Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Songs to play or sing during or to receive the Offering

  • *NCH370 / W&R685 / URW127 What gift can we bring? A good offering song. Also good for a church anniversary. Lyrics. This song has great words for the offering, and seems appropriate to both Epiphany and New Year. The tune is a bit tricky.
  • UMH592 / HPP548 / W&R555 / Cha470 When the Church of Jesus shuts its outer door (Pratt Green) Sung to tune KING'S WESTON, this hymn has strong words of reproach and mission. Could work as a confession, sending out, or offering song. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • ATAR632 Share your gift (Busch) A good song for the offering, particularly on Sundays when the theme of being part of the body of Christ, or sharing gifts or talents is being explored. Words are simple enough to make sense to kids. Sound sample and Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • *MV187 / ELW682 We give our thanks / Reamo leboga (Traditional Botswana) A great song to sing for the offering. Video of some guys and a keyboard having fun with it. Good for kids. 
For receipt of the offering
  • CH207 Grant now your blessing upon this offering (Tinio) Simple short song for receipt of the offering to a familiar tune (HALAD). New words to old tunes.
  • *MV060 / Cha026 / STB112  God we give you thanks and praise / God we give you heartfelt praise (Tan) Lovely chant that also works as a round, and would be appropriate for receiving the offering. From Taiwan.   
  • STB113 Ay ay salidummay (Philippines) A very simple chorus for the offering  
  • VU540 Grant us God the grace of giving (Anonymous) Good simple meaningful words and easy tune for an offering. Sung to the familiar doxology tune STUTTGART. New words to old tunes. 
  • NCH778-781 / VU541 Praise God From whom all blessings flow / Doxology (Thomas Ken) These two hymnals offer updated lyrics for the traditional Doxology. I really love the ones in VU. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise God all creatures high and low; give thanks to God in love made known; Creator, Word, and Spirit, One.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Songs for Church Anniversaries

  • VU528 God of life in Christ you lead us (Jane Parker Huber) "Celebrating past and present, consecrating future days". Good words to a standard hymn tune. New words to old tunes.
  • NCH371 God creation's great designer (Jane Parker Huber) Excellent words, particularly if you worship in an older church building, or have an anniversary to celebrate. Sung to a well-known tune (HOLY MANNA). New words to old tunes   
  • NCH370 / UMH087 / W&R685 / URW127 What gift can we bring? A good offering song. Also good for a church anniversary. Lyrics. The tune is a bit tricky.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sung creeds (Nicene, Apostles & Others)

This is just a start!
STB045 We Believe Maranatha (Feliciano) This is a good spoken creed with sung responses. The response is a simple two part fugue with a simple sung (almost) drone for the bass. The creed is one developed by the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music.  The refrain could be used for any creed, really.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Songs about the Summer Heat

FFS02 As the sun beats down (Bennett) Good words. Simple tune. A lamentation in times of drought, or places where the Summer is always a time of dry heat and anxiety.
CoC52 You are born in us again (Wilson) A lovely song. Simple to sing. I would swing it just a little. "Like the warmth of the summer wind you come"…

Songs with a focus on all seasons
  • Unknown Source We'll weave a love / Song of Community (McDade) A song of all seasons. It's a little bit tricky to learn, but once learned, you will not forget it "We'll weave a love that greens sure as spring, then deepens in summer to the fall autumn brings". Lyrics.
  • Online Resource Flow'ring in the summer / Faithful Seasons (Wiltshire) Australian imagery for all the seasons, and how it's worth celebrating them! Free book download.  
  • STB026 Seasons Come Seasons Go / Ella kaladollu (Bhajan) I think this song from India would not be too hard to learn, but it will need to be taught because the melody (THANDHEYU) will not be familiar. The words are really quite lovely, including the English translation.
  • VU632 / StS100 / WoV695 / ELW447 / SFFS 2076 / StF617 / LUYH794 O blessed Spring where word and sign (Susan Palo Cherwien) Imagery of Christ the vine and the changes that the seasons bring, this song speaks of all four seasons. Hymnals vary in the tune selected. I like it best to O WALY WALY.  Lyrics.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Songs and Hymns for Marriage Ceremonies

In these suggested songs for weddings, I have focused on songs that don't demand the production of children or that the couple is heterosexual. In the Uniting Church in Australia, you don't have to be straight to get married, but if you're in a church that does not welcome same-gender weddings, it's good to sing songs that don't reinforce that exclusion.

