When it comes to holiday music, Christmas songs take all the glory. You don’t see radio stations changing their formats every spring to incorporate their favorite Easter songs. What are everybody’s favorite Easter songs, anyway? Sure, everyone can rattle off their favorite Christmas tunes — or at least a favorite Christmas tune (hello, Mariah Carey fans) — but Easter songs are much harder to nail down. (There’s only so many times you can listen to “Easter Parade” or “Peter Cottontail.”)
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our favorite songs to play on Easter Sunday. They’re mostly of the worshipful kind, but you can find lots of musical styles mixed in, including folk, pop, country and one of the most successful Broadway soundtracks of all time. Throw them on as you decorate eggs, fill baskets with Easter gifts, do Easter crafts, run an Easter egg hunt or brainstorm a creative dinner menu. With these in your back pocket, Christmas music will get a run for its money. (Did we miss any of your favorite Easter songs? Let us know which ones top your playlist in the comments!)
“Evidence” by Josh Baldwin
This song explores the classic theme of finding strength through faith, and the Easter message is really brought home when Josh Baldwin sings, “See the cross, the empty grave, the evidence is endless, all my sin washed away.”
Jesus Christ Superstar Soundtrack
Since the musical Jesus Christ Superstar takes place over the last week of Jesus’s life, the whole soundtrack is focused around Easter, and includes songs like “Crucifixion,” “The Last Supper” and the famous Mary Magdalene ballad “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” You can go with the newer John Legend edition, or the original version, which topped the year-end Billboard chart when it came out in 1971.
“I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe
“Say Yes” By Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams has a lot of help on this gospel song: Both of her Destiny’s Child bandmates, Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland, are featured on the track. They all come together to say, “When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no.”
“He’s Alive” by Dolly Parton
This Easter song about the crucifixion and resurrection became an instant classic when Dolly performed it at the 1989 CMA Awards alongside Nashville’s Christ Church Choir.
“Easter” by Patti Smith
This song comes from a whole Patti Smith album titled Easter, so you can throw the whole thing on and hit play. In the song titled “Easter,” though, she imagines an Easter Sunday as viewed through the eyes of the poet Rimbaud.
“Love Broke Thru” by TobyMac
“How Great Thou Art” by Johnny Cash
With evergreen lyrics like “I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Your hands have made,” you can listen to this any time your heart needs a jolt.
“My Redeemer Lives” by Nicole C. Mullen
Nicole’s voice, coupled with stunning lyrics, (“Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning? And who told the ocean you can only come this far?”) make it an uplifting ballad to belt in the car.
“Glorious Day” by Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill
Worship pastor Kristian takes the lead on this upbeat anthem that will having you singing along, “You called my name and I ran out of that grave!”
“How Can It Be?” By Lauren Daigle
“This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham
What a better way to honor the Lord than singing an inspiring song about His sacrifices? Phil’s rendition is nothing short of amazing.
“He Is Risen” by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square
The world-famous choir brings this graceful song to life and helps us truly celebrate the spirit of Easter.
“Death Was Arrested” by North Point InsideOut featuring Seth Condrey
It’s hard not to sing along to this gospel message that gives everyone the chance to know and love Jesus.
“Forever” by Kari Jobe
The Easter story is powerfully told through Kari’s song, which grows to a beautifully intense crescendo as she sings about the resurrection.
“Nailed To The Cross” by Rend Collective
This folky melody reminds us all that Jesus died for our sins and he continues to walk beside us.
“Easter Song” by Keith Green
Green’s vocals and the piano in the background go well together to create this simply stunning song.
“What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship
This rock ballad is perfect for worship on Easter Sunday, with lyrics like, “My sin was great, Your love was greater. What could separate us now?”
“All My Hope” by Crowder featuring Tauren Wells
This bluesy song will automatically have you feeling grateful for every new day that provides a fresh start.
“Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)” by Chris Tomlin
This classic has a place at any and every Christian holiday. Chris Tomlin’s version is beautiful, uplifting and perfect for Easter time.
“O Praise the Name” by Hillsong Worship
We dare you not to feel moved by this live cut of Hillsong Worship’s Christian anthem.
“When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton
This sweet song talks about what comes after life, and paints a beautiful portrait of heaven. It leaves us breathless when Parton and Paisley sing: “And I see my Maker’s face. I’ll stand forever in the light. Of His amazing grace.”
“Because He Lives (Amen)” by Matt Maher
At its core, Easter is truly about Jesus’s sacrifice, and this song beautifully expresses that immense gratitude.
“How a Resurrection Really Feels” by The Hold Steady
The resurrection here is more metaphorical than Biblical, but if you’re looking for an indie-rock anthem that touches on tangentially on Easter themes, this is the track for you.
“I Saw God Today” by George Strait
Easter Sunday reminds us that it’s important to recognize the miracles around us, even when they seem ordinary. George’s lyrics bring this message home, “A flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk pushing up through the concrete.”
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