Christus Rex Hymn Commission Series

Since 2013, the Institute has commissioned a hymn that relates to the theme of its annual gathering. Funded by generous donations, these hymns are intended to extend the rich treasury of congregational song and, in particular, to supplement days, seasons, and occasions for which the number of existing hymn choices is limited.

Current Commission

God’s Peace Will Grow (2024)

Institute Theme: “Creation, Not Commodity: The Church’s Liturgy in a Consumer Culture”

Text: Sally Messner, b. 1980

Music: Johann Walter, 1496-1570; chorale setting by J.S. Bach

Downloadable Resources

Permission granted for local use through May 1, 2025. Congregations with OneLicense accounts are asked to report use of this hymn through OneLicense.


Past Commissions

Love Leads Us Through the Wind and Waves (2022)

Institute Theme: “Kyrie and Gloria in Liturgy and Life”

Text: Jeannette M. Lindholm

Music, HEALING PROMISE: Robert Buckley Farlee

Informed by lectionary readings for the Vigil of Easter and Serene L. Jones’s Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, this hymn is especially appropriate for singing during the Vigil and worship services that emphasize the promise of God’s healing presence and grace. Jeannette Lindholm’s text is set to an equally gentle and expressive tune by Robert Farlee that emphasizes the care we find in God’s love.

Downloadable Resources

Permission granted for local use through April 1, 2023. Congregations with OneLicense accounts are asked to report use of this hymn through OneLicense.


A Sunburst of Glory (2020)

Institute Theme: “Living Breath of God: How Word through Music Forms Us”

Text: Mary Louise Bringle

Music, SUNBURST: Sally Ann Morris

This text draws on several scriptural images (Isaiah 40:5, 7–8; Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 9:6; Job 38:7; Luke 19:40; Isaiah 11:6–7; Psalm 84:3–4; Isaiah 51:3; and Colossians 1:15–20) in order to show how God’s living breath inspires all creation to sing and rejoice in Christ’s incarnation. The recurring refrain, “and all flesh shall see it together,” prompted the composer to incorporate musical ideas from Handel’s Messiah. The hymn is well-suited for Advent and Epiphany liturgies, as well as for moments that draw attention to topics of creation and renewal. It is available for download from GIA Publications, Inc.

Caminemos con Jesús (2019)

Institute Theme: “Table of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us”

Text and Music: Tony Alonso

This bilingual text by Tony Alonso is based on writings of Roberto Goizueta and Luke 24:13–35. It is available from GIA Publications, Inc., as both a standalone piece as well as part of a collection inspired by Spanish melodies, African rhythms, and the composer’s Cuban heritage.

God, You Make All Water Holy (2018) 

Institute Theme: “Washed in Water: How Baptism Forms Us”

Text: Ruth Duck

Music, ETHIOPIAN: Mark Mummert

This hymn is especially appropriate for Easter 5B when the text of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch is read, or for other Sundays with baptismal themes. Scriptural references include Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22; and Acts 8:26–39. The text is available as part of Assembled for Song, Vol. 2: An Anthology of New Hymns, as well as an individual download from GIA Publications, Inc.

The Spirit Comes (2017) 

Institute Theme: “Liturgy Serving the Life of the Church: How Worship Re-Forms Us”

Text: Shirley Erena Murray

Music: I-to Loh

This hymn is especially appropriate for Pentecost, Reformation, and other moments that examine how communities of faith are re-formed and re-shaped, challenged, and renewed.

Who Is the Neighbor (2016) 

Institute Theme: “Bearing God’s Creative Word to All the World: Vocation and Worship”

Text: Delores Dufner

Music, CALMING KIN: Mark Sedio

Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us that the person in need is the neighbor whom God commands us to love; we are given the present moment as an opportunity to care for God’s beloved creation, now fragile and in urgent need of our attention. Accordingly, this hymn is particularly appropriate for liturgies that reflect upon the goodness of creation and our responsibility to care for it. It is also appropriate for lectionary dates that use images from Genesis 4:9; Luke 10:25–37; John 10:10; and Galatians 6:2. The text is published in Criers of Splendor: 56 Hymn Texts where it has been paired with the tune FINLANDIA by Jean Sibelius.

Peace Be Still, for I Am Here (2015) 

Institute Theme: “Sing a New Song: The Cosmos in Praise and Lament”

Text: Susan Palo Cherwien

Music, PREISINGER: Timothy Strand

This hymn is suitable for Lectionary 12B and Mark’s account of Jesus calming the storm (Mark 4:35–41). Other images in the text are drawn from Job 38:1–11; Psalm 107:1–3; Psalm 107:23–32; and 2 Corinthians 6:1–13. Text and tune are published (under the title “Who Is This, That Winds Obey Him”) in Peace, Be Still: Hymns of Susan Palo Cherwien, Vol. 3.

A Hearing Heart (2014) 

Institute Theme: “Word in Time: Lectionary, Proclamation and Church Year”

Text: Stephen P. Starke

Music, HEARING HEART: Amanda Husberg

This text draws on imagery in Luke 10:38–42; 1 Peter 2:2; Psalm 119:103; and Romans 10:17. Both text and music are available in Marvel at the Mercy: The Hymns of Stephen P. Starke, Vol. 2.

Lift Up Your Hearts (2013) 

Institute Theme: “Embodiment: The Word Became Flesh”

Text: Susan Briehl

Music, WEST LEESTAD: Zebulon M. Highben

Drawing on readings from Easter 2C, this hymn is available as part of the Augsburg Choral Hymn Series. It is set for SATB choir, organ, oboe, and optional assembly.