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Easter 3A


You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.



Gathering


We are still in the Easter season and seasonal songs are very appropriate for gathering such as Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to heaven and voices raise (CH 427), Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord (MP 30), The day of resurrection (CH 413), Great things (CCLI) and Praise the King (CCLI). If you used any of the more contemporary hymns on Easter Sunday such as Christ is alive, and the universe must celebrate (CH 422), Away with gloom, away with doubt (CH 418), Earth, earth, awake; your praises sing (CH 420) or Christ was raised (Resound) it could also be worth repeating them to help them become part of your congregation’s repertoire.



Word


The Psalm is the text for one of my favourite Gospel songs, I love the Lord, he heard my cry (PFAS 116C), setting a paraphrase by Isaac Watts. It might be familiar from a very elaborate version by Whitney Houston but you can hear a fairly straight version in the first verse here which can work congregationally. I love the Lord, because he heard (WGRG / WGRG) is featured in two different Wild Goose collections, one with a beautiful original tune and one with just the text and the suggestion of singing it to Martyrdom or Land of Rest. Unhelpfully for our purposes, the way the text of this psalm is split up in CH4 doesn’t match the lectionary. However, the two settings are the same metre and stress, so if you want to sing the verses from the lectionary you could add vv.1-3 of I love the Lord because he heard (CH 75) to the three verses of How can I ever thank the Lord (CH 76). You can then take your pick of either tune or alternatively use Kilmarnock which is suggested in the 1929 Scottish Psalter.




Response


On the journey to Emmaus (GIA) is a great song for reflecting on the Gospel and is sung to the Irish traditional tune Columcille while other options specifically linked to the story include As we walked home at close of day (WGRG) sung to Eisenach or Conditor Alme Siderum and Two companions journeyed homeward (Jubilate) sung to All Saints. Haven’t you heard that Jesus is risen (CH 433) explores a number of stories of Jesus appearing after the resurrection, including the journey to Emmaus while Now the green blade riseth (CH 417) can be a more general response on how the followers of Jesus are feeling post-Easter while I want Jesus to walk with me (CH 539) would link to the journey with Jesus.


The Epistle would suit devotional songs about our reliance on Christ with options including As the deer pants (CH 550) which would link to v.18 with its reference to “I want you more than gold of silver” or Just as I am, without one plea (CH 553 / MP 396) which would link to v.19 with the repeated call “O Lamb of God, I come”. Some more general options include Yet not I but through Christ in me (CCLI) and My hope is built on nothing less (MP 473 / Hymnary) alongside its two great reworkings - the Kenyan song Kwake yesu nasimama (GSW 34 / GIA) and the popular worship song Cornerstone (MP 1334 / CCLI).


There aren’t many songs which talk specifically about the early church and so Filled with the Spirit's power, with one accord (Hope / Hymnary) would be a good option for responding to Acts. You could also consider We know that Christ is raised and dies no more (CH 635) and When to the sacred font we came (CH 630) which link baptism, Easter and future promise or Every promise (CCLI / Getty) and Promises (CCLI) which can link to the promise to this and future generations in v.39.



Sending


Christ is risen he is risen indeed (CCLI / Getty) is a great song for the first few weeks of the Easter season as it explores the disciples meeting the risen Christ while Hamba nathi / Come with me (WGRG) and Ewe thina / We walk his way (WGRG) could also be interesting songs to use in relation to the Gospel as both link to the physical movement of walking on the journey. The growth of the church in Acts could suggest more missional songs such as As a fire is meant for burning (CH 252), The Church’s one foundation (CH 739 / MP 640) or Send out the gospel! Let it sound (CH 681). You could also consider some more generic well known songs about our devotion to the risen Christ such as O for a thousand tongues, to sing (CH 352 / MP 496), In Christ alone (MP 1072 / CCLI / Getty) or Yet not I but through Christ in me (CCLI).


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