Proclaim Jubilee!

Easter Season 2018 Worship Planning Series

Day of Pentecost 2018, Year B

Pentecost is about the moment the church was born. It is about what the church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be. It is about the Holy Spirit bringing people together as one in spite of their differences: different cultures, different languages, different traditions, different beliefs, different interpretations, different theologies. Pentecost is about being unified in words, and in a salvation that is for all people. And so we come to the end of the series, and the end of the season of Easter with the celebration of the church’s beginning, we go forth rejoicing with great hope, proclaiming salvation for all people!

Heritage Sunday

Note: A number of the hymns and the postlude in this service, as indicated by asterisks, are chosen because they were used in the Uniting Service of The United Methodist Church in 1968. This year's Heritage Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of The United Methodist Church.

O Church of God, United

Confessing Jesus Christ as our Savior “in union with the church” means that especially our act of singing together is an act of unity as we all become proclaimers in the holy act of hymn singing. This hymn highlights the way we are united in our love of Christ, “though creeds and tongues may differ.” ELLACOMBE serves as an ideal tune for this message, though it is also appropriate to sing the text to AURELIA, which will then evoke the thematic nature of the hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation” and connect the two together. Accompany with organ, piano, and even brass if you have access to those instruments in your community. This joyous tune is effectively accompanied by handbells as well, and several arrangements of the ELLACOMBE tune for handbells can also be found here. Sing this hymn boldly! Read History of Hymns: "O Church of God, United" »

Come People of the Risen King

One consistent element of the writing of the Gettys and Stuart Townend is the use of metric writing in strophic form. This modern hymn is written in what would be considered a “Verse/Chorus” form, but the meter stays fairly consistent through the verses. In addition, these writers obviously understand the relationship between accessible melodies and rhythms and good, well-supported congregational singing. This hymn is fairly accessible to most congregations, especially if you have the appropriate licensing to print the entire vocal score. It is possible to sing with a band, but it is just as well accompanied by organ or piano.

Breath of God, Breath of Peace

Adam Tice and Sally Ann Morris have risen in prominence because of their text and tune collaborations in recent years. The interplay between words and music is very interesting and is characterized by long, lyrical lines and interesting harmonic progressions. The text focuses upon different aspects of God with each stanza: Breath, Word, and Voice. Because of these short, repetitive phrases and clear framework, this hymn would also be a great option for children to learn and lead the congregation in singing. A great, simple choral setting of this work from GIA Publications is also available here. This edition also contains a part for organ or electronic keyboard that can be paired with the piano score. Read History of Hymns: "Breath of God, Breath of Peace" »

Spirit of God

For the purposes of this service, this would be a great option for a soloist to sing as a sung prayer of illumination. The range and rhythm might make it difficult for congregational singing, but it can still be an effective part of the service. If a female voice or a baritone who is leading, you might need to lower the key a good bit. If you have a tenor who could sing it, however, the original key might be appropriate. This would also make a good tenor/alto duet in the original key.

Spirit of Faith, Come Down

This Pentecost hymn by Charles Wesley is an invitation for the Spirit to come down and “reveal the things of God.” This hymn witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit in one another and the world. If your congregation is unfamiliar with the BEALOTH tune, it is also appropriate to use DIADEMATA, which is likely to be more common and aurally recognizable. Read History of Hymns: "Spirit of Faith, Come Down" »

Perfect Us in Love

This Charles Wesley text has its roots in the Hymns and Sacred Poems (1742), but the opening stanza of this setting by Taylor Burton-Edwards has often been overlooked in hymnals because of a syllabic issue in the fourth line related to the word “perfect.” We have found a way to work through this and present it to you here as a lead sheet, with a choice of either using the tune ST. AGNES (without the refrain composed by Taylor) or the new tune PERFECT US. This hymn can serve as a wonderful prayer related to sanctification and the journey toward Christian perfection. Accompany with a piano, guitar, or small instrumental ensemble. Be sure not to make the accompaniment too complex, or the gracefulness found in its simplicity will be muddled. The ideal key is D. The refrain alone would also make a great prayer response for your church, regardless of style of worship. View and download Perfect Us In Love (Burton-Edwards) »

Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine

Charles Wesley penned this classic hymn to lift up the covenant made between God and God’s people. A number of instrumental arrangements of the KINGSFOLD tune can be used, with a particular harmonization of interest found in The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II, No. 103. Do not sing this tune too slowly, as it will lose energy and make the phrases too difficult to sing. To find a good tempo, consider that the musical phrase containing the text, “Come, let us use the grace divine, and all with one accord,” should be comfortably singable in one breath. The ideal accompaniment can vary since E minor is a great key for a number of instruments, including organ, piano, guitar, and wind instruments. Read History of Hymns: "Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine" »

Jesus, We Look to Thee

This hymn text of Charles Wesley is available for free download from, and we recommend singing it with the tune ST. THOMAS (UMH, No. 540) as it was used in the 1968 uniting service of the United Methodist Church. Accompaniment with organ is ideal, but you might find some creative handbell options here for other ways to accompany. An alternate harmonization and vocal descant is included in The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement. It would also be possible to transpose the descant up one whole step for use with a B trumpet.

For All the Saints

A hymn well known and recognized for its frequent use on All Saints Sunday, this text and tune possess and command authority in the regal nature of their combination. Note that there are six stanzas for this hymn, so consider which ones might be appropriate for its use in the worship service. Many experienced organists already know this, but for those intimidated by the accompaniment for organ, this tune can be played entirely by the right hand and feet. The third line of the tune includes some optional left-hand notes, but they are not required. Whether organ or piano, be sure to play boldly and at a tempo in which the congregation can sing four-measure phrases comfortably. A suggested tempo would be at or near 104 bpm. A number of settings of this tune are also available for a variety of instruments, and you can find an arrangement for organ, brass, and timpani. If you have a need to sing this hymn a whole step lower in F Major, you can download a PDF or Sibelius file on our site.

Read History of Hymns: "For All The Saints" »

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter 2018 — Planning Notes Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes