Updated: Oct 4, 2022
You can find a YouTube playlist here with many of the songs suggested below.
The Epistle speaks of all being one in Christ regardless of our differences so you could begin by offering everyone an open invitation to join in worship together with a great range of well-known contemporary hymns you could use including Here in this place / Gather us in (CH 623), Let us build a house (CH 198), For everyone born a place at the table (CH 685) and Jesus calls us here to meet him (CH 510). One church, one voice (Satellite) and All are welcome (OCP) would both be great for bands and have easy but catchy choruses which congregations should pick up quickly, the latter being a great alternative to “Let us build a house”.
We are presented with two psalms today and there are options for singing them either together or separately.
As the deer (Scheer / PFAS 42B) does a good job of capturing both psalms without becoming overly complicated. As the deer longs for running streams (CH 33) is another good option for this although probably requires a soloist or choir to lead the verses.
There are options in a huge range of styles for Psalm 42. As pants the hart for cooling streams (CH 32) and Just as a lost and thirsty deer (WGRG1 / WGRG2) are both good metrical options, with the latter having both an original tune or the suggestion of singing to O waly waly. The thirsty deer longs for the streams (STF 514 / GP1 / MV 116) is a much more upbeat version from Trinidad and Tobago. O God, for you I long (OCP) and Why so downcast, O my soul? (Jubilate) are both more reflective and move the focus away beyond just the first verse.
O send thy light forth and thy truth (CH 34 / CH 35) is a setting of Psalm 43 from the Scottish Psalter and possibly one of the best known with two wonderful tunes to choose from. Send out your light, Lord, send your truth (WGRG) is a short chant which could be used for a responsorial reading.
Cast out, O Christ, cast far away (GIA) is directly based on the Gospel story while you could also consider songs which pick up healing more generally. When Jesus the healer (CH 350) is a lively song which looks at many different stories of healing in the Gospels while Jesus Christ is waiting (CH 360) has verses about different aspects of Jesus’ ministry including one about healing. Lord of life, we come to you (CH 782), O Christ the healer we have come (CH 717) and We cannot measure how you heal (CH 718) turn the focus onto our prayers for healing in ourselves and people we know. Worship songs speaking about healing was a bit of a gap but some more recent ones have focused more on this including Miracles (CCLI), God with us (CCLI) and Impossible things (CCLI).
Many of the songs suggested for Gathering would link to the Epistle while In Christ there is no east or west (CH 624 / MP 329) is a classic hymn to consider with it’s message of “one great fellowship of love.” You can find songs in many styles on the theme of unity and diversity which could fit here including contemporary hymns such as Spirit of love, you move within creation (CH 618), Who is my mother, who is my brother? (MV 178 / GIA / Hope / Hymnary) which has various tunes to choose from, or the lively Draw the circle wide (MV 145 / link). Some worship songs to consider include We are one in the Father’s love (CCLI), Make us one (CCLI) and A house united (CCLI).
Flowering broom tree (GIA) links directly to the Old Testament passage, picking up much of the story and set to a tune (Tenderness) that is quite widely known. Dear Lord and Father of mankind (CH 485 / MP 111) or Come, living God, when least expected (CH 609) are hymns which also link directly in particular verses. Songs which speak of hearing God in the silence are also worth considering such as Lord, you sometimes speak in wonders (CH 606), Come and find the quiet centre (CH 716) and Listen in the silence (Hymnary).
Having started with an invitation to all to worship together we can finish by celebrating the unity of the church through Christ. The Church’s one foundation (CH 739 / MP 640) would be a classic option for this while We are one in the Spirit (SGP 111) may be another old favourite for some that hasn’t made it into recent hymnbooks. God of freedom, God of justice (CH 263) and Son of God, eternal Saviour (CH 468) are other hymns to consider while Build your kingdom here (CCLI) and God of all comfort (Resound) are good worship song options and the themes of healing and justice could also link some of these songs to the Epistle.