Music for the Season after Pentecost

Pentecost is a long and wonderful season when we focus on how God grows His Church through His Word. This is a time when our music selections can reflect biblical themes—such as peace, baptism, hope and comfort, or missions—rather than specific holidays. Here are some music selections your church can use during the season after Pentecost.

Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now

Thomas Keesecker | Two-part mixed voices, piano

The familiar hymn “Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now” is set to a Celtic-inspired tune for Trinity Sunday. This easily learned, tuneful anthem is for two-part mixed voices, though an alto voice may be added to the last stanza. A baritone stanza serves as a countermelody when it is later coupled with the primary melody.


O Lord, Open My Lips

David von Kampen | Unison voices, piano

This short piece by David von Kampen is surprising, delightful, and appealing with its gentle use of unconventional harmonies. Though written for unison choir and piano, it can be sung by any type of ensemble or by a soloist. Useful at the beginning of any service, the piece features a final, hanging chord that naturally leads into the rest of the service.


God So Loved the World

Kevin Hildebrand | Two-part voices, organ or piano

This setting of the beloved John 3:16 text provides a countermelody to the well-known hymn “God Loved the World So That He Gave.” The two-part arrangement makes this piece accessible for any combination of children’s, youth, or adult voices. Carefully crafted and elegant, it is a treat for the choir and congregation.


Strong to Save: Easy Hymn Preludes for Manuals

J. Wayne Kerr | Organ or piano

This easy collection for organ manuals is based on US national hymns. Organists will find this collection especially useful in July around Independence Day, but many of the tunes also are used throughout the Church Year. These arrangements are perfect for the beginning organist or the seasoned player who needs something in a hurry. The pieces also can be played on piano.


Children of the Heavenly Father

Cathy Moklebust | 3–5 octave handbells, optional 3-octave handchimes

This delicate arrangement of the beloved Swedish tune features an original melody as the basis for an introduction, interlude, and ending. The optional use of handchimes on the second verse, along with plucked or malleted handbells, adds variety, as does the descant in the upper treble bells on the final verse. This arrangement is suitable for baptisms, confirmations, or funerals, or for any time when the focus is on God’s love and care for us.


In Christ There Is No East or West

John A. Behnke | 3–5 octave handbells, optional 3–5 octave handchimes

This grace-filled piece reflects the blues of sin and the rhythmic joy of God’s forgiveness. As a hymn focused on Christian unity, it is useful throughout the entire Church Year. The arrangement makes use of chimes, key changes, mart lifts, and mallets to create many timbres that both ringers and listeners will enjoy.

Use these pieces in your church this season!

All these pieces are suggested in the latest edition of Creative Worship for the Lutheran Parish. Download a free sample service for Creative Worship to see the other types of music suggested and how you can save time in your weekly worship planning.

Download Creative Worship Sample

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Written by

Mark Knickelbein

Mark Knickelbein is editor of music/worship at Concordia Publishing House and an active composer and church musician. His compositional focus is on choral, piano, and organ church music. He has a Bachelor of Science in education from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN, and a Master of Arts in music from Concordia University Chicago. He previously served Trinity Lutheran in Kaukauna, WI, as principal, teacher, organist, and choir director.

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