Music for Communion: 40+ Songs, Hymns, and Anthems

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Communion may be one of our most sacred traditions in the church. It's a tangible way to remember, to accept the gift of grace and forgiveness, to make Christ's sacrifice real again. Some churches celebrate communion once a quarter; others, once a month. And there are many congregations that share communion every Sunday.

You may not choose communion-themed music for every communion Sunday, but every so often, it can be nice to choose an anthem, congregational song or hymn, or instrumental piece that ties in with this sacred tradition.

Today, I'm sharing a variety of music that would work well for communion Sundays throughout the year (including World Communion Sunday, All Saints' Sunday, the Sundays leading up to Thanksgiving, and Holy Week).

I tried to include something for everyone - traditional anthems, contemporary songs, music with congregational participation, and even a few handbell arrangements. Enjoy! 

Anthems

Gather Us In
SATB Choir with Piano
Marty Haugen/arr. Mark Hayes

A jubilant 6/8 anthem with rolling piano accompaniment. A prayer for unity and humility.

Draw Us In the Spirit's Tether
SAB or SATB Choir with Organ
Harold Friedell/ arr. Sheldon Curry

A traditional setting of this well-known hymn. I love the text in this one.

The Whisper
SATB Choir with Piano
Craig Courtney

One of my favorites - a personal call to come to the table and hear God whisper our name.

Think of Me and Remember
SAB or SATB Choir with Piano
Joel Raney

A call to follow Christ, all the way to Calvary. Especially fitting for Lent or Holy Week services.

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
SATB Choir with Piano
Victor C. Johnson

Based on Psalm 51, this penitent anthem would work especially well during Lent.

An Offering
SATB Choir with Piano
Dan Forrest

This stirring, reflective anthem describes Christ's sacrifice for us and God's redeeming grace.

Let Us Come
SATB Choir with Piano
Karen Marrolli

A quiet, prayerful call to come to the table, this folk-like anthem incorporates quotes of Adoro te Devote. Beautiful!

Come, Share the Lord
SATB Choir with Piano
Bryan Jeffrey Leech/arr. Lloyd Larson

Emphasizing unity in Christ, this anthem invites and welcomes all to come to the table.

Room at the Table
SATB Choir with Piano and Opt. Solo
David Lantz III

Beautiful text and expressive musical setting, this anthem urges us to carry our burdens to the table and surrender them to Jesus.

Lamb of God
SATB Choir, a cappella
arr. F. Melius Christiansen

A true classic. This anthem is especially fitting during Lent.

One Bread, One Body
SAB or SATB Choir with Piano
John B. Foley/arr. Lloyd Larson

An accessible choral setting of a favorite communion hymn featuring a supportive, flowing piano accompaniment.

At the Table
SATB Choir with Piano
Victor C. Johnson

A reverent reflection on the mercy, grace, and redemption we find at the table.

Come Just As You Are
SATB Choir with Piano
arr. Benjamin Harlan

I love the message in this text: "Come just as you are. Come and see, come, receive, come and live forever." A beautiful invitation to come to the Lord's table.

For All His Blessings
SATB Choir with Piano
Steve Danyew

A new setting of an old hymn text, this anthem quotes the doxology as a recurring chorus. This would work well any time of the year, but seems especially fitting for Thanksgiving.

Come to the Water
SATB Choir with Piano
John Foley/arr. Lynda Hasseler

I love this arrangement (note: I usually play it down a half step in the key of A-flat major). Beautiful text based on Isaiah 55:1.

I Will Arise
SATB Choir, a cappella
arr. Robert Shaw/Alice Parker

Another choral classic, this traditional setting of "I Will Arise" urges us to return to Jesus and reminds us that we are safe in His arms. This one would work well for All Saints' Sunday.

In the Season of our Plenty
SATB Choir with Piano and Opt. Handbells
arr. Mark Patterson

This anthem combines two familiar hymn tunes - BEACH SPRING and NETTLETON. Another anthem that works especially well around Thanksgiving time.

Anthems with Opt. Congregational Chorus

Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn)
SATB Choir with Piano and Opt. Solo and Congregation
Keith Getty & Stuart Townend/arr. Douglas Nolan

A powerful anthem that describes the passion and. Perfect for Lent or Holy Week, but also suitable throughout the year.

