Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28th 2020)

Jeremiah 31:7-14
Gathering the flock of Israel, redeeming them, and the celebration afterwards
  • 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. Also works at the end of the service "Send us out O God.... Lyrics & sound sample.
  • MV007 Gather us in ground us in you (David Hann) A simple chant which would be great for an invitation to worship. Lyrics & sheet music sample.
  • 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.
  • TiS 647 / AoV2-012 / ATN 25 / STB184 Comfort comfort all my people (Robin Mann) This is one of my all time favourite songs. Easy to sing, beautiful lyrics. 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”. Note that there are extra lyrics at this link. Lyrics and mp3.
  • AoVK-125 / ATW 489 Turn our sadness upside down (Leigh Newton) Good for kids, and adults too. Simple tune, but not so simple that it’s boring. Lyrics (search in the page for "sadness"). Sheet music.
  • Iona (There is one among us) Lord you can turn all mourning into dancing (John Bell) An excellent simple refrain “Lord you can turn all mourning into dancing, evenings of grief to mornings of great joy”.
  • Tune In / Online Resource 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.
  • TiS 670 / SiS569 / AoVK-138 / ATE 258 / CH692 / Srce385 / MP376 Jesus put this song into our hearts (Graham Kendrick) A fun Yiddish tune that gets even more fun if you get faster and faster as you go. Try teaching your congregation a simple side to side “dance” step. If you teach them and make it clear that it’s okay, you’ll be surprised how many people will join in. Good for kids. Youtube.
  •  MV221 I am walking a path of peace (Janet Tissandier) A simple song for the end of the service; words can be altered to paths of love, grace, hope, joy etc. Lyrics Good for kids
Psalm 124
Strength in the face of oppression.
  • Online Resource / 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. Lyrics, sound sample and free downloadable songbook
  • NCH Psalter 124 Our help is in the name of God (Jane Marshall) Simple refrain and good paraphrase of the Psalm for a cantor, chanting, or to be read with a response. 
  • Online Resource / 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". This has been sung frequently by the musicians at BUC, but not by the congregation. Lyrics, sound sample and free downloadable songbook.
  • TiS 123 / AHB 48 / NCH488 / CH691 / UMH534 / VU652 / A&M594 / GtG819 / CP(E) 384 / W&R451 / Cha 566 / Src69 / Lau780 Be still my soul (Katharina von Schlegel) Sometimes this can be a bit mushy, but the words are really very strong and helpful. Lyrics and sheet musicOldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Public Domain Freedom is a constant struggle I love this song and I think it might work with this reading. Could be good used during prayers of confession or a time of lament; it doesn't have a happy ending. Historic sound sample.
  • AoV2-149 / NCH570 / UMH533 / HPP311 / GtG379 / G(II)522 / GC724 / GC(II)711 / G(3)817 / W&R512 / Cha630 / ZSS106 We shall overcome (Zilphia Horton / Frank Hamilton / Guy Carawan / Pete Seeger) Particularly good if your congregation is facing struggle. Other songs from the Civil Rights era would also fit well with this Psalm. Here's the sound of Martin Luther King Jr talking about the power of this song.  Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *NCH497 / SFFS 2208 / GtG741 / PH354 / G(II)508 / GC707 / GC(II)684 G(3)780 / CP513 / ZSS141 Guide my feet while I run this race (African-American Spiritual) Another  excellent civil rights song. Would work well as a meditative prayer for guidance or as an uplifting call to action at the end of the service.You could also make up your own lyrics. Lyrics. Good for kids.  
  • ATW 463 / Iona (T1AU) / ELW721 / SFFS 2219 / A&M835 / GtG750 / GC(II)451 / G(3)528 / W&R296 / URW436 Goodness is stronger than evil (Desmond Tutu) Words from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. "Victory is ours, victory is ours, through him who loves us". Some congregations change the last line to "Compassion is ours, compassion is ours...". It depends on the context in which you sing it, I suppose. Sound sample. Good for kids. 
  • Unknown Source Blessed Be God (Linnea Good) This will need to be taught, but won't be too hard. Get one part of the congregation on the chant part (God before me….) while the others sing the top part, and then add in other parts as you are able. We have a copy of this at church, I believe.
