and quite lovely.   
  • *MV108 I know your word (Tua Palavra) A simple Brazilian rhythm and a catchy tune. Great for kids, and a good song for adults too. “I know your word, your word is a lamp to my feet O God. I know your word is a lamp, O God, to light my path forever”.  Good for kids.  
  • TiS 430 / AHB 337 / Cha324 / StF164 Your words to me are life and health (Martin) I really like this old hymn. It’s a bit old fashioned, but it still works, I think. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • AHB 341 A lamp for our feet has been given (CRUGYBAR). Solid words and a great old Welsh tune. I wouldn’t be desperate to sing this one, but if all you have is the AHB, it’s worth it.  
  • ATE246 / UMH601 / HPP256 / GtG458 / W&R664 / Cha326 / Cha759 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet (Smith / Grant) Cha326 has this arranged as a simple chorus, and 759 as a sung response, and responsively read passage. Neither version has the verses, but really, the chorus is probably all you need. Video & longish introduction from Amy Grant, lacking her curly 80s hair. 
  • *ATW 498 / Iona (T1AU) / MV 196 / SP&P182 / URW438 We will take what you offer. An excellent simple short song that works well either as an upbeat chorus or as a reflective chant. "We will take what you offer. We will live by your word. We will love one another. And be fed by you Lord". Good for kids. Sound sample.  
  • GC109 I Will Walk in the Presence of God (Daigle) A simple lilting refrain. Inclusive verses. This could maybe be used as a chant on its own. Sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample. 
  • *Linnea Good / MV008 And on this path (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!   
  • TiS 71 / VU617 / HPSS362 / G(II)97 / GC108 I will walk in the presence of the Lord (Proulx) A beautiful cantored Psalm. The refrain is very simple. Doesn’t make sense without the cantor. 
  • *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 (Berthier) A simple and very well known Taizé chant. Works well during intercessions. Sheet music samples. Good for kids   
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Trouble in the ranks; it's God who waters us so we shouldn't argue about who's got the best leader
  • *MV154 Deep in our hearts (Oldham) A good song about having a common vision and purpose. Easy to sing to a lovely flowing 6/8 tune. Would work well after the sermon. Sound sample, sheet music and lyrics. I think of it a little quicker than this, but this is the composer playing, so this is clearly his intention!
  • SFFS 2175 / GtG767 Together We Serve (Damon) Good hymn about service, sung to a very straightforward tune. Lyrics and sheet music sample. Slow sound sample. 
  • FFS80 / SFFS 2177 Wounded world (Murray) A good song for healing of the world's pain and a call to service. Can be sung to a couple of tunes. I like the Hal Hopson tune used in SFFS.
  • AoV1-129 / CH665 / UMH620 / VU467 / ELW701 / HPP525 / A&M461 / GtG530 / G(II)599 / GC830 / GC(II)813 / CP073 / W&R689 / Cha393 / Lau832 One bread, one body A classic. Don't play it too slow or it takes forever!! Particularly appropriate if you are celebrating communion.
  • NCH370 / UMH087 / W&R685 / URW127 What gift can we bring? A good offering song. Also good for a church anniversary. Lyrics. The tune is a bit tricky.
  • CH198 / MV001 / HPP550 / A&M365 / GtG301 / GC753 / GC(II)741 / G(3)850 / SP176 / URW058/ Lau458 / StF409 Let Us Build a House / All are welcome (Haugen / TWO OAKS) This song has wonderful lyrics of hope for what a Christian community can be like, and a chorus that joyfully says “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”. Sheet music sample. Sound sample. New words to old tunes     
  • Tune In: Community (Brown) A song about being welcomed and part of a community. Sound sample and lyrics. "a glass of water shared with the thirsty". Good for kids.
Matthew 5:21-37
Sins of the heart and head; importance of reconciliation; let your word be enough; good solid advice.
