Sunday, November 19, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Advent 2B (December 10th, 2017)

I list many more songs for Advent listed here, that will also be appropriate for these readings. The following are more focused suggestions! 

Isaiah 40:1-11  
“Comfort my people”. A voice in the wilderness crying out to make a straight path for God. See also the suggestions for Mark at the bottom of this entry.
  • TiS 647 / AoV2-012 / ATN 25 / STB184 Comfort, comfort all my people (Robin Mann) Easy to sing, beautiful lyrics; largely a paraphrase of this passage. Chorus is “Comfort, comfort all my people, with the comfort of my word. Speak ye tender to my people, all your sins are taken away”. Lyrics, mp3 sample. Good for kids, too.
  • StF183 Praise to the God who clears the way (Jan Berry) Advent Good words to a simple tune. Each verse reflects on a different nature of God: clearing the way, coming to judge, waiting with us, and bringing comfort.
  • BUC Song Project: Feed us the bread of your body of love / Harvest our love (Dave Brown). This song is funky and great. The chorus is: “Come and be our feast, harvest our love; Restore our sight again, breath of life and power; Light of the world, shine in this space; In the gracious meal of love, bless us to this age. In the cosmic mystery, show us Jesus' face”. We haven't sung this for quite a while.
  • Online resource: In the still of winter (Nancy Kilgore) These beautiful words to the well-known tune FOUNDATION would be particularly good for a quieter, more reflective Advent service in the Northern Hemisphere. "From the silence of evening, from shadow and sleep, comes a numinous star like a voice from the deep. How long must I wander, how far must I roam? I am here, I am with you, and I'll lead you home." Available here. New words to old tunes.  
  • NCH101 / CH274 / VU883 / LBW29 / ELW256 / HPP84 / PHS003 / GtG087 / GC326 / GC(II)331 / G(3)413 / CP100 / W&R155 / Cha122 / 82Hml-067 / Lau097 / VF032 Comfort Comfort O My People (Johannes Olearius, translated by Catherine Winkworth) A more traditional setting of this passage. I don’t know why this is not popular in Australia. The tune PSALM 42 (Genevan Psalter) also sometimes known as GENEVA is not the GENEVA in TiS. Of course, NCH has the most inclusive lyrics, but the others are mostly okay too. Lyrics. Sound sample. Sheet music for the tune. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Cha123 Comfort Comfort O My People (Scripture passage) A responsive reading and sung response based on the familiar hymn listed above. 
  • *ATOK 337 / The word made flesh The grass withers (Robin Mann) A simple song “The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of our God lasts forever”; this even fits well at this time of year, when everything is drying off in Australia, and getting covered in snow in the far North of the world. Lyrics. 
  • Online resource: Comfort comfort my people (Bruce Harding) A simple round. Sheet music PDF for purchase and sound sample available here 
  • NCH121 / UMH210 / VU005 / WoV629 / ELW266 / W&R163 / Cha139 All earth is waiting / All earth is hopeful / Toda la tierra espera al Salvador (Alberto Taule) Fun Catalonian tune, good words, although the English translations vary between sources. Could be good for kids. Sound sample and Spanish lyrics.   Good for kids
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
God will speak peace; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. God’s forgiveness and steadfastness.
  • AoV1-106 / UMH376 / WoV774 / ELW753 / GtG752 / G(II)528 / GC730 / GC(II)724 / G(3)822 / CP562 /  Cha297 / URW443 / 82Hml-712 / Lau904 Dona Nobis Pacem (American folk song) This is very well known, and would fit well with this reading. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Taizé / TiS 713 / Cha296 Dona nobis pacem domine / cordium (Jacques Berthier) There is a specific cantor line for Psalm 85 to go with this prayer of peace. Sound samples and sheet music for the refrain
  • TiS 409 / AHB 322 / CH595 / UMH543 / VU202 / StJ / SLW43 / W&R328 / Cha250 / StF391 / MP488 O Breath of life come sweeping through us (Elizabeth Porter Head) This is a really good older style hymn with inclusive lyrics. Lyrics and sound sample. Not all verses are in all hymnals.
  • AoVNG55 / Iona (WWHW) / G(II)74 / CP113 Come O Lord and Set Us Free (Mike Balhoff, Gary Daigle, Darryl Ducote) Good simple, inclusive refrain with a pretty groovy cantor line; could work for the younger set. This song appears in a few different formats. There is a full-length short song (WWHW) and a short 7 bar refrain (Gather), either would work well as a response. The refrain is exactly the same melody as the short song, but only uses the words "Come O Lord and set us free, come and set us free". Sample sheet music. Sound sample. 
  • *CH720 / A&M409 / GtG470 / G(3)653 / SP204 / Lau941 There is a longing in our hearts O Lord (Anne Quigley) Good words of longing for God's love, justice, wisdom, healing. A good song for before, during or after intercessions. 
  • G(II)254 / GC330 Let Me Taste Your Mercy Like Rain (Rory Cooney) Good words of both personal and communal redemption. Simple contemporary tune. Lyrics & lead sheet. Clunky sound sample
  • PfAS085C Righteousness and peace (Mary David Callahan) A nice simple refrain; a little bit majestic. "Righteousness and peace shall go before the Lord". 
