Songs, Choruses, and Hymns for Communion

collected by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

4th century mosaic of Loaves and Fish at Tabgha
Fifth century mosaic of "Loaves and Fishes" from the floor of an ancient church and monestary at Tabgha, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, near where Jesus is said to have fed the 5,000, thus initiating his Bread of Life discourse. Larger image.

One way to enrich your experience of the Lord's Supper is to sing songs designed for communion. Many songs about the cross, Christ's sacrifice for sins, and communing with Jesus are appropriate. But here are specific communion songs, arbitrarily divided into newer and older songs. Many of these, especially the older ones, have the lyrics available online. As you meditate, read out loud some of these wonderful poems of Eucharistic worship.

Newer Communion Songs

Most of the words and tunes can be found in the Song Select feature of Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI, www.ccli.com).

  • At This Table, words and music by Allan Robert Petker (©1990, 1992 Descant Publishing, Admin. by Fred Bock Music Company, Inc.)
  • Broken and Spilled Out, by Bill George and Gloria Gaither (©1984 William J. Gaither, Inc., Gaither Copyright Management, Yellow House Music)
  • Broken for You, words and music by Jack Hayford (©1980 Pilot Point Music, Lillenas, Admin. by The Copyright Company)
  • Come As You Are, words and music by Brent Helming; (©1996 Maranatha Praise, Inc.)
  • Come Expecting Jesus, by John Chisum and Nancy Gordon (© 1996 Integrity's Hosanna! Music Mother's Heart Music, Admin. by ROM Administration)
  • Come to the Table, by Claire Cloninger and Martin J. Nystrom (©1991 Integrity's Hosanna! Music, Word Music, LLC, a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)
  • Come, Share the Lord, words and music by Bryan Jeffery Leech (© 1984, Fred Bock Music Co., in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • Commune With Me, by Kirk Dearman (©1981 Maranatha Praise, Inc./Word Music, Inc.)
  • Communion Song, words and music by Barry McGuire (©1977 Sparrow Song, a div. of EMI Christian Music Publishing)
  • Communion Song, words and music by John Michael Talbot (©1979 Birdwing Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)|
  • Eat This Bread, words and music by Jacques Berthier (GIA Publications)
  • From Every Race, from Every Clime, words by Thomas B. McDormand (1974), music: Latvian Folk Melody (in New Broadman Hymnal, 1977)
  • Hungry, I Come, words and music by Craig Curry (©2002, Fred Bock Music Company)
  • I Am the Bread of Life, words and music by John Michael Talbot (©1982, Birdwing Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
  • I Am the Bread of Life, words and music by Suzanne Toolan (©1971, GIA Publications, in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • I'm Gonna Eat at the Welcome Table, words and music, African-American spiritual (arrangement © 1980 G. Shirmer, Inc., in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • In Remembrance of Me (Cheri Keaggy; 1996, Sparrow Song)
  • In Remembrance of Me, words by Ragan Courtney, music by Burylk Red (© 1972, Broadman Press; assigned to Van Ness Press, Inc., in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • Jesus, Stand Among Us, words and music by Graham Kendrick (©1977, Thankyou Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
  • Let us Break Bread Together on Our Knees, words and music African-American spiritual
  • Now the Silence, words by Jaroslav Vajda, music by Carl Schalk (©1969, Hope Publishing Company)
  • One Bread, One Body, words and music by John B. Foley (©1978 by John B. Foley, S.J., and New Dawn Music, in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • Our Blessing Cup (John Michael Talbot; 1982 Birdwing Music/BMG Songs, Inc.)
  • Remember Me, by David Ritter and Jared Ming (© 1998 New Spring)
  • Remember Me, by Gerrit Gustafson and Martin Nystrom (©1990 Integrity's Hosanna! Music)
  • Seed, Scattered and Sown, words and music by Dan Feiten (© 1987, Ekklesia Music, Inc., in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • The Bread of Life for All Men Broken, words by Timothy T'ing-fang Lew (1936), translated by Walter R.O. Taylor (1943), music by Su Yin-Lan (1934, in New Broadman Hymnal, 1977)
  • There's a Table in Your Presence, by Gary Sadler and Lynn DeShazo (© 2005 Integrity's Hosanna! Music Paintbrush Music, Admin. by Paintbrush Music)
  • This Is My Body, words and music by Jack Hayford (© 1980 Pilot Point Music)
  • Thy Supper, Lord, Before Us Spread, words by Joseph F. Green (1961), music by Irving Wolfe (© 1961, 1964, Broadman Press, in New Broadman Hymnal, 1977)
  • We Break This Bread, words and music by Chris Rolinson (©1980, 1987, 1999 Thankyou Music, Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing, The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England; The Archbishops' Council)
  • We Remember You, words and music by Kirk Dearman (©1988 Maranatha Praise, Inc., Admin. by Music Services)
  • We Remember You, words and music by Nancy Lowry (©1995, New Spring, Imagenuity Songs, Admin. by Music Services)
  • We Will Meet You There, by Jeff Slaughter and John Chisum (© 1994 Integrity's Hosanna! Music)
  • We Will Remember, by Gary Sadler and Lynn DeShazo (©1997 Integrity's Hosanna! Music)
  • What the Lord Has Done In Me, words and music by Reuben Morgan (©1998 Reuben Morgan, Hillsong)
  • When You Do This, Remember Me, words by Alexander Campbell (19th century), adapted with music by David L. Edwards (©1988, David L. Edwards, in Chalice Hymnal, 1995)
  • Where Can We Find Thee, Lord, So Near, words by Thomas B. McDormand (1974), tune: Federal Street, Henry K. Oliver (1832, in New Broadman Hymnal, 1977)