  • Tune In / NCYC '07: Forgive us now (Brown). “As we forgive may we be healed, as we reach out….” An excellent ballad seeking forgiveness in a sinful world. Lyrics and sound sample. 
  • NCH544 / MV076 / G(3)957 If I have been the source of pain, O God (Sosa). A song seeking forgiveness “If I’ve insisted on a peaceful life, far from the struggles that the gospel brings, when you prefer to guide me to the strife, Forgive me God". Lyrics. Sample sheet music and sound sample. 
  • AA036 Every day I will offer you (Murray) “Everyday, in your Spirit, I’ll find the love and energy”… Good song of commitment. Might be good as closing song. This is also in other books of songs by Shirley Murray. Lyrics & Sheet Music. 
  • MV145 / CP418 / SP&P123 Draw the circle wide (Light) A great song about welcoming all people. Chorus is “Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no-one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide”.
  • BUC Song Project Do you believe / Love is the Power (Anderson). Suggestion for the congregation at Brunswick as this is not published yet, but it is in our church folders; it would work well if following the theme of reconciliation. It’s a while since we've sung it, but it went down well last time. It's a little bit tricky. Good for kids 
  • *CH721 / URW156 / StF718 We lay our broken world (Briggs) Beautiful words seeking global healing. I prefer the tune in CH. Depending on your congregation, you may like to sing it to TERRA BEATA (Thanks Aaron Howe for this idea) or EVENING (Thanks Annie Strickland) or to ICH HALTE TREULICH STILL. Lyrics.
Do you have some ideas too? I would love to hear them - please add in a comment below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Epiphany 5A (February 5th 2017)

Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12)
Hypocrisy; the fast that matters to God is justice, generosity, hospitality, etc...
  • Online Resource O Children of the Light / Ay Farzandane Nur (Anonymous Farsi) Why not sing something in 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). Good for kids.  
  • AoV2-060 / SFFS 2172 / HPP307 / GtG749 / G(II)518 / GC718 / GC(II)710 / G(3)807 Come live in the light / We Are Called (Haas) Joyful song of mission. Lyrics, sheet music sample and slowish sound sample here. I would double the speed of this (almost).
  • CH763 / MV193 God bless to us our bread (Traditional Argentinian) A lovely simple grace for meals and for communion. More Voices has Spanish and French lyrics as well as English. "God bless to us our bread, and give bread to all those who are hungry, and hunger for justice to those who are fed. God bless to us our bread". This would be very appropriate if you are celebrating communion this week. Sound sample (Track 1).
    Good for kids. 
  • TiS 657 / CH263 / VU700 / A&M559 / AA50 / CP(E) 447 / Cha656 / SP242 God of freedom God of justice (Murray / Guthrie Foote) Powerful lyrics. Can be sung to either TREDEGAR (new, but not too hard) or PICARDY (very familiar). Final verse is: "We are all tenants of your love; gather us round a common fire, warm us in company with Christ, give us the heart to feel, to share, table and lodging with free hand, space in our living, in our land". Lyrics and midi. New words to old tunes
  • CH195 / StS053 / AA061 Here to the house of God we come (Murray) Good honest and challenging words and a simple, but unusual tune. Lyrics.  
  • TiS 416 Great God your Spirit like the wind (Gaunt) Excellent words asking for God to shake us out of our complacency and give us compassion. I really wish it was set to a different tune - it is set to JERUSALEM and this seems to suck all the power out of the lyrics for me. It works with MAGNIFICAT (TiS173) which is fairly straightforward so I would try that if it's not too confusing for the congregation. New words to old tunes
  • WCC website Hear the message we now are proclaiming / El mensaje que hoy proclamamos. This jubilant Colombian song of liberty and new life for the poor and suffering would fit well with this reading. Good for kids. Free sheet music!
  • CH488 / AA130 Teach us O loving heart of Christ (Murray) Good, powerful words seeking forgiveness for those things we have not done or said. The tune is new, but fairly simple. Lyrics.
