The first or second reading from Year A may be used in place of these readings. In a way, these readings hark back to Advent, particularly to the Third Sunday of Advent, since today's Gospel picks up where that Gospel ends. The baptism of Jesus is put in the context of our own call (second reading) and of cosmic restoration (first reading).

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11. The return of the exiles is such a powerful event that people feel as if the desert itself prepares a smooth path for them to walk. From the perspective of a ruined Jerusalem and Judah, it is as if God is physically returning to the land with the exiles.

Psalm of the Day: Ps (103) 104. A hymn of praise to the Lord as creator and sustainer of the universe. Note: Because this set of readings was new with the 1998 Lectionary for Mass, most of the older music resources do not have a setting of Psalm 104 that contains all the verses used today. Most of them do have a setting with the refrain “Lord, send out your spirit.” You might consider using one of these settings, if a more appropriate arrangement is not available, or use a setting of the psalm from Year A: Psalm (28) 29 with the refrain “The Lord will bless his people with peace.” Here are some settings of the Year A psalm:

El Señor Bendice a Su Pueblo (Manzano) FYC 192
Lord, Bless Your People (Warner) PMB 143
The Lord Will Bless His People PSL A-27 519/SS 426
The Lord Will Bless His People (Batastini) RS 58
The Lord Will Bless His People (Booth) GP 191
The Lord Will Bless His People (Forrester/Somerville) CBW 38
The Lord Will Bless His People (Guimont) GC 40/GC2 908/LPMG 21
The Lord Will Bless His People (Hunstiger) SS 519
The Lord Will Bless His People (Kreutz) PMB 576/PRM A14
The Lord Will Bless His People (Proulx/Gelineau) WOR 785/LPGG 787                                    
The Lord Will Bless His People (Schiavone) JS 899/LP 30
The Lord Will Bless Us with Peace (Whitaker) JS 31

Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7. Once more, this feast at the end of the Christmas cycle harks back, this time to the readings for Christmas. After outlining the way Christians should live, the writer points out that our opportunity to live this way is a gift of divine mercy.

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22. After the echo of the Third Sunday of Advent, this reading offers Luke's version of Jesus' baptism. It appears to be a simple report that these things happened; it does not say who (if anyone) saw or heard any of it.

Music Suggestions

Choral Anthems

Songs for the Liturgy

A Living Hope (2,G) CBW 613/PMB 284                  
*All Justice You Have Loved and Taught (E) IH 13
All the Ends of the Earth – Dufford (1) GP 683/MI-BB 554/GC 520/GC2 526/JS 595
All You Who Are Thirsty (G) RS 644/GC 501/GC2 501
Arise, Your Light Is Come! (1) CBW 302
Baptized in Water (G) WOR 720/RS 903/JS 542/GC 798/GC2 797/CBW 614/WC 635/PMB 286/WS 552/MI-BB 657
Before the Sun Burned Bright (G) GP 577/CBW 504
Blessed Quietness (G) LMGM 72
Christ, You are the Fullness (2,G) CBW 431
Come, Taste and See (G) JS 818/GP 526
*Down Galilee’s Slow Roadways (G) HG 16
Everyone Moved by the Spirit (G) GP 412
God Sends Us His Spirit (G) WOR 724
Hail to the Lord's Anointed (1,G) WC 517/PMB 225/SS
Healing River (G) RS 715/GC 584/GC2 564
Here Am I (1) RS 822/GC2 713
Here I Am (Booth)   BB 443/SPS 307
Here Am I, Lord   SPS 66
*Here Is My Servant (1) PSL A-34
I Have Been Anointed (1,2,G) PMB 395/WC 819/WS 683
I've Just Come from the Fountain (G) LMGM 110
Joy to the World (G)  W3 399/W4 424/CBW 328/BB 80/LMGM 19/LMGM2 249/GP 318/RS 524/GC 343/GC2 353/G3 437/WC 522/JS2 336/JS3 303/PMB 207/WS 464/SS 773/SPS 147
Now in This Banquet, vss 3-4 (1) GC 833/GC2 825/RS 933/CBW 608
O Christ, the Great Foundation (1,G) WOR 618/RS 781, 782/CBW 527/GC2 646/SS
O God of Love, O King of Peace (Ps) WOR 652/WC 898/RS 833/CBW 681/RS 833/PMB 457
Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness (1,G) CBW 582
Praise to You, O Christ Our Savior (G) JS 674/MI-BB 605/RS 652/GC 515/GC2 517/CBW 442/GP 662
Priestly People, v 1 (E,1,G) PMB 383/WC 786/WS 659
Send Down the Fire (G) GC 466/GC2 477
Song of the Holy Spirit (G) JS 460/CBW 526
Song over the Waters (G) RS 855/GC 585/GC2 559/SS
*Songs of Thankfulness and Praise (G) WOR 410/CBW 348/BB 112/JS 368/WC 548/GC 376/GC2 383/RS 529/WS 478/PMB 224
Sweet Refreshment (G) GC2 802
The Church of Christ in Every Age (1) WOR 626/RS 803/WC 965/JS 843/GC2 665
The Church's One Foundation (G) CBW 604/GP 573/M-BB 420/WC 789/JS 779/PMB 385/WS 660
The Spirit of God (G) WC 807/PMB 399/WS 687
The Voice of God Goes Out (1,G) WOR 358/CBW 433
There Is One Lord (G) GP 453/WOR 657/MI-BB 499/WC 638/RS 835/GC 661/JS 699/PMB 287/WS 555
*To Jordan Jesus Humbly Came (G) WC 554/WS 481
Ustedes Sacarán Agua/You Will Draw Water JS 116
Wade in the Water (G) LMGM 107/GC 812/GC2 793/MI-BB 661/GP 456/JS 544
Waters of Love (Ps,G) WC 636
We Shall Draw Water (1) JS 117/MI-BB 828/GP 288
*When Jesus Came to Jordan (G) WOR 697/RS 878/HG 151
*When Jesus Comes to Be Baptized (G) CBW 350/JS 372/BB 113
*When John Baptized by Jordan's River (G) WOR 412/RS 538/CBW 325/WC 553/JS 373/GC2 390
Wonderful and Great (Ps) WC 956/PMB 499
You Are the Voice (G) GC 549/GC2 538/RS 659/CBW 576
You Have Anointed Me (1) RS 795/GC 676/GC2 662/GP 555


