Thursday, February 18, 2010

Communion / Eucharist hymns

Songs to sing before communion

  • AoVNG1 / CH685 / FFS17 / GtG769 / G(3)812 / W&R617 For everyone born / A place at the table (Murray, True) Words of welcome and change to everyone regardless of sex, age, sinfulness. There are three possible tunes. The Lori True tune is the most common. I like the Colin Gibson tune in FFS (and on the Hope Publishing website that follows). Use whatever you have! This song is good for a service when communion is celebrated, but it makes sense without communion, too. There is also an optional verse: "For gay and for straight...." Lyrics & sheet music.
  • VU592 / GtG186 / StF695 Come now you blessed (Ruth Duck) Good words, based on Matthew 25:34-39, sung to a lovely 6/8 tune, with an emphasis on our call to social justice. It will need to be taught, or at least played through, the first time. 
  • NCH340 / StJ We are people on a journey / Somos pueblo que camina (Misa Popular Nicaraguense) I like this one. It has challenging lyrics, and it can be hard for middle class white folks to sing this one (in a good way). 
  • *CH763 / MV193 God bless to us our bread (Traditional Argentinian) A lovely simple grace for meals and for communion. More Voices has Spanish and French lyrics as well as English. "God bless to us our bread, and give bread to all those who are hungry, and hunger for justice to those who are fed. God bless to us our bread". Sound sample (Track 1). Good for kids.   
  • *NCH344 / Iona (Enemy of Apathy) / GA385 / G(II)611 / Lau638 The time was early evening (Bell) Great words to a familiar Celtic folk tune. We used to sing this one often on Maundy Thursday; would be good to revisit it. "Oh the food comes from the baker, the drink comes from the vine..." 
  • *TiS 538 / AoV2-093 Feed us now Bread of life (Mann) One of my favourite communion songs. Simple to sing, and beautiful simple theology. “Piece of bread, cup of wine, Lord this food is good”. Lyrics (search for "feed us now"). I love how the liturgy in the link intersperses the words of institution with the singing of the song. I think it's so great that there are so many orders of worship on the Internet! 
  • GtG507 / SP&P112 Come to the table of grace (Hamm) Communion Good for distribution of communion as it's very simple and repetitive. Particularly good for welcoming children to communion; and maybe even in Advent because it's got that Peace, Love and Joy thing going on. Good for kids
  • *GtG498 Loaves were broken words were spoken (Stuempfle) Communion Excellent words for communion sung to the familiar tune BEACH SPRING. Lyrics (downloads a pdf that you will need to scroll through) 
  • *ELW466 / FFS38 / SFFS 2255 / GtG533 In the singing in the silence (Murray) Lovely words, simple tune in FFS; there are quite a few tunes to this. Lyrics and single-use only downloadable PDF. 
  • *TiS 536 / AHB 453 / VU130 / GtG202 / PH094 / CP(E) 130 / W&R275 / Cha385 / Lau248 An upper room did our Lord prepare (O Waly Waly) I really love this song, but we have not sung it much, even though it's so easy and lovely. Lyrics 
  • ATOK 397 / Iona (LFB) / CH658 / VU462 / A&M426 / GtG428 / CP610 / Cha391 / SP211 Before I take the body of my Lord / These I lay down A pre-communion confession. Lovely tune which is easy to sing. Lyrics.
  • *Tune In / NCYC'09 / ATAR598 God has laid a feasting table / Invitation (Whelan). Feminine imagery of God gathering her guests to a feasting table. Fun Cuban rhythm. Sample and songbook.  
  • *SP&P059 Yours is the wheat and yours the grape (Tirabassi) This short song has beautiful words for communion and would be good sung either as a short refrain before distribution as a regular part of the liturgy, or sung as a chant during the distribution. 
  • *SP&P065 As the grain was scattered on the hills (Clyde) A beautiful and simple melody with words from the Didache. This would be very beautiful before or during the distribution of communion, particularly when the congregation has been on a difficult journey. "On hillsides you feed us, through deserts you lead us, now at this table all are one in Christ. We have new life". 
  • VU280 Mother and God (Winter) A slightly longer short song, suitable for before the intercessions or communion. Beautiful words; some may find the breastfeeding God image a little challenging. Simple tune. Lyrics.  
Songs for the distribution

