12 Anthems for Palm Sunday and Easter


Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are big celebrations in the life of the church and since they come back-to-back in the church calendar, it's one of the busiest weeks of the year for church musicians! Last week, I shared a few favorite anthems for Lent.

Today, I'm sharing a few ideas for Palm Sunday and Easter - from tried-and-true classics to anthems that are hot-off-the-press! Many also offer optional instrumental parts (brass, percussion, handbells), depending on the resources you have available.


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Anthems for Palm Sunday and Easter

Ride On, King Jesus (arr. Howard Helvey)
SATB Choir, A Cappella

This is a fun, classic arrangement of the traditional Palm Sunday spiritual. A little more challenging than others on this list, but worth it if you have the forces!

Hosanna Processional (Joseph Martin)
SATB Choir with Piano

Accessible and tuneful, this anthem includes children and adult voices in a joyful retelling of the ride into Jerusalem.

All Glory, Laud, and Honor (arr. Richard A. Nichols)
SATB Choir with Piano (opt. orchestration)

A traditional setting of this Palm Sunday hymn with rich orchestration and nice choral writing. A classic!

Ride On, Ride On in Majesty (arr. Mark Shepperd)
SATB Choir with Piano

Especially accessible for smaller choirs, this lilting, celebratory Palm Sunday anthem has an ABA structure ("Hosanna, blessed is He;" "Ride on, ride on in majesty;" "Hosanna, blessed is He").

Ah, Holy Jesus (arr. Howard Helvey)
SATB Choir with Organ

If your church has a Palm/Passion Sunday (turning to the events of Holy Week by the end of the service), this would be a fitting anthem for later in the service. A simple, yet rich setting of the familiar hymn text with beautiful original music.

Risen with Him (Mark Hayes)
SATB Choir with Piano (opt. orchestration, brass, timpani)

A somber opening brings the early morning at the tomb to mind. Great text and a tuneful melody gradually build until the jubilant sound of EASTER HYMN emerge.

My Redeemer Lives, Alleluia! (arr. Lloyd Larson)
SATB Choir with Piano (opt. brass, percussion, handbells)

The traditional "My Redeemer Lives" text set to the joyous tune, LASST UNS ERFREUEN with nice choral writing and great instrumental parts.

Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise (arr. Dan Forrest)
SATB Choir with Organ (opt. brass, percussion, piano)

Majestic and regal, this well-crafted anthem features original music with text from Romans 8:31, the traditional LLANFAIR tune with optional congregational participation, and a pairing of both melodies at the end.

When Morning Gilds the Skies (arr. Molly Ijames)
SATB Choir with Piano (opt. orchestration)

A gradual crescendo throughout this anthem illustrates the sunrise. Beautiful text for Easter Sunday!

Risen Today! (Dan Forrest)
SATB Choir with Piano (opt. organ and tambourine)

An upbeat, rhythmic setting of Charles Wesley's Easter text with original music by Dan Forrest. Challenging, yes, but so fun!

In Christ Alone (arr. Mark Hayes)
SATB Choir with Piano

This accessible arrangement of a contemporary favorite has great text and a singable melody. The anthem gradually builds to a jubilant, joyful end.

On the Third Day (Allen Pote)
SATB Choir with Organ (opt. handbells, brass, timpani)

This anthem begins with a simple handbell ostinato and unison treble melody (or solo), recalling the events of Good Friday, followed by a powerful reminder that Christ has overcome the grave. Text from the Apostles' Creed acts as a rhythmic verse, marked by a return of the victorious chorus. Listen to a recording here.

What are your favorite Palm Sunday and Easter anthems? What is your choir singing this year?

Related posts:
Ten Church Choir Anthems for Lent
Fifteen Church Choir Anthems for Advent
25 Church Choir Anthems for Ordinary Time