Easter 3C

Acts 9:1-6

Psalm 30

Revelation 5:11-14

John 21:1-19


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



Gathering


The psalm offers an appropriate call to worship as it encourages us to sing praises to God and promises that rejoicing will come in the morning. This can also link to Revelation with all of creation singing praise to God and the morning setting of the Gospel. Some well known songs that pick up these themes are Morning has broken (CH 212 / MP 467), Christ, whose glory fills the skies (CH 578 / MP 79) and 10,000 reasons (Bless the Lord) (CCLI / MP 1259). Some less well known songs worth considering are the wonderfully lively Today I awake (CH 211) and God of the Bible (Fresh as the morning) (MV 28) or Let his praise be on our lips (Satellite).


As suggested throughout the Easter season, 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


There are not many mainstream settings of Psalm 30 but there are a lot of interesting settings in a huge variety of styles. Lord, you can turn all mourning into dancing (WGRG) is a simple short song inspired by vv.5 and 11 which could be picked up quickly and sung in parts, potentially used for a responsorial reading. Sing to God, that all may hear you (Scheer) and I will sing your mercies (Grace) are metrical settings, with the former being more comfortable for those used to classic hymnody while the latter has a bit of a Musical Theatre feel. Thirty (CCLI) and From death (New Scottish) are both from worship song writers but each have a distinctive musical sound. O choro pode durar / My weeping and my deep sorrow (PFAS 30D / GP 2) from Brazil would be great fun with lots of percussion and probably be best introduced responsorially, with the congregation singing the chorus and a soloist or choir singing the verses.



Response


The call to follow Christ is common to both the Gospel and Epistle today and while I often think Will you come and follow me (CH 533) is oversung it would be very appropriate here while Jesus you have called us (Resound) could offer an alternative on a similar theme. The miraculous catch (WGRG) tells the story of the Gospel while the spiritual You hear the lambs a-cryin (CH 435) links to Jesus’ conversation with Peter and is easy to pick up because of its call and response style. Dear Lord and Father of mankind (CH 485 / MP 111) or Lord, you have come to the seashore (CH 532) would also both link as they mention the call to the disciples by the sea. Amazing grace (CH 555 / MP 31) or its popular Chris Tomlin version Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (MP 1151 / CCLI) is the most obvious song to link to Acts with its background story of the writer’s conversion experience.


Hark how the adoring hosts above (CH 744) is a paraphrase of the passage from Revelation while the first verse of Blessing and honour and glory and power (CH 441) also takes this passage as its starting point. There are also some well known songs which can tie this passage well into the post-Easter period such as Crown him with many crowns (CH 459 / MP 109), Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim (CH 130 / MP 784) and Worthy is the lamb (MP 1109 / CCLI). You could also consider the fabulous American folk hymn What Wondrous Love Is This (CH 395) or Heaven opened to Isaiah (GSW 6) from Rwanda which links this passage to Isaiah 6.



Sending


What Wondrous Love Is This (CH 395) would be a great song to finish on, suggested above for linking to Revelation but it is a good general post-Easter hymn and could also link to the conversion of Saul. This is amazing grace (CCLI) would be a good option for bands which can also link to various passages and concludes with words taken from Revelation. Other songs to consider are ones which link to Christ’s call such as the classic hymns For my sake and the gospel’s, go (CH 248) and Go to the world! Go into all the earth (CH 683), the contemporary hymn Christ is risen he is risen indeed (CCLI / Getty) with its joyful folky feel, or the worship song Mission’s Flame (CCLI).


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