I’ve always found it very successful to ‘mix it up’ on Easter- using a combination of both contemporary AND traditional hymns. Yes, there are so many wonderful ‘new’ songs that work well on Easter, but we can’t forget about the treasures we’ve sung for so many years as a church. It doesn’t mean they need to be played on the organ, but I think most assemblies would expect to hear ‘Jesus Christ Is Risen Today’ on Easter Sunday! And rightfully so.
I remember one year, a couple days after Easter Sunday, the music office received a letter from someone who was disappointed that we didn’t sing any songs with ‘Alleluia’ in them. They were right. We didn’t even realize it until then. Sure, we picked songs that were fitting and seemed appropriate, but we TOTALLY missed the boat on that. That has stuck with me ever since. So, get those ‘Alleluias’ in there!
We also sing an altered/edited version of my setting of ‘This Is the Day:Psalm 118.’ Basically, the assembly echoes every phrase of the Refrain, including the last. (‘and be glad…and be glad.’) For the verses, depending on the cantor/soloist, we might alter the melody toward the end of the verse to make it a bit easier. For ‘Let the house of Israel say:” we sing Bb-C-D-D-C-G-A. For ‘His love endures forever” we sing: A-B-C C-C-B-A-A-G A
Now for some song ideas…
Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith (Sony/ATV/CCLI) – lots of alleluias! (great as a post-communion praise song)
All Creatures of Our God and King (arr. Crowder) – lots of alleluias!
All Creatures of Our God and King – traditional – lots of alleluias!
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) by Giglio/Tomlin (worshiptogether.com)
Because He Lives by Matt Maher (various)
Happy Day by Hughes/Cantelon (worshiptogether.com)
Holy Is the Lord by Tomlin/Giglio (EMI/CCLI)
*I Am the Bread of Life by John Michael Talbot (Birdwing/CCLI) (from the collection Voices As One vol. 1)
Jesus Christ Is Risen Today arr. Lewis/Dente (spiritandsong.com) – lots of alleluias!
Jesus Christ Is Risen Today – traditional – lots of alleluias!
Jesus, Messiah by Reeves/Carson/Cash/Tomlin (worshiptogether.com)
Joyful, Joyful We Adore You (sung to the tune of ‘Alleluia, Sing to Jesus’)
Mighty to Save by Fielding/Morgan (worshiptogether.com)
No Greater Love by Asaad/Tomlin/Maher (worshiptogether.com)
Oh, Our Lord by Leonard/Jordan/Baloche (Integrity/EMI)
We Exalt Your Name by Jobe/Maher (EMI)
Ye Sons and Daughters arr. Josh Blakesley (spiritandsong.com)
* indicates instrumental parts available for these titles in the Voices As One series. All titles from this series have C and B-flat instrument parts. Select titles have Saxophone and Brass parts.
** available as an eBundle (contains various instrumentation depending on the specific title)