Hymns for Sunday of the Word of God

picture of bible over a generic hymns icon
This is a selection of hymns suitable for the observance of Sunday of the Word of God - marked on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time each year.

The list is divided into two parts:   free-use materials that can be freely used with no concerns about copyright (because they are in the public domain), and hymns that may still be copyright depending on the laws in your country.

About the Sunday of the Word of God

This observance, which is marked on the third Sunday of Ordinary Time each year, was established by Pope Francis in 2019, in the apostolic letter Aperuit illis.

Its purpose is to devote time and emphasis to the celebration, study, and sharing the Word of God, because the relationship between the risen Jesus Christ, the church and sacred Scripture is essential to who we are as Christians.

For Catholics, some important considerations are that
  • Sunday Mass is a time when people are nourished by Word AND Eucharist.
  • Every sacrament is founded and constructed upon the Word of God
  • Every proclamation of the Word of God is sacramental.

The liturgical reform following Vatican II greatly increased people's appreciation of the role of the Word of God in every liturgical celebration, while the three-year lectionary led to far more scripture being proclaimed during liturgies and a better understanding of the importance of the Word of God people's spirituality.

This observance is a time to think about the Word of God, ie Scripture, and also to consider how the Word is homoured in the church's worship, symbolically in the books that Scripture is proclaimed from, and practically in the effort put into preparing readers, and making the environment a good one in which to share and reflect on scripture.

Readings and music for the day

This day is set on the third Sunday of Ordinary time - meaning that the lectionary readings will only be repeated every three years.   Although these are typically similar, they won't necessarily suggest the same hymns each year.   So the hymn suggestions below are general ones about the Bible / Scripture / the Word of God, rather than reflecting any one set of readings.

In general, any hymn that is directly based on scripture would be good to use.   But there are also a number of hymns which are about the word of God, and so may be suitable.

Free-use hymns

God has Spoken by his Prophets

How Firm a Foundation

Lord Thy Word Abideth - Baker

O Word of God Incarnate

Hymns which may still be copyright

Ancient Words - de Shazoo

Creator of the Day - Hodgetts

Every Promise - Townsend

Laudate Dominium (In the faith of Christ) - Walker

O the Word of my Lord - Lundy

Praise to You Eternal Word - Heath (ref)

Seek Ye First - Lafferty (verse 3)

Silent Surrendered - Rizza

Speak O Lord - Getty
Thy Word - Grant

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