A selection of hymns and songs, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity / Trinity Sunday.
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, or may be, still copyright are also included where they are a particularly good for for the theme(s).
First: Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40 – Ask now about former ages … has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? So acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; Keep his … commandments, … so that you may long remain in the land that the Lord your God is giving…
Psalm 32 – Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own / The word of the Lord is faithful / By his word the heavens were made / The Lord looks on those who revere him / Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
Second: Romans 8:14-17 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God … When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God … we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Trinity – the fullness of God in three persons. God’s closeness to us. God’s inner life. God as three interactive, loving persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) remaining one divine reality. “We shall become like God, because we shall see him as he really is” – St John. Completeness, perfect symmetry
See lectionary art for this Sunday for suggested pictures and art-works based on today’s readings.
All Creatures of our God and King
All Glory be to God on High
All Hail Adored Trinity
Come Thou Almighty King
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Eternal Father Strong to Save
Firmly I Believe and Truly
Glory to God – Peruvian
Holy God we Praise Thy Name
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy
How Great is our God
In Christ there is no East or West
I Bind Unto Myself Today
Immortal Invisible God Only Wise
Lead us Heavenly Father Lead Us
Most Ancient of all Mysteries
O Trinity of Blessed Light
Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow
Psalm 32 – Music for Mass setting
The Play of the Godhead
HYMNS WHICH MAY STILL BE COPYRIGHT
Abba Father – Landry
Come Join the Dance of Trinity – Leach
Everyone Moved by the Spirit – Landry
Father we Adore You – Coelho
Freely, Freely – Owens
God Beyond all Names – Farrell
God is One Unique and Holy – Wren
Go Make of all Disciples – Adkins
Go Tell Everyone – Dale / Richards
How Wonderful the Three in One – Wren
Sing Praise to our Creator – Westendorf
Trinity Song – Andersen
First Sunday after Pentecost
|Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31||Wisdom is part of God’s creation||103: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
152: I Sing the Almighty Power of God
|Psalm 8||The majesty of God||154: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
155: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
718: Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
|John 16:12-15||The Spirit guides us in truth||454: Open My Eyes, That I May See
465: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
603: Come, Holy Ghost, Our Hearts Inspire
|Romans 5:1-5||Trinity passage–peace in God through Christ, poured on us in the Holy Spirit||79: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
90: Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones
296: Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle
675: As the Sun Doth Daily Rise
680: Father, We Praise Thee
Father, We Praise Thee
Text: Attr. to Gregory the Great, 540-604; trans. by Percy Dearmer, 1867-1936
Music: Paris Antiphoner, 1681; harm. by David Evans, 1927
Tune: CHRISTE SANCTORUM, Meter: 11 11 11.5
This week marks the beginning of the longest season in the Christian calendar–the Sundays after Pentecost, or “Kingdomtide.” The first Sunday after Pentecost is often referred to as “Trinity Sunday.”
When we think of the Kingdom of God, many images come to mind: all encompassing light; streets of gold; crystal seas; perfection. It is so beautiful to think about, there is hardly any wonder that we seek to depict our understanding of it in the art and architecture of church buildings. For example, there is utility and strength when an architect uses a pointed arch to frame a window, but the arch becomes more beautiful when it is subdivided to form three points within the window. It also becomes a symbol of the Trinity: there is one window but three points, just as we worship one God who is manifested in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The combination of form (the arch) and art (the subdivision) produce a structure that is secure and beautiful and meaningful.
This week’s featured hymn is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great (540-604). Through his efforts, hymns and chants were collected and compiled for use throughout the Church. Because of this, it became known as Gregorian chant. Chant is a powerful musical form. Even today when it is used in worship, it continues to evoke a deep sense of spirituality and life in the Church.
Gregory the Great’s contributions to hymnody went beyond collecting and compiling, though. Forms of worship also changed slightly, adding both focus and beauty to the service. In the sixth century A.D., he altered a portion of the Mass called the “Gradual.” This had consisted of an entire Psalm that was solemnly sung from the steps (the gradus) of the the altar or pulpit. Gregory shortened it, selecting those verses that emphasized the message from the Epistle. By doing this artfully, the Mass incorporated and emphasized a theme.
This sense of structure and beauty in worship was shared by Percy Dearmer, who translated the hymn into English. Dearmer is best recognized for his manual The Parson’s Handbook, which was published originally in 1899 and provided a guide to the rites in the Book of Common Prayer. The son of an artist, though, he believed that beauty was one of God’s attributes, and was convinced that the worship of God is itself an art.
Like Gregory the Great and Dearmer, this week’s hymn uses structure and beauty to produce meaning. As you read the words, consider the form and enjoy the beauty of the thoughts and images conveyed:
|1. Father, we praise thee, now the night is over;
active and watchful, stand we all before thee;
singing, we offer prayer and meditation;
thus we adore thee.
|2. Monarch of all things, fit us for thy mansions;
banish our weakness, health and wholeness sending;
bring us to heaven, with thy saints united;
joy without ending.
|3. All-holy Father, Son, and equal Spirit,
Trinity blessed, send us thy salvation;
thine is the glory, gleaming and resounding
through all creation.