You will probably want to sing a range of songs, including some traditional hymns, or even a meditative chant, depending on the type of service. Most of the songs I have listed here have a specific focus on weddings, but I have listed a couple of other songs that might give you some ideas for other types of songs you might like to sing at the end of the entry.
  • GA221 / AA25 / CP287 / W&R609 / StF603 Come to a wedding (Murray) Good wedding words that are not heterosexist, and simply celebrate love. Sung to BUNESSAN (Morning has broken), so easy for congregations that include lots of non-church-goers. Some versions (StF does) include the possibility of including the names of the happy couple in the final verse (which works well, unless one of them is named Methuselah). Lyrics and sound sample. New words to old tunes
  • AoV2-086 If I speak in words of wisdom / Love Is The Greatest Gift Of All (Marshall Good) This is not exclusively a wedding song, but is very good for weddings, especially if 1 Corithians 13 is part of the service.
  • G(II)633 / GC870 / GC(II)859 / G(3)971 May God bless you hold and keep you (A Nuptial Blessing) Excellent words with a very community-focused view of marriage. I wish I had known about this when I got married! Simple tune. Lyrics, sheet music and sound sample (search for "nuptial). 
  • VU485 / Cha498 O God who gave humanity its name (Fred Kaan) Excellent words of a love that is large and seeking strength, throughout changing life. Could be sung to the familiar tune SURSUM CORDA if desired. New words to old tunes
  • G(II)630 / GC867 / GC(II)860 / G(3)968 Wherever You Go (Haas) Good words based on Song of Songs / Song of Solomon and Ruth. Needs a cantor. Sound, lyric and sheet music (refrain only) sample here (search for "Wherever you go (Haas)")  
  • NCH364 God today bless this new marriage (Post) Good simple words celebrating a union of love and service to the tune of "Brother, Sister, Let me serve you". Lyrics and sound sample. New words to old tunes  
  • Iona (LFB) / A&M345 / CP288 / SP132 Lord and lover of creation Good and sung to a very familiar tune (WESTMINSTER ABBEY). Can be used for any romantic union commitment ceremony. Lyrics here. New words to old tunes   
  • TiS 603 / AHB 526 / UMH645 / A&M348 / VU491 / LBW287 / HPP290 / PH533 / CP(E) 343 / W&R610 / StF605 / Lau415 / MP517 O perfect Love all human thought transcending (Gurney) Sources vary in how old-fashioned the language is. Although this hymn is very old, it is still very relevant and beautiful today. Lyrics (older style) and tune sample. 
  • TiS 654 / NCH362 / UMH643 / VU489 / WoV749 / G(II)628 / GC865 / GC(II)856 / G(3)966  / W&R612 / Cha499 / StF607 / Lau416 When love is found and hope comes home (Wren) Lovely words to the tune O WALY WALY, which also talks about the challenges faced by those committing to a lifelong loving relationship. Lyrics. New words to old tunes  
  • CH696 We come dear Lord to celebrate (Bell) A lovely joyful wedding song, to the familiar tune REPTON. Celebrating love, asking for God's blessings on the new family. New words to old tunes  
  • CH697 / AA86 Let’s praise the Creator (Murray) Joyous wedding song. Not all verses are appropriate for same-sex unions as the words "husband and wife" make up a critical rhyme, but the words are so lovely, I wanted to list it. "The love that we wish them, the love that we pray for is stronger than storms and more gentle than breath, endures every trouble, is selfless and faithful, more precious than life and more lasting than death". 
  • ATW 507 Where you tread (Beavis) A very simple and beautiful song based on Ruth's commitment to Naomi. A congregation would pick this up very quickly. 
  • VU490 Our God creation's loving source (Joy Patterson) Lovely words celebrating God's love and love for each other sung to the familiar tune O WALY WALY. Lyrics. New words to old tunes  
  • MV035 Holy one O Holy one (Farquharson) Gentle blessing song for a marriage or commitment service. Probably not immediately easy for a congregation to join in.

