Hymns based on the parable of the wicked tenants (husbanders) in the vineyard

This is a selection of hymns based on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants.

It does not include hymns about other topics which could be impled from the parable - just ones which relate directly to it.

The list is grouped into two sections:
  • Free-use (either copyright has expired, or the author has allowed them to be freely used)
  • Still subject to copyright and so can only be used if you are covered by a copyright license.

Both children's and adults hymns / songs are included in each list - because except for the youngest of children, it is is difficult to draw a clear distinction between them.

About the Parable of the Wicked Tenants / Husbandmen

This parable is also known as the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen:   a husbandman is a free tenant farmer.

The story is included in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew 21:33–46, Mark 12:1–12, and Luke 20:9–19), and also the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.

It tells of a land-owner who plants a vineyard and then lets it out to tenants letting it out to tenants (known as husbandmen), who did not give their share of the proceeds to the land-owner. When the landowner send first servants and then his own son to collect the share, the tenants attached and/or killed them.

The parable ends with Jesus referring to scripture "the stone which the builder rejected ..." and saying that the kingdom will be taken from his listeners and given to a people who will product its fruits.

Limited selection of hymns

So far, only a few hymns about this parable have been located, despite looking in all the usual sources.   Most focus on a scriptural quote that Jesus uses at the very end of the story, not on the core events of the parable.

If you know of any others, please leave a message in the Comments box at the bottom of this page.

Songs and hymns which may be freely used

Behold the Sure Foundation Stone

Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

Christ is our Cornerstone

The Church's One Foundation

Hymns and songs which may still be copyright

Each of us is a Living Stone - Forster

O Christ the Great Foundation - Lew

The Temple of the Living God - Forster

The Vineyard Hymn - Hoffman - verse 3   (ref)

Resources for church-music selection

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