Choral Anthems

Title of Anthem, Voicing & Instrumentation


Publisher & edition  #

All Glory Be to God on High  (SATB) Cruger, Johannes/Proulx, Richard GIA  (G-4149) PS
Ascribe to the Lord  (SATB) Wetzler, Robert Concordia  (98-3109) * PS
Ascribe to the Lord the Glory  (SATB) Hillert, Richard Concordia  (98-2825) * PS
Asperges Casciolini, C. CPDL G
Baptism Carol, The  (SATB) Busarow, D. Concordia  (98-3223) * G
Baptism of Christ, The Bedford St. James Press G
Baptism of Christ, The (SATB) Hallock, Peter GIA  (G-2331) G
Baptism of Christ, The March St. James Press G
Baptism of Jesus, The  (SATB, Organ) Hallstrom, Henry Abingdon  (APM-581) E, G
Baptism of Jesus, The  (SATB, keyboard) Lovelace, Austin C. GIA  (G-5313) G
Baptism of the Lord  (2-part mixed) Callahan, Charles Morningstar (MSM 50-2003) G
Carol of Baptism  (SAB or 2-part mixed, Organ) Brandon, George Concordia  (98-2138) * E, G
Christ, When for Us You Were Baptized (SAB, keyboard) Helman, Michael Augsburg  (800674057) G
Exaltabo te, Domine  (SSATB, Latin/English) Palestrina, G.P./Button, H. Elliott Novello  (1135) PS
Festival Anthem  (SATB, Trumpet, & Organ) Leaf, Robert Augsburg  (11-1795) * PS
Give to Jehovah from “2nd Morning Star Choir Book,” (Unison, keyboard) Schütz, Heinrich Concordia  (97-4702) PS
Give Unto the Lord, O Ye Mighty (Unison & Organ, German/English) Schütz, Heinrich/Agey, C. Buell Abingdon  (APM-135) PS
I'm Gonna Sing ‘Til the Spirit Moves in My Heart (SATB) Hogan, Moses Hal Leonard  (08740284) G
It Is A Good Thing to Give Thanks (SATB) Busarow, D. Concordia  (98-3126) * PS
Let Thy Holy Presence  (SATB) Tchesnokoff, T. Pro Art  (1514) G
Lone Wild Bird, The  (SATB) Haugen, Marty GIA  (G-3538) G
On Jordan's Bank (SATB, Sop. desc., Organ, Flute) Ferris, William World Library (WLP005701) G
Psalm 29  (SATB, Unison) Cartford, Gerhard M. Augsburg  (11-0672) PS
Psalm 29  (SATB) Schütz, Heinrich/Lynn, George Presser  (312.40072) PS
Psalm 29  (SSATB, keyboard) Sweelinck, J.P. Edition Musico (G-539) PS
Psalm 29  (Solo, 2-part choir, organ, opt. Brass, Hebrew/English) Weisgall, Hugo Presser  (312.40958) PS
Spirit of God, Descendeth Upon My Heart (SATB, solo) Jennings, Kenneth Augsburg  (6000098332) G
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart (SAB, keyboard) Thoburn, Crawford R. Mark Foster/Shawnee (MF2138) G
Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day  (SATB) Gardner Oxford  (40.107) G
Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day  (SATB) Shaw/Parker G. Schirmer  (731) G

The White Dove

Healey E. C. Schirmer G
This Child of  Ours  (SATB, Piano, Flute) Jeffrey Concordia  (98-3730) * G
Tribus miraculis from “Ten Palestrina Motets” (SATB) Palestrina, L. Oxford G
Tribus Miraculis Marenzio CPDL G
Voice of the Lord Sounds  (SATB, Organ or Piano) Schütz, Heinrich Mercury  (MC-407) PS
When Jesus Came to Jordan (SATB, Keyboard, C-Instrument) Trapp, Lynn M. GIA  (G-5266) G

* out of print