  • Iona (Enemy of Apathy) / A&M466 / SP223 / StF654 / MP940 The love of God comes close (Iona) A good song of God's forgiveness. Simple melody. Lyrics. Very slow music sample.
  • CH659 / MV173 / StJ / A&M566 / G(3)824 / W&R389 / SP251 / StF712 Put peace into each other’s hands (Kaan) Good words for communion; tune is quite simple and flows nicely. Slow sound sample, sheet music with lyrics. Good for kids  
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
It will be well for those who follow God's commands, like giving to the poor etc
  • *TiS 69 Light rises in darkness when justice rules our lives (Kimbrough/ Young) A lovely Psalm response. Could be used with a sung or read version of the Psalm. The TiS translation is quite inclusive. It's from the United Methodist Liturgical Psalter (1989).
  • ATOK 354 / ELW801 / SFFS 2152 / GtG695 / SP&P128 / W&R373 / PfAS051A / ZSS178 / Srce95 / MP069 Change my heart O God / Cambiame Senor (Espinosa) A mushy old favourite. Thanks to Sylvia Griffiths for this and the next few suggestions. Lyrics and chords.
  • *SFFS 2129 / HPP322 / W&R344 / Cha344 / Srce2-244 / MP272 I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (Singh) Good simple traditional chorus. Do you know the story behind it? I didn't. Read it here. This Australian video from Perth has some nice chords. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • WCC website Hear the message we now are proclaiming / El mensaje que hoy proclamamos. This jubilant Colombian song of liberty and new life for the poor and suffering would fit well with this reading. Good for kids. Free sheet music!
  • *URW223 (refrain 2) Like a tree that's planted by the water (African American) This simple and very well known refrain would work well with Psalm 112, even though this book lists it for Psalm 1. Good for kids.
  • TiS 712 / AoV2-021 / ATE 269 / The tide has turned Create in us a clean heart O God (Hannah) Good. A big favourite in our congregation.
  • Emergent Psalter  Happy are they who fear God (Everett) A very simple Psalm refrain. Sample sheet music (refrain only). 
  • Iona (HSNW) / VU019 / A&M839 / SP326 Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away (Iona) This song would also work well at various points in the service, including during intercessions. Good for kids Sound sample. 
  • *Taize / AoV2-091 When The Night becomes dark your love O Lord is a fire (Toolan) A lovely simple chant. Sound sample.   
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
God's secret wisdom revealed by the Spirit
  • BUC Song Project Take a deep breath / Deep in your soul (Anderson) A refreshing and simple song of the Spirit's transformative power. 
  • BUC Song Project Silent as the dawn / Spirit God you come (Loukes) Simple meditative song about the coming of the spirit. Beautiful images. 
  • TiS 417 / AoV2-133 / ATW 448 / VU387 / StJ / WoV683 / ELW397 / AA94 / HPP237 / GtG293 / PH323 / CP657 / W&R135 / Cha244 / URW203 / StB220 Loving Spirit, Loving Spirit (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 New words to old tunes (depending which tune you choose)  
  • TiS 626 / AHB 557 / CH500 / GA423 / Lau869 Lord of creation to you be all praise! (Winslow) A wonderful traditional and quite inclusive hymn to the familiar tune SLANE. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 418 / AoV2-075 / Iona (EoA, Common Ground) / CH593 / GA372 / A&M259 / Cha255 / SP94 / URW165 / StF393 / Lau305 She sits like a bird brooding on the waters (Bell) My favourite Holy Spirit song. Beautiful words and very easy to sing, provided it is not played too quickly The Iona recordings are generally very quick, but there are a lot of words to fit in, so keep it elegantly moderate in speed! Lyrics (scroll down).     
  • STB037 Thousands and thousands of songs / Aayirem aayirem padelgellei (Francis) This Tamil song from India has a catchy chorus, which could be sung in English or Tamil. Slightly tacky youtube sound sample. The sound sample is in Tamil, so that could help you with your pronunciation!