  • ATAR658 Jesus, you are the bread we long for (Farrell) Excellent communion song, with 5 verses about God being bread and wine for those who starve and thirst; themes of healing, restoration and justice. Very straightforward flowing melody. We sang this not long ago, and it is really beautiful. It would be good to sing it again. Lyrics (in an order of service) 
  • *WoV701 / ELW487 / URW119 What Feast of Love (Dufner) Very poetic devotional language about Christ as the bread, light and wine. Sung to GREENSLEEVES. Maybe better as a solo initially so people can just listen to the beauty of the words. Perhaps sung during distribution of communion, or a song to sing while thinking about the prepared table?  
  • *AoVNG15 Bread of Life (Poirier) A nice gentle song. Would be good for distribution of communion. Particularly good for Maundy Thursday. Our musicians sang it last year (and the year before), and it was just lovely. I think we could just do it again!
    TiS 707 / Iona (Common Ground, LFB) / A&M429 / SP214 Bread is blessed and broken (GRACE IN ESSENCE) Very simple. Good for distribution of communion; not all versions are inclusive. Lyrics.
  • Taizé / TiS 714 / AoV1-125 /ATE 270 / CH661 / UMH628 / VU466 / WoV709 / ELW472 / GA205 / A&M442 / G(II)588 / GC838 / GC(II)806 / G(3)941 / RS928 / CP063 / W&R697 / Cha414 / SP229 / URW379 / Lau633 Eat this bread drink this cup (Batastini / Taize) Excellent, particularly if you have a capable cantor. Some resources say "Come to him and never be hungry", but others have "come to me / trust in me". 
  • *ATW 478 / Iona (T1AU) / CH799 / A&M469 / G(3)951 / SP230 / URW420 This is the body of Christ (Bell) A very simple and gentle chant for distribution of communion "This is the body of Christ, broken that we may be whole; This cup, as promised by God, true to God's word, cradles our Lord: food for the good of the soul." Note, I did a sneaky little lyric change there... see if you can find it.
  • *SP&P020 We are waiting for you (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.  
  • CH659 / MV173 / StJ / A&M566 / G(3)824 / W&R389 / SP251 Put peace into each other’s hands (Kaan) Good words for communion; tune is quite simple and flows nicely. Slow sound sample, sheet music with lyrics. Good for kids  
  • *ATW 472 / NCYC'99 As we take this bread (Dyson) A lovely simple communion chant. Good for kids.
  • *SP&P059 Yours is the wheat and yours the grape (Tirabassi) This short song has beautiful words for communion and would be good sung either as a short refrain before distribution as a regular part of the liturgy, or sung as a chant during the distribution. 
  • *SP&P065 As the grain was scattered on the hills (Clyde) A beautiful and simple melody with words from the Didache. This would be very beautiful before or during the distribution of communion, particularly when the congregation has been on a difficult journey. "On hillsides you feed us, through deserts you lead us, now at this table all are one in Christ. We have new life". 
  • SP&P106 Bread is broken eyes are opened (Bruxvoort-Colligan / Fowler) Very simple communion chant. Could be sung as a round; would work for distribution in a small group.
  • SP&P153 Eat of this bread (Hamm) A svery simple chant appropriate for distribution of communion.
Songs for before AND after communion
  • URW134 God wills a full life for us all (Gregory) Great words sung to the familiar tune AZMON; The first 3 verses could be sung before communion, and the last two afterwards. New words to old tunes. "Thanks be to God for faith renewed and unity restored. We go, one world, one family, to live Gods' loving word".