Matthew 2:13-23
The flight into Egypt, the slaughter of the innocents and the return to Israel
  • Spoken Word Kids Who Die (Langston Hughes) This poem from 1938 is still something we need to hear. I think this would be a really useful reading to ponder today. Poem. Powerful video read by Danny Glover
  • Online Resource Come Christmas Child (Shirley Murray) A wonderful new song that fits the themes we are exploring this year: that Christ will come amid the pain and hurt that exists in the world (oh, maybe we explore that every year?). The tune is not easy - it will need to be taught, but the lyrics will make it worth the time! Lyrics and sheet music.
  • Online Resource Rise Up (BiFrost Arts) Not a congregational song. You could use the recording, or get your musicians to play this. Sound sample, purchasing options.   
  • Online Resource In Bethlehem a Newborn Boy (Ana Hern├índez) A simple & quite lovely song that tells the story & updates it for today's world. Sheet music & lyrics.  
  • GtG154 Jesus entered Egypt (Adam Tice) This is my strongest recommendation for the season. A beautiful, easy to sing 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?"....
  • TiS 319 / AHB 241 / CH314 / Lau141 / MP071 Child in the manger infant of Mary (Mary Macdonald) Words of the outcast, infant Christ who becomes the victorious Redeemer. Sung to the well known tune BUNESSAN. CH has the original Gaelic text. Lyrics and sheet music. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • 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. The tune is suitably solemn and simple; somewhat formal. Lyrics.
  • WoV639 / PH045 / W&R207 / 82Hml-113 Oh Sleep Now Holy Baby (Hispanic folk song) A lullaby from a mother to a child who is in danger. This would be a good song to remember the fear of Christ's family, and the fear of all whose children live in danger. Lyrics. Sound sample.
  • A&M077 / HPP141 / CP(E)60 / 82Hml-247 Lully lulla thou little tiny Child (Coventry Carol) (16th century English) A very lovely and sad lullaby. I love this song; is it weird that we used to sing our baby to sleep with this song? Lyrics and sheet music. I've just listened to about 10 versions on YouTube. This is my favourite. And a version with a beautiful lute. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • CH330 The tyrant issues his decree (Iain Cunningham) A song about the slaughter of the innocents that realistically presents the story and makes it easy to see the parallels with similar images from the news. Sung to a straightforward 15th century tune (AGINCOURT) Verse two: "Bewildered parents claw the air with shrieks of horror and despair, and all of Bethlehem laments the slaughter of the innocents." 
  • MV111 / Online resource A voice was heard in Ramah (Carolyn Winfrey Gillette) Lament, death of children; peace; war; Good words to a very straightforward hymn tune (LLANGLOFFAN). Lyrics.
  • NCH174 Hear the voice of God so tender (Lavon Bayler) Good words of a tender God, with the repeated phrase "Bless God's holy name together, as the Spirit brings new life". Sung to a hymn tune that is new, but not difficult. 
  • Online Resource / Protest of Praise When Pharoah came for children (David Bjorlin) Parallels between Pharoah, Herod and our call to care for children when they are a target of unequal government policy; sung to the traditional tune ES KOMMT EIN SCHIFF GELADEN. Lyrics, sheet music sample and purchasing optionsNew words to old tunes.   
  • Online Resource / Protest of Praise Remember God your promises (David Bjorlin) Sometimes we just need God to be God, and to look after all the suffering in the world. Excellent words to an old tune from Thomas Tallis which is unlikely to be familiar, but it very beautiful. Lyrics, sheet music sample, and purchasing options. Sound sample of tune (different words). New words to old tunes.    
  • TiS 293 / AHB 218 / CH331 / VU054 / CP(E) 73 / 82Hml-098 / StF218 / MP714 Unto us a boy is born (15th century Latin) Verse 3 is particularly appropriate for this week. A very simple and well-known carol. Lyrics and sound sample. Most hymnals have now changed "all men surpasses" to something more inclusive (e.g. "all folk surpasses"). LyricsOldy-but-a-goody.
If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them! Please leave a comment below.

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