Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Songs, Hymns & Music - 1st Sunday after Christmas Day (1 January 2017)

It's the season of Christmas, so sing some Christmas Carols and Songs

Isaiah 63:7-9
God's presence saves God's children in distressSee also suggestions for Hebrews reading, below....
  • Iona / G(II)359 / StF324 / Lau739 In a Byre Near Bethlehem / For the Good of us all (Bell) A challenging song that places the birth of Christ in the context of salvation; sung to a familiar folk tune (WILD MOUNTAIN THYME). Sample sheet music and lyrics. Keyboard sound sample. New words to old tunes
  • GtG619 / URW075 Praise my soul the God of Heaven (Lyte / adpt Ecumenical Women's Center 1974) This is an inclusive rewrite of Praise My Soul the King of Heaven. I'm not wild about it personally, but you may still find it useful and appropriate for your congregation. Lyrics. 
Psalm 148
All creation sings God's praise
  • TiS 268 / AHB 224 / AoV1-170 / NCH132 / CH320 / UMH246 / VU59 / LBW039 / ELW267 / GA295 / HPP107 / PH040 / GtG134 / GC343 / GC(II)353 / G(3)437 / CP154 / CP(E) 57 / W&R179 / Cha143 / Srce399 / 82Hml-100 / Lau156 / StF330 / MP393 Joy to the world The Lord is come (Watts) It's Christmas! Sing Christmas carols! This one is especially good (even though it's not REALLY a Christmas Carol).  Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • GtG018 / PfAS148E Hallelujah sing praise to your creator (Lubis)  Joyful words set to a traditional Indonesian melody (NYANYIKANLAH NYANYIAN BARU). GtG is more inclusive than PfAS.
  • TiS 281 / AHB 214 When God Almighty came to be one of us This is a great Christmas season song, particularly for Epiphany next week also. It’s also set to a very easy (and fun) tune to sing (URQUHART). I especially love verse 3 "Wise men, they called them, earnest astrologers, watching for meaning in the moving stars, science or fancy, learned or laughable, theirs was a vision that was brought to pass. Sing all you wise men, dance all the scientists whether your theories are false or true. God uses knowledge, God uses ignorance. God at his coming had a need of you". Lyrics. 
  • *TiS 715 / Srce2-112 Everything that has breath (Traditional Czech) A lovely simple round. Would be a really nice relaxing start to worship. Good for kids.  
  • PH274 O God of Earth and Space (Parker Huber) Terrific words by Jane Parker Huber to a well known Jewish hymn tune (LEONI). "Wherever freedom reigns, where sin is overthrown, Where justice fused with mercy rules, there you are known. Give us the courage clear, to make the earth a home, For all to live in harmony, in Christ’s shalom." Highly recommended. lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • GtG017 Sing praise to God you heavens (Stuempfle) A fairly standard paraphrase of the Psalm. I just love the singing planets, and the mountains thrusting skywards. Ah, it's a good'un. Oh, and the sheep. I like those singing sheep.   
  • ATW 422 / NCYC'99 And you sun and moon and stars (Canticle of Daniel) (Stewart) This is a big favourite in our congregation. It has wonderful energy and excellent lyrics. 
  • VU888 / LBW558 / ELW731 / GtG026 / PH458 / RS681 / CP358 / W&R642 Earth and All Stars Fun words of cosmic praise. An easy hymn-like tune. I really like the "boiling test tubes" bit, although this verse is not in all hymnals. Lead sheet. Sound sample. 
  • TiS 187 / AoV2-130 / CH149 / StS122 / A&M539 / SP247 Let all creation dance I just love the imagery of this one, and it's a very joyous and familiar hymn tune too. Lyrics  New words to old tunes
  • TiS 181 / AoV2-032 / GC(II)497 / G(3)577 / CP589 Come O God of all the earth / Sing Out Earth and Skies (Haugen) A very joyful song for cantor and congregation, or small group and congregation; this is a big favourite in our church. Sheet music, lyrics and sound sample. 
