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Proper 28B / 25th Sunday after Pentecost

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


We can begin our worship by joining in Hannah’s song of praise as she says “My heart exults in the Lord”. In the presence of your people (CH 121 / MP 341) and Exalt the Lord our God (Satellite) would focus on the praise/exultation while Praise, I will praise you, Lord / Je louerai l’Éternel (CH 175), Here for you (CCLI) or Come now is the time to worship (CH 196 / MP 1040) would all resonate with the heart imagery. You could also consider The Lord is King lift up your voice (CH 129) or Come and worship Christ the King (Resound) which add in an extra movement towards next week when we celebrate the Reign of Christ.


It would be easy to substitute this Canticle for a Psalm but it’s worth searching out a setting to sing as otherwise we add to the problem where the songs of women are sidelined. My heart rejoices in our God (GIA) is a great option as it is set to the well known tune How can I keep from singing. Other options include None is holy like our God (GIA) and My soul is filled with joy (CCLI / Hymnary) which could be sung to Highwood as it has a suitable strength and shape to it. My soul rejoices in the Lord (Carolyn) gives an interesting perspective as it brings together the Song of Hannah and the Song of Mary (the Magnificat) which have many similarities.


Not the end (Gordon) is one of the few songs directly inspired by today’s Gospel passage so worth mentioning but perhaps not ideal for congregational singing. The sense that this is “the beginning of the birthpangs” could suggest songs such as Canticle of the turning (Wild Goose / PFAS 75B / MV 120) which also directly picks up Mark 13:2 in v.2 “not a stone will be left on stone”. The classic hymn My hope is built on nothing less (Hymnary) lets us respond that we won’t be led astray as Jesus warns us in Mark 13:5 but that we will stand “on Christ, the solid Rock” and that “all other ground is sinking sand”. There are also two great reworkings of this is the Kenyan song Kwake yesu nasimama (GSW 34 / GIA) or the popular worship song Cornerstone (CCLI).

These last three songs would also be options to link in with the Epistle along with songs which focus on what we gain from Jesus’ sacrifice such as How deep the Father’s love for us (CH 549 / MP 988 / Townend) and songs which focus on Jesus’ place in heaven such as The head that once was crowned with thorns (CH 438 / MP 647). You can also still consider suggestions from previous weeks such as Where high the heavenly temple stands (CH 451) and High Priest (CCLI).

For the Old Testament reading there are a number songs about women in the Bible which include specific reference to Hannah, such as There is a line of women (WGRG), sung to the Seven joys of Mary, God of the women (Carolyn) and For all the faithful women (Hymnary) while A mother lined a basket (Hymnary) specifically focuses on motherhood. There are suggestions above for settings of the Song of Hannah but you could also use songs inspired by the Magnificat such as My soul gives glory to my God (PFAS 1042 / Hymnary / link) or Tell out my soul (CH 286 / MP 631) given the similarities between them.


The readings are moving us towards the end of the Christian year and the celebration of the Reign of Christ and so it makes sense to finish with songs which also pick this up. Praise my soul, the King of heaven (CH 160 / MP 560) or The Lord ascendeth up on high (CH 440) are some classic hymns while Christ triumphant, ever reigning (CH 436 / MP 77) is a fabulous contemporary hymn. King of kings (CCLI) and All hail King Jesus (CCLI) are two popular songs for bands which could work while High in the heavens (Resound) is a less well-known option that’s also worth considering.

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