Song for Marriage Equality
  • Online Resource Praise the source of all creation giving life through all the earth (Aldredge-Clanton) These new lyrics to the tune ODE TO JOY are about many excellent things, not just marriage equality, but I wanted to put this somewhere it may be found! Lyrics. New words to old tunes 
Songs that are not specifically about marriage that you may like to include: 
Really, you should just sing some hymns that are generally about God's goodness that you really love. 

  • 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 (Wesley) A beautiful classic song and most hymnals use a very inclusive version of this hymn, even the AHB. Lyrics and sound sample. 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. 
  • Taiz√© / 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 (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.  
  •  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Refugee and Migrant Sunday - June 24 2018

Also, please look at the booklet from the Hymn Society that has a particular focus on a welcome to Refugees. 
  • Online Resource: The children come (Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette) For those in the USA, this new song focussed on care for unaccompanied children entering the USA was particularly appropriate last year, and sadly, still very appropriate this year. Sheet music 
  • Online Resource In these times (Marty Haugen) A beautiful new song that focuses clearly on the current refugee crisis and God's clear command that we should create a place of welcome. Sound sample & lyrics. Sheet music
  • *FFS60 Stranger standing at my door (Jillian Bray) 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.
  • Online Resource A child a woman and a man (Brian Wren) Excellent words of welcoming the stranger among us. Lyrics & sheet music. There is also a more modern alternate tune by David MacGregor here. Sound sample.
  • Online Resource / Tune In: See our God with the tear-streaked face / Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. Free downloadable songbook, lyrics and sound samples
  • MV 145 / CP418 / SP&P123 Draw the circle wide (Gordon Light) A great song about welcoming all people. Chorus is “Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no-one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide”. Lyrics. 
  • FFS34 I am standing waiting (Shirley Murray) Good words of justice for children of poor nations to the well known French melody AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE. "I am standing waiting, waiting at your door, one of hunger's children from a billion poor" Lyrics and sheet music PDF. New words to old tunes.
  • 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
  • *VU77 / PH035 / GtG153 / 82Hml-246 In Bethlehem a Newborn Boy (Rosamond Herklots) Great words acknowledging the danger Christ was born into, the danger that still exists today, and Christ's redemptive power over it. The phrase "but down the ages rings the cry of those who saw their children die" is so powerful, and reminds me of families in Syria, on refugee boats, and in hospitals. The tune is suitably solemn and simple; somewhat formal.  This is a song that may be sung more commonly at Christmas, but would also be appropriate for a Sunday such as this.
  • FFS78 Who are these strangers? (Colin Gibson) Good words of questioning faith; quite sad and challenging. The tune is new, but it quite intuitive. "Who are these strangers? Why do they throng, crowding the place where we belong? Why do they haunt us with their pain, eyes that have seen so many slain? We do not know them, yet we kneel and bring them to this holy place, where bread is broken, wine is shared, suffering met by love and grace".
  • Here in this place Come and share this land (Helen Wiltshire) A terrific song to help us learn that sharing our country and freedom is a great thing to be able to do. I think this would be Good for kids sung to ORIENTIS PARTIBUS, but maybe there is a more appealing tune for kids out there? Free sheet music.
  • AoV2-102 / GA509 Who will speak if we don't (Marty Haugen) Excellent challenging words. Lyrics (scroll). Good for teenagers.
  • TiS 690 / CH259 / A&M557 / StS115 / SP237 / Srce54 / StF693 / MP806 Beauty for brokenness hope for despair (Graham Kendrick) Themes of healing from personal and universal suffering and an emotive chorus. “Refuge from cruel wars, havens from fear, cities for sanctuary, freedoms to share, peace to the killing-fields, scorched earth to green; Christ for the bitterness, his cross for the pain”. It's a bit schmaltzy. Lyrics.
  • TiS 629 / AHB 558 / AoV2-136 / ATA 197 / CH544 / VU600 / Lau888 / StF256 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.
  • TiS 421 Where the Spirit is there's freedom (Per Harling) Fun and good. Can be sung with the congregation in two halves singing each part, which is not too hard once they have the hang of singing it in unison. Good for kids Lyrics.
  • Recorded music Our God of hope / Carry the Dream (John Coleman) A good song about God being with the hope of refugees, protesters, prophets. It would be even better if someone from your congregation sings it. Sound sample and purchasing options
  • Online Resource No longer strangers and aliens (Jack Davidson) This catchy song is based on Ephesians 2; it would be more appropriate for American congregations, since they actually call people aliens over there... Youtube
  • GtG154 Jesus entered Egypt (Adam Tice) Another song from the Christmas season that also serves as a reminder that we need to reach out to the refugee, migrant and stranger among us. Highly recommended. Tune sample. "Jesus entered Egypt fleeing Herod's hand, living as an alien in a foreign land. Far from home and country with his family, was there room and welcome for this refugee?"....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hymns and Songs for Funerals and times of grieving

