Songs to Support Prayer for Ukraine

Ukraine flag

Suggested songs from the Church of Scotland hymn book CH4, to accompany a response in worship to the situation in Ukraine.

As the tragic situation in Ukraine continues, churches around the world are considering how to respond in worship. The Church of Scotland hymn book CH4 includes a number of songs which would be appropriate to use at this time. Here are five that you might wish to consider singing in your congregation.

Kyrie eleison (CH 776) from Ukraine is probably one of the most widely sung pieces of Orthodox music around the world but is taking on new meaning, as we pray for the situation in the place where this song originated.

May God draw near when the hour of trouble strikes (CH 11) is a setting of Psalm 20 from the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren, translated by John Bell. It's a song which was hugely significant at the time of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the USSR in 1968 and which strongly resonates with the current situation.

Come now, O prince of peace (CH 275) is a song for peace and reconciliation by the South Korean hymn writer Geonyong Lee. Korea is of course a country that has been in a permanent state of conflict and division for almost a century and this song is particularly poignant coming from that context.

Healing river of the Spirit (CH 707) is by the American hymn writer Ruth Duck, and would speak well into the sadness and weariness that many are feeling at the moment, while culminating in a prayer for the Spirit to move in the world and bring the world together in peace.

For the healing of the nations (CH 706) is a hymn for peace by the URC minister Fred Kaan which has been used at important public occasions such as a service in Geneva Cathedral to mark the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations.

You can listen to all five of these songs on the CH4 website on a specially created playlist. Recordings of the first three songs above are also being made available for churches across Scotland of any denomination, and for Church of Scotland congregations anywhere in the world, to download and use for free during this time. It is the responsibility of each congregation to have in place the relevant licences and permissions to cover the copyright of the song.

The recordings can be accessed by clicking on the links after the name of each song and creating an account on the website. We are grateful to the Wild Goose Resource Group for making the first two of these available and would ask that you show the following credits when these recordings are used.

May God Draw Near

Words: John L. Bell (paraphrase of Psalm 20) © 1990 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland

Music: Zdenek Cep © Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Prague, Czech Republic

Recording: Wild Goose Worship Group ℗ 1990 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. wildgoose.scot

Kyrie eleison

Words and Music: Traditional Ukrainian

Recording: Wild Goose Worship Group ℗ 1990 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow, Scotland. wildgoose.scot

Come now, O Prince of peace

Words and Music: © Geonyong Lee

Recording: Scottish Festival Singers, Ian McCrorie (Conductor) ℗ The Church of Scotland