Hymns and Music for First Sunday after the Epiphany

“Down by the Jordan,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “Baptized in Water.” | Hymns and Music for First Sunday after the Epiphany


Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing new or well-known hymns and “gospel and folk songs.” PUMC music ministry includes a handbell choir, children, youth and adult choirs. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope

This Sunday, we celebrate Christ’s baptism, and we reaffirm our baptismal vows as we come to the waters to renew our commitments to Christ. This recommitment will remind us of how Christ heals us, especially in light of what is going on around us today. The hymns that we sing at this worship service go perfectly with our scripture, Mark 1:4-11, and are also in line with Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon, “Baptism of Christ.”  Here are three of the hymns:

  Video:  “Down by the Jordan”

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote the hymn “Down by the Jordan; a Prophet named John was Baptizing” and published it in 2000. It draws from Bible scripture in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and tells about the chosen one, birth and baptism, love and joy. The tune generally used for this hymn is LOBE DEN HERREN

  Video:  “Down to the River to Pray” 

“Down to the River to Pray” is a traditional American song differently described as a Christian folk hymn, an African-American spiritual, Appalachian music, and a gospel song. The text contains some scriptural references. Ephesian 4:5 tells us, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” This profoundly spiritual hymn is about “keeping the faith in a time of darkness.” It gained popularity in 2000 after Alison Krauss performed it for the film’s soundtrack, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” 

     Video:  “Baptized in Water”

Michael Saward wrote “Baptized in Water” in London on May 29, 1981, a few days after the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the ministry. The tune generally used for this hymn is BUNESSANThe text is rich in baptismal images and scriptural references. It is a great hymn for infant or adult baptism. It also tells of being cleansed by Jesus’ blood for salvation, godly living, dying and being buried with Jesus and rising again, free and forgiven, becoming God’s children and praising God.                                                 

Click here to watch the PUMC worship service, listen to the beautiful music, the children’s story time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

Image Source: Google images

Written by Isabella Dougan