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Proper 8C / 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

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


There is no obvious gathering text so since we are still in the weeks following Pentecost it could make sense to gather with songs which call for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Come down, O love divine (CH 489 / MP 89) would be a classic opening hymn for this season while Spirit of truth and grace (CH 608) is a great alternative text to the same tune and Be still for the presence of the Lord (CH 189 / MP 50) would be a popular contemporary hymn. Holy Spirit (CCLI) or Fresh wind (CCLI) are well known worship songs on this theme while Breath of God (Common) is a good alternative to consider which would be very simple to pick up. You could also consider some shorter songs such as the round Jesus lead us to the Father (Resound), Come, Holy Spirit, descend on us (CH 589 / MP 818) and Come, come, O Holy Spirit / Ven, Espíritu Santo (GSW 24).


There are relatively few settings of Psalm 77 but two options by John Bell, In complete desperation (PFAS 77B / GIA) and I cried aloud to God (WGRG), the latter set to a tune of lament by the 19th century Hawaiian Queen Lili’ Uokalami. Through relentless doubt and turmoil (Jubilate) is an alternative metrical option while I cried aloud to God (CH 49) is a straightforward responsorial setting.


Songs about the call to follow Jesus would link well to the Gospel, particularly where they acknowledge that this involves leaving things behind and not looking back. Will you come and follow me (CH 533) and Lord, you have come to the seashore (CH 532) have both become modern classics while Who would true valour see (CH 535 / MP 224) is an older classic hymn to consider. Hamba nathi / Come with me (WGRG) and Ewe thina / We walk his way (WGRG) are two songs from South Africa which can also lend themselves to the physical movement of walking on the journey. I will follow (CCLI) or Jesus you have called us (Resound) are good options for worship bands.

The Epistle covers a lot of ground this week. Two popular African songs jump straight to mind for the opening verses - Freedom is coming (Hymnary / WGRG / link) and Stand O stand firm (WGRG) while A new commandment (MP 1), Brother, sister, let me serve you (CH 694 / MP 1261) and the simple Taizé chant Ubi caritas (CH 801) would link well to vv.14-15. There are surprisingly few songs about the fruit of the Spirit but The fruit of the Spirit (Carolyn) would allow a focus on this while He came down that we may have love (CH 359) covers the first fruits of the Spirit and there are also references in Holy Spirit, living breath of God (MP 1183 / CCLI / Getty). There are many songs which could link to the general theme of living and being guided by the Spirit but a few to consider are The Spirit lives to set us free (MP 664), the wonderful Tanzanian song Gracious Spirit, hear our pleading (CH 613), or the simple three part round Spirit of God (Resound).

There are a number of Spirituals which are inspired by this Old Testament story, of which Swing low, sweet chariot (Hymnary) is probably the most singable for congregations. God of the prophets (Hymnary) would give a focus on Elisha picking up the mantle of Elijah.


The readings all have a sense of being called to follow God and so you could end with songs where we dedicate ourselves to this like the classic hymns O Jesus, I have promised (CH 644 / MP 501) and I, the Lord of sea and sky (CH 251), lively choruses such as Ewe thina / We walk his way (WGRG) from South Africa and Sent by the Lord am I (CH 250) from Nicaragua, or worship songs such as Free amen (CCLI) and Freedom (CCLI).

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