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Music Resources for Times of Anger and Grief

By Diana Sanchez-Bushong

Stock choir holding hands

One of our United Methodist agency partners, The General Board of Church and Society, recently proclaimed: “Systemic racism is sin. White supremacy is sin. Police brutality is sin. Silence is sin. As the fires of Pentecost birthed an equitable and diverse church, we pray for a new birth of justice around the world. Black lives matter.”

At Discipleship Ministries, we echo this prophetic declaration and continue this witness by sharing resources that might be helpful for congregations across the United States.

Music is our heart language. It expresses what we feel and think and gives voice to our troubled hearts. When we sing in community, virtually, or in-person, we offer music that can become a healing agent in the process of moving toward transformation. Listed below are hymns and songs for your personal and/or corporate time of prayer and devotion. Some of these pieces provide a moment to sit in brokenness and lament; while others supplement this time with an anticipative view of God’s inbreaking kingdom and kin-dom.

This is not an exhaustive resource, but it does provide a helpful starting place. Some of these resources are from our various United Methodist sources; others have been collated by our “CCLI Top 100 + Beyond” Vetting Team.

(Items in Bold indicate that the hymn or song includes a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) performing artist, composer, and/or arranger.)

Hymns

“There Is a Balm in Gilead.” 375, The United Methodist Hymnal

“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” 519, The United Methodist Hymnal

“Nobody Knows the Trouble I See,” 520, The United Methodist Hymnal

“Come Sunday,” 728, The United Methodist Hymnal

“Freedom Is Coming,” 2192, The Faith We Sing

“O Freedom,” 2194, The Faith We Sing

“Bring Forth the Kingdom,” 2190, The Faith We Sing

“Come Now, O Prince of Peace” (“O-So-So”), 2232, The Faith We Sing

“Come to the Water,” 3114, Worship & Song

“I Have a Dream,” 3127, Worship & Song

“Come Let Us Dream,” John Middleton

”I Need You to Survive,” 219 Zion Still Sings

“Alpha and Omega,” 221 Zion Still Sings

“Nobody Knows the Trouble I See,” 170, Songs of Zion

“No Not One!” 30, Songs of Zion

Songs and Videos

(Please follow copyright laws for inclusion in a worship service.)

“Lament,” words by Mark Miller and Adam Tice, music by Mark Miller

“It Is Enough” by DeAndre Johnson

“Promises” (feat. Joe L Barnes & Naomi Raine) by Maverick City | TRIBL

“God Not Guns” by Urban Doxology, A New Song of Lament based on Psalms 10 from Urban Doxology

“We Shall Overcome” Arranged by Robert T. Gibson, performed by The Aeolians of Oakwood University

“Jehovah Sabaoth” (God of Angel Armies), The Aeolians of Oakwood University

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) in 1900 and set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873–1954) in 1905. Arrangement by Roland Carter, performed by The Aeolians of Oakwood University

“Healing” by Richard Smallwood

“Total Praise” -Richard Smallwood

“Rose Petals” by Common Hymnal

“How Long? (Psalm 13)” by Isaac Wardell

“We'll All Be Free” by William Matthews / Gungor

“Daughters of Zion” by The Porter's Gate

“No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper” by Fred Hammond

“Motherless Child”

“Feeling Low” by United Pursuit

“Together” by For King and Country, featuring Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly

Songs of Solidarity: Protest Songs for a Loving Church by Jackson Henry

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