Hymns, songs and carols

The church's music today is a gloriously wide, rich and continuous spectrum both of musical styles and of literary types; the text of a particular item might tempt us to label it (say) a "hymn", but a modern music style partnering it might suggest "worship song".

The material here generally uses substantial, structured texts. But the music is across a wide range of styles. So to circumvent misplaced preconceptions, labels such as "hymn" and "worship song" are avoided.

See also the main list of psalms and the songs for solo and group use, several of which may be used congregationally.

The settings include the text, sometimes by other copyright owners. Some have kindly agreed for their material to be available here; in such cases the PDF link asks you to note, accept and abide by their copyright.

Text Score Audio Example Occasions Comments
Texts by David Lee (1956– )
O magnify the Lord with me (I will bless the Lord at all times) PDF MP3     From Psalm 34
Let the peoples praise you (God of mercy) PDF MP3     From Psalm 67
How lovely is your dwelling place PDF MP3     From Psalm 84
Come let us sing for joy to the Lord PDF MP3     From Psalm 95
I give you thanks PDF MP3     From Psalm 138. Subconscious borrowing from Rachmaninov who had in turn…
God indeed is my deliverer PDF MP3     From Isaiah 12: 2-6, and coloured with the liturgical (also Isaiah) Sanctus (Holy, holy, holy) text.
You were in the form of God PDF MP3     From Philippians 2: 5-11. Published: Worship Live, Stainer & Bell, Autumn 2003
Great and wonderful are your deeds and works PDF MP3 MP3
  From Revelation 15: 3-4. Published: Spring Harvest 2004 songbook[2]
Texts by Timothy Dudley-Smith (1926– )
As water to the thirsty PDF MP3   General, communion  
Be present, Spirit of the Lord PDF MIDI   Pentecost Tune style: classical.
Be present, Spirit of the Lord PDF MP3 Video[3] Pentecost Tune style: jazz.
Bless the Lord as day departs PDF MP3   Evening Tune may be used classically or as a song.
Choirs of angels, tell abroad PDF MIDI   Christmas  
Come and see where Jesus lay PDF (E♭/G♭)
MP3 (E♭/G♭)
MP3 (D/F)
  Easter Either congregational or solo/group introit.
Come now with awe PDF MP3   Christmas, Epiphany Written because a suggested Finlandia pairing seems unconvincing. There is also a choir setting of this text to a different tune.
Come worship God Most High PDF MP3   General Based on the Te Deum
From the night of ages waking PDF MP3 Video[1] Easter, general Setting written for St. Paul's, Haswell, Co. Durham: church extension.
Give thanks to God on high PDF (SATB)
PDF (unison)
MIDI (unison)
  Dedication, saints days  
God is King! The Lord is reigning PDF MP3     Based on Psalm 93.
Here is the centre PDF MIDI   Christmas, Epiphany  
Here on the threshold of a new beginning PDF MP3   Renewal; anniversary; dedication For Revd. Stephanie Watson and parishes of Chilton and Cornforth, Co. Durham.
How silent waits the listening earth PDF MIDI   Christmas  
In our darkness light has shone, Alleluia! PDF MP3   Christmas Optional descant.
O God whose thoughts are not as ours PDF MIDI     Descant included.
Our God and Father bless PDF MP3     Based on Benedictus. Published: Psalms for All Seasons[4]
Rejoice in God, my heart PDF MP3     Based on Psalm 111
Soft the evening shadows fall PDF MIDI   Christmas Optional double descants. Published: The Carol Book[5]
The heavens are singing PDF MIDI     Based on Isaiah 44 and 55
The light of glory breaks PDF MIDI   Christmas  
This day above all days PDF MIDI   Easter, general  
To Christ our King PDF MP3 Video[1]   Setting written to celebrate the marriage of Mark Pritchard and Jan Bigland.
We believe in God the Father PDF MP3 Video[1] Common Worship metrical (8 7 8 7 D) version of the creed. This setting, with optional descant, has a music-group bias. Tune: Hill Meadows. Was scheduled for publication in Music for Common Worship, RSCM, Autumn 2000.
We believe in God the Father PDF MP3   See comments above. This setting of the text is hymn-like, with optional descant. Tune: Finchale Priory. Tune in top 16 of St. Paul's Cathedral Millennium Hymn Competition, 1999.
With all who in this hallowed place PDF MIDI   Dedication, renewal Tune: Nevilles Cross. Commissioned by St John's Church, Nevilles Cross, Durham, for centenary (1996). Published in
  • High Days and Holy Days.[6]
  • Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7]
Texts by Brian Wren (1936– )
Christ is risen! via email MIDI   Easter.  
Ever-journeying Friend via email MIDI   Meeting for worship; commitment, baptism, confirmation. Setting written to celebrate the baptism of Daniel Lee.
To Christ our hearts now given via email MIDI   Meeting for worship; moving on, departure. Setting written to mark the move of Revd. Michael Rusk from Durham to Leicester.
We are your people via email MIDI      
Texts by Martin Leckebusch (1962– )
As we meet in your presence PDF MP3   Dedication, mission, preaching, Bible Words and music written for the re-ordering of St. John's, Nevilles Cross.
Christ is our freedom via email MIDI   Baptism Setting written to celebrate the baptism of Jamie Song.
For riches of salvation via email MIDI      
How are we to sing our songs to you? PDF MIDI   Trouble, sorrow, lament, terrorism, natural disaster. Has been used in response to Asian tsunami of December 2004 and during services following the London bombings of July 2005. Published: Worship Live, Stainer & Bell, Autumn 2005
