When I first was introduced to the Christian Calendar, I was overjoyed to find out that Easter was an entire season in the life of the church. It changed the way I designed worship for our church. Instead of trying to land all these wonderful songs and liturgical ideas on Easter Sunday, this season creates space for us to soak in the wonder of the resurrection and make room for it to shape our congregations in a unique way for those fifty days.
While there are many beautiful and important songs the church sings during the Easter season, I always try to ear mark newer songs I come across that really say and sing the truths of Easter well. Here are five new songs to consider adding to you or your church’s Easter playlist this year:
“For The Cross” written by Jenn Johnson, Ian McIntosh, Gabriel Wilson
There have been a few songs that have come out in the past few years that follow a three or four verse narrative build through the passion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This one anchors the story within a joyful and thankful response chorus that makes plenty of room for people to both hear and respond to the good news of the resurrection as we recall it in song.
“Forever” written by Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, Gabriel Wilson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Kari Jobe
“Forever” is a song build for a powerful lead vocal, in part because of the musical lines themselves, but more importantly because of the way the verses are written to help the congregation step into the moment of the resurrection story. This song could be used incredibly well with the gospel readings involving the empty tomb.
“Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)” written by Brooke Ligertwood and Scott Ligertwood
Easter Sunday itself has a history tied with the sacrament of baptism, and the Easter season is a natural place for the church to revisit not only the resurrection of Jesus, but the implications of it on us as people who have been buried with Christ and raised in newness of life. This song celebrates and champions the work of Jesus and what it means to be buried and raised with Him.
“Christ is Risen” written by Matt Maher and Mia Fields
This song is not as new as some of the others on this list, but it is too profoundly good to not include. If your church is not singing this song, introduce it this Easter season. One of the deep strengths of this song is its anchoring in the liturgy of the church, as Maher and Fields draw from Catholic and Orthodox hymnody throughout the song. However, the thing I love most about this song is its charge for the church to awaken in light of the resurrection. Powerful and worth singing together.
“O Praise The Name (Anastasis)” written by Dean Ussher, Marty Sampson, and Benjamin Hastings
This is another powerful narrative song, with three verses that build through the passion narrative and the last bringing in the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints. As the resurrection speaks of Jesus’ present and our future, this song works well to remind us that Easter is the first-fruit of the new creation, and it is in that truth we anchor our hope.
There are a wide variety of songs to add to this list; feel free to add suggestions in the comment section and pass this link on as a growing resource list.
Read more resources in this series:
12 Trinitarian Worship Songs Worth Singing
5 New Songs to Consider for Worship in Lent
5 More New Songs To Consider for Worship in Lent
4 Oldie-but-Goodie Songs You Should Revive for Lent
10 Modern Worship Songs For Pentecost Sunday
5 of My Favorite Modern Hymn Artists