February 21 (Second Sunday in Lent). Our hymn, “Faith Is Patience in the Night,” captures the mood of Psalm 27 well. It is found in supplements, The Faith We Sing (Abingdon Press) and Sing the Faith (Geneva Press).
March 6 (Fourth Sunday in Lent). The “lost” parables from Luke offer a chance to include young children in the music leadership of worship. Singing the Stories of Jesus (Augsburg Fortress) has four songs based on Luke 15: “The Lost Sheep” (Luke 1-7), “The Lost Coin” (Luke 15:8-10), “The Lost Son” (Luke 11-32), and “A Father’s Glad Song” (Luke 15:22-24). This collection of biblically-based songs for children includes a CD with the songs sung by children. Another possibility for this Sunday is our hymn, “A Long-Lost Lamb” that is included in our collection, Time Now to Gather: New Hymns for the Church Family (Abingdon Press). It is also in the hymnal supplement, Voices Found (Church Publishing) set to another tune.
March 20 (Sixth Sunday in Lent, Palm/Passion Sunday). If you observe this day as Palm/Passion Sunday, consider including “We Sang Our Glad Hosannas,” either in the hymn format that appears in our collection, Time Now to Gather (Abingdon Press) or the hymnal supplements The Faith We Sing (Abingdon Press) and Sing the Faith (Geneva Press). A dramatic anthem setting was also published by Abingdon for combined children’s and SATB choirs with keyboard (#024099). Also, Singing the Stories of Jesus (see above) includes “Hosanna,” a song for young children, abased on Luke 19:29-38.
March 24 (Maundy Thursday). Stanzas 9-11 of our hymn, “Behold the Lamb of God,” alone or with “book-end” stanzas 1 and 14, would be appropriate for a Maundy Thursday service. The hymn is available in octavo format (#G-7715) or the supplement, Singing Our Savior’s Story (both GIA Publications, Inc.), or in the hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (Faith Alive Christian Resources). If you would like to involve children in the service, consider “The Last Supper,” from Singing the Stories of Jesus (see above).
March 25 (Good Friday). Stanza 12 or our hymn “Behold the Lamb of God” (see above) could be used with the “book-end” stanzas 1 and 14.
March 27 (Easter). Young children could sing “Alleluia!” from Singing the Stories of Jesus (see above) as an introit on Easter morning. The text of our hymn, “When It Seemed that Love Was Dying,” from our collection, Come Away With Me: A Collection of Original Hymns, (Abingdon Press) draws on Luke 24:1-12 and John 20:1-18, and is set to one of John’s most beautiful tunes.
April 17 (Fourth Sunday of Easter). Our hymn, “Good Shepherd, Our Leader, Provider, and Guide” from our collection, The Song Lingers On (Zimbel), is appropriate for Good Shepherd Sunday as it draws on images from both Psalm 23 and Jesus’ self-identification as the “Good Shepherd” in the Gospel of John. Another of our hymns, “When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise,” affirms that God “walks the shadowed way with us” in times of grief, also echoing images in Psalm 23. This hymn is included in The Faith We Sing (Abingdon Press) and Sing the Faith (Geneva Press) to the tune of KINGSFOLD, and is also in the hymnal, Community of Christ Sings (Herald Publishing House), to the tune of VOX DILECTI.
April 24 (Fifth Sunday of Easter). “Good Friends, Rejoice, Be Glad, and Sing” in The Song Lingers On (see above) was adapted from the final song in our musical, “On This Rock,” and is based on Acts 11:17-18.
May 1 (Sixth Sunday of Easter). If you are planning a spring musical with a broadly-graded or multigenerational cast, consider our, Paul & Co. (Choristers Guild #CGCo-29), for this Sunday or the next week. It tells the story of Paul’s visit to Philippi on his Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:35-16:30). Individual songs from the musical could also be used on these Sundays. An octavo setting of Psalm 67 for Unison and SATB choirs with piano, opt. flute, handbells, and congregation is available from Choristers Guild (#CGA589).
May 8 (Seventh Sunday of Easter). See above. If you need a hymn or anthem for Mother’s Day, “A Mother Lined a Basket” from our collection, Time Now to Gather (see above), is also included in the hymnal Community of Christ Sings (see above) and the supplements, The Faith We Sing and Sing the Faith (see above). An anthem setting entitled “Love Enough to Give “ for unison and SATB choirs with piano, opt congregation and flute, is available from Choristers Guild (#CGA808).
May 15 (Pentecost Sunday). If you want an anthem with wonderful sounds in the accompaniment, consider “Twelve Disciples in the Temple,” set to John’s arrangement of the Japanese gagaku melody, TOKYO, for unison/two part choirs with piano, congregation, and optional flute, handbells (3-4 octaves), suspended cymbal, gong, triangle, and wind chimes. It works for adult choirs as well as youth. If you schedule Confirmation on this Sunday, our hymn, “Joyful God of Youth and Children” from Faith that Lets Us Sing (see above) prays for the gifts of the Spirit upon those being confirmed. Mary’s granddaughter was confirmed a month after her florist father died, and Mary wrote the hymn for the class in his memory, using metaphors that would have been meaningful to him.
May 22 (Trinity Sunday). “God of Every Generation,” another hymn from Faith that Lets Us Sing (see above), addresses God as the Trinity in the first stanza, and asks God’s blessing on all the members of the congregation in their life together and mission in the world. It is also included in Community of Christ Sings (see above).