  • CH198 / MV001 / HPP550 / A&M365 / GtG301 / GC753 / GC(II)741 / G(3)850 / SP176 / URW058/ Lau458 / StF409 Let Us Build a House / All are welcome (Marty Haugen) This song has wonderful lyrics of hope for what a Christian community can be like, and a chorus that joyfully says “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”. Sheet music sample. Sound sample
  • TiS 217 / AHB 148 / NCH43 / CH519 / UMH384 / VU333 / A&M721 / LBW315 / ELW631 / A&M721 / GA463 / HPP48 / GtG366 / PH376 / GC622 / GC(II)613 / G(3)641 / CP485/6 / CP(E) 516 / W&R358 / Cha517 / Srce457 / URW100 / 82Hml-657 / Lau801 / StF503 / MP449 Love divine all loves excelling (Charles Wesley) A beautiful classic song and most hymnals use a very inclusive version of this hymn, even the AHB. Lyrics and sheet music. You may also like to give Rend Collective Experiment's version a listen (hard for congregations to sing, but nice for listening). Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • MV222 May the peace of God be your peace (Neil McLaren) A lovely benediction. Will need to be taught first.
  • CH659 / MV173 / StJ / A&M566 / G(3)824 / W&R389 / SP251 / StF712 Put peace into each other’s hands (Fred Kaan) Good words for communion; tune is quite simple and flows nicely. Slow sound sample, sheet music with lyrics. Good for kids
  • *Emergent Psalter Show us your mercy O God (Isaac Everett) A simple refrain and read Psalm. Sheet music sample.

2 Peter 3:8-15a 
God has a different timeline to us. Waiting in purity; the day of the Lord will surprise us.
  • TiS 616 / AHB 547 / NCH611 / UMH730 / VU688 / HPP221 / PH452 / CP092 / CP(E) 33 / Cha700 / 82Hml-600 O day of God draw near / nigh in beauty and in power, come with your timeless judgement now to match our present hour" (Robert Balgarnie Young Scott) This older hymn has quite excellent words calling for God’s presence, steadfast faith, justice in our land, peace and light. Can be sung to BELLWOODS or ST. MICHAEL. If neither tune is familiar, ST THOMAS (TiS 271) will work well. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • GA281 Gather in hope people of God / Advent Song (Deidre Browne / Jane Wood) Joyful refrain, and cantor response verses. "Gather in hope, people of God, sing the Advent song! Song of faith, song of trust, a song to welcome the Christ". The verses seem a bit tricky. 
  • *AoVK-58 We wait in hope for the Lord (Nethaniel Ford) Simple a cappella round "We wait in hope for the Lord, God is our help and our shield. And so our hearts rejoice, for we trust in God's holy name". Good for kids.
  • ATFG 514 Emmanuel Carol / God of light we are waiting for you (Gael Berberick) This is probably not one to sing every week, but is definitely worth looking at as a general resource for Advent.
  • VU718 / PH431 / W&R620 O Lord You Gave Your Servant John (Joy Patterson) Terrific words contrasting the wealth and poverty of earthly cities with the Holy City. Sung to ST. PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE or CANDLER. Lyrics and Sheet Music. New words to old tunes
  • *SP&P020 We are waiting for you (Christopher Grundy) A gentle song of waiting. Would be good for the musicians to sing for the congregation during a meditative part of the service, or to commence the service. This song would also work well during distribution of communion. Sound sample
Mark 1:1-8
John the Baptist proclaims the coming of Christ
  • AoVK-50 / ATW 430 Come let us praise our God / A voice is heard (Trisha Watts) Excellent and energetic. Good for kids.
  • TiS 270 / AHB 199 / NCH115 / CH334 / VU20 / LBW548 / ELW842 / A&M046 / GtG096 / PH010 / G(II)260 / GC321 / 322 / GC(II)344 / G(3)418 / CP103 / CP(E) 34 / W&R156 / 82Hml-076 / Lau094 / StF182 / MP538 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry (Charles Coffin) If you would like inclusive lyrics, have a look at the New Century Hymnal’s version. If you’d like a groovy tune, check out AHB 199(ii) / GC322 – ST JOHN BAPTIST by Gary Lewis Miles and Betty Pulkingham. This is an excellent, fun tune. You can even combine the words of NCH115 with AHB199(ii) for the best of both worlds. But WINCHESTER NEW is also very good, and easy to sing if you don’t have a congregation full of people who grew up in the 60s and 70s. Lyrics and sheet music). Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *TiS 263 / CH607 The bright wind is blowing the bright wind of heaven (Cecily Taylor) Excellent words of the changes brought about by a "bright wind" that blows away the chaff of our hating, and fans the flames of love.  Joyful tune.      
  • Seeds of Faith Prepare the Way For Love (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A good song for kids. I think it would be fun to make up additional verses for this one so it could carry through the whole of Advent. Sound sample and lyrics. BUC people, I have this book. Good for kids.
  • Tune In: Dare to Dream (Elaine Loukes) A great song about having a vision for the future, being lead by the light of Bethlehem’s star. "Dare to dream of new beginnings, Paths untried, by faith supplied".  Free sheet music
  • StS008 / SFFS 2089 / GtG163 / PH409 / StF189 Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice (Carl P Daw) Excellent, challenging words. I prefer this sung to ABERYSTWYTH which is well known and easily accessible. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes  
  • Online resource: Down by the Jordan (Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette). Good inclusive words to the familiar tune LOBE DEN HERREN. Available here. New words to old tunes
  • Online Resource:  Prepare the way of the Lord (Jeffrey Lowery) An upbeat song, good for kids and teenagers, I think. The verses are kind of wordy, but they're good words. Free sheet music. The verses follow the traditional advent themes of peace, hope, joy and love, so you could also sing it every Sunday of Advent.   
  • Taizé / UMH207 / VU10 / StS014 / GC336 / GC(II)330 / G(3)400 / W&R174 / Cha121 Prepare the way of the Lord (Jacques Berthier) A lovely simple round. Sheet music and clunky sound sample 
  • *VU010 Prepare the way of the Lord (Michael Burkhardt) A lovely simple round in 6:8. "Prepare the way of the Lord! X2 Make a straight path for him, make a straight path. Prepare the way of the Lord!" You can split into 6 groups for this one! What fun! Good for kids. 
