Worship Leader Resources

Carefully assessing and directing the environmental content of the hymns being sung by a congregation is an excellent tool for shaping the eco-theology. This page will offer a list of questions for worship leaders to ask in the process of selecting hymns for worship services, as well as a list of environmentally-positive hymns from the new Voices Together hymnal for easy reference.

Voices Together intentionally divides its environmental imagery into three categories: calls to celebration, calls to lament, and calls to action. Effectually, this boils down to two categories, as calls to action are often baked into hymns of the other two categories — particularly lament.

The hymns listed below are all drawn from Voices Together. I’ve highlighted a verse or two from each hymn to exemplify its thematic association. Some of these hymns, of course, can represent multiple categories, but I am keeping them constrained to one listing.

Calls to Celebration

  • “For the Beauty of the Earth” (120)
    • “For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies: Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise”
    • “For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale and tree and flow’r, sun and moon and stars of light: Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise”
  • “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (177)
    • “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”
    • “The purple-headed mountain, the river running by, the sunset, and the morning that brightens up the sky…”
  • “This Is God’s Wondrous World” (180)
    • “This is God’s wondrous world, and to my list’ning ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is God’s wondrous world; I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, the wonders God has wrought.”
  • “Creation is a Song / Ho’e enemeohe” (181)
    • “Creation is a song, a song that we can see, a sacred gift from God, let’s join the harmony. Majestic sleeping mountain, forest green and deep, ev’ry living creature in our care to keep.”
  • “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” (182)
    • “There’s not a plant or flow’r below, but makes thy glories known, and clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from thy throne. While all that borrows life from thee is ever in thy care, there’s not a place where we can flee but God is present there.”
  • “O Lord My God” / How Great Thou Art” (436)
    • “O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made, I see the stras, i hear the rolling thunder, thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art, how great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art, how great thou art!”
    • “When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze…”

Calls to Lament

  • “God, Give Me Time” (144)
    • “God, give me time to deal with words that threaten and destroy: the easy words of politics that kill creation’s joy; the speeches that proliferate economies of greed, the thieves of children’s heritage, the poison in the seed.”

Calls to Action

  • “When at Creation’s Dawn” (121)
    • “So let our songs now echo nature’s praise. All strings and cords in sweet vibration raise to glorify our God through all our days: Alleluia, alleluia.”
  • “Touch the Earth Lightly” (145)
    • “Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently, nourish the life of the world in our care: gift of great wonder, ours to surrender, trust for the children tomorrow will bear.”
    • “Let there be greening, birth from the burning, water that blesses, and air that is sweet, health in God’s garden, hope in God’s children, regeneration that peace will complete.”
  • “The Garden Needs Our Tending Now” (788)
    • “The garden needs our tending now — the water, soil, and air. The very rocks and stones cry out for stewardship and care. Creation groans, awaiting still the consummation of God’s will: Earth shall be green and new, Eden restored. Terra viridissima.”
    • “Where air and waters, crystal bright, have now grown choked and foul, the sparrow’s Maker mourns the loss of eagle, falcon, owl. Creation groans, its creatures yearn for wilderness and peace returned…”
    • “When human tribes and nations vie to own its fertile yield, the Psalmist knows the earth is God’s, its fullness, grace revealed. Creation groans, and pleads for hands to bring God’s healing to its lands…”
  • “There’s a Wild Hope in the Wind” (828)
    • “There’s a wild hope in the earth: her body provides us with nurture. The dark underground is where life can abound. There’s a wild hope in the earth. O God in the earth, come aid our rebirth, be our courage and promise. The future is dim, but we want to live into a wild, wild hope.”


This list serves as a basic introduction to the environmental hymns of Voices Together. If you are attempting to prepare a set of environmentally-oriented hymns on a particular theme, would like environmental hymn suggestions for another hymnal, or have other questions based on my work, please feel free to contact me at joseph.harder@sustainableclimatesolutions.org.