Scripture informs us of “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4, NRSV). When times of tragedy arise, churches deeply need hymns that embrace grief, pain, and anger, but also express hope and God’s grace amidst crisis and adversity. Singing of both lament and praise are essential to worship as members of the community—locally and globally—support one another and continue to pray for God’s healing and restoration.
The Hymn Society in the US and Canada has created a resource titled Hymns in Times of Crisis, which contains hymns to equip churches in their response. These works put the words of lament, prayer, and hope on the lips of the church and offer a prophetic word of love and compassion to those who struggle.
The following categories and topics aptly describe the themes of hymns included in the collection:
AGING: Dementia, Alzheimer’s
CARING: Compassion, Confession, Inclusion, Lament
CARE OF CREATION: Ecological Damage
HOPE: Assurance, Comfort, Facing Difficult Times
NATURAL DISASTERS: Earthquakes, Floods, Hurricanes
OVERCOMING: Division, Doubt, Fear, Restoring Faith
PEACE: Seeking Freedom, Justice
PERSONAL LOSS: Grief, Loneliness
VIOLENCE: Abuse, Rejection, Migration
VIOLENCE: Acts of Terrorism, Overcoming Despair
VIOLENCE: Conflict, War, Overcoming Divisions
Fifty-three hymns are included, so there are plenty of choices to make as you prepare for worship. Instructions on how to use the resource, copyright information, and suggested tunes for each hymn are also included. When you click the link that directs you to the Hymn Society’s website, you will see a request for information—name, church name, email address, reason for using the resource, and date of first usage—which you will need to submit to download the collection.
May these hymns give voice to deep emotions that exist beyond what words alone can express, and may your community experience hope and healing in times of crisis.