  • *Recorded Music Prepare ye the way of the Lord - Godspell (Stephen Schwarz / John-Michael Tebelak) This is still a great call to worship for this Sunday. Get that gospel choir going if you have the sheet music. Track it down! Youtube.  
  • TiS 688 Come to be our hope O Jesus (Jaci Marachin) This is a really fun Latin American song from the World Council of Churches Assembly in Canberra. It's not easy the first time, but once you've heard it, it's very catchy. The words are really excellent, despite a slightly clunky translation. It would be worth teaching to your congregation!  
  • G(3)398 Prepare Prepare the way of the Lord (Stephen Pishner) A gospel song; probably a better song for the choir to sing during Advent. Youtube
What ideas do you have? Please share them in a comment below... I'd love to hear other ideas. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Advent 1B (December 3 2017)

More Advent songs appropriate for these readings: listed here.

Isaiah 64:1-9
“Oh that you would tear open the heavens and come down”. A cry to God for restoration. You are the potter, you made us. Come on God, don’t be mad. Remember we’re your people.

  • *Online Resource Drawing Nearer (Christopher Grundy) An excellent contemporary song about the lack of peace within the world and within our souls, and the desire for God to "steal our hearts - like a baby". It's great. Free sheet music. Sound sample (youtube). I would use this first by a soloist, and invite the congregation to join in as they get the hang of it.
  • CH252 / VU578 / GA481 / SFFS 2237 / G(II)471 / GC663 / GC(II)643 / G(3)744 / W&R551 / Lau828 As a Fire Is Meant for Burning (Ruth Duck) Excellent lyrics of unity across all nations set to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING. Not terribly Adventish, but great. Lyrics & sheet music. New words to old tunes.
  • Iona (M&G) / CH359 / MV033 / ZSS54 / StJ / GtG127 / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love / Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) The translation in "More Voices" (Jesus came bringing...) seems particularly appropriate for Advent and it could easily work as an Advent Candle lighting song. Just sing hope, love, peace or joy, depending on the week. Would be more exciting and energetic with some African drums, rather than a quiet reflective candle lighting song. Lyrics and sound samples. Good for kids.
  • *NCH112 Keep awake be always ready (Arthur Clyde) New words to the tune for "Wake awake for night is flying", which I thought was a familiar Advent tune until we sang this at Brunswick last year... I particularly like the second verse of this one. Lyrics.
  • *GA279 A&M56 SP019 Word of Justice / Advent Litany (Bernadette Farrell) A good call and response for Advent, with many many verses. Only use a few each week. The cantor says one line, then the congregation respone "Allelulia!", the cantor again, then "Maranatha! Lyrics in English and Vietnamese!  Sound sample.
  • Traditional / ATA 124 / SLW42 / UMH494 / GtG472 / PH338 / W&R487 / Cha590 / PfAS079A Kumbayah, my Lord (South Carolina Creole Song) I think this song is really beautiful sometimes. Sometimes it’s really awful too, unfortunately. I was lucky enough to sing this with Trish Watts and our congregation at Paddington Uniting Church many years ago as a quiet meditative chant, with improvised descants, which totally transformed this song for me. You can judge whether it will work for your congregation. You could also sing "Come by here, my Lord" too.
  • TiS 626 / AHB 557 / CH500 / GA423 / Lau888 Lord of creation to you be all praise! (Jack Winslow) A wonderful traditional and quite inclusive hymn to the familiar tune SLANE. Lyrics.
  • AA162 Yes as the clay in the potter's hand (Cecily Sheehy) I do not actually have this book or know this song, but you might, and it fits this reading well.  
  • *AoVK-29 Remember we are your people (Tony Barr) Simple three part chant "Remember we are your people, your people O God". This would work really well as a sung refrain during the prayer of confession. It would also be good for kids if you can explain the concept.
  • Tune In / NCYC '07: Forgive us now (Dave Brown) This is one of the best songs seeking forgiveness that I know. “Forgive us now, O mother love for all the idols we have built, For all the time we’ve worshipped there in company of dark despair. Forgive us mother of all hope”. Free downloadable songbook.
  • Tune In: You in all our worries / All will finish well (Dave Brown)“In this world where injustice reigns, you are in the midst of pain”. Excellent words of reassurance in a difficult world. Free downloadable songbook.
  • *SP&P020 We are waiting for you (Christopher Grundy) A gentle song of waiting. Would be good for the musicians to sing for the congregation during a meditative part of the service, or to commence the service. This song would also work well during distribution of communion. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource We are clay (Bruce Harding) A simple chorus which could be used prayerfully or in an upbeat style; if you sing it about twice the speed of the sound sample, swung, with some percussion, it would be a great song for kids if you are talking to them about pottery wheels. Sound sample and PDF for download
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19   
Restore us, let your face shine that we may be saved.

  • TiS 265 / AHB 193 / AoV1-174 / NCH116 / CH273 / UMH211 / VU001 / LBW034 / ELW283 / GA285 / HPP92 / GtG088 / PH009 / GC317 / GC(II)323 / G(3)395 / CP089 / CP(E) 32 / W&R154 / Cha119 / 82Hml-056 / Lau112 / StF280 / MP493 O come O come Emmanuel (Psaleroilum Cantionum Catholicarum) A very well known ancient Advent carol. Most versions are pretty inclusive. Lyrics, sheet music. There are also two alternate versions (one by Sue Wickham and one by John Henson), set to the same tune, but with more modern lyrics and ideas. See the Facebook Group for lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.  