A song for dying: 
  • Online Resource A Dance on the Grass (Christopher Grundy) This is just beautiful. A great song to sing in a hospice or in a similar setting when someone is facing dying. Video with links for a free download.
General funeral songs: 
  • ATAR606 / StS121 / FFS50 Nothing is lost on the breath of God (Colin Gibson) A beautiful song and very easy to sing even if new. "Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost for ever; God's breath is love, and that love will remain, holding the world for ever. No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory; no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air, but is counted and told in God's story." Words and full sheet music. Sound sample.
  • TiS 639 / AHB 619 / GA241 / Lau445 May flights of angels lead you on your way (Quinn) A quite formal song, to a familiar Orlando Gibbons tune (SONG 1). This would be good for a funeral of one who has suffered, or someone who looked forward to being met by the angels and saints.
  • *VU278 / URW221 In the quiet curve of evening (Juliana Howards) Beautiful words about God's presence in the spaces of our lives. Simple tune. Lyrics
  • *ATAR656 Heavy our hearts (Watts / Lord) A lovely soothing chant naming our heaviness and seeking God's shelter and healing. 
  • VU182 Stay with us through the night (Farquharson) Simple and gentle sorrowful, but hopeful song. 
  • TiS 613 / AHB 546 / ATOK 405 / CH166 / LBW469 / ELW765 / A&M713 / SFFS2197 / HPP265 / GtG683 / GC578 / GC(II)560 / G(3)663 / CP506 / CP(E) 507 / W&R469 / URW179 / 82Hml-482 / Lau969 / StF526 / MP882 Lord of all hopefulness Lord of all joy (Struther) Excellent straightforward Irish tune (SLANE), and beautiful words. Would be a good choice for the final song. New words to old tunes
  • Iona (Common Ground, Enemy of Apathy) / CH730 / GC(II)864 / CP489 From the falter of breath / The Last Journey (Bell) Beautiful words to a Celtic folk tune. Organ sample. Lyrics and sample music. Another sound sample.
  • CH464 / A&M521 / SP139 Though hope desert my heart (John Bell) Excellent words of grief / trial, with the knowledge that Christ has been there first.
  • CP(E) 397 Christ the way of life possess me (Dudley-Smith) Not strictly a funeral song, but very suitable song about following Christ in life until death. Old fashioned, but inclusive. Nice imagery "Path of life before me shining". Lyrics.
  • TiS 695 Fare well we come to send you on your way (Thwaites) Good words to a very familiar tune (Finlandia). Has masculine language for God.
  • VU496 / W&R516 Grief of ending wordless sorrow (Wren) Beautiful words. A sample of a choral arrangement can be found here (loads a pdf).
  • GC(II)574 God weeps with us who weep and mourn (Troeger) Excellent words, but the tune is not intuitive. Could probably be sung to another tune (8.6.8.6.8.6.8.6). I will try to look this up at some stage. Sheet music and lyrics. Sound sample.
  • NCH368 Sheltered by God's loving spirit (Patterson) Helpful words to a traditional hymn tune that would be easy to sing (BEECHER).
  • FFS45 Lord turn our grieving into grace Excellent words "Lift up the stone that weighs us down". Best sung in two parts if you have enough singers to do that, but can be sung well without the 2nd part.
  • MV017 / FFS24 /Srce2-145 God in the darkness (Smith) Great words which would work well at the beginning of a service of worship. Set to a fairly simple hymn-like tune by Colin Gibson. Verse 1: "God in the darkness, God beyond our knowing, patient creator, seed in secret growing, rock of the living, water ever flowing, come and renew us" 
  • ATFG540 NCH499 CH726 UMH356 VU581 ELW639 HPP342 GtG822 / PH400 G(II)474 GC666 GC(II)650 G(3)756 W&R415 Cha536 URW174 / URW175 / URW176 StF485 Lau906 In all our living / When We Are Living / Pues Si Vivimos (Mexican traditional) A simple and lovely song, in English and Spanish (though not all hymnals include the Spanish lyrics). Translations vary widely, so check yours. URW has two translations (URW174 and URW175) .  
  • Iona (LFB) / CH734 / CP296 O Christ you wept when grief was raw Lovely honest words. There are a couple of tune options. I like best ROCKINGHAM. Lyrics here.
  • AA91 Lord of all love A good hymn of trust. Can also be sung to ROCKINGHAM. Lyrics can be viewed here (loads a word document with many other useful funeral resources).
