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Proper 10B

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


We find praise to God, the ruler over all creation, as a running theme in the readings today and a good place to begin our worship. Psalm 24 in particular can offer us inspiration with songs such as Lift up your heads, eternal gates (CH 289), Come and Worship Christ the King (Resound) and For your glory (CCLI) which also links to the theme of dancing. Other more general songs you could consider are God, we praise you. God, we bless you (CH 120), Let all the world in every corner sing (CH 122 / MP 404), The Lord is King lift up your voice (CH 129 / MP 656) and The earth is yours (CCLI).


Lift up the gates eternal (CH 20) is a wonderfully upbeat setting of the psalm set to an Israeli folk melody which could be accompanied by anything from organ to band. The King of glory (CCLI / Getty) also takes inspiration from Middle Eastern musical styles and the words give a Christological interpretation. There are two excellent settings from the Scottish Paraphrases but each only use half the psalm, with The earth belongs to God alone (CH 18) setting vv.1-6 and Ye gates, lift up your heads on high (CH 19) setting vv.7-10. For a more reflective take We long to see you (Kimbrough) is a beautiful short chorus, which can also be very appropriately used before Scripture readings.


In halls of wealth and power (Carolyn) is one of the few hymns which focuses on the death of John the Baptist from today’s Gospel passage, although you could also use Wild and lone the prophet’s voice (STF 189 / Hope) which focuses on the message which John preached throughout his life and which Herod was perplexed by. One possible angle would be to use a song such as Pray for the church, afflicted and oppressed (Hope) to look at the persecution of Christians, or God of freedom, God of justice (CH 263) which relates this to Christ’s experience. For something really challenging you could use We turn to God when we are sorely pressed (CH 393) which is based on a poem written by Bonhoeffer when he was in prison. You could also look at the example saints like John set to us in Rejoice in God’s saints (CH 742) which explores the many ways they gave their lives for God.

There is dancing in both the Gospel and the Old Testament but for very different reasons. Round and round we move again (GIA) talks about different Biblical celebrations, including David’s “leaping and singing for joy”, while Teach me to dance (MP 936 / CCLI) and Dance for joy (WGRG) also links to this. Other songs about dancing and singing in praise of God would work well and even better are songs which also get people moving! Jesus put this song into our hearts (CH 692 / MP 376) will be an old favourite for many while You are good (CCLI) and God’s great dance floor (CCLI) are more recent worship songs. There are some great songs from around the world such as Cantai ao Senhor / Let’s sing to the Lord (CH 126) from Brazil, Halle, halle, halle (CH 345) from the Caribbean or Re Ya Mathematha (WGRG) from South Africa, which is also very appropriate because it’s about returning to Jerusalem.

There is a lot to unpack in the Epistle and God of every gift in heaven (GIA) could be useful as it is specifically based on it and sung to the fairly well known tune Nettleton. Other options are probably fairly familiar songs which pick up some of the bigger themes such as Loving Creator, grant to your children (CH 116), The Church’s one foundation (CH 739 / MP 640), Who you say we are (CCLI) and Amazing grace (CH 555 / MP 31) or it’s popular alternative version Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (MP 1151 / CCLI).


Depending on the reading you have focused on you may want to finish with some of the songs suggested for them in the ‘Response’ section. Otherwise, you can also use general songs in praise of God and the coming of the kingdom including classic hymns such as To God be the glory (CH 512 / MP 708) and Love divine, all loves excelling (CH 519 / MP 449), worship songs like There's nothing that our God can't do (CCLI) and Hear the call of the kingdom (MP 1282 / CCLI / Getty) or lively choruses like Sizohamba naye / We will walk with God (CH 803) from Swaziland.

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