  • TiS 42 / GA047 Lord make us turn to you (Kathleen Boschetti) A simple refrain and mostly inclusive cantor part. We have sung this at Brunswick some years ago and it went very well. Don't forget that you can use these refrains with a reader if you don't have someone confident enough to cantor.
  • PfAS080C O Shepherd hear and lead your flock (Michael Morgan) Strong mournful and formal words to the rather Christmassy tune ST LOUIS. New words to old tunes.
  • Tune In: Longing for you (Elaine Loukes) A simple chant of longing for God. Free downloadable songbook. Good for kids.
  • W&R632 / Cha512 When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love (Joy Patterson) Excellent words for a time of grieving violent death; this won't suit most congregations, but perhaps there is one who needs it this Advent. It's sung to the well known tune SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • *Emergent Psalter Restore us God (Isaac Everett) Another good refrain and read Psalm with instrumental backing. I'm still loving this book.
  • Tune In: Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk-like tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. "When death has taken those held dear"... Free downloadable songbook.
  • *Online Resource Restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A hopeful contemporary song. This is simple enough for a congregation to sing the first time, I think, but if you're feeling less hopeful about the singing ability of your congregation, they could just join in on the VERY simple chorus! Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
  • *CH573 / UMH523 / GtG789 / StB059 Jesus Savior Lord lo to thee I fly / Saranam Saranam (Sri Lankan) I think this would be an excellent song to sing, not only because the words are good and because the tune is simple and beautiful, but because we need to keep praying for the people of Sri Lanka. 
  • *AoVK-29 Remember we are your people (Tony Barr) Simple three part chant "Remember we are your people, your people O God". This would work really well as a sung refrain during the prayer of confession. Sound sample. Good for kids. 
  • VU239 O great Spirit how I long to hear (Doreen Clellamin) Native American song - very simple, would be best with a good hand-clapping rhythm or drumming.
  • StJ / G(II)346 / GC506 / GC(II)508 / G(3)586 You Are All We Have (Francis Patrick O'Brien) A nice refrain and good cantor parts. Somewhat formal. Sound sample, sheet music sample and a different sound sample. 
  • *NCH563 / MV143 / HPP260 / GC710 / GC(II)703 / G(3)811 / RS 636 / Cha684 / URW169 / Lau688 We cannot own the sunlit sky / Abundant life (Ruth Duck) I like these words full of hope for the future. I would prefer to sing it to the tune of "How can I keep From singing". LA GRANGE is the other option. Lyrics (downloads a pdf). New words to old tunes.
  • *Psalm Project (2010) Shout for Joy Turn and restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a little bit country. Very cool, and I think a younger congregation would probably pick this up fairly quickly. Sound sample.    
  • G(II)69 / GC74 The vineyard of the Lord (Guimont) A very simple refrain and read or cantored Psalm. Sample refrain music and lyrics. Sound sample.
1 Corinthians 1:3-9  
Words of greeting. Not lacking in spiritual gifts as you wait for Christ; Any Advent song listed on the general Advent songs page would work for this reading. 
  • AoVK-28 / ATOK 376 Faith hope and love (Tricia Watts) This is so easy, and so cool. If you have some groovy musicians, this can even be a very funky rock song. Very easy, and great for kids and non-readers.
  • ATFG514 Emmanuel Carol / God of light we are waiting for you (Gael Berberick) This is a lovely song; you will need to teach it, but once it's known, it's pretty easy. Fast sound sample. Lyrics (search for "God of light"). If you sang this during Advent, this may be a good opportunity to repeat it.  
  • AoVK-58 We wait in hope for the Lord (Tony Ford) Simple acapella round "We wait in hope for the Lord, God is our help and our shield. And so our hearts rejoice, for we trust in God's holy name" 
  • Tune In: Come O God and visit us sick we pray / Your abundant life (Dave Brown) A joyful song "Lead us into your abundant life". Free downloadable songbook.
Mark 13:24-37
Keep awake. The son of Man is coming in the clouds.
  • *Online Resource Come Christmas Child (Shirley Murray) A wonderful new song expressing that Christ will come amid the pain and hurt that exists in the world. The tune is not easy - it will need to be taught, but the lyrics will make it worth the time! Lyrics and sheet music. 
  • AoV1-057 / G(II)485 /  GC678 / GC(II)663 / G(3)766 / Lau824 Awake from your slumber / City of God (Dan Schutte) I love the joyousness and sense of mission in this one. A really positive song “Let us build the city of God, let us turn our morning to dancing, for the Lord, our light and our love, has turned the night into day”. There is a little bit of non-inclusiveness in the middle "bridge" section; last time we sang this, we just left the bridge out, and it made the song simpler too! Being Advent, maybe it would be OK to change it to "WILL turn the night into day"? Sample sheet music & lyrics. Sound sample.
  • NCH121 / UMH210 / VU005 / WoV629 / ELW266 / W&R163 / Cha139 All earth is waiting / All earth is hopeful / Toda la tierra espera al Salvador (Alberto Taule) Fun Catalonian tune, good words, although the English translations vary between sources. Could be good for kids. A nice recording from Chile in Spanish. Slow and majestic organ sample and English lyrics. I particularly like this translation.  
  • GC324 / RS 492 Here in this world where darkness surrounds us / Come O Hope of your people/Advent Gathering (Rory Cooney) Excellent questioning words. Cantor and response. Simple to sing, and quite beautiful "Show us your face, O promise of dawn". It's in 7/8 so it immediately appeals to me.... Sheet music sample. 
  • Recorded music The Trumpet Child (Over the Rhine). We used this song a fair bit in Advents past. For those who have not heard it, it's really worth a couple of listens. You can watch a video and read lyrics of the song here. 