  • CH735 / StJ / GC(II)868 Go Silent Friend (Bell) To the tune of Londonderry Air, this would be very simple to sing at a funeral. The language for God is masculine. It can also be read by a single voice as a poem, and this is what is suggested in CH.
  • CH731 When grief is raw and music goes unheard (Wren) A poem for a funeral with communion.
  • *TiS 682 / ATW 490 / GA236 / AA151 When human voices cannot sing (Murray) Lovely words of healing in the face of grief. I prefer this sung to ST COLUMBA, which is the tune in GA and TiS. Lyrics (loads a word document with many other useful funeral resources).
  • NCH297 / CH736 / VU706 / StJ / AA45 HPSS528 / W&R518 / Cha649 / URW131 (Murray) Give thanks for life the measure of our days Good and joyful words of remembrance. Sung to the familiar tune SINE NOMINE "Give thanks for those whose lives shone with a light caught from the Christ flame, gleaming through the night, who touched the truth, who burned for what is right: Alleluia! Alleluia!"
  • Here in This Place In birth, behold a mystery (Wiltshire) These words can be sung to many tunes (88.88), and notes the phases of life, including birth, joy, pain, death, love and life. Good, straightforward words. Free sheet music available here.
  • G(3)976 Dwellers in the Holy City (Dufner) Funeral song about calling the residents of heaven to welcome the one who has just died. Boring tune, but very easy to sing. Lyrics and lead sheet. Sound sample.
  • NCH476 /  CH565 / VU716 / WoV781 / LBW294 / ELW596 / GA454 / SFFS 2212 / HPP395  / G(II)427  / GC603 / GC(II)598 / G(3)685 / CP401 / W&R424 / Cha619 / SP296 / URW170 My life flows on in endless song (Lowry) A wonderful hymn. Lots of great recordings of this are available too. It's not so great if it is not familiar to your congregation, but once known, it is worth hanging on to.
  • *Tune In: All will finish well: (Brown) I think this song would be appropriate for an unexpected or untimely death, particularly of someone who risked life for the sake of the gospel. "You, in all our darkness, you offer peace. You of the ages, in this world where injustice reigns you are in the midst of pain". Lyrics and sound sample.  
  • Online resource We celebrate this life (Wiltshire) Good words of all the things we want to celebrate about a life fully lived, including the sorrowful times. Free songbook download.
  • *AoV1-192 / NCH092 / VU433 / GA540 / PH544 / GtG676 / GC758 / GC(II)751 / G(3)858 / CP020 / URW191 / Lau676 Day is done but love unfailing (James Quinn) I think the words for this are really beautiful, the tune very familiar (AR HYD NOS) and the image of unending Light in the midst of death and darkness is full of hope. Lyrics and sound sample. New words to old tunes  
Nunc Dimittis: 
This traditional song is often sung at funerals:
*G(II)562 / GC776 / GC(II)767 / G(3)874 / URW027 Now Let Your Servant Go (CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM / Ruth Duck) Excellent words from Ruth Duck present the Nunc Dimittis to a familiar chant tune. If you have a non-chanting congregation, just use the tune for "Creator of the stars of night" (NCH 111) which is an adapted chant and no-one will ever suspect that they were chanting.
SP&P207 Now you are releasing your servant (Grundy) A more modern Nunc Dimittis. This will need to be taught, because the timing is a little tricky. Sound sample (scroll down).
*Online Resource Holy One, Now Let Your Servants A nice sending out song that picks up the song of Simeon. Probably too tricky for a congregation to sing the first time they hear it, but perhaps your musicians can play it. Sound sample, lyrics and source.
*TiS 324 / GtG545 / AHB 248 / PH603 / PfAS1051 Lord bid your servant go in peace (LAND OF REST) Inclusive save for the last verse which is a Trinitarian blessing. Familiar American folk tune. Lyrics can be found here in an order of worship. It could also be sung to the tune MORNING SONG (Awake awake to love and work) - just the first four lines of the tune.
  Taiz√© / URW385 Let your servant now go in peace / Nunc Dimittis (Berthier) Very simple and straightforward.  
*TiS 733 / VU903 / PH604 / 82Hml-499 Lord God you now have set your servant free (Whitney) A very straightforward and traditional blessing based on this reading.  
*URW024 Now bid your servant go in peace (Quinn) A lovely paraphrase to a familiar American folk tune (LAND OF REST)  

