Monday, June 16, 2008

Lectionary Song Suggestions for June 22nd 2008 (Proper 7A / Ordinary 12A / Pentecost +6)

The casting out of Hagar and Ishmael coupled with the gospel reading including Christ’s words that he came, not to bring peace, but a sword makes me think that it would be good to pray for peace between the three faiths descended from Abraham.
MV 148 Hope of Abraham and Sarah. A song of unity for Islam, Judaism and Christianity. “So may Torah, cross and crescent, each a sign of life made new, point us t’ward your love and justice, earth at peace and one in you”. The tune is a very straight forward (and new!) hymn tune, but more familiar alternative tunes are suggested.
"Peace, Salaam, Shalom" by Pat Humphries has a beautiful and simple chant with two cantor lines over the top. The congregation could easily sing the basic round even without the cantor lines as a meditative focus. Sheet music available for free here.
Recorded music:
Sheva (an awesome world-folk-rock Israeli-Palestininan group). Their song, Salaam, couples Jewish and Muslim prayers for peace. It was also arranged for a cappella choir by the late Melanie Shanahan, and has been recorded by Living out Loud, and Brunswick Women’s Choir.
Asalaam Aleikum written by Melbourne woman Veda Murti, has just been released on CD by Brunswick Women’s Choir (launched at Brunswick Uniting Church just last week!).

Genesis 21:8-21
Hagar is cast out; God hears her prayer and saves the life of Ishmael. See the Psalm suggestions for songs focussed on God hearing prayer.
TiS 184 / Iona HSNW When trouble strikes and fear takes root. Actually based on Isaiah 49, but the parallels with the hopelesseness of Hagar and God’s love for her children make it worth singing this week. The tune is a very straightforward English folk tune.
TiS 683 God! When human bonds are broken. These words pick up an unusual theme, and fit really well with this reading. Words of healing of relationships. The tune is not familiar, but it works very well and should not be too difficult if a little time is taken to introduce it to your congregation.
TiS 617 / NCH413 / HPPS342 By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered. Wonderful words by Bonhoeffer. Tricky tune (all books seem to have different tricky tunes). The words fit well to O Perfect Love if you find the tune too tricky.
Seeds of Faith I'm gonna stick with you. How do you present this reading to kids? No idea, but if you choose to focus on being a faithful friend (in contrast to Sarah), this is a fun song about friendship for kids to sing. Sample and lyrics here (look under Music at the Seeds of Faith CD and you'll find the lyrics there).

Psalm 86:1-10
Listen to me in my trouble; prayer (also note the importance of prayer in troubling times in Genesis reading)
Taize / TiS 741 / AoV1-017 / ATE 282 / SFFS 2200 / G(II)410 / GC586 / GC(II)566: O Lord, hear my prayer
AoV2-003 / ATOK 313 / GC(II)512 Longing for light, we wait in darkness (Christ, be our light)
TiS 590 / AHB 165 / NCH506 / VU663 / HPP408 / HPPS403: What a friend we have in Jesus (note that some versions still have some masculine language).

Romans 6:1b-11
Died with Christ to be raised with Christ; baptism
TiS 465 / AHB 399 Father in heaven, grant to your children. This Philippino folk melody has beautiful Trinitarian words from the Christian Conference of Asia. More recent materials from the CCA have the lyrics as “O God in Heaven, grant to your children” ending the first verse with “Author of love”. This makes the words gender inclusive for God. It works as a slow meditative song, and as a quicker world-folk style song too. You can download the Asia Sunday 2007 resource here, which contains sheet music (page 24 of the pdf booklet).
MV 162 Christ within us hidden, Christ, in all and each. Very simple tune with quite remarkable words based on a prayer by Michael Leunig. Why is this in a Canadian song book and not any Australian song books?!? Verse 4 and 5 are particularly appropriate for this week’s reading “Christ, in bodies broken, Love new crucified. Christ, the Word new spoken, death by love defied; Christ, in love recovered. Christ, in hope revealed. Christ, in faith discovered. Christ in tombs unsealed”.
TiS 691: Faith will not grow from words alone: These words from Elizabeth Smith are great for passages that are tricky. The tune is easy to sing.
Worldmaking: Hidden with Christ, hidden with Christ, all of us deep within God’s love. Tune is simple enough for first-time singers. Sample and lyrics here (look under Music at the Worldmaking CD and you'll find the lyrics there).
ATOK 320 / SFFS 2051 / NCH351 / VU645 / HPP516 I was there to hear your borning cry. Would be good if you’re talking about remembering our baptisms.
TiS 686 / ATE 292 Lord Jesus, we belong to you / Because we bear your name.

