Songs for the Lord's Supper

When it comes to songs for the Lord's Supper, maybe I'm a bit picky. What I don't want are songs that just focus on remembrance. Why not? Well, for two reasons:

  1. The Lord's Supper is about more than just remembrance! In the Supper we feed on Christ in our hearts with thanksgiving. People often have a tendency to revert to a functional Zwinglianism, so I don't want songs that would reinforce that. Instead I want our singing to remind us that in the sacrament, those who receive in faith, partake of Christ and all His benefits.
  2. Remembrance isn't about remembering to remember - it's about remembering what Christ accomplished through His death. Some worship songs for communion make much of the act of remembering, but then skim over the details of the gospel we're supposed to be remembering. When we remember and proclaim the Lord's death, we're remembering and proclaiming the fact that Christ bore the full weight of God's wrath for our sins on the Cross. We remember that it was us who deserved to die, and yet through His death we have life. So the remembrance and proclamation should be focused on what Christ accomplished at the Cross.
Here are some songs that fit into one or both of my points above: 

 You have fed usLead Sheet.. By Trinity Worship. A very simple song of worship and thanksgiving for the sacrament. The official title is Prayer of St Thomas Aquinas, but don't let that put you off! It's got nothing to do with Aquinas' particular theology of the Eucharist, but is simply based on a prayer of thanksgiving that he wrote for after communion.

You, You have fed us, 
with the body 
And the blood of Your son 
While we, we were sinners, 
and unworthy 
Of the mercy You've shown 

Thank You, thank You 
For saving us, for saving us 
Thank You, thank You 
For saving us, for saving us 

Communion Hymn (Behold the Lamb) by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. Words.

Being a Townend and Getty hymn I suppose this one's probably quite well known in the UK (although I can't say I've ever been in a service where it's been sung).

This one speaks of remembrance, but goes further to speak of what Christ has accomplished ('the wounds that heal, the death that brings us life') and of our partaking of Christ ('so we share in this bread of life/ and we drink of His sacrifice').

Here, O My Lord, I see Thee face to face. Horatius Bonar. Words.

An old one and a good one. The video is of the normal tune (St Agnes, Langran) in a contemporary style. Wayne Grudem says that this is 'one of the greatest hymns ever written regarding this doctrine' (Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 1001) and he's not exaggerating. In fact, it's not only one of the greatest hymns, but one of the greatest songs of any type on the Lord's Supper.

Like Behold the Lamb, this one takes in both the Spiritual Presence and the meaning of what Christ accomplished at the Cross ('Mine was the sin, but Thine the righteousness, Mine was the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood/ Here is my robe, my refuge and my peace/ Thy blood and righteousness, O Lord my God.')

Bonar even uses the last verse to point to the eschatological significance of the Lord's Supper as a foretaste of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

Jesus, Thank You. Pat Sczebel (Sovereign Grace Music). Lyrics.

This one is focused on the Gospel. The words are very clear about what happened at the Cross ('Your blood has washed away my sin/Jesus, thank You/The Father’s wrath completely satisfied/Jesus, thank You'), and the fact that it's only because of the Cross that we are now seated at His Table.

Come to the Table of Mercy. Claire Cloninger & Martin J. Nystrom.
Another good chorus that presents our feeding on Christ by faith ('come and your souls will be fed ... eat of the bread of salvation/ drink of the blood of the Lamb'). Although it's only a short chorus, it nicely reminds us that it's not our work of remembrance that's key to the sacrament, but Christ's feeding us ('receive from His nail-scarred hands'). It also has a simple melody. We introduced this one in church a few weeks ago and it was well received.

Q.96 What is the Lord's Supper. Audio. Leadsheet.
This one isn't really a worship song, but it is a song about the Lord's Supper. It's Question 96 from the Westminster Shorter Catechism which teaches what the Lord's Supper is.

Here's an older post with some more Communion songs.
And if you want to know more about the meaning of the Lord's Supper, here are four short posts on the Apostolic theology of the Breaking of Bread. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).