  • NCH286 / ATE 218 / VU375 / WoV684 / ELW396 / HPP239 / GtG291 / PH319 / W&R326 / Cha249 Spirit spirit of gentleness (Manley) Lovely, gentle song. Very easy to sing, but can get slow and ponderous if you're not careful. Lyrics  
  • TiS 414 / NCH294 / CH616 / UMH192 / VU582 / HPP134 / PH433 / GC550 / CP(E) 198 / Cha257 / StF398 There's a Spirit in the Air  (Wren) A good song of getting the business of following Christ done. Speaking out, caring for others, being changed. A joyful tune (it looks less so in TiS, but think of it in 6/8 instead of 6/4). Just think how brave Naaman's servant girl must have been. Seven verses – you might want to have women sing a verse and men sing another to keep people going. The TiS suggestion to use INVERCARRY is (in my opinion) not necessary; it’s easier to the set tune. Lyrics and tune sample.  
Matthew 5:13-20 
My favourite: you are salt of the earth, and light of the world 
  • *Recorded music Light by light (Frencham) This is a lovely song by Melbourne musician Liz Frencham. One version here. BUC people, I have a gospel-style arrangement of this (somewhere...)  
  • Recorded music You are the light of the world (Pino) This is a lovely catchy refrain, which we have sung once before; if you have the CD you could play it. If not, and you have a clever musician, they could work out the chords (we did!). Good for kids (if you sing it)  
  • Online Resource O Children of the Light / Ay Farzandane Nur (Anonymous Farsi) Why not sing something in 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). Good for kids. 
  • *AoVNG52 / MV209 / GC(II)664 / G(3)775 / SP&P199  Go Make a Difference (Angrisano) Groovy sending out song. "We are the salt of the earth, called to let the people see the love of God for you and me" Sound samples on this page. Lyrics. Good for kids & teenagers. 
  • *AoV2-004 / NCH181 / GA478 / CP502 / G(II)468 / GC658 / GC(II)640 / G(3)734 / Lau854 You are a salt for the earth O People / Bring forth the kingdom (Haugen) Joyful song. "Bring forth the reign of justice, bring forth the reign of peace...". Sheet music. Sound sample. 
  • *AoV2-060 / SFFS 2172 / HPP307 / GtG749 / G(II)518 / GC718 / GC(II)710 / G(3)807 Come live in the light / We Are Called (Haas) Joyful song of mission. Lyrics, sheet music sample and slowish sound sample here. I would double the speed of this (almost). 
  • CH252 / VU578 / GA481 / SFFS 2237 / G(II)471 / GC663 / GC(II)643 / G(3)744 / W&R551 / Lau828 As a Fire Is Meant for Burning (Duck) Excellent lyrics of unity across all nations set to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING. Not terribly Adventish, but great. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes
  • TiS474 / AoV1-012 / ATE 295 / CH623 / SFFS 2236 / HPP553 / A&M363 / GtG401 / G(II)539 / GC839 / GC(II)743 / G(3)848  / CP465 / W&R649 / Cha284 / SP175 / URW054 / Lau475 Here in this place new light is streaming / Gather us in (Haugen). Excellent words, very well known. “Nourish us well and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true”. Lyrics and sheet music. 
  • TiS 686 / ATE 292 Lord Jesus we belong to you / Because we bear your name (Robin Mann) A straightforward and practical song asking God to help us to follow Christ well, with a refrain of "because we bear your name". Lyrics
  • AoVK-40 / NCH524 / UMH585 / ELW677 / A&M808 / HPP466 / G(II)358 / GC514 / GC(II)514 / G(3)591 This little light of mine The AoVK version has excellent verses that actually make the chorus make sense, but will need to be practiced. Check them out if you have a copy. In the meantime, hear Bruce Springsteen sing it here. It's amazing... Oh, and here's another version. Good for kids.
    Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • HiOS001 A pinch of salt (Gibson) This song is quite funny, and picks up this theme really well. It talks well about not over-doing things. "When you sprinkle it, just go lightly." 
  • SP&P170 We share a hunger (Kirsten Warner) A simple song of unity in mission - hunger for justice in the world.   
  • STB254 / Hymns from the Four Winds: A Collection of Asian American Hymns #74 Light of the World, Salt of the Earth / Chu Li kau-tai goa kang-tia (T'in)  This Taiwanese song has a lovely tune, but it's a little tricky. The English translation is quite formal, but good. If you can only handle one verse, sing the first verse. "But if salt has lost its taste, and the light its fuel, and the city shuts its gates, whence can come renewal". Perhaps one to encourage your musicians to present to the congregation; especially if you have anyone from Taiwan in your congregation!
I would love to hear your ideas - please add them in a comment below, especially if there is a song you love that I haven't included. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Epiphany 4A (January 29 2017)

Micah 6:1-8
  • BUC Song Project Some people spend their lives chasing money / Walk (Lees) A thoughtful song about how we choose to live. Chorus is "I'm gonna walk humbly with my Lord... with justice and mercy by my side on this road".
  • AoV1-050 Act Justly (O'Brien/Watts) Simple chant-like chorus, and strong verses. I love this one. 
  • *SP&P066 Help me do the justice to be done today (Grundy) A simple and hopeful song. Good for kids, and teenagers. Good for everyone else too! Highly recommended. Sound sample (youtube). 
  • *AoV2-060 / SFFS 2172 / HPP307 / GtG749 / G(II)518 / GC718 / GC(II)710 / G(3)807 Come live in the light / We Are Called (Haas) Joyful song of mission. I love this, and we've not sung it at BUC for ages! Lyrics, sheet music sample and slowish sound sample here. I would double the speed of this (almost).
  • AoVNG1 / CH685 / FFS17 / GtG769 / G(3)812 / W&R617 For everyone born / A place at the table (Murray) Words of welcome and change to everyone regardless of sex, age, sexuality. There are three possible tunes. The Lori True tune is the most common. I like the Colin Gibson tune in FFS (and on the Hope Publishing website that follows). Use whatever you have! This song is good for a service when communion is celebrated, but it makes sense without communion, too. There is also an optional verse: "For gay and for straight...." Lyrics & sheet music. We used this recently at BUC, and it would be good to reuse it.
  • HPP28 / GtG023 / PH285 / W&R24 / URW083 God You Spin the Whirling Planets (Jane Parker Huber / AUSTRIAN HYMN) Excellent words to a very familiar tune (TiS 772). Really good for the final hymn or response to the sermon. Lyrics.   
  • AA085 Let justice roll down like a river(Gibson) Excellent song, and very easy to sing. Lyrics. Sheet music. Good for kids.    
  • StS033 /  GA515 / G(II)516 / GC716 / GC(II)709 / G(3)810 Let Justice Roll Like a River (Haugen) Verse 3 of this song is particularly appropriate for this passage. 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. 
  • CH115 / MV089 / Iona (Love from Below) / A&M722 / SP292 Love is the touch of intangible joy (Robertson / Bell) Great words and a simple tune. "God is where love is, for love is of God". Lyrics (scroll). 
  • UMH729 / VU682 / LBW161 / WoV762 / ELW627 / GtG373 / PH450 / CP573 / W&R539 / Cha711 / URW140 / 82Hml-597 O day of peace that dimly shines (Daw) A song of hoped-for peace. The tune in Chalice hymnal is really nice (CANDLER) or O WALY WALY which is used in URW. Other sources use JERUSALEM, which is a bit too militaristic for me. Lyrics and JERUSALEM sheet music.  New words to old tunes. 
  • HiOS031 From this holy time (Barrell) Good words about going and serving "Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God". Good for a closing hymn. Straightforward tune.   
