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What songs

What songs have we been singing in the pandemic?

Have particular worship songs or hymns resonated or grown in popularity in the last 18 months?
Every Wednesday from September we’ve been asking our social media followers to highlight songs their churches have been singing, and why, through our #worshipwednesday feature. The responses suggested they are drawing on many contemporary songs alongside a sprinkling of older hymns.

Here are some examples:

Speak O Lord - Keith and Kristin Getty (2006)

Speak, O Lord, as we come to you
To receive the food of your holy word.
Take your truth, plant it deep in us

‘The words are so relevant at all times; the tune is so simple yet poignant. I think it is uplifting and timeless.’

Your love defends me - Matt Maher (2017)

Surely my God is the strength of my soul
Your love defends me
And when I feel like I’m all alone
Your love defends me

‘It proclaims who God is, my salvation, my portion, my joy, my song... Where else would I go, you are the strength of my soul.

‘A great proclamation of who God offers to be to us to start our service.’

Your will be done - CityAlight (2020)

Your will be done, my God and Father
As in heaven, so on earth
My heart is drawn to self-exalting
Help me seek your kingdom first

‘It’s such an amazing song that we use to lead us into our intercessory prayer slot, which has been based around the Lord’s Prayer.’

Other songs highlighted on our channels included:

May the mind of Christ, my Saviour - Kate B Wilkinson (early 20th century)

Great are you Lord - All Sons and Daughters (2013)

Spirit of God - Carey Luce and Geraldine Latty (2015)

All my love - Vineyard Worship (2017)

Feeling low - United Pursuit (2017)

Keep the banner flying high - Graham Kendrick (2018)

Let the redeemed - Josh Baldwin (2019)

At your bidding – Alex Fergusson (2020)

Know (Be still) - Jeremy Riddle (2020)

Egypt - Bethel Music and Cory Asbury (2020)

WorshipWednesdayFor more songs that have featured in our #WorshipWednesday campaign, our Creative Designer, Mat Gale, has compiled nearly two years worth of suggested songs into one playlist for you all. Simply search for Baptists Together Worship on Spotify.
For a direct link to Spotify and to the play list, Click Here

Further afield, several sources are showing which songs Christians and churches have gravitated to during the pandemic.

FaithLife, a church technology company, discovered that its users were taking comfort from timeless hymns during the first lockdown. It listed 33 songs which grew in popularity between March and May 2020 - see: bit.ly/worshiptrends

Top of the list was It is well with my soul, a hymn written in traumatic circumstances by Horatio Spafford in 1873, and one that has a rich history of consoling Christians in times of crisis. Another classic hymn was the second most popular: Great is thy faithfulness. The song which experienced the biggest jump in popularity, and was seventh on the list overall, was Matt Redman’s You never let go from 2006.

CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) provides information and resources for churches and copyright owners around the world, relating to copyrights of Christian worship songs. Each year it publishes its top 100 based on the week-to-week usage of worship songs from reports churches submit.

The top five songs in the UK in 2020 remained the same from 2019, though there was a small shuffling of positions. They are:

10,000 reasons (Bless the Lord) – Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman (2013)

In Christ alone – Keith Getty, Stuart Townend (2003)

Cornerstone – Hillsong (2012)

What a beautiful name – Hillsong (2016)

O praise the name (Anastasis) – Hillsong (2015)

The only song to break into the top ten was Way maker, at number seven. The song originated in Nigeria in 2015, written by Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu, also known as Sinach. 2020 also saw it become popular in the United States for the first time, where it was sung by demonstrators marching for racial justice, calling out for God as a ‘way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness’. The Blessing was the highest new entry, charting at number 35.

The PraiseCharts is another source of information regarding Christian music, tracking music purchases in real time. It carries a number of charts, including tracking the most popular worship songs of the year. As 2021 drew to a close, it listed two Phil Wickham tracks at one and two: House of the Lord and Battle belongs.

What songs have you been singing in your church? Which have brought comfort and challenge?
Do contact us with your feedback.

Look out for our #WorshipWednesday feature on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to download a pdf version of this article

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Photo by Joel De Vera on Unsplash

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