Hymns for the First Sunday after Christmas Day, Year B - Revised Common Lectionary (31 Dec 2023)

A selection of hymn and song suggestions based on themes from the Revised Common lectionary for the first Sunday after Christmas, 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.

Other suggestions are welcome - please leave a comment below.


First: Isaiah 61:10-62:3 - I will greatly rejoice in God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation. ... Zion will shine with the vindication of God, and all nations will see it.

Second: Galatians 4:4-7 - God sent his Son to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children ... so God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"  

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40 - Jesus is presented in the temple - he is seen by Simeon who says "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word ..." Mary and Joseph were amazed at what was being said about him.   The prophet, Anna also began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.


God's love revealed in his covenant - and the new ark, Mary of Nazareth.

Free-use hymns

All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
Almighty Father who Dost Give - Masterman
And Can it be that I Should Gain
Angels from the Realms of Glory
As With Gladness Men Of Old - Dix
At the Name of Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow
Away in A Manger - Unknown, trans from Luther

Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light - Troutbeck(1832-56), trans from von Rist
Brotherly Love - Wesley
Children of the Heavenly Father - Olson. tr from Sandell - in USA only
Come let us Sing of a Wonderful Love - Walmsley
Come Thou (O) Long Expected Jesus
Come Thou Almighty King -the Italian Hymn
Deck Thyself my Soul With Gladness - Winkworth, trans from Franck

Fairest Lord Jesus - Unknown
Glory be to God on High - Unknown
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Unknown, 18th century
Great God, We Sing Your Guiding Hand - Doddridge
Hail to the Lord's Anointed
Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Wesley / Whitefield / et al
Here O my Lord I See Thee - Bonar
Here O my Lord I See Thee Face to Face - Bonar

In Heavenly Love Abiding - Waring
In His Temple Now Behold Him
Infant Holy Infant Lowly
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Joy to the World the Lord is Come - Watts
Lead on O King Eternal  - Shurtleff (1862-1917)
Let all the World in Every Corner Sing
Let all Together Praise our God - Crull (1845-1923), trans Herman (c. 1480-1561)
Let Earth and Heaven Combine - Wesley
Lo, how a Rose E’er Blooming
Lord Dismiss us with Thy Blessing
Love Came Down at Christmas

Now Sing we Now Rejoice - Russell (1806-1874) trans. from Peter of Dresden
O For A Heart to Praise my God - Wesley
O Lord Now let Your Servant - Ryden (1886-1981) - in USA only

Saviour of the Nations, Come - Reynolds
Sing my Tongue the Glorious Battle - Neale
Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above - Cox
Sing we now of Christmas - Unknown - from a traditional French carol

Twas in the Moon of Wintertime / Huron Carol - Middleton (Copyright free in Canada)
Take my Life and Let it Be
The Lord our Righteousness - Wesley, trans from Nicolaus Ludwig, Graf von Zinzendorf
There’s a Song in the Air - Holland
This is my Father's World - Babcock (b. Syracuse, NY, 1858-1901)
Through Long Years of Watchful Waiting - Wilkinson (b 1945)

Virgin Born we Bow Before Thee
What Wondrous Love
Where Shall my Wondering Soul Begin - Wesley
O Young and Fearless Prophet - Harlow (1885-1972)

Hymns that may be still copyright

Arise Your Light is Come - Duck
And I Will Wait Now  - Wareing
Christ is the World's Light He and None Other - Pratt Green
Child so Lovely Here I Kneel Before You - Lockwood (1987), trans from unknown Spanish

For Freedom Christ has set us Free - Gillette
Cold December Flies Away - Hawhee (b 1953)
Go Now in Peace (Now, Lord, you have kept your word) - Hopson
Go Now in Peace - Wren

Hope Of the World - Harkness (1891-1974)
Jesus Name Above All Names
Let Us Now Depart in Thy Peace - Bristol
Let Your Servant Now go in Peace - Taizé Community
Lord Bid Your Servant go in Peace - Quinn
Lord now let Your Servant - Seddon
Lord Whose Love Through Humble Service - Bayly

Mary and Joseph Came to the Temple - Pratt (b. 1948)
My Master See the Time has Come - Unknown
Name of All Majesty - Dudley-Smith
Now let Your Servant Go - Duck
Now Lord You let Your Servant go in Peace - Unknown © 1988 English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC)

O God in Heaven Grant to Thy Children - Niles (1908–1970)
O Sing of Christ - Starke
Our Father By Whose Name - Tucker
Remembering Mary - Collins
Sing of a God in Majestic Divinity - O'Driscoll (b 1928)
Song of Simeon - Westra (1899-1979)

That Boy-Child of Mary - Colvin
The Prophet Anna Sees New Life - Aldredge-Clanton
Wash O God our Sons and Daughters - Duck

See also ...

  • Hymns for the Christmas season

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