congregation-singingSinging praises to God is a regular part of our worship services. Many of our classic hymns glorify God for the gift and beauty of creation and new songs are being written even today. These creation-honoring songs are an important part of developing a creation-themed worship service. These brief lists of songs and hymns are appropriate for including in a creation-honoring worship service.

Suggested Creation-Honoring Songs

songThis is a brief list of some of creation-honoring songs and hymns that you may find in several denominational hymnals as well as in Gather Comprehensive (see: Songbooks & Hymnals). The songs/hymns are listed by either title or first line. In parenthesis, after each title, you’ll find, where available: (1) composers and/or arrangers, and (2) tune titles in italics.

Traditional Songs and Hymns
Contemporary Songs and Hymns
Creation-Honoring Hymns written by Edith Sinclair Downing and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Traditional Songs and Hymns

All creatures of our God and king (St. Francis of Assisi/Lasst uns erfreuen)

All things bright and beautiful (Alexander/Royal Oak)

Beautiful Savior (Seiss/St. Elizabeth)

The Doxology (Old 100th)

For the beauty of the earth (Pierpoint, Monk/Lucerna Laudoniae and a Shaker tune)

For the healing of the nations (Kaan, Wade)

God who made the earth (Rhoades/Sommerlied, Cura Dei)

God who touchest earth with beauty (Edgar/Spiritus Christi)

I sing the almighty power of God that made the mountains rise (Watts/Forest Green)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise (Smith/St. Denio)

Joyful, joyful we adore Thee (Van Dyke, Hodges, Beethoven/Ode to Joy)

Let all things now living (Davis/The Ash Grove)

Morning has broken (Farjeon/Bunessan)

Not here for high and holy things (Studdert-Kennedy/Morning Song)

Now the green blade riseth (Campbell, Crum/Noel Nouvelet)

O all ye works of God (Tucher/Irish)

Psalms 104 (various)

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate (various)

The spacious firmament on high (Addison, Haydn/Creation)

The works of the Lord are created in wisdom (Idle, Kremser)

‘Tis the gift to be simple (18th century Shaker Song/Simple Gifts)

This is my Father’s world (Babcock, Mercer Street)

We plow the fields and scatter (Claudius, Wir Pflugen)

Contemporary Songs and Hymns

Abundant Life (Duck, Haugen)

All You Works of God (Haugen)

Canticle of the Sun (Haugen)

Come, Holy Spirit (Taize, Berthier)

Creation Story (Haugen)

Creating God, your fingers trace (Rowthorn/Wilderness)

Earth and all stars (Brokering)

For the fruit of all creation (Green, Jackson/East Asklam)

The Garden Song (Mallett)

Glory and Praise to Our God (Schutte)

God of the sparrow, God of the whale (Vajda)

God, who stretched the spangled heavens (Cameron/Holy Manna)

God of Wonders (Marc Byrd and Steve Hindalog)

Jubilate Servite (Taize, Berthier)

May We Praise You (Foley)

Mothering God (Janzen, Foley)

Now join we in praise to our Creator (Kaan, Laycock)

On Holy Ground (Pena)

One Ohana (One Great Family) (Haugen)

All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir (Staines)

Praise the Spirit in creation (Hewlett, Dearnley and Hurd/Finnian and Julion)

Song at the Center (Haugen)

Sing Out Earth and Skies (Haugen)

Spirit of Gentleness (Manley)

The Earth Is the Lord’s (Oliano, Ikhalan)

Touch the Earth Lightly (Murray, Gibson)

When in our music God is glorified (F.P. Green, Stanford)

World Without End (Bell/Scottish)

Creation-Honoring Hymns written by Edith Sinclair Downing and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Edith Sinclair Downing and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette have offered their prayerfully crafted hymns, which they have set to familiar tunes found in most Christian hymnals.

Edith attends United Churches of Olympia in Olympia, WA and has won awards for her hymn writing. Carolyn is co-pastor at Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE.

O God, Your Heart is Broken
We Celebrate the World

Great God, Your Vast Creation
We Still Can Save Our Planet, Earth
Earth Is Gift of God’s Creation
When We Give Ourselves the Privilege
The Earth Is the Lord’s
God, Remind Us You Still Trust Us

O God, Your Heart is Broken
Passion Chorale 76 76 D
Hans Leo Hassler, 1601
Harm. By Johann Sebastian Bach, 1729
Alternate tune:
LORD’S DAY (Doran)© Edith Sinclair Downing, 2007

O God, your heart is broken
by our abuse of earth.
We overuse resources
denying nature’s worth.
Forgive our selfish lifestyles
that feed on culture’s greed.
Urge us to take fresh courage
to tend our world in need.

Convert our hearts to caring
for creatures great and small.
Help us save birds for singing
their lovely mating call.
The evidence is mounting–
our planet is in pain–
more land and sea is shrinking
throughout the Earth’s domain.

We can now change direction,
with courage take a stand
to work against pollution
that harms both  sea and land.
You count on us as stewards
to never hesitate
to act to save creation
before it is too late!

We Celebrate the World
Edith Sinclair Downing 2005
Edward Shippen Barnes, 1920© 2007, Wayne Leupold Editions

We celebrate the world
which God has given us
to tend, protect, and keep it yet
a treasure, and a trust.
Still all creation cries
for us to show we care
that oceans wane, few birds remain,
felled forests leave land bare.

Embolden us, O God
to work that war may cease,
to live with less, that we can bless
our world which longs for peace.
Remembering your son
who would not bow to wealth,
when we right wrong, by faith made strong,
we help our planet’s health.