Draw the Circle Wide
SATB Choir* with Piano
Mark A. Miller
*Available as an SATB anthem or in Worship & Song (purchase the digital download pack here)

A simple, stirring plea to "draw the circle wide." (We did this over the summer and created a flash mob! Read more here.) Especially fitting for World Communion Sunday.

Gathered As One
SAB Choir with Piano
Paul A. Tate

A celebration of unity in the Spirit and the joy we share in Christ. Have the choir or soloists sing the verses and invite the congregation to sing on the chorus or turn it into an intergenerational choir experience, with each choir (children, youth, adult) singing a verse on their own and all voices coming together on the chorus. This anthem would work well for World Communion Sunday or All Saints' Sunday.

Welcome
SATB Choir* with Piano
Mark A. Miller
*Available as an SATB anthem or in Roll Down, Justice!

A wonderful, invitational anthem that welcomes all to come and experience God's grace.

Come With Thanksgiving
SATB Choir with Piano and Opt. Brass, Timpani, and Congregation
Brahms/arr. Larson

A majestic symphonic theme composed by Johannes Brahms is set with Thanksgiving text by Pamela Stewart in this accessible anthem. The brass and timpani are a wonderful addition.

Welcome to God's Love
SATB Choir* with Piano
Mark A. Miller
*Available as an SATB anthem or in Roll Down, Justice!

A warm, heartfelt "welcome," this anthem is a beautiful way to lead into communion, as it invites and ushers listeners into the folds of God's love.

The Open Table
Unison Choir with Piano
Mark A. Miller
Available in Roll Down, Justice!

An open invitation to come to the table and witness God at work.

Contemporary Songs

Christ Has Broken Down the Wall
Mark A. Miller
Available as an SATB anthem or in Worship & Song (download the song pack here)

A powerful anthem of love, grace, and forgiveness.

Come to the Table of Grace
Barbara Hamm
Available in Worship & Song (download the song pack here)

A simple song which focuses on a different aspect of the table in each verse: grace, peace, love, joy.

Table of Plenty
Dan Schutte
Available in Worship & Song (download the song pack here)

An invitation to come to the feast God has prepared for us. Have a soloist sing the verses and invite the congregation to sing on the chorus.

We Fall Down
Chris Tomlin
Available in Worship & Song (download the song pack here)

A beautiful song of surrender and praise, inviting us to sit at the feet of Jesus.

Give Thanks
Henry Smith
Available in The Faith We Sing

A call to "give thanks with a grateful heart."

We Will Glorify the King of Kings
Twila Paris
Available in The Faith We Sing

A song of praise and thanksgiving to God, who knows our needs before we speak them.

Bind Us Together
Bob Gillman
Available in The Faith We Sing

A prayer for unity. This song works well with the traditional hymn, "Blest Be the Tie That Binds."

The Table
Chris Tomlin

A simple melody and text claiming God's providence for us. An invitation to come and find rest, peace, and healing.

Handbell Music

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (Processional & Meditation)
2, 3, or 5-octave handbells + 2, 3, or 5-octave handchimes (or keyboard)
arr. Karen Thompson

One Bread, One Body
3-5 octave handbells
arr. Douglas E. Wagner

Communion Meditations: A Set of Flexible-Length Pieces
3-5 octave handbells
Margaret R. Tucker

Communion Meditations, Set 2: A Set of Flexible-Length Pieces for Communion and Other Times
3-5 octave handbells with opt. 2-3 octave handchimes
Margaret R. Tucker

The Bread and the Cup: A Flexible Medley for the Communion Service
2-3 octave handbells or handchimes
Jason W. Krug

Communion Hymns for Handbells
2-3 octave handbells or handchimes
Bill Ingram

In Christ Alone
2-3 octave handbells
arr. Lloyd Larson

We Come Before the Table
2-3 octave handbells
Derek K. Hakes

As We Gather At Your Table (in Five Hymns for Twelve Bells)
12 handbells
Bill Ingram

Three for Communion
2- or 3-octave handbells
Dan R. Edwards

Just As I Am
3-octave handbells
Susan E. Geschke

Communion Meditation
3-5 octave handbells
Douglas E. Wagner

What are your favorite songs, hymns, and anthems for communion Sundays? What kind of music do you generally use during communion?

Read more:
Top 20 Contemporary Music Resources
Contemporary Music for Traditional Congregations
Sing with the Saints: Worship Planning for All Saints' Day
50 Pieces for the Small Handbell Choir
Fifty (More!) Favorite Anthems for the Small Church Choir