• Iain McLarty

Easter 3B

Acts 3:12-19

Psalm 4

1 John 3:1-7

Luke 24:36b-48


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. Another option is to pick up some of the themes from the Epistle around love and being children of God with songs like You love awakens me (CCLI), Let us build a house where love can dwell (CH 198) and God is love: let heaven adore him (CH 123).



Word


O God, defender of the poor (Jubilate) is probably the most accessible metrical version of the psalm and can be sung to Brother James’ Air. O righteous Lord who set me right (CH 2) is a lovely jazzy setting with a great synergy between music and lyrics but is probably more suited to a soloist than a congregation so you might want to consider an alternative tune such as O waly waly. Have mercy, Lord (Hymnary) would be a good option for a responsorial setting while O Lord hear my prayer (MP 908 / Hymnary) could be a more generic response.



Response


The Gospel passage is similar to last week, but with less focus on the doubt, and you could again consider songs linking to the words Jesus speaks to his disciples. Listen to the words (Peace be with you) (Resound) is a really simple call and response using the words of Jesus in v21 and you could also link into this using a blessing song such as The peace of the earth be with you (CH 798) or May you find peace (Fischy). He lives (CCLI) talks about seeing and touching Jesus’ scars while Listening God, you hear us when we cannot speak (STF 524) and Now the green blade riseth (CH 417) both reference the touch of Christ as important in times of trouble and are both set to the same well known tune. Christ has risen while earth slumbers (CH 430) is a good Easter season song and has a specific reference to the disciples in the upper room.


Behold the amazing gift of love (CH 478) is a paraphrase of vv.1-3 of the Epistle so would be a good option to sing either if you have focused on this reading or else as a way to include it in the service to complement a focus on other readings. Being children of God is a strong theme in recent worship songs such as Who you say we are (CCLI), Children of God (CCLI) and No longer slaves (CCLI). The latter is worth mentioning as it’s a popular song which fits well with the theme but you have to shift the key a long way from the original version to make it singable for a congregation. Loving Creator, grant to your children (CH 116) also picks up this theme and v2 ties it nicely into the Easter season. Purify my heart (Refiner’s fire) (MP 921 / CCLI) connects to the language in v3 while Jesus Christ - Perfect Love (STF 325) and Come, let us seek our God’s protection (CH 487) both fit into the general themes of the reading.


The passage from Acts would fit with many very general Easter songs. Father of heaven, whose love profound (CH 483 / MP 827) would capture both the call to repent and the importance of the name of God that we find in Acts. How deep the Father’s love for us (CH 549 / MP 988 / Townend) would give a personal response to the former theme while O Praise The Name (Anástasis) (CCLI) and To the name of our salvation (CH 471) would also pick up the latter.



Sending


Crown him with many crowns (CH 459 / MP 109) can be seen as more of an Ascension hymn but it’s rooted in the Easter story with v3 in particular tying in with this week’s Gospel (“Behold his hands and side”). Christ is risen (CCLI) is a good general Easter song but also has mention of “I’ll see your scars” in v3 while Christ is risen he is risen indeed (CCLI / Getty) has a joyful folky feel as it explores the disciples moving from fear to faith after meeting the risen Christ. O for a thousand tongues, to sing (CH 352 / MP 496), How great thou art (CH 154 / MP 506), Send out the gospel! Let it sound (CH 681) or Because he lives (CCLI) would work well as final songs which focus on Christ dying for our sin but which have a forward looking conclusion.


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