  • TiS 72 / AHB 42 / NCH27 / CH146 / UMH101 / LBW550 / A&M637 / HPP36 / GtG327 / PH229 / CP344 / CP(E) 431 / Cha49 / PfAS117C / 82Hml-380 / StF075 From all that dwell below the skies (Watts) A very old hymn, known by many, which is entirely inclusive in its language for God, save for one Lord which you can replace with God if you like 'cos it's Public Domain! Oldy-but-a-goody. Lyrics and tune samples.
  • AoV1-019 / CH151 / GA397 / G(II)340 / GC493 / GC(II)498 / G(3)575 / W&R039 All You Works of God (Haugen) Joyful cantor and response. If your musicians have any energy left after Christmas, they might enjoy playing with this. Probably good for kids. Lead sheet and lyrics. Silly sound sample.  
  • 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!
  • AoV2-120 / AoVK-009 God Is Good let the sun and moon and stars say "God is Good" (Chan) Fun. Not easy, but probably worth the effort if you feel like learning something new, or giving your musicians a challenge. Lyrics. Sound sample. Good for kids (but I don't think it has to sound as childish as the sound sample). 
  • TiS 152 / NCH4 / UMH89 / VU232 / LBW551 / ELW836 / HPP22 / GtG611 / PH464 / GC529 / GC(II)520 / G(3)614 / CP425 / W&R59 / Cha002 / URW065 / 82Hml-376 Joyful joyful we adore thee Note that this hymn is not always very inclusive. I prefer more modern translations (e.g. TiS, VU, NCH, GC(II) ). Older version lyrics and tune sample. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 755 / ATA 196 / CH804 / VU884 / SFFS 2278 / A&M484 / HPP219 / GTG080 / CP772 / W&R710 / SP82 / Srcs830 / URW449 / Lau878 / STF487 / MP796  You shall go out with joy / The trees of the field (Dauerman) This is a good hand clappy foot stomping song. Fun. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.
Hebrews 2:10-18
The suffering of Christ for salvation of the children of God
  • *TiS 319 / AHB 241 / CH314 / Lau141 / MP071 Child in the manger infant of 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. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • Tune In: In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help and a call for God to enter our world. Reference recording, lyrics and songbook.
  • Iona / G(II)359 / StF324 / Lau739 In a Byre Near Bethlehem / For the Good of us all (Bell) A challenging song that places the birth of Christ in the context of salvation; sung to a familiar folk tune (WILD MOUNTAIN THYME). Sample sheet music and lyrics. Keyboard sound sample. New words to old tunes
  • TiS 387 / CH416 / UMH318 / VU158 / LBW363 / ELW389 / A&M199 / GtG246 / PH108 / CP(E) 140 / W&R312 / 82Hml-182 / Lau272 / StF297 Christ is alive Let Christians sing (Wren) Excellent words of Christ's saving, and still relevant grace. A couple of tunes are offered in different hymn books. I prefer TRURO. Lyrics and sound sample.  New words to old tunes.  
  • TiS 477 / Iona (LFB, Common Ground) / CH510 / StJ / GA529 / A&M450 / CP059 / SP218 / URW056 / StF028 Jesus calls us here to meet him as through word and song and prayer Good words and a rollicking or gentle Celtic tune (depending on how you play it!). Don't get too gentle though, or it is very hard to sing. Notice that there should not need to be a breath after EVERY line! Lyrics (downloads PowerPoint slides) 4th verse (not in TiS, but in Iona sources) leads to communion. “Jesus calls us to confess him Word of life and Lord of all, sharer of our flesh and frailness saving all who fail or fall”. 
  • TiS 721 / Iona (LFB) / URW431 / StF344 / Lau124 He became poor that we may be rich (Iona) 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. Sound sample
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 (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 (Hernández) A simple & quite lovely song that tells the story & updates it for today's world. Sheet music & lyrics.  
  • *GtG154 Jesus entered Egypt (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 (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. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *VU77 / PH035 / GtG153 / 82Hml-246 In Bethlehem a Newborn Boy (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.  
  • 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) 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 (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 (Gillette) Lament, death of children; peace; war; Good words to a very straightforward hymn tune (LLANGLOFFAN). Lyrics. 
  • 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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