Hymns for 4th Sunday of Easter A – ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’

(Why the picture?  Because 4th Sunday is a World Day of prayer for vocations . Pray for priests. )

Wow, there’s a lot of shepherd hymns out there. My advice would be not to try and cram in every hymn that mentions shepherds, sheep or lambs into this Sunday’s Mass. Start with the Propers; have a look at their texts and then try and choose a hymn which corresponds with the different texts of the Propers. For example, the Communion Proper is ‘I am the good shepherd, Alleluia; I know my sheep and my own know me, Alleluia, alleluia.’  the perfect place for a ‘Shepherd’ hymn. The Offertory Proper however, is ‘O God, my God, from daybreak do I watch for you; and in invocation of your name will I lift up my hands.’  It might be more appropriate to sing an Easter hymn at this point exalting the Lord. Try’Praise we our God with joy’ or ‘Good Christians all rejoice and sing.’

If you scroll down on the right hand column of this site, a PDF Gregorian Missal where all the propers can be found in Latin with English translations.

So here are some hymn ideas for the 4th Sunday in Easter, starting with the ‘bankers’ the ones our congregation could sing on a hillside without a hymn book in sight:

The Lord’s my Shepherd

The King of Love my Shepherd is

At the Lamb’s High Feast

All People that on earth do dwell

Hail Redeemer, King Divine

All Christians all rejoice and sing

Thine be the glory

O Christe Domine Jesu (Taize)

Don’t forget it’s May so how about a Marian hymn for the Recessional.

Our congregation  probably would not know:

Shepherd of Souls in love come feed us.

Praise we our God with joy

The Shepherd songs that are staying in the pen for another year:

Baa baa black sheep

Because the Lord is my Shepherd – Christopher Walker

LIke a shepherd – Bob Dufford

Shepherd, me, O God – Marty Haugen

This is the Day

Out of Darkness

I have seen some suggestions for Jubilate Deo. I would leave it until next week when it is the text for the Introit.

There is a good Gelineau setting of Psalm 22 and countless choral settings:


All we like sheep, And by his stripes, and He shall feed his flock – from Handel’s Messiah

The Lord’s My Shepherd – Franck, Rutter, Schubert, Stanford etc

Sheep may safely graze – Bach

My shepherd is the living Lord – Thomas Tomkins  – Music score HERE

The God of love my shepherd is – Thomas Tallis – Music score HERE   This can be sung in unison.

Bone Pastor – Thomas Tallis. Music score HERE

Christe Jesu Pastor Bone – John Taverner. Music score HERE

Ego Sum bonus Pastor – Victoria. Music score HERE

Deus, deus meus – Palestrina. Music score HERE

If you have a Liber Usualis, head to the commmunion proper for Holy Thursday and there you will find Psalm 22 (23). Nothing beats chanting the actual psalm, especially in Latin.


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