Matthew 10:24-39
Lots of odd sayings all grouped together. Including: I have not come to bring peace, but a sword! Following is not easy.
Iona / MV 99 / GC(II)673: Stand, O Stand Firm: Very simple and strong African chorus.
Tune in: A grain of wheat: strong words of Christ’s sacrifice and about the need for something to die before it is reborn. Catchy chorus and a steady rock beat. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
Tune in: In the Shape of a cross. Puts our forgiveness in a global context and it’s good to sing. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
ATOK 413 / SFFS 2130 / VU567 / HPP317 / G(II)510 / GC700 / GC(II)687: The Summons (Will you come and follow me?)
World Council of Churches / GC(II)651: Never Give Up / Bambelela. Another simple strong African chorus. Easy enough for my 4 year old to sing. Free sheet music (for non-profit use only) available from the World Council of Churches here. Sound sample from GIA publications here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Lectionary Suggestions for June 15th 2008 (Proper 6A / Ordinary 11A / Pentecost +5)

Genesis 18:1-15
The angels visit Abraham and Sarah, a child is promised and Sarah laughs.
NCH 20 God of Abraham and Sarah. This was new to us last week, and it would be good to sing it again, as the theme is carried onwards.
AoV1-137 / ATOK 403 /G(II)286 God of Abraham, lead us (Farrell). Excellent call-and-response song. Choose the most appropriate of the 17 verses! First verse focuses on Abraham, second verse focuses on Sarah.
TiS 560 / AHB 465 / NCH408 / VU655 All my hope on God is founded. A good old fashioned hymn, with good strong words. Note that AHB and TiS are tiringly masculine. NCH is inclusive and I don't have access to more than the table of contents for VU, so you'll have to judge that yourself.
NCH 426 O God, whose steadfast love. A song about family and motherhood. A quite specific focus, but worth knowing about if you head this way with the theme of the service. The tune is a very familiar sounding hymn tune (RHOSYMEDRE). “Your promises, O God, so sure throughout the years, have lived in mothers’ hearts, have bloomed from mothers’ tears. So Sarah laughed, and Hannah wept, and singing Mary secrets kept…”
Iona / G(II)503 / GC701 / RS818 God it was who said to Abraham.... Familiar tune, words of Abraham, Sarah and others in salvation history. "God it was who said to Sarah "Smile and soon you'll bear a son".
MV 190 Laughter lit the stars of morning. These words really capture the laughter of Sarah. The tune in MV is new, but it can also be sung to the very familiar Abbot’s Leigh tune. “Laughter filled a barren Sarah: shall is ancient womb conceive? When I feel new life within me, only then will I believe! Sarah’s laughter turned to wonder at the thing that God had done when her longing arms were cradling Isaac, her beloved son”. The 3rd and final verse ais a baptismal verse, so it may not make sense if you don’t have a baptism this Sunday. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with singing about baptism when there isn’t one on that particular day. It’s not so day specific that it couldn’t work.

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
God listens; the Psalmist’s response to God
TiS 71 (Refrain 1 – Proulx), “I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living”. A very simple and beautiful refrain, which we have sung before at BUC. Would work well with either a cantor, or a reader.
TiS 137 For the beauty of the earth (Pierpont). A simple congregational hymn of thanks.
TiS 727 In the presence of your people, I will praise your name. Good Jewish folk tune, and solid words. Good fun for kids, especially if you get really fast on the Lai lai lai’s.
ATE 225 Why do you love me? I like how this song asks a difficult question.

Romans 5:1-8
Justification by faith; suffering produces endurance, character and hope. Christ died for us while we were sinners.
SiS 29 Therefore being justified by faith. I still like this old Scripture in Song paraphrase of Romans 5. It can be pretty funky if your musicians want to play with it a bit.
ATOK 376 Faith, hope and love (Watts / O’Brien). Do I suggest this every week?
NCH 278 Creator God, creating still. A well known hymn tune, and challenging words. “Create a new humanity to meet the present need” (also fits well with the gospel reading this week). Strongly Trinitarian: Creator God, Redeemer God, Sustainer God.

Matthew 9:35-10:8
Jesus is healing, the harvest is ready (the people are needy), but the labourers are few. The disciples begin their mission. “The kingdom of heaven is near”. Cure the sick, raise the dead and do not ask for payment.
TiS 217 / AHB 148 / NCH43 / HPP48 / VU333 / GC622 / GC(II)613 / HPPS376 Love divine, all loves excelling. A beautiful classic hymn.
TiS 409 / AHB 322 / VU202 O breath of life, come sweeping through us. A beautiful traditional hymn, with powerful words.
Taize: The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, come now, and open in us the gates of your kingdom. One of the more upbeat Taize chants.
Tune In: A grain of wheat (Anderson). Challenging words which are more about Christ as the grain of wheat than being focussed on the harvesters. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
Tune In: Hail the fisherfolk. A funky bluesy number that celebrates those who have been faithful in the many ways of following. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
Tune In: Isaiah 61: The spirit of the Lord is now upon me. A good meditative chant, would be good to use to provide space and focus to encourage people to spend some time thinking about God’s spirit giving them the power to heal and release captives. Lyrics and a sound sample here.
ATW 509 / Iona You hear the lambs a-crying. There’s something a little bit eerie about this one. It would be new for BUC, so might be good to ask the musicians to present it during the offering.
ATN 31 / HPP459 / VU251 / HPPS290 Freely, freely (God forgave my sin in Jesus name). This is probably a sentimental favourite. The tune is very simple and the words are very simple but challenging. It can be schmaltzy, but it doesn’t need to be. I think it’s worth dusting off. Some lyric changes might be needed.
ATOK 412 / SFFS 2184 / MV 212 / Iona (Sent by the Lord): Sent by the Lord am I / Sent out in Jesus’ name / Enviado soy de Dios. Catchy Cuban chorus. Spanish might be too tricky for non-Spanish-speakers, but the English translation is also good. Simple and rhythmic enough that kids will also enjoy it. Sound sample here.
AoV1-021 / ATOK 402 / G(II)488 / GC682 / GC(II)669 God has chosen me (Farrell). I love this one. Good challenging lyrics, and quite upbeat.
NCH 586 Come to tend God’s garden. Beautiful gardening words; tune is a little tricky. If not familiar to your congregation, it may be worth asking your musicians to sing it for the congregation as the words are very good.
ATOK 348 / HSNW (Iona) / G(II)496 / GC692 / GC(II)697 Sing Hey for the Carpenter! A great upbeat song about leaving things behind and following.
HSNW (Iona) Oh where are you going and can I come with you?
TiS 749 / AoV1-154 / ATE 305 / NCH360 / HPP340 / G(II)484 / VU572 / GC677 / GC(II)674 Send me Jesus / Thuma Mina. An excellent simple song to end the service.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lectionary Suggestions for June 8th 2008 (Proper 5A / Ordinary 10A / Pentecost +4)