  • HiOS146 What does our God require (Wallace) Good simple paraphrase, and development, of this passage. Earth-focussed. Sheet music.  
  • Iona (WWHW) / MV223 We will go with God / Sizohamba naye (Traditional Swaziland) A simple song from Swaziland. Good for the end of the service. Video with pronunciation and parts. Note that MV has a different translation. Good for kids. 
  • TiS 618 / AHB 568 / UMH441 / PH405 / CP171 / W&R686 / Cha659 / 82Hml-605 What does the Lord require for praise and offering (Bayly) Some versions quite masculine. More modern hymnals are fine. The tune in TiS is SHARPTHORNE, which is quite good. Older lyrics and a different tune. Reader Susan Bloomfield has also written a new tune, available here.
  • TiS 751 / VU701 / GtG070 / StS054 / SFFS 2174 / Cha661 What does the Lord require of you? (Strathdee) A good and simple round that is a paraphrase of this passage. 
  • ATFG589 / NCYC'99 / VU298 When you Walk From here (Good) A simple benediction, commissioning or farewell song. 
  • Recorded Music: You have shown us (Martin Smith) An excellent contemporary version of this passage, written by Paul Baloche. VideoLyrics. 
  • Recorded Music: God of Justice (Tim Hughes) Not really a congregational song, and not really my style, but this has some great words for the close of the worship service, in a more contemporary soft-pop-rock hands-in-the-air style. I suggest you stop the recording before it gets to the really tacky 80s synthesizer sounds, unless you really like that, of course. Lyrics and sound sample
Psalm 15
Songs for the Micah passage above also fit with this reading.
Only those who live right will live with God.
  • *Online Resource That's how we walk (Bruxvoort-Colligan) This very simple chorus would be great to sing with kids, either during the service or in a Sunday School setting. Good for kids. Sheet music, sound sample and lyrics.  
  • *Online Resource We want to be close to your heart (Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is another song that would be simple enough for the congregation to sing the first time they hear it. It's great for kids too. Good for kids. Sheet music, sound sample and lyrics.  
  • G(II)21 / GC22 / GC(II)17 / G(3)028 They Who Do Justice (Haas) Simple cantor and response "They who do justice will live in the presence of God". Sound sample. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • *VU575 / SFFS 2153 / GtG700 / PH369 / SP&P139 / W&R574 / Cha614 I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me (African American traditional) Good simple tune and meaningful words. Easy to sing and play around with. Good for kids, non-readers and for people for whom English is a second language. Alternatively: PfAS015C I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me (African American traditional) A version of the same song, used as a Psalm refrain. Good for kids.  Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • PfAS015A Lord who are they that may dwell (Warner) A nice contemporary sung paraphrase of the Psalm. Easy to sing. 
  • PfAS015B Lord who shall be welcome (Seddon) A hymnlike paraphrase of the Psalm. Fairly formal, but inclusive words.   
  • *CH008 Lord who may enter your house? (Whoever leads a blameless life) (Bell) A lovely simple psalm response to a chanted or read paraphrase of the Psalm.   
  • Emergent Psalter Who may abide on your holy hill? (Everett) Simple response with read Psalm. Sheet music. 
  • TiS 5 Justice alone is the way of the Lord (Kimbrough / Young) Good cantor and response. Also in UMH Psalter.  
  • Cha729 Let justice roll down like the water (Oliver) Responsive psalm with sung refrain. 
  • ATW 505 Whatever you do (Ylvisaker) Simple and fun. Good for kids. 
