Well, Easter is right around the corner, and I for one am SO excited! I’ve already begun preparing our big Easter “Encounter Nite,” and I’ve been carefully selecting songs. For those of you in similar shoes, I have compiled a list of personal favorites that work well in corporate settings, some classic, some new. I hope you are able to use this as a resource!
20. “All Things New”
From Elevation Worship, the song “All Things New” by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Wade Joye, and Ben Richter, while not explicitly about the Cross or the resurrection, is arguably perfect for Easter because it emphasizes the result of Christ’s sacrifice. He has come to ‘make all things new.’
As You rise, we come alive
The grave has lost, the old is gone
And You’re making all things new
19. “This Is What You Do”
I don’t know anyone that just isn’t happier by listening to this song. It’s just so fun and dance-worthy! Written by Jeremy Riddle and Matt Stinton of Bethel Music.
This is what You do
You make me come alive
It’s like I’m living for the first time
Finally living for the first time
18. “Like A Lion”
A fast-rising, up-beat song by Daniel Bashta. A lot of your churches may already know this even if you don’t do it in your services, because it gets a lot of radio play. I think what makes this song unique for a congregational setting is that it turns back to the worshiper and demands response: revival of the heart.
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
And He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
17. “So Great”
You know a song written by Paul Baloche, Steven Curtis Chapman, Stu Garrard, Israel Houghton, Tim Hughes, Graham Kendrick, Andy Park, Matt Redman, Martin Smith, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, AND (take a breath) Darlene Zschech… is going to be good. Don’t think about it. Just do it.
Young and old, rich and poor
Weak and strong, every one
Come and rest, you are safe
In the arms of Jesus
16. “What Would I Have Done”
A very cross-centric, intimate ballad by Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, and Tim Hughes. While the song is indeed powerful, it may not be best for congregational singing, as its range is an impressive one-half step lower than 2 octaves. Pick your key carefully!
Overwhelming sacrifice, You freely paid the highest price
Suffering, You traded blood for me
My heart will sing the deepest praise
My lips rejoice, my hands will raise
For the death that brought me into life
15. “Carry Your Name”
The lovely Christy Nockels delivers this church favorite written by songwriting veterans Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Nathan Nockels, and herself. Full of lovely imagery and it works well in a congregational setting, or could also be a fabulous song for Communion.
No greater love, God’s only Son
No other Name is so strong to save
14. “My Savior Lives”
Definitely a church favorite around Easter time, by Glenn Packiam and Jon Egan. This list just would not be complete without it! Up-beat with a memorable refrain… always a win! (P.S. Does anyone else miss Ross Parsley leading worship?)
I know that my Redeemer lives
And now I stand on what He did
My Savior, my Savior lives!
13. “Love So High”
I remember my first hearing this song by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Matt Redman, and Reuben Morgan. I walk about 2 and a half miles to work each morning, so I listen to a substantial amount of music, and as this song was on repeat for me, I straight up wept the entire way. The love of Christ is so strong and deep, and I feel that this song conveys just that. Also, incredibly imagery.
Outside the city walls, on a wooden cross
A Light in the darkness
Bleeding from Your hands, flowing from Your side
A river of mercy
12. “Yours Forever (You Took the Nails)”
The legendary Darlene Zschech in her element. This is one we do oft here at Transit… our church really lifts their voices during the bridge, and it translates very well into an acoustic set.
You took my place, You took the fall
You took the nails that I may live forever, live forever
You rose again, You made a way
You broke the chains, and now I’m Yours forever, Yours forever
11. “He Lives”
This Generation Unleashed tune by Jeremy Scott is perfect for either Easter or a closing anthem for a week of youth camp – you choose! A rock n’ roll, uptempo song that will perfectly open your church service.
My God is alive and well today
He’s alive and He lives in me
And I’m gonna show the world today
That I love You, that I love You
10. “Sing of the Blood”
This piano-based song, to me, helps to emphasize our desperate need for Christ’s atonement. Written by Jonathan Stockstill of Deluge, it a gem for any worship leader’s repertoire. The bridge especially is perfect in all sorts of medleys!
