Hymns for the Nativity of John the Baptist (24 June) - daytime

Hymn and song suggestions, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the feast of the Birth / Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, which is usually celebrated on 24 June.

Most are "Free-to-use" meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing - sometimes in a limited setting.

Many of these hymns are old / traditional - but where possible a variety of styles and genres are included.

A small selection of hymns which are still copyright may be included if they are particularly relevant.


First: Isaiah - The Lord called me before I was born ... He made my mouth a sharp sword ... He said to me "You are my servant (Israel) ..." ... I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.

Psalm 138:  I thank you for the wonder of my being / O Lord you search me and you know me / For it was you who created my being / Already you knew my soul.

Second - Acts:   God made David the king of our ancestors .. and raise up for Israel one of David's descendants, Jesus, as savour - whose baptism was heralded by John saying II am not the one .. that one is coming after me"

Gospel - Luke 1:57-66, 80:   Zechariah signs that Elizabeth's child is to be called John - at that instant, his power of speech returned. ... All those who heard of it wondered what will this child turn out to be.


Bearing witness, light to the nations, the one who comes before the Lord.

Free-use artwork

See lectionary art for this Sunday for suggested pictures and art-works based on today's readings.

Free-use hymns

Canticle of Zechariah - some versions are now  public domain

For all the Saints

God is Love, His the Care

Hail Harbinger of Morn

The Great Forerunner Of The Morn

How Can I Keep from Singing

Join all the Glorious Names - Watts

Lo From the Desert Homes - Williams

Lo in the Wilderness - Dearmer  (sheet music)

On Jordan’s Bank

Sing we the Praises of the Great Forerunner

Sing With All The Saints In Glory

The Great Forerunner of the Morn

What Wondrous Love Is This

Ye Watcher and Ye Holy Ones

Hymns which may still be copyright

A Hymn for the Nativity of St John the Baptist - Roberts, alt (details and example)

Before the Sun Burned Bright - Schutte

Benedictus - Farrell

God Called Great Prophets to Foretell - Stanbrook Abbey

His Name will be John (Tell us Zechariah) - Evans (for children)

Prepare the Way - Boniwell

O God You Search me and You Know Me - Farrell

O Prophet John O Man of God - Wright

On this High Feast Day - editors of the New English Hymnal 1985

Song for a Young Prophet (O the Word of my Lord) - Lundy

St John was Like a Flaming Torch - St Cecilia‟s Abbey

Wonderfully Made - Rose

Zechariah Do Not Fear - Tietze

More resources for church-music selection ....

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