  • GA281 Gather in hope people of God / Advent Song (Browne / Wood) Joyful refrain, and cantor response verses. "Gather in hope, people of God, sing the Advent song! Song of faith, song of trust, a song to welcome the Christ". The verses seem a bit tricky. 
  • Iona (M&G) / CH359 / MV033 / ZSS54 / StJ / GtG127 / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love/ Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) The translation in "More Voices" (Jesus came bringing...) seems particularly appropriate for Advent and it could easily work as an Advent Candle lighting song. Just sing hope, love, peace or joy, depending on the week. Would be more exciting and energetic with some African drums, rather than a quiet reflective candle lighting song. Good for kids. 
  • TiS 309 / AHB 235 / NCH126 / CH324 / UMH220 / VU036 / LBW050 / ELW275 / GtG143 / CP143 / G(3)438 / CP(E) 44 / W&R189 / Cha149 / Srce2-29 / 82Hml-093 / Lau131 Angels from the realms of glory (James Montgomery) Sometimes I am very hard core about not singing Christmas Carols in Advent, but I'm getting less strict, especially since learning about Sheffield Carols, and this song would fit. Lyrics and one possible tune. 
  • AoV2-140 / NCH125 / UMH238 / VU038 / LBW071 / ELW289 / GA286 / HPP125 / PH022 / GtG113 / GC358 / GC(II)369 / G(3)430 / W&R188 / Cha155 / 82Hml-096 / Lau130 Angels we have heard on high (French traditional) See above. Christmas or Advent?! 
  • UMH719 / VU708 / WoV627 / ELW832 / GtG352 / PH449 / W&R537 / Cha708 / StF179 My Lord what a morning (Traditional African-American)  I quite like this one. Needs some context, so most appropriate for congregations in the USA.
What will you be singing? Please share your ideas in a comment below!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Songs, Hymns & Music for Reign of Christ A (November 26, 2017)

 Christ the King / Reign of Christ suggestions:
  • **URW093 Christ is the Truth the Way (Ruth Duck) Excellent words of the leadership of Christ, sung to the majestic tune DIADEMATA. This is just excellent for this Sunday! New words for old tunes.
  • *NCH302 / VU212 Eternal Christ you rule (Dan Damon) Challenging words about how the rule of Christ is so vastly different from the rulership of popular earthly leaders. Simple hymnlike tune.  
  • TiS 728 Jesu christo reina reina ya! (Unknown, Argentina) A fun Latin American song. It's particularly fun if someone is brave enough to yell out a "call" at the start of each verse
  • NCH575 / VU697 / GtG372 / PH386 / Cha683 O for a world where everyone respects (Miriam Therese Winter) A song with good words sung to a well known hymn tune (AZMON). The words are a prayer for a world of peace and the reign of Christ. New words for old tunes.
  • TiS 721 / Iona (LFB) / URW431 / Lau124 He became poor that we may be rich (John Bell) A simple chant. Timing is a little bit tricky, so you will need to take a little time to teach it initially. This has gorgeous parts if you have some singers.  "He became poor, that we may be rich, loving the world and leaving his throne; King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone".  Sound sample.
  • VU167 Christ is risen From the dead (Anonymous) Great simple round with three sets of words for each of Easter, Pentecost and Reign of Christ.
  • G(II)249 / GC319 / GC(II)325 Close as tomorrow the sun shall appear / Walk in the Reign (Rory Cooney). I really like this one. “Close as tomorrow the sun shall appear. Freedom is coming and healing is near. And I shall be with you in laughter and pain to stand in the wind and walk in the reign”. Nice little lyrics twist there! The 4th verse mentions specific locations (Soweto, Gdansk, Tiannemen Square, The Bronx), which you could retain or change, as you feel appropriate. This sound sample gives it a bit of a gospel feel. Sheet music and lyrics.  
  • ELW610 O Christ What Can It Mean for us (Delores Dufner) Excellent questioning lyrics. Sung to an older hymn tune, that's not familiar to me, but you could use these lyrics to a wide range of tunes if you like them. New words for old tunes. Lyrics and sheet music. 
  • *TiS 185 Alleluia / We praise you God Creator Lord (John McIntyre) A chanted Alleluia based on Pachelbel's canon, coupled with some nice affirmations of faith from a 2nd part of the congregation, or cantor. This is quite lovely.
  • *CH289 / GC(II)341 Lift up your heads eternal gates (Weissel / Bell) I like how this reworking of the old standard turns the violent battle kingly God image on its head and points to Christ instead. "God's catchless and majestic strength in all its height, depth, breadth, and length, now is revealed its power to prove, by Christ protesting "God is love!". The tune is a lovely old medieval-style tune, which should not be difficult. The chorus has been written in 4 parts which would be great if you can get some singers to sing the parts, or teach your congregation the chorus before the service starts. The parts for the chorus are very simple. Sound sample. Lyrics and lead sheet.  
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 
God gathers the sheep and will feed them with justice, and then separates them out. David will be the shepherd. Note that songs generally don’t pick up the theme of getting separated…!
  • AoV1-071 / GA530 / GC(II)742 / G(3)837 / Lau462 Gather Your People (Bob Hurd) Excellent eucharistic theology. Sound sample. Lyric and sheet music sample. 
  • Tune In: Shepherd of the night (Elaine Loukes) "Have you ever felt the velvet night wrap you in her warmth". A lovely song with a theme of God’s protection. This is tricky for a congregation, so you might want to ask the musicians to play this. Free Lyrics, sound sample and songbook.
