Hymns for the Baptism of the Lord / 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B

A selection of hymns and songs, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord / First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.

Most are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.

A small selection of hymns which are still copyright, but are a particularly good fit for the day's readings, are also included.

Seasonal note

This is the first Sunday of Ordinary Time.  The feast is a marked change from the baby Jesus of the the Christmas season, to the adult Jesus who is close to starting his public ministry.   In southern hemisphere countries, mid-January is still holiday time, so there is a temptation to use Christmas material "one more time", but this isn't supported by the day's readings.






Readings

First: Isaiah - Come to the water, you who are thirsty - with you I will make an everlasting covenant - Let the wicked abandon their ways - the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty.

Psalm: Isaiah 12 - With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation / Truly God is my salvation / Give thanks to the Lord / Sin a psalm to the Lord.

Second: I St John 5 - Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God ... Jesus came by water and blood .. with the Spirit as another witness.

Gospel: Mark 1 - John teaches that someone more powerful than him is coming.   Jesus is baptised,and when he comes out of the water the heavens open, the Spirt descends like a dove, and a voice says "You are my Son, the Beloved, my favour rests on you".


Themes

Jesus is publicly revealed as Son God.  Baptism, prophecy and the Holy Spirit.  Water.


Suggested free-use hymns

And did Those Feet in Ancient Times

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

Glory Be to Jesus

Hail to the Lord's Anointed

I Bind Unto Myself Today

I Come the Great Redeemer Cries

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

On Jordan's Bank

Shall we Gather at the River

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

The Race that Long in Darkness Pined


Suggested hymns that are or may be still copyright

Baptised in Water - Saward

When Jesus Comes to be Baptised - Stanbrook Abbey, 1974

When John Baptised by Jordan's River - Dudley Smith



Other suggestions are welcome - please leave a comment below.


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