Wash us in the blood crying from the Mercy Seat
Demonstrate Your love
Come and set the captives free
9. “Power of Your Love”
A not-too-well-known powerhouse song by Christy Johnson, Micah Berteau, and Sean Loche of Worth Dying For. The worship leader on the track, Christy Johnson, reminds me of the vocalist from Evanescence… breathy, emotional, and compelling – all delivered in an effective and stunning way. The overall sound is pretty alternative rock (which SO works here), and it has Easter written all over it. Fabulous. 10 out of 10.
Amazing love, You gave it all
You took the place of sin
You tore the veil for my wrong
No greater love have I known
8. “At the Cross”
Another Easter staple by Darlene Zschech and Reuben Morgan. This song is always a home run, and is incredibly versatile, in that it soars whether led by a guy or a gal, full band or minimalistic, guitar-driven or keys-driven. The lyrics of the verses are almost verbatim from Scripture, and it’s impossible to go wrong when you are singing God’s words back to Him. Beautiful!
At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There’s no greater love than this
You have overcome the grave
Your glory fills the highest place
What can separate me now
7. “O the Blood”
Modern standard for Easter services, in my opinion. An intimate ballad sung by the beautiful Kari Jobe, written by husband & wife Thomas and Mary Beth Miller. I think the verses here are really the standout of the song.. so much rich theology!
O the blood, crimson Love
Price of life’s demand
Shameful sin placed on Him
The hope of every man
6. “Alive In Us”
Gotta love Hillsong. This song by Reuben Morgan and Jason Ingram is up-tempo.. another fantastic groove to open your service. I can vouch that this one just works, as we do this frequently in our church. Full of powerful truths, and can also be evangelistic in nature.
You rose from death to victory
You reign in life, O Majesty
Your Name be high and lifted up
Jesus, Jesus, alive in us
5. “He Rose”
A beautiful offering by Jonathan Stockstill of Deluge, and this is another one we do here at Transit. What sets this song apart for me is the fact that it not only is full of theology but that it takes the time to EXPLAIN the theology throughout the song. Also, the bridge (the ending) is incredibly intimate and thusly effective.
He hung on the cross forsaken
The glorious King has taken all our sins
Upon His head
Death and the grave were broken
The light of the world has spoken
We are free, we’ve been redeemed
4. “God Is Able”
The songwriting duo that penned the church’s little darling “Mighty to Save,” Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding have teamed together to compose “God Is Able.” This song is a perfect inclusion for an Easter set.. up-beat, too, which is always a plus for churches bogged down in slow ballads.
Lifted up, He defeated grave
Raised to life, our God is able
In His Name, we overcome
For the Lord our God is able
3. “Second Chance”
WOW. What a song! “Rend Collective Experiment” really has a knack for packing together breathtaking imagery into a singable and catchy lyric. I promise, you’ll be humming this for days to come! Simple and intimate, it forces the worshiper to confront the reality of the Cross.
Fragments of brokenness
Salvaged by the art of grace
You craft life from our mistakes
Black skies of my regrets
Outshone by this kindness
New life dawns over my soul
2. “Thank You Jesus For the Cross”
Hold the phone. Right now. This song always arrests me instantly. Composed by Andi Rozier and Matthew Westerholm. What makes this one so remarkable is how the lyrics hit so close to home and easily create a personal experience. Truly, thank You, Jesus, for the cross!
My life lived for only me
My days spent so sinfully
My heart was dark, my eyes too blind to see
My pride destroying me
Thank You, Jesus, for the cross
Thank You for the price You paid for us
Giving up Your life to save the lost
Thank You, Jesus, for the cross
If you haven’t heard Natalie Grant’s “Alive,” you have been living under a rock, my friend! Lyrically stunning, musically rich (penned by the magnificent Nichole Nordeman). Easily the best of the BEST Easter songs in recent memory. In my opinion, not necessarily “congregational,” but a perfect choice for a “special” or during Communion.
What kind of King
Would choose to wear a crown that bleeds and scars
To win my heart?
What other heart
Would let itself be broken every time
‘Til He healed mine
You, only You
Well, folks, this is my personal top 20. I know it’s not exhaustive, and it was very hard for me to narrow it down to these! Do you have any suggestions on Easter songs that should have made the list, or songs that work well in your church? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below!