A few of My Favorite Contemporary Song Choices for the Church Year
For Advent, we play “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel”
For Christmas, we play “Joy to the World”
For Palm Sunday, we play “All Glory Laud and Honor”
For Easter, we play “Christ, the Lord is Risen Today”
For Trinity, we play “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty”
For Reformation, we play “A Mighty Fortress”
For Thanksgiving, we play ”Now Thank We All Are God”
For Saint’s Triumphant, we play “For All the Saints”
These are all no-brainers; but what about some contemporary “stand-bys”? Not so easy. Here’s some help:
Advent: “El Shaddai”* by Michael Card or “Light One Candle”*(B) by Natalie Sleeth
Christmas: stick with Carols and Hymns because that’s what people like and expect to sing.
Epiphany: “One Small Child”*(L) by David Meece or “A Joy Has Dawned”* by Keith Getty or “All Hail King Jesus”*(B) by Dave Moody
Ash Wednesday: “At the Foot of the Cross (Ashes to Beauty)” (1) by Kathryn Scott
Lent: “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”* by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, or “Amazing Love”*(B) by Graham Kendrick, or “Above All”*(B) by Paul Baloche and Lenny LeBlanc or “Once Again”*(B) by Matt Redman or “On My Cross” (1) by Jeremy Diebler or “the Power of the Cross”* by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty or “the Coloring Song”*(L) by David Eden
Palm Sunday: “He is Exalted”*(L) by Twila Paris or “We Bow Down”*(B) by Twila Paris
Easter: “Celebrate Jesus”*(B) by Gary Oliver or “On the Thrid Day” (1) by Matt Maher & Marc Byrd, or “Resurrection Hymn”* by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend or “Happy Day” (1) by Tim Hughes
Trinity:“Glorify Thy Name*(B)(L)” by Donna Adkins, or “Father, I Adore You”*(L) by Terry Coehlo, or “Our God Saves” (1) by Paul Baloche, or “Song of Love” (1) by Rebecca St. James
Ascension: “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High” *(B) by Rick Founds
Pentecost: “Holy Spirit” * by Keith Getty or “Shine, Jesus Shine” *(B)(L) by Graham Kendrick or “Revival Fire Fall” *(B) by Paul Baloche
Reformation: don’t do it! J
Thanksgiving: “Give Thanks” *(B)(L) by Henry Smith, or “Forever” (1) by Chris Tomlin
End Times: “Days of Elijah”* by Robin Mark or “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” *(B) by Martin Smith
Mission Festival or Friendship Evangelism: “Shout to the North”*(B) by Martin Smith or “We Speak to Nations” (1) by Israel Houghton, or “Here I Am, Lord”*(B) by Daniel Schutte, or “Pass it On”*(L) by Kurt Kaiser, or “People Need the Lord”*(L) by Phill McHugh and Greg Neslon
Baptisms: “Father Welcomes”*(B)(L) by Robin Mann
Communion: “What is This Bread”*(B) by Jean Neuhauser Baue
Stewardship Sunday: “the Heart of Worship”*(B) by Matt Redman, or “Offering” (1) by Paul Baloche, or “You Are” (1) by Mark Roach
Contemporary Arrangements of hymns: “Amazing Grace – My Chains are Gone” (1) by Chris Tomlin, or “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – the Wonderful Cross” * by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, or “Take My Life and Let it Be”* by Chris Tomlin
Call to Worship: “Here I Am to Worship”* by Tim Hughes
I’d also like to mention two versatile songs that can be used on a number of occasions: “In Christ Alone”* by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend and “Shine Jesus Shine”*(B)(L) by Graham Kendrick.
And finally, I am a fan of responsive songs. Two of my favorites are “Victory Chant”*(B) by Joseph Vogels and “Lord Most High”*(B) by Don Harris and Gary Sadler. I like responsive songs because the smallest children can sing along.
* = Congregational Friendly
(1) = Solo or praise band only
(B) = in the “Best of the Best” Songbook
(L) = in the LAPPY songbook
One final note, as a general rule, you can listen to most of these songs by going to http://www.youtube.com and searching on the title of the song enclosed in quotes.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have some favorites!