Songs for the Holy Other

Hymns Affirming The LGBTQIA2S+ Community

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Songs for the Holy Other 2020



In our society and in our churches, we continue to build walls marking “out” and “in”. We continue to mark boundaries of “us” and “them”, of “normal” and “other”. Songs for the Holy Other aims to provide congregations working to dismantle these walls with a toolbox of hymns by and for those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, two-spirit, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQIA2S+) community and their allies. For many members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, assimilation is not an option; we continue to be othered for our identities, relationship-styles, dis/abilities, race, economic status, and more. The title, Songs for the Holy Other, is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God. We who have been labeled as “wholly other” are claiming our holiness, and reclaiming our otherness as a prophetic witness to the church.

Hymn writer and theologian Rev. Dr. Carl P. Daw, Jr., FHS writes: “Human otherness (of whatever kind) provides a sacramental reminder of the ultimate otherness of God, and openness to human otherness has the potential to enlarge our perception of and receptivity to divine otherness. It is also an essential element of human maturity to recognize otherness, i.e. to know where the self ends and otherness begins, whether that otherness be other people or non-human objects. From a theological perspective, “otherness” is a necessary dimension of the movement from the disappointments of self-sufficiency to the assurances of trust in God.”

The gifts God has given us are not in spite of our otherness, our queerness, our LGBTQIA2S+ identities, but rather our identities are inextricably tied up in our God-given gifts, and are, in and of themselves, a gift to the church, as we reflect the rainbow diversity of God’s creation.

This collection emerged from a desire to make queer hymns — hymns by, for, or about the LGBTQIA2S+ community — accessible to a wider range of congregations. While the idea emerged from the membership of the The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and the committee was made up of LGBTQIA2S+ and allied members of The Hymn Society, it would not have been possible without the support of the staff and executive committee of the The Hymn Society. We also realize that there are many more authors and composers than we could include in this collection. We celebrate the contributions of those who have paved the way for this collection, and hope to create a dynamic resource of additional resources that are available to congregations in the near future.


Cedar Klassen, Kitchener, ON – Coordinator*
CJ Redden-Liotta, Annandale, VA – Music Editor*
David Bjorlin, Chicago, IL – Executive Committee Liaison
Stephanie Budwey, Nashville, TN*
Tom Baynham, St. Louis, MO
Matthew Messenger, Manassas, VA
T. Wes Moore, Pollocksville, NC
Slats Toole, Princeton, NJ*
*These members self-identify as members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community


A Hymn for Self-Acceptance – Wesley King
Alchemy of Healing – Gilo
All Belong Here – Lenora Rand
All Colors of the Rainbow – Carl P. Daw
As Colors in the Sky – Dan Damon
Blest Be the Holy Other – Dan Windham
Christ Our Health – Edward Moran
Fearfully, Wonderfully Made – Nathan Crabtree and Erik Whitehill
For all the Children – David Lohman
For Those Who Suffered – Benjamin Smith
God Calls You Good – Paul Vasile
God Gave This World – Carmen Llanos
God Loves Us in Mysterious Ways – Edward Moran
God of Many Faces – Amy Cerniglia
God of Queer Transgressive Spaces – Edward Moran
God’s Limitless Imagination – David Lohman
God’s Love is Boundless – Adam M. L. Tice
I Know That God Loves Me – Sherry Klinedinst
I Met a Stranger on the Road – David Bjorlin
I Shall Not Leave from by Your Side – Chris Shelton
Impartial, Compassionate God – Adrienne Stricker
Jesus, You Have Truly Called Us – Dan Damon
Like the Weeping Willow – Amy Sens
Love Astounding – Jeannette Lindholm
Love’s Rage and Grief – Jeannette Lindholm
Lovely, Needy People – Lenora Rand
New patterns for Living – Barbara Hamm
O God, Bestow Your Love and Care – Barbara Hamm
Pour Your Freedom Over Me – Cheryl Bragg
Queerly Beloved – Amanda Udis-Kessler
Quirky, Queer and Wonderful – Adam M. L. Tice
Rest in Power – Elaine Romaneli
Rise Up – Kim Jamae Williams
Sing a New World into Being – Mary Louise Bringle
The Dove Will Fly on Mended Wing – Tim Reaburn
The Heart Will Choose the One It Loves – Barbara Hamm
The Kingdom of God is the Queerest of Nations – Amanda Udis-Kessler
The Love That Goes Unspoken – Mary Louise Bringle
Transfigure Me – Christopher Grundy
We Are a Rainbow – David Kai
We Are The Hidden – Slats Toole
We’ll Build a World – David Lohman
Weary Seekers – Gretchen Toler Debus
When Comes the Time – John Schimminger
Who Is the Alien – Mary Louise Bringle
With Open Hearts – Mary-Ellen Kish