  •  TiS474 / AoV1-012 / ATAR595 / CH623 / SFFS 2236 / HPP553 / A&M363 / GtG401 / G(II)539 / GC839 / GC(II)743 / G(3)848  / CP465 / W&R649 / Cha284 / SP175 / URW054 / Lau475 Here in this place new light is streaming / Gather us in (Marty Haugen) Excellent words, very well known. “Nourish us well and teach us to fashion lives that are holy and hearts that are true”. Lyrics, sound samples, sheet music. 
  • *AoV2-139 / GA525 / SP&P045 Gather us O God Body spirit soul and mind (Monica Brown) Very simple song. Would work well as a gathering chant "Gather us O God, Body, spirit, soul and mind. Gather us, O God, One in union now with you".
  • G(II)458 / GC654 / GC(II)628 / G(3)725 With a Shepherd's Care (James Chepponis) Very nice words with feminine and masculine images for God. Would be very straightforward to sing. Painfully slow sound sample, lyrics and sheet music sample here.
  • *Tune In / ATAR596 He comes with his arms open wide / The God that I know (Sheree Anderson) A ballad drawing on God’s strength and comfort; not easy if unfamiliar. Free Lyrics, sound sample and songbook. 
  • *MV007 Gather us in ground us in you (David Hann) A simple chant which would be great for a quieter invitation to worship. Good for kids 
  • *MV126 Are you a shepherd? (Ruth Duck) Good and joyous. Lots of images of God: shepherd, teacher, mother, father. A catchy chorus. Good for kids. 
  • AoV1-033 / WoV690 / ELW423 / SFFS 2058 / GtG473 / G(II)29 / GC31 / GC(II)23 / G(3)035 / PfAS023H / Lau951 Shepherd Me O God (Marty Haugen) A nice reworking of the 23rd Psalm. The verses are a little challenging, so I would use the chant on its own: “Shepherd me O God beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life”. Sheet music, lyrics and a fairly unhelpful sound sample here.
Psalm 100
  • TiS 720 / AHB 295 / AoVK-85 / AoV2-046 / ATOK 319 / NCH236 / Iona (Many & Great, There is one among us) / CH345 / VU958 / StJ / A&M836 / SFFS 2026 / HPP571 / GtG591 / GC(II)261 / G(3)329 / W&R005 / Cha041 / ZSS76 / SP324 / PfAS150G / URW370 / Lau178 Halle halle hallelujah (Traditional Caribbean) A good Alleluia would work well for this passage, and I think this one is particularly excellent – simple, great for kids, good rhythm. Good for kids. Sound sample.
  • VU242 / LBW557 / ELW881 / GtG037 / PH554 / GC567 / GC(II)551 / G(3)635 / CP403 / W&R22 / Cha717 / VF107 Let All Things Now Living (Katherine Davis) Lovely lyrics to the well known and quite jolly Welsh folk tune ASH GROVE. Not all sources are inclusive. Lyrics (older version). New words to old tunes 
  •  *Taizé / TiS 731 /  SFFS 2017 / GtG155 / G(II)377 / GC557 / GC(II)535 / G(3)618 / W&R212 / PfAS100G / URW383 Raise a song of gladness / Jubilate Servite (Jacques Berthier) Glorious, fun round. If your congregation balks at singing in Latin, it can be sung in English as "Raise a song of gladness, all the earth, Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart, Alleluia Alleluia, Joy to every heart (x2)". This is not a Gloria, but it has the feel of one!  Good for kids (and kids like Latin sometimes!) 
  • *AoVK-24 / Iona (T1AU) / CH756 Bless the Lord / My sisters (Kenyan) Simple and fun Kenyan call and response. "Bless the Lord there is no other God" Kids would really enjoy this, and with some African drumming, it would really be excellent. The tune is identical to Reamo Leboga, so may be familiar to your congregation already. Sound sample of Reamo leboga Good for kids.
  • *CP351 / URW300 Rejoice in God all earthly lands (Ruth Duck) Really good words for this Psalm, sung to the familiar tune OLD HUNDREDTH. Good to sing after or during the offering.  New words to old tunes 
  • Taizé / ATA 107 / VU247 / GC555 / CP308 / W&R303 / Lau691 Jubilate Deo (Michael Praetorius) A simpler fun round from the community at Taize. Sound sample and practice parts
  • CH141 / A&M548 / SP250 / URW077 / StF114 Oh the life of the world is a joy and a treasure (Kathy Galloway) Good inclusive words about God's presence in "the life of the world" (nature, seasons, childbirth, justice). The tune is a simple Celtic-style melody. 
  • *AoVK-124 Shout to the Lord for joy all the earth (Nathaniel Ford) Fun three part song. Sound sample Good for kids.
  • URW299 O many people of all lands (Natty Barranda) A good song supporting multicultural harmony at home, at work, and in church. Tune is a little tricky. 
  • AoVK-30 / ATW 419 / Iona (Common Ground, CAYP) / CH757 / MV002 / WoV717 / ELW819 / GtG388 / A&M361 / SFFS 2274 / HPP551 / GC(II)744 / G(3)849 / PfAS066B / SP&P022 / SP179 / StF022 Come all you people (Uyai mose) (Alexander Gondo) Joyful and pretty easy really for the congregation. If you have WoV or SP&P, they each have a nice Trinitarian version of this. Come and praise the "Most high" / "Saviour" / "Spirit". Sheet music. Good for kids. 
