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Proper 14B

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


General gathering songs which also pick up the theme of love from the Epistle would work well with options including classic hymns such as There’s a wideness in God’s mercy (CH 187 / MP 683) and Great God, your love has called us here (CH 484) and worship songs like My Jesus, my Saviour / Shout to the Lord (CH 531 / MP 1003 / CCLI), I could sing of Your love forever (CCLI) and Hallelujah / Your love is amazing (MP 1143 / CCLI). Some lesser well known options worth considering are God is love: let heaven adore him (CH 123) and I will sing a song of love (WGRG) which are both wonderfully lively and energetic.


There is a poignancy to the Scottish Paraphrase Lord, from the depths to thee I cried (CH 87) when sung to the tune Martyrdom which really suits the penitential psalm in today’s readings, especially if it is sung a cappella. Out of the depths (Grace) and In deep despair I cry to you (PFAS 130E / link) are metrical versions in more contemporary language set to well known tunes which capture a similar feel. For you, my God, I wait (PFAS 130G) has a lovely lilting original tune but it can also be sung to Southwell, the tune which Out of the direst depths (WGRG) is set to as well. Out of the depths (CCLI / Grace) is a worship song which effectively contrasts verses about times of despair and questioning with a chorus focusing on our hope and trust in God.


There are a few weeks in a row where the Gospel focuses on the theme of Jesus as the bread of life and Jesus the Lord said, I am the bread (MP 384) and Guide me, O thou great Jehovah (CH 167 / MP 201) would be some well known options which link to this. There are some great post-Vatican II communion songs which you could use such as Bread of life (CH 663), Jesus, you are the bread we long for (OCP) and You satisfy the hungry heart (CH 671) and if you’re not celebrating communion you can just use the chorus and/or selected verses. With a few weeks of the same theme there’s an opportunity to introduce something less familiar and repeat it and songs worth exploring include All who hunger, gather gladly (GIA) (which could also be sung to Holy Manna), Living bread (Resound), We come to hear your word (Resound) and The risen Christ (CCLI). There are also two songs from Asia I find interesting, Food for pilgrim people (GSW 50 / STB 290) with a beautiful yearning pentatonic melody, and Rice of life (STB 190 / GIA) which contextualises John 6 for countries where rice rather than bread is the staple food.

May the mind of Christ my Saviour (CH 536 / MP 463) would fit the reading from the Epistle well and is set in CH4 to a beautiful lilting melody. There is also a strong resonance with Ubi caritas (CH 801) or God is love, and where true love is (NEH 513) which is a hymn based on this text. Lord, make us servants of your peace (CH 527) and Make me a channel of your peace (CH 528 / MP 456) are both based on the Prayer of St Francis which would also relate. To be like you (CCLI) would link to the call in chapter 5 to “be imitators of God” while the call to be “as beloved children” could suggest songs such as I am a child of God (MV 157), Who you say we are (CCLI), Children of God (CCLI) and Loving Creator, grant to your children (CH 116).

David the king was grieved and moved (Hymnary) is one of the few songs about David weeping over the death of Absalom but it is best suited to a choir. Songs for funerals could be appropriate and a few for particular circumstances which link to the reading are worth considering. O Christ you wept when grief was raw (CH 734) links David’s weeping with a reminder that Jesus also wept when Lazarus had died. There is a place prepared for little children (CH 746) was written particularly to grieve for children while God give them peace (WGRG) was also written for untimely deaths.


Songs about God’s love could also work well for a sending song with Love divine, all loves excelling (CH 519 / MP 449), Through the love of God, our Saviour (CH 562) and We sing a love that sets all people free (CH 622) good options to classic hymn tunes and Magnificent, marvelous, matchless love (CCLI / Getty), Love came down (MP 1237 / CCLI), Build my life (CCLI) and We are one in the Father’s love (CCLI) some good contemporary options.

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