In Paradisum: 
This is another traditional song for funerals:
GC863 / GC(II)865 / G(3)977 / 82Hml-356 May choirs of angels lead you / In Paradisum (Proulx) Chant setting  
TiS 639 / AHB 619 / GA241 / Lau445 May flights of angels lead you on your way (Quinn) A quite formal song, to a familiar Orlando Gibbons tune (SONG 1). This would be good for a funeral of one who has suffered, or someone who looked forward to being met by the angels and saints.
 
To remember multiple people:
FFS05 Be their names remembered (Murray/Jillian Bray) Simple chant, good for singing in response to a list of names of those who have died (e.g. catastrophe, ANZAC day). "Be their names remembered in the heart of God"

To remember a victim or victims of violence:

W&R632 / Cha512 When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love (Patterson) Excellent words sung to the well known tune SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics.
MV179 People let us walk together (Snowdon) A mournful (but still hopeful) song, that can be sung as 3 verses or as a round, written for a worship service to honour women killed in the Montreal Massacre of 1989. You can change the words to "People let us walk together" if the focus is not particularly on violence against women.

To remember female victims of violence:
MV179 Sisters let us walk together (Snowdon) A mournful (but still hopeful) song, that can be sung as 3 verses or as a round, written for a worship service to honour women killed in the Montreal Massacre of 1989. It would work well for any service or event (even a candle-light march) to remember women unjustly killed.

To remember a child:
  • FFS44 / W&R683 Little one born to bring us such love Hymn for a funeral of a small child; very simple tune and beautiful words of comfort. Words and melody line here (search for "little one").
  • CH733 We cannot care for you the way we wanted (Bell) Heartbreaking and realistic. Deals extremely well with the particular grief and regrets of losing a child, and would also be useful for one stillborn. This hymn could be sung by the congregation (it's not too hard if they are musical), by a soloist, or read over an instrumental accompaniment. It requires addition of he or she and his or her where appropriate, so careful not to just copy and paste into your order of service.
  • CH732 When Jesus longed for us to know (Bell) A simple, and beautiful song for the death of a child. It requires addition of he or she and his or her where appropriate, so careful not to just copy and paste into your order of service. 
  • NCH433 / CH727 / UMH707 / VU703 / HPP474 / GtG250 / W&R515 / Cha638 In the bulb there is a flower (Sleeth) A simple song of hope symbolised in nature. Lyrics and sheet music.

To remember an older person:
FFS56 Sing no sad songs today Murray/Johann Gruger Specifically suitable for someone who has lived a long life; sung to NUN DANKET (now thank we all our God) so would be easy to sing for everyone. Lyrics can be viewed here (loads a word document with many other useful funeral resources).

To remember the loss of someone who lived a creative life:
TiS 190 / NCH030 / HPP296 / W&R643 / Cha457 Colorful Creator God of mystery (Duck) Good words, I think this would be a good song to recognise the life of a painter, a musician, a poet, actor or writer. Excellent tune with nice twist at the end.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Laments for Natural Disasters / Floods / Bushfires / Earthquakes / Typhoons

