Easter 5C

Acts 11:1-18

Psalm 148

Revelation 21:1-6

John 13:31-35


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



Gathering


Behold, behold I make all things new (WGRG) is a great short song to use when Revelation 21 is featured, as it is simple to teach in two parts and can be a good way to “top and tail” the service. Christ is made the sure foundation (CH 200 / MP 73) and Creation sings the Father’s song (MP 1268 / CCLI / Getty) are some good opening hymns which could also link to this text while Let us build a house where love can dwell (CH 198) (omitting v3 if not celebrating communion) would be an option if you are focusing on Acts and Glory be to God the Father (CH 110) would link well to the Gospel.


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


This week’s psalm has settings in a full range of styles. The Lord of heaven confess (CH 104) is a straightforward metrical setting, Glory to God above (CH 105) is a lively Wild Goose original with some simple harmony parts, All you works of God (CH 151) has a bright chorus and then some call and response in the verses, while Let Creation Sing (CCLI) would suit those looking for a worship song. Nyanyikanlah / Hallelujah! Sing praise to your creator (PFAS 148E / GSW 5) is a lively song from Indonesia which would be well suited to percussion accompaniment.



Response


A new commandment (MP 1) an obvious option for the Gospel while the simple Taizé chant Ubi caritas (CH 801) is another well known song to consider. All the room was hushed and still (Love each other) (CCLI) starts with the verses just before this reading but the main chorus focuses on Jesus’ words in v34. We are one in the Spirit (Hymnary) also links well to the final verse with its refrain of “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love”.


With the passage from Acts you could look at the inclusion of all believers with songs such as In Christ there is no east or west (CH 624 / MP 329) with it’s message of “one great fellowship of love” Together (link), or the lively Draw the circle wide (MV 145 / link), while Make us one (CCLI) and A house united (CCLI) are worship songs which could link to this theme. If you want to think about the end of the passage then He came down that we may have love (CH 359), Spirit of the living God (CH 619 / MP 613) or Spirit fall (CCLI) are worth considering.


This passage from Revelation has inspired songwriters in many genres so inevitably there will be some great songs missed out here! The verses about the new Jerusalem link to some classic hymns such as Glorious things of thee are spoken (CH 738 / MP 173) and Jerusalem the golden (CH 747) while Soon and very soon (CH 749) is a good option for a focus on v4. There are a number of contemporary hymns inspired by this text including Then I saw a new heaven and earth (MP 669 / Jubilate), Free us, God, from past mistakes (GIA) and In God alone (OCP), which is based on music from a Spanish hymn (CH 258). There are also some worship songs which can be considered such as I am making all things new (Kimbrough), We shall all be changed (New Scottish) and Singing Hallelujah (CCLI / Townend).



Sending


Sing a new world into being (GIA) would be a great song to finish with, picking up themes from Acts and Revelation. As well as the original tune it can also be sung to Ode to Joy. We sing a love that sets all people free (CH 622) could be good sending another option for Acts while other songs which link to Revelation include classic hymns Love divine, all loves excelling (CH 519 / MP 449) and ‘Thy kingdom come!’ - on bended knee (CH 473) or Canticle of the turning (WGRG / PFAS 75B / MV 120) which is a loose paraphrase of the Magnificat. The tune should be well known and the chorus has a particular resonance with the phrase “the world is about to turn”. As mentioned at the start, you could also consider using Behold, behold I make all things new (WGRG) to top and tail the service.


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