You have won me with a love via email MIDI     Setting written to celebrate the wedding of Ken Chamberlain and Anne Ridley.
Texts by Kate Bluett
Behold! The night is dark (Advent Journey) PDF MP3   Advent  
Beneath the surface there's a seed (The ages-endless love of God) PDF MP3   Hope  
Hosanna! (When horse and chariot sink into the sea) PDF MP3   Palm Sunday  
O Father, grower of the vine PDF MP3     Based directly on John 15:1-8 ("I am the true vine...")
Say when will you restore us, Lord? (Ascension) PDF MP3   Ascension Although we tend to view the Ascension as glorious, what might the disciples at the event have thought? This unusual text is deeply rooted in Acts 1:1–11, taking as its basis their uncertainty, bewilderment and sense of abandonment.
We work the soil PDF MP3   Workplace and worship  
You, who walked the city streets and highways PDF MP3      
Texts by Rosalind Brown
O God of feast and festival PDF     Eucharist, hospitality, service.  
Texts by Michael Sadgrove (1950– )
Great Lord and God Score
MP3   Marriage. Tune: Archery Rise. Words and music written to celebrate the wedding of Rachel Firth and Andrew Watson.
Texts by Richard of Chichester (1197–1253)
Day by day, dear Lord PDF   Video   Tune: Lindors. Published in Singing the Faith.[8]
Texts by Reginald Heber (1783–1826)
Holy, holy, holy! PDF     Trinity, General For churches who prefer the music of hymns to be "re-tuned" in modern styles
Texts by George Herbert (1593–1633)
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life (The Call) PDF MP3   General  
Texts by Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)
Earth was waiting, spent and restless PDF MP3   Advent, Christmas, Candlemas. Tune: Travail. An unusually dark Christmas text; a useful antidote to some simplistic saccharine carols.
Texts by Andrew Pratt (1948– )
In the beginning God played with the planets © S&B   Video Creation; environment. Published in
Long ago God spoke to people © S&B       Published: Sound Bytes[9]
We come by many different paths © S&B MIDI   Diversity, unity. Written for St. John's and St. Margaret's, Durham. Available to CCLI holders via email. All other enquiries to Stainer & Bell.
What if the Babel consequence © S&B MIDI   Churches, computers and I.T. Written for Revd. Stoker Wilson as Durham Diocesan I.T. Adviser. Available to CCLI holders via email. All other enquiries to Stainer & Bell.
Texts by Michael Perry (1942–1996)
Heal me, hands of God via email       There is also an unaccompanied choral setting.
Be gracious to me, Lord via email MIDI     From Psalm 57. Tune flexible for leading traditionally (organ, SATB) or with music-group.
Texts by Marjorie Dobson (1940– )
A rich young man came seeking © S&B   Video[10]   Tune: Redhills. Published in Singing the Faith.[8]
Texts by John Bennett (1920–1991)
So free, so bright PDF MIDI   Pentecost  
Texts by Isaac Watts (1674–1748)
Bless, O my soul, the living God PDF MP3     Psalm 103. Tune: Wharton Park; published in In Melody and Songs.[11]
From deep distress and troubled thought PDF MP3     Psalm 130. Tune: Coniscliffe; published in In Melody and Songs.[11]
O bless the Lord, my soul PDF MP3     Psalm 103. Tune: Kingsgate Bridge; published in In Melody and Songs.[11]
Your mercies fill the earth, O Lord PDF MP3     Psalm 119. Tune: Clayport Gate; published in In Melody and Songs.[11]
Texts by Charles Wesley (1707–1788)
Author of life divine PDF MP3
MP3 (organ)
Come, thou long-expected Jesus PDF MIDI   Advent, general. Tune: Hill Meadows published in Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7] A brighter, more positive, tune than the more usual Cross of Jesus.
He loved, and gave himself for me PDF MIDI   Passiontide, Holy Week, Good Friday Tune: Consicliffe published in Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7]
Jesus, the name high over all PDF MIDI     Tune: Whitwell published in Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7]
O for a heart to praise my God PDF MIDI   Forgiveness, grace. Tune: Nevilles Cross published in Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7]
Thou, Lord, art rich in grace to all PDF MIDI     Tune: Nevilles Cross published in Wesley Music for the Millennium.[7]
Texts by Martin Luther (1483–1546)
May God bestow on us his grace PDF MP3 Video[12]   Tune: Elvet Banks published in Lutheran Service Book.[13]
To Jordan came the Christ, our Lord PDF MP3 Video[12]   Tune: Elvet Banks published in Lutheran Service Book.[13]

[1] Recording courtesy of Sam and Paula Denyer, St. Cuthbert's, Wells, Somerset

[2] Spring Harvest 2004 songbook, 2004, ISBN 978-1899-788484

[3] Recording gladly provided by First United Methodist Church of Midland, Michigan, USA

[4] Psalms for All Seasons, 2012, ISBN 978-1-59255-444-7

[5] The Carol Book, RSCM, 2005, ISBN 979-0570180639

[6] High Days and Holy Days, Canterbury Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-85311-819-7

[7] Wesley Music for the Millennium

[8] Singing the Faith, 2011, Methodist Church, ISBN 978-184825067-3

[9] Sound Bytes songbook, Stainer & Bell, 1999, ISBN 978-0852498569

[10] Recording courtesy of Victoria Methodist Church, Bristol

[11] In Melody and Songs: Hymns from the Psalm Versions of Isaac Watts, 2014, ISBN 978-1889079592

[12] Recording courtesy of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, USA

[13] Lutheran Service Book, 2006, ISBN 978-0-7586-1217-5