Online resource In times like these (Janssen) Written for a tidal wave / tsunami, these words to the tune Was Mein Gott Will might be useful in the case of this earthquake. It also works to ST COLUMBA (TiS 523) Lyrics.

StS121 / FFS50
Nothing is lost on the breath of God (Colin Gibson). A beautiful song, easy to sing "Nothing is lost on the breath of God, nothing is lost for ever; God's breath is love, and that love will remain, holding the world for ever. No feather too light, no hair too fine, no flower too brief in its glory; no drop in the ocean, no dust in the air, but is counted and told in God's story." Words and music are here. Sound sample here. This song is from New Zealand
Online resource God we've known such grief and anger (Winfrey-Gillette) This hymn was written after the World Trade Center disaster and is still appropriate for today. Lyrics (to the standard hymn tune IN BABILONE) are here. Carolyn has given free-one-time use of this hymn to congregations that support the relief work by the Uniting Church in Australia, Anglican Church of Australia, Roman Catholic Church and/or ecumenical relief efforts in Victoria.
TiS 638 / NCH175 / CH717 / UMH265 / LBW380 / ELW675 /HPPS380 O Christ the healer we have come. A song of prayer for healing for others. I prefer the tune in TiS (INVERCARRY). Lyrics can be found here. "From every ailment flesh endures our bodies clamor to be freed; yet in our hearts we would confess that wholeness is our deepest need."
Iona (Sent By the Lord) / MV066 Senzenina? / What have we done? (South African) This beautiful chant from South Africa asks the question that we often ask when things go wrong beyond belief. It's important to know what the song means when singing it. If you have some part-singers in your congregation, this would be particular good. It's good to let people ask this question. It is also on the soundtrack for "The Power of One" so you could also play the recorded music if appropriate. Free sheet music is available here (loads a pdf).
ATAR656 Heavy our hearts (Watts / Lord) A lovely soothing chant naming our heaviness and seeking God's shelter and healing.  
Online resource: O God our words cannot express (Winfrey-Gillette). Words to the tune "Our God our help in ages past" (ST ANNE). Words here.AoV2-070 / ATW 496 / MV090 / StJ Don't be afraid (Bell) I love this song of reassurance. "Don't be afraid, my love is stronger. My love is stronger than your fear".
URW311 I love you Lord you hear my cry (Watts) A simple song wth two verses, or you could use it as a Psalm refrain with the text read by a leader. It would be pretty amazing if you can sing it in 4 parts, I reckon. The 2nd verse could be quite appropriate as a lament on its own during intercessions.
Iona (Love From Below) / CH734 / CP296 O Christ you wept when grief was raw. This is a funeral song, that may be appropriate for those in communities more directly affected by the fires. A better tune for a congregation is ROCKINGHAM. Words are here. Words can be changed quite simply if you, sadly, need to remember more than one person who has died.
Online resource The Voice of our grief (Harding). A quite groovy chant "God of sorrow, God of justice, God of healing hear the voice of our grief". Sheet music available here. There is also a sample PDF and mp3 file with a really strange synthesizer part.
FFS05 Be their names remembered (Murray/Bray) Simple chant, good for singing in response to a list of names of those who have died in this event or any other. "Be their names remembered in the heart of God.
VU182 Stay with us through the night (Farquharson) Simple and gentle sorrowful, but hopeful song. 