  • *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.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
The foolishness of the cross
  • *TiS 356 / CH385 / Cha203 / StF273 Here hangs a man discarded (Wren) Excellent words, particularly for this reading “Can such a clown of sorrows still bring a useful word where faith and love seem phantoms and every hope absurd?”. Also works very well with TiS 339 (Passion Chorale) if your congregation is scared of new tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes  
  • TiS 422 / CH594 / CP(E) 179 Come Holy Spirit come inflame our souls with love (Forster / DIADEMATA) Excellent words to a well known hymn tune. It is not gender-inclusive for God. Lyrics (links to a very impressive pew sheet). New words to old tunes 
  • TiS 179 / NCH273 / VU312 / StJ / URW073 Praise with Joy the World's Creator One of my favourite hymns - strongly Trinitarian lyrics and excellent imagery. Lyrics (scroll down or search). New words to old tunes 
  • VU284 /  GtG230 / G(II)550 / GC760 / Cha333 Joyful Is the Dark (Wren) I really like these words. Hymnals vary widely in the tunes they have set these lyrics to. GtG uses a really difficult key but the tune is nice. VU uses this tune. I'm really not a big fan of either tune, but I think the tune in VU may be simpler. 
  • TiS 262 When pain and terror strike by chance (Wren) These excellent words may be particularly helpful if you are in a community where there has been recent loss / disaster. Very familiar Irish folk tune. 
  • Recorded Music The cross is foolishness (John Michael Talbot) I don't really know this song, but came across a sample and the lyrics. I think it would be a good one to listen to, or play if someone has the music.   
  • Unusual source It really is a worry / Right side up (Downie) A good kid's song about how God's world is not upside down, but right side up. Lyrics (downloads a pdf). We have this in the folders at church. It's also in a book called "Praise God Together" and in "Kidsource 2". Good for kids.  
  • Unknown source Alleluia, the great storm is over (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, but I don't think we've sung it in quite a while. Lyrics. Video with poor image but good sound
Matthew 5:1-12
Oh, the Beatitudes... my favourite! (OK, one of my favourites, really)

  • Iona (L&A) / ATW 436 / MV112 Amen amen it shall be so! A beautiful chant from John Bell. Works well with a cantor or small choir leading the verses and the congregation joining in on the “Amen, amen it shall be so, amen, it shall be so”. Sound sample (look for the green button). You could do this song instead of reading the passage. I guarantee it will be remembered! 
  • StS041 / GC(II)515 / G(3)592 / Lau817 Blessed are they who are poor in spirit / We are the light of the world (Greif) Yep. Okay! Would be best with a cantor, or small choir and the congregation can respond with the chorus. You could even do this instead of the reading. Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample. 
  • *TiS 697 All the sleepy should have a place to sleep (Edwards / PITNEY) Great chorus "Make love happen by God's grace and by God's power. Let God move you on this day and in this hour. New creations will then blossom like a flower for together we can be the hands of God". 
  • NCH164 / VU79 / StS030 / WoV652 / LBW652 / ELW314 / PH411 / GtG744 / W&R231 / URW138 Arise your light is come! (Duck) Good general words of Christ coming to bring justice to the familiar tune ST. THOMAS (TiS 271). New words to old tunes 
  • *Taize How blessed are you who are poor the kingdom of God is yours A lovely simple chant. Sheet music sample. 
  • *Iona (I will not sing alone) Blessed are the ones I call the poor / Hey my love (Bell / Maule) A lovely lilting tune (LADY MAISY). This gentle song would be good for a reflection. Sound sample. 
  • 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 (Temple). Lovely. Nice if you can just start a capella...  Youtube video of Sinead O'Connor singing it and lyrics  Oldy-but-a-goody.  
  • TiS 288 / Iona Not the powerful not the privileged (Bell) I think it is close enough to Christmas that this song can still be sung in February?  
  • Cha185 Blessed are the poor in spirit (Anon) A simple response to the Beatitudes which can be read responsively with this refrain. 
  • Tune In: Kingdom Come (Lees) A song about how things are not what we expect in God’s kingdom. Lots of words and good images including "there's no blacklist or admission fee" Sound sample and lyrics    
  • HiOS074 If you shut your eyes (Gibson) Powerful words to a lovely tune (SONG OF THE POOR) calling us to wake up and stand with the poor.
Do you have ideas that you could add? I would love to hear them! Please add a comment below...