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This group is still learning it, so why not join them.
This is a gentle song for communion from Graham Kendrick.
The lyrics are at his site, as is the sheet music. Sometimes people worry whether a Eucharist song is theologically accurate, as if a song is meant to encompass every aspect of a sacramental act. Dogma will always be a worse explanation of mystery than art in any case.
My backing is at 85bpm and I didn’t have the inventive introduction to use that Kendrick has at his his site when I made the backing.
Here is more music from Joe Mattingly in Voices As One, just in time for Pentecost.
This one is not as choir orientated as some but does have a call and response in the verses between cantor and assembly. The cantor part gets a bit high so it might be worth leaving it to a cantor even if that cuts the assembly to only three phrases in the verse.
The text is in the sample at WLP where the sheet music can be purchased.
After last time objecting to Bible stories being labelled as myth he moves from discussing the myth of the Exodus to discussing even the even more mythic stories of the Fall and of Cain and Abel. As myths they are stories from which we learn truth by imaginative participation or by ritual.
Coleridge’s interpretation involves the Serpent tempting Eve to become like God by framing God as oppressive and a liar. Because only God can know everything, only God knows good and evil and humans should not aspire to this. By reaching too far for Godhead humanity becomes fallen and experiences shame and fear. There was an excellent question at the end of the presentation suggesting that an informed conscience was after all a knowledge of good and evil, and I’m not sure there was a good answer. As far as putting ourselves into the story, his major point was to note the consequences of the fall – blaming, failure to take responsibility and exile from our true home in the Garden. The hint is that living biblically in a secular age may be finding a way back to our natural home – the Garden, or he put it, to stop wandering like Cain after murdering his brother and start journeying instead.
There are other ways to see the wisdom of this story. As the only animal conscious of its impending death, the knowledge of good and evil is that very consciousness and from that there is no going back I’m afraid. In fact, to go back to the Garden is to abrogate both responsibility and reality and I think Christianity can do better.
A different set of overawed and over deferential young people ran the show last week and introduced things with two more songs I didn’t know.
“Come, Holy Spirit” by Mark Foreman is a lovely chant that has a descant part answering the main melody. I can find nothing on the net about Mark Foreman other than he wrote this song.
The text is here (the descant text is italicised). The sheet music can be purchased from sheetmusicplus.
The second song was “As the Deer”, which is a pretty terrible use of Psalm 42 by Marty Nystrom. The text is here and whatever the virtues of the music the triteness of the verses is pretty dreadful. Rhyming “silver” and “giver”; “brother” and “other”; and using cliched phrases like “apple of my eye” to rhyme with “satisfy” are not good song writing. “You alone are the real joy giver” is worse than clumsy. At least the young people at the Cathedral dispensed with the archaic language – “panteth” and “longeth” in the first verse that made the second and third’s use of language look even more peculiar.
The sheet music can be purchased for download at musicnotes. The song seems very popular, so what do I know. I note that the music is attributed to Marty Nystrom and a J. S. Bach, whereas Mr Nystrom is responsible for any of the words not taken directly from Psalm 42 himself.
There are some nice versions on You-tube – especially the instrumentals. Here are a few of them:
I’m switching between blogging “Voice As One” and songs I have come across looking at other parishes liturgies that have been kindly shared with me.
Back in VAO I