Updated: Oct 4, 2022
You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.
There is a broad theme in today’s readings of an urgent call to faith and you could begin with a call to praise God and the many things God has done with options in a range of styles including classic hymns such as O worship the King all glorious above (CH 127) and The Lord is King lift up your voice (CH 129 / MP 656), a contemporary classic in Come people of the risen King (MP 1267 / CCLI / Getty), or more recent worship songs such as High praise (CCLI) and Come and worship Christ the King (Resound).
God of hosts, you chose a vine (CH 51) is a solid choice for a metrical setting of the psalm while O Shepherd, hear and lead your flock (PFAS 80C / Hope / Hymnary) is another option set either to the tune used in North America for O Little town of Bethlehem or to a folk tune. If you are looking for an alternative tune which is better known then Forest Green would be an obvious choice but perhaps strange at this time of year so something like Coe Fen could be an option. Restore us again (PFAS 80A / link) would be easy to pick up and use responsorially while Shine on us (CCLI) is an option which focuses on just the repeated cry in the final verse of today’s reading (also in vv.3 and 7) rather than setting the whole psalm.
The Gospel can be a challenging reading and certainly it would be easier to find songs about peace and reconciliation than fire and judgement. You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd (CH 355) is a great song for exploring this as it unpacks some of these apparent contradictions while you can pick up Christ’s coming to bring fire with O thou who camest from above (CH 625 / MP 525) or God, whose purpose is to kindle (OCP), which can be sung to Holy Manna or Ode to Joy. Another angle is to look at the coming of God’s kingdom with ‘Thy kingdom come!’ - on bended knee (CH 473) or Mine eyes have seen the glory / Battle hymn of the republic (CH 476) which captures some of the urgency of this reading.
The Epistle is a continuation from last week and By faith (MP 1262 / CCLI / Getty) and Promises (CCLI) are worth considering again. Behold what witnesses unseen (CH 743) is a paraphrase based on the beginning of chapter 12 while Ye holy angels bright (CH 179 / MP 783), Glory to you, O God (CH 741) and For all the saints who showed your love (WGRG) sung to O waly waly would also explore the theme of those who have come before us. Fight the good fight (CH 517 / MP 143) picks up running “the race that is set before us” and the spiritual Guide my feet while I run this race (Hymnary / GP1) or Ahead of us a race to run (Hymnary) would be other options for focusing on that.
Most songs with vine imagery prefer to focus on John 15 but Exalted God, our shepherd (Jubilate) inspired by Psalm 80 and related passages including the reading from Isaiah. Judge eternal, throned in splendour (CH 264 / MP 395) would also link with its reference to purging the land.
The Epistle offers us the call to “run the race that is set before us” and we can pick up this theme in a range of styles from classic hymns such as Go to the world! Go into all the earth (CH 683), One more step along the world I go (CH 530 / MP 1346) or Lord, for the years (CH 159 / MP 428), more recent worship songs like Hear the call of the kingdom (MP 1282 / CCLI / Getty) and Mission’s Flame (CCLI) or Send us out (Resound), or songs from around the world such as Sent by the Lord am I (CH 250) from Central America and Murassala (WGRG / H 82) from South Sudan which calls on us all to be ambassadors of Jesus.