Older Communion Hymns

Most of the  words and tunes (as MIDI files) are available on CyberHymnal.org and Oremus Hymnal (www.oremus.org/hymnal)

  • According to Thy Gracious Word, words by James Montgomery (1825), music by Hugh Wilson (1800)
  • Beneath the Forms of Outward Rite, words by James A. Blaisdell (1867-1957), music by William Gardiner, or by Luther O. Emerson (1866)
  • Blest/Sweet Feast of Love Divine, words by Edward Denny (1839), music by George F. Handel, or by Hans G. Nägeli (1773-1836).
  • Bread of Heaven, on Thee We Feed, words by Josiah Conder (1824), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Bread of the World in Mercy Broken, words by Reginald Heber (1827), music by John S. B. Hodges (1868)
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life, words by Mary A. Lathbury (1877), music by William F. Sherwin (1877)
  • Come, Risen Lord, and Deign to be Our Guest, words by George Wallace Briggs (1941), music Sursum Corda by Alfred Morton Smith (1941), (words  ©1941, Oxford University Press, in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Come with Us, O Blessed Jesus, words by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1872), music Johann Schop (1665) (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Completed, Lord, the Holy Mysteries, words from the Liturgy of St. Basil, translated by Cyril E. Pocknee (1906-1980), music: Song 4 (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Deck Thyself, My Soul, with Gladness, words by Johann Franck (1649), translated from German by Catherine Winkworth (1858), music Schmücke Dich by Johann Crüger (1649)
  • Draw Nigh and Take the Body of the Lord, words from the Antiphonarium Benchorense, a late 7th century manuscript from the Monastery of Bangor, Ireland, translated from Latin to English  by John M. Neale (1851), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted, words translated from Greek Didache (ca. 110 AD), by F. Bland Tucker (1941), music: Rendz a Dieu, Louis Bourgeois (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • For the Bread, Which Thou Hast Broken, words by Louis F. Benson (1924), music by Charles J. Dickinson (1822-1883)
  • From the Table Now Retiring, words by John Rowe, music by Isaac B. Woodbury
  • Here at Thy Table, Lord, We Meet, words by Samuel Stennett (1727-1795), music by Hugh Wilson
  • Here at Thy Table, Lord (this sacred hour....), words by May Pierpont Hoyt (19th century), music by William F. Sherwin (1877, same tune as "Break Thou the Bread of Life")
  • Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face, words by Horatius Bonar (1855), music by Felix Mendelssohn, or by James Langran (1861)
  • Humbly I Adore Thee, Verity Unseen, words by St. Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1260), translated The Monastic Diurnal (1932), music Adoro devote, French church melody (1697; in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • In Memory of the Saviour's Love (... we keep the sacred feast), words by Thomas Cotterill (1805), music adapted from Johann M. Haydn, or "St. Peter" by Alexander R. Reinagle (1836)
  • Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured, words translated from Greek by John Brownlie (1907), music Johann Crüger (1653, in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Lord of Our Highest Love, words by Gilbert Young Tickle (1819-1888), music by W. H. Havergal, founded on a melody by J.B. König, "Franconia" (1738)
  • Lord, at Thy Table We Behold, words by Joseph Stennett (1727-1795), music by Lowell Mason
  • My God, Thy Table Now Is Spread, words by Philip Doddridge (1755), tune: Rockingham (1780; in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling, words by St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century), translated from Latin by Edward Caswall (1861), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • O Food to Pilgrims Given, words in Latin (1661) translated by John Athelstan Laurie Riley (1906), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • O God, Unseen Yet Ever Near, words by Edward Osler (1836), music St. Flavian (1562) (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Lord's Supper: Meditations for Disciples on the Eucharist or Communion
    Available as e-book and paperback.
    O Thou, Who at Thy Eucharist Didst Pray (that all thy Church might be forever one....), words by William Harry Turton (1881), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • Shepherd of Souls, Refresh and Bless, words by James Montgomery (1825), music "St. Agnes" by John B. Dykes (1866)
  • This Is the Hour of Banquet and of Song, words by Horatius Bonar (1855), various tunes (in The Hymnal 1982, The Episcopal Church)
  • While in Sweet Communion Feeding, words by Edward Denny (1796-1889), music by Edward J. Hopkins
  • Zion, Praise Thy Savior, Singing, words by St. Thomas Aquinas (1263), translated in The Hymnal 1940.

A rich collection of communion hymns is the Chalice Hymnal (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1995), which serves the Disciples of Christ, who partake of the Lord's Supper each week. The hymnal contains 50 such hymns. For older communion hymns, a rich resource is Christian Worship: A Hymnal (Christian Board of Publication; St. Louis: The Bethany Press, 1941). The Hymnal 1982 (The Episcopal Church; Church Hymnal Corporation, 1985) is also a rich collection of mainly older songs, some translated from ancient hymns.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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