Genesis 12:1-9:
Abram and Sarah’s travels and the promise of the future.
Iona / G(II)503 / GC701 / RS818 God it was who said to Abraham.... Familiar tune, words of Abraham, Sarah and others in salvation history. "God it was who said to Abraham "Pack your bags and travel on!".
ATOK403 / AoV(1)137 / GC(II)286 God of Abraham, lead us (Farrell)
ATOK402 God has chosen me
AT348 / HSNW / GC692 Sing Hey for the Carpenter (Iona)
NCYC95(?) We will love (We will walk with you at the edges)
NCYC07 Labyrinth (Chalson / Winton) A beautiful song about walking with God through all times. "To the heart of all that's sacred and to the margins we will walk the path with you". Excellent words. Not easy for a congregation, but if you have good musicians, they can sing it as a prayer for the congregation.
NCH 20 God of Abraham and Sarah – excellent words, straightforward tune. Salvation history in one song with a focus on Jusice, healing, courage. Fits well with all themes for this week. If you would like an alternative (well known) tune, NETTLETON works quite well and is just about every hymnal.
TiS 547 / AHB 455 / NCH451 / HPP353 / VU643 / HPPS339 Be thou my vision
TiS 125 / AHB 53 / NCH24 / HPP24 / GC544 / HPPS 488 The God of Abr’am praise (The lyrics are most inclusive in the NCH).
Tune in: Cover us with love. Challenging lyrics to listen, and see where God is leading us. Lyrics and sound sample available here.
Tune in: May you go well (into paths still unknown). Easy tune, and strong words. Would work well as a benediction. Lyrics and sound sample available here.
Taize: The kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, come now and open in us the gates of your kingdom. One of the more upbeat Taize songs.
TiS 671 / AoV(2) 121 Made in God’s likeness. "called to create a new world for the Lord" Excellent Australian images.
TiS 569 / AHB 478 / NCH18 / HPP432 / VU651 / HPPS281 Guide, me, O thou great Jehovah

Psalm 33:1-12
Praise God. God is just. God created the earth, sea and heavens. Happy are those who trust in God.
TIS 742 One God, one living God. We've not sung this for a while at Brunswick.
Any song that praises God as creator. There are so many - some of the last few posts have listed some creator / cosmic praise songs.

Romans 4:13-25
The promise to Abraham came through his faith. Belief even in the face of impossibility.
SFFS 2196 / HPP489 / G(II)414 / GC590 / GC(II)583 We walk by faith, each step by faith.
ATOK 376 Faith, Hope and Love (Trisha Watts)
AOVK Give us courage (Trisha Watts)
TiS 691 Faith will not grow from words alone
SFFS 2235/TiS 666 / ATOK 409 / AoV(2)113 / NCH526 / HPP153 / G(II)357 / VU646 We are marching in the light of God (Siyahamba)
GC(II)651 Size Bambelela (Never Give Up). An excellent African chant. Would be fun to get a few singers together to sing the parts to this. Free sheet music (for non-profit use only) available from the World Council of Churches here. Sound sample from GIA publications here.

Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
Jesus calls Matthew and dines with tax collectors and sinners. Healing of the centurion’s daughter and the bleeding woman.
TIS 693 Come as you are, that's how I want you
TIS 665 / VU 117 / Iona Jesus Christ is waiting
TIS 737 / Iona Lord Jesus Christ, lover of all
TiS 749 / ATE 305 / NCH 360 / HPP 340 / G(II)484 / VU572 / GC677 / GC(II)674 Send me Jesus (Thuma mina)
SFFS 2130 / ATOK 413 / HPP317 / G(II)510 / VU567 / GC700 / GC(II)687 Will you come and follow me (The Summons)
TiS 477 / Iona Jesus calls us here to meet him
ATA 200 / VU639 One more step along the world I go
TiS 638 / NCH175 / HPPS380 O Christ, the healer, we have come
Tune In: Invitation - “when we hear the invitation, will we lay our burdens down?”. A Cuban beat, and feminine God-imagery. Sound sample and lyrics here. Lyrics and sound sample available here.
Tune in: Jesus is waiting; hopeful song of Jesus calling us to bigger things. Lyrics and sound sample available here.
NCH 545: There was Jesus by the water. Paraphrase of the healing story. Would be good sung by a soloist – a storytelling song, not a congregational worship song, really.