We own we have a part
in healing our torn earth.
All humankind awaits a sign
that justice have rebirth.
Let us, God’s agents now,
commit ourselves this hour
to heed God’s word, and be assured
we can bring hope to flower!

Great God, Your Vast Creation
tune: THAXTED 13 13 13 13 13 13
Edith Sinclair Downing, 2000
Gustav Theodor Holst, 1916© 2000 Edith Sinclair Downing

Great God, your vast creation breaks forth in joyous praise.
The creatures with elation their eager voices raise.
We hear the vibrant chorus of frogs announcing spring.
The songbirds rise before us and soar on silent wing.
We hear the gentle lapping as ripples meet the shore,
and sound of waves’ loud crashing: the mighty ocean’s roar.

Yet, God, there is pollution of waters which were pure.
Our wills resist solutions; move us to find a cure.
We grieve the growing absence of creatures once held dear.
More mating calls are silenced—those sounds we thrilled to hear.
Teach us to humbly reverence all life beneath the sun.
Awake in us awareness our destinies are one.

You make us in your image; you give us endless worth.
Help us as we envisage the sacredness of earth.
We would reclaim the treasure of rainbows in clear skies,
and seek to save this pleasure for children’s wondering eyes.
As we face each tomorrow, we pray for strength to dare
to live as if each sparrow depends upon our care.

We Still Can Save Our Planet, Earth
Edith Sinclair Downing, 2001
Thomas Tallis (1505?-1585)© 2001, Edith Sinclair Downing

We still can save our planet, Earth,
if we resolve to share
the energy and food we waste
with creatures everywhere.

Creation struggles for its life,
while our false needs increase.
Redeeming God, convert our will
to act for justice, peace.

In Jesus we see nothing less
than your own love expressed,
and we are called to show such love
to all the world’s oppressed.

Free us to open wide our hearts;
our apathy decrease.
Redeeming God, convert our will
to act for justice, peace.

Earth Is Gift of God’s Creation
tune: ABBOT’S LEIGH 87.87 D
Edith Sinclair Downing, 2002
Cyril Vincent Taylor, 1941
Alternate tune: AUSTRIAN HYMN© 2002 by Edith Sinclair Downing

Earth is gift of God’s creation,
ours to nurture or neglect.
We are called to witness boldly
that all life deserves respect.
How can we see rich and homeless
and not recognize our sin,
or see creatures held as captives,
and not mourn what could have been?

We are kin to every being,
sharing space on earth, our home.
Yet we squander vast resources,
seek to save ourselves alone.
Can we lose our tunnel vision,
see those who are cast aside,
sense the hurt of broken pledges,
hear the planet’s silent cries?

When our lifestyle lessens others
we become a measure less.
When we choose to live more simply
we confirm what we profess.
As we seek to keep life holy
we affirm our sacred self,
grieve each loss of fish and flower
which decreases nature’s wealth.

Tending space within earth’s garden,
honoring the future there,
we can serve with God as partners,
a community of care.
Strengthened by the rainbow’s promise,
sign of God’s enduring grace,
let us dare to live our calling
in our time and in our place!

When We Give Ourselves the Privilege
tune: REINLYN 87 87 6
Edith Sinclair Downing, 1997
Roy Hopp, 1988

When we give ourselves the privilege
of reducing our excess
we release a heavy burden,
and more freedom we possess.


We can live more with less.

When we sit down to the table
and consume more than our share
we can think of millions starving,
and eat less to show we care.


When we’re faithful to our calling
to preserve our planet, Earth,
we can use resources wisely
that we honor nature’s worth.


The Earth Is the Lord’s
(“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”)
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, 2001Welsh Folk HymnTune: Welsh Folk Hymn, Adapted in Caniadau y Cyssegr, 1839Text: Copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.  All rights reserved.Email: bcgillette@comcast.netChurch website:

“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”
Creation reminds us, O God, of your love.
By grace we are learning, as year leads to year,
We’re called to be stewards, your caretakers here.

Your rainforests nurture the world that we share.
Your wetlands give animals shelter and care.
Your coral reefs cradle the life of the sea.
You’ve shown us, in love, what your good world can be.

Too often, O God, we abuse your good earth.
We fail to remember its beauty and worth.
We take from creation much more than we need,
We threaten your world through indifference and greed.

May we be good stewards of all that you give,
Protecting creation wherever we live.
May we be a church that renews and restores
And lovingly cares for this earth that is yours.

God, Remind Us You Still Trust Us
Edith Sinclair Downing, 2008
Rowland H. Pritchard, l830 Cyfaill y Cantorion, 1844;
Arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, (English Hymnal, 1906),

Adapt. 1951, BBC Hymn Book

God, remind us you still trust us
to restore our blighted earth.
Help us heal its suff’ring places,
plead for saving nature’s worth.
Prod us to accept our calling:
answer now the silent cry
of the forest and the rivers
waiting for us to reply.

You are present in all nature.
Your own self is there expressed.
Help us cease from our exploiting
earth we’re called upon to bless;
ponder what we would be losing–
wild woods and fresh flowing streams.
Spring would come without new flowering,
laying waste our hopes and dreams.

Thank you for the gift of nature
holding life in its embrace.
Strengthen us to work as partners
with you in our time and place.
Call us now to be restorers
of our earth and of ourselves,
trusting in your Spirit’s guidance,
work to save our Planet’s health.