Alternative Psalm: Psalm 95:1-7a

  • ATE 216 / Iona (SBL) / CH126 / StJ / ELW555 / PH472 / G(II)365 / GC527 / RS 671 / CP417 / W&R15 / StF042 O sing to the Lord / Cantai ao Senhor / Cantad al Señor (Traditional Brazilian) A good, fun and simple song that is easy to learn in Portuguese or Spanish too; note that not all versions are inclusive. Sheet music samplesGood for kids
  • *Online Resource Let us shout for joy (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A fun, joyous, pop song. Good lyrics and easy tune. Lots of fun. Sound sample, lyrics and downloadable songbook
  • *MV092 / SP&P099 Like a Rock (Keri Wehlander / Linnea Good) A lovely simple song (with actions!) from Linnea Good. Great for kids.
  • AoVK-47 / HPP51 / A&M656 / W&R80 / Lau973 He's Got the Whole World in His Hands (Traditional) It’s possible to make this inclusive. I’ve seen “God’s got the whole world in safe hands”, which is a little clumsy. AoVK has "The whole world is in God's hands" which works really well, or you could sing "You've got the whole world in your hands"! Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Taizé / AoV2-109 / CH772 / GA429 / GtG654 / A&M334 / SFFS 2195 / G(II)396 / GC566 / GC(II)546 / G(3)639 / SP128 / URW381 / Lau944 / W&R448 / StF776 / MP865 In the Lord I'll Be Ever Thankful / El Senyor (Jacques Berthier) A joyful and bouncy short song. Works well in English, German and Spanish at least. Good for kids. Sheet music, translations into many other languages, sound samples. 
  • PfAS095E / Lau52a O that today you would listen (Susan Sayers) A nice Psalm response.  
  • PH215 / URW292 Come Sing with Joy to God (Arlo Duba) Good lyrics to the well known tune DARWALL'S 148th. Lyrics
  • Iona (SBL) / CH140 / MV181 / WoV727 / ELW554 / G(II)341 / GC495 / StB178 Lord Your Hands Have Formed This World / The Earth is the Lord's (Ramon and Sario Oliano) Good words of creation to a lovely, and not too difficult, Phillippino melody. Lyrics (first verse only)
  • Emergent Psalter Come let us sing (Isaac Everett) Very simple refrain. Sheet music (refrain only).
  • NCH036 PH219 To God compose a song of joy (Duck) Beautiful words of praise to the standard hymn tune RICHMOND.  New words to old tunes
  • Taizé / MV009 O Come and let us sing to God our hope (Taize Community) Joyful gathering chant. Sound samples, sheet music.
  • AoVK-123 / NCH3 / Iona (M&G) / UMH148 / VU308 / WoV794 / ELW837 / GtG021 / PH271 / G(II)338 / GC499 / G(3)911 / CP407 / W&R26 / Cha58 / URW232 / 82Hml-385 Many and Great O God are your works / Wakantanka Taku Nitawa (Joseph Renville) Good words. Simple tune. Sounds great accompanied by a good Native American-style drum beat, which is a great way to get people involved in music-making. Lyrics here.  
  • Cha747 Come into God's presence with a joyful song (Larry Sivis) Joyful sung response, and responsively read passage.
  • TiS 119 / AHB 40 / NCH012 / UMH152 / VU231 / HPP39 / GtG032 /  PH288 / W&R31 / Cha064 / 82Hml-398 / Lau684 / StF107 / MP293 I sing the almighty power of God / We sing the mighty power of God (Isaac Watts) I really like this old hymn, especially sung to ELLACOMBE, but it can also be sung to FOREST GREEN. VU, NCH and Chalice have inclusive language, but other hymnals (like TiS and AHB, are not).   Lyrics and tune sample.  Oldy-but-a-goody. 
Ephesians 1:15-23
Prayer for wisdom; Christ the king; See also suggestions at the bottom of the list.

  • TiS 182 / AoV2-010 / NCH11 / CH134 / VU268 / GtG760 / SFFS 2047 / HPP13 / CP395 / VF106 Bring many names beautiful and good (Brian Wren) This is a beautiful song, but it's very long (especially if sung too slowly). Try singing one verse unison, then one women, one men, then all together again, to keep people interested in what they are singing. Lyrics and sheet music samples.
  • NCH510 Grant us wisdom to perceive you (Rae E Whitney) A hymn with great words seeking wisdom in perception, faithfulness in prayer, diligence in action, courage in evangelism. Sung to an old German carol tune which is not too hard. Could also be sung to other tunes if you like.
  • NCH553 / UMH375 / VU612 / WoV737 / ELW614 / HPP379 / GtG792 / PH394 / G(II)460 / GC648 / GC(II)617 / G(3)640 / W&R631 / Cha501 / ZSS114 / SgTJ1045 / 82Hml-676 There is a balm in Gilead (Traditional African-American) This beautiful song, while not steeped in layers of meaning for non-Americans is worth singing wherever you live. Choral arrangement sound sample. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *CH355 / VU210 / HPP81 / GtG274 / GC(II)525 / G(3)628 / CP630 / W&R99 / URW098 You Lord Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (Sylvia Dunstan) Beautiful words. Can be sung to many tunes. I like it to PICARDY or WESTMINSTER ABBEY. Sound sample, lyrics and sheet music sample here New words for old tunes.
  • *NCH387 / GtG361 / PH443 / GC(II)646 / RS782 / CP524 / Lau829 O Christ the great foundation (Timothy Ting Fang Lew) Excellent words of salvation and justice, sung to the tune of "The church's one foundation" (AURELIA). Lyrics There is a second possible tune (ABREU), which is more challenging. Note that the lyrics in the NCH are slightly different, and more inclusive. New words for old tunes.
  • Taizé / AoVNG125 / MV146 / GC(II)637 / G(3)740 / PfAS024D The Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the holy spirit (Taize community) "Come, Lord and open in us the gates of your kingdom". A nice joyful Taize chant. Sheet music and sound samples of parts for practice. Good for kids 
  • TiS 164 / AHB 105 / CH358 The great love of God (D. T. Niles) A simple creed song from the Christian Conference of Asia. The tune is really beautiful.   