Specifically for bushfires
Online resource O God of mighty wind and flame (Winfrey-Gillette) This hymn was written at the time of the 2007 fires in California, and is just as appropriate for Australian fires. Free sheet music here. Carolyn has given free-one-time use of this hymn to congregations that support the relief work by the Uniting Church in Australia, Anglican Church of Australia, Roman Catholic Church and/or ecumenical relief efforts in Victoria.
Online resource Abide with me, there seems no place to hide (Peter Oliver). Please see in the comments section below some lyrics written by Peter. Thank you, Peter for contributing this.
MV 74 When painful mem'ries haunt each day / When painful memories haunt each day (Ruth Duck). I suggest singing it to the more familiar Celtic tune KINGSFOLD (TiS 262). "When painful mem'ries haunt each day and dreams disturb the night, when life is washed with shades of grey and phantoms fill our sight, Christ stay beside us and embrace the child who dwells within; come, Healer, touch or lives with grace; restore our lives again."
Iona (Enemy of Apathy): Sing my soul when hope is sleeping. "Sing, my soul, when hope is sleeping. Sing when faith gives way to fears; Sing to melt the ice of sadness Making way for joy through tears." Simple to sing.
SFFS 2216 When We Are Called to Sing Your Praise (Keithahn) A good hymn for times of trouble, sung to a very standard hymn tune, KINGSFOLD. Maybe a little bit preachy?

To remember the deaths of children
Iona (Last Journey, When Grief is Raw) / CH746 There is a place prepared for little children (Bell / Dunblane Primary) This song particularly grieves for children who have died. All lyrics are here (loads a Word document). "There is a place where God will hear our questions, Suffer our anger, share our speechless grief. Gently repair the innocence of loving And of belief. "
*MV111 / Online resource A voice was heard in Ramah (Gillette) Lament, death of children; peace; war; Good words to a very straightforward hymn tune (LLANGLOFFAN). Lyrics here.


A song of hope to end: even in the dust the sun still rises:
TiS 156 / AHB 91 / AoV1-135 / ATA 123 / CH212 / UMH145 / VU409 / ELW556 / HPP267 / HPSS469 / G(II)546 / GC756 / GC(II)748 / CP003 / W&R35 / Cha053 / URW186 / 82Hml-008 Morning has broken (Farjeon) This song makes me smile every time. Thanks Sheryll for taking me to see Yusuf Islam last year! Here he is, in 1976 (love those green boots).