  • *TiS 653 / NCH417 / CH526 / UMH383 / GC(II)453 / G(3)522 / W&R355 / Cha518 This is a day of new beginnings (Brian Wren) "This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that's gone." Excellent words of reconciliation. There are two possible tunes. I prefer the more simple hymn-like tune by Carlton Young which is in most resources (including TiS). There is an optional final verse that can be used for Communion. Lyrics.
Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus on the throne separating the sheep from the goats. 
I would wear my special socks, but I have lost them!
  • *MV114 Behold the face of Christ (Bernadette Farrell) A gentle, chant-like refrain with read scripture verses over instrumental backing. This could be very powerful. Highly recommended. 
  • TiS 697 All the sleepy should have a place to sleep (Rusty Edwards) Great chorus "Make love happen by God's grace and by God's power. Let God move you on this day and in this hour. New creations will then blossom like a flower for together we can be the hands of God".
  • *MV064 / HiOS010 / StF420 Because you came (Shirley Murray) Powerful words of confession and forgiveness, sung to a lovely tune that will need to be taught, but will not be hard to teach. It has 5 verses, so maybe invite the congregation to join in as they hear it.  
  • MV177 This is my body naked before you (Dan Damon)  Excellent words about Christ's body being both the broken people, and we who can help the broken. The tune is not easy. Maybe best sung by a soloist at first. 
  • *ATW 487 Make your home in me (Fay White) A simple beautiful invitation. Written by a Melbourne songwriter and teacher. “If you fly to the point of the day’s sunrise or westward across the sea, if you travel to the uttermost ends of the earth, there I will be; Make your home in me as I make my home in you. I am everywhere that you can be. Make your home in me”. This is quite different to the Vineyard / Josh Young version you can find all over the internet. I can't find a sample of this one, unfortunately. 
  • ATFG582 / NCYC'97 Like a candle burning wildly (Craig Mitchell) "We are called to live the passion". Good song. Particularly nice on guitar. Note that the NCYC version has good notes on how to play it on guitar.  Sheet music and lyrics
  • CH195 / StS053 / AA061 Here to the house of God we come (Shirley Murray) Good honest and challenging words and a simple, but unusual tune.  
  • NCH332 / VU457 / ELW522 / SFFS 2268 / HPP528 / GC(II)738 / G(3)839 / CP061 / W&R695 As We Gather at Your Table (Carl P Daw)Beautiful, honest, encouraging words. Could be sung to HOLY MANNA, BEACH SPRING or NETTLETON, all very popular hymn tunes (did I mention that two of them are Sacred Harp tunes?), particularly good if you are celebrating communion this week. Lyrics. New words for old tunes.
  • Tune In Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk-like tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. Free Lyrics, sound sample and songbook
  • NCYC'07 Behold the son of man / Face of the humbled poor (Paul Gioia) Beautiful reflective song of seeing God's face in the poor "When did we see you a broken man?…. The saviour's face in the humble poor". It confuses me that sometimes it's "humbled poor" rather than "humble poor".
  • TiS 778 / UMH666 / Cha436 Shalom to you (SOMOS DEL SEÑOR) (Elise Eslinger) Sung to a familiar tune to Spanish-speaking congregations   
  • MV194 Bread of life feed my soul (Stephen Spencer) A simple communion prayer for healing and guidance.
  • *FFS60 Stranger standing at my door (Shirley Murray) Amazing words, but a tricky tune. Would be good if you have a good soloist in your congregation who would sing this and the congregation listen to the very meaningful words. Last verse is "I am fearful of your claim, yet I cannot turn away. Stranger with a foreign name, are you angel here to stay? You are messenger and guest, you the Christ I can't ignore, you my own compassion's test, stranger standing at my door; you the Christ I can't ignore." Lyrics and sheet music.
  • *AoV1-056 / CH217 / GA541 / G(II)551 / GC761 / GC(II)750 / G(3)859 / URW201 / Lau881 God of Day and God of Darkness (Marty Haugen) This song is specific for evening services, but lovely words and set to a familiar tune (BEACH SPRING). I often think this is only good for an evening service, but the image of darkness and night doesn't have to be taken literally, particularly at the Transfiguration! And the call to rest at the end of the last verse would be good for those who take the celebration of Sabbath as a call to rest. Lyrics. New words for old tunes.
  • VU592 / GtG186 / StF695 Come now you blessed (Ruth Duck) Good words, based on Matthew 25:34-39, sung to a lovely 6/8 tune. It will need to be taught, or at least played through, the first time. 
  • ATW 499 / The tide has turned songbook It was me when you came that extra mile (Digby Hannah) Simple tune and good simple words. Good for older kids.   
  • TiS 689 / ATE 286 / GtB Lord hear my praying, listen to me / Sorrowing song (Robin Mann) Powerful words of lamentation to a simple tune. Words are straightforward about asking difficult questions of God. Lyrics.    
  • ATFG561 / Tune In: Part of a fam'ly interconnected / Community (Dave Brown) A song about being welcomed and how to work together as part of a community. "Part of a family interconnected, this is community; Welcoming strangers, visiting neighbours, this gives us dignity". Very singable song about building community. A big favourite at Brunswick Uniting. Free Lyrics, sound sample and songbook. 
  • TiS 629 / AHB 558 / AoV2-136 / ATA 197 / CH544 / VU600 / A&M575 / Lau888 When I needed a neighbor were you there (Sydney Carter) A classic folk church song. Well known and fits well with this theme. "And the creed and the colour and the name won't matter"... Lyrics. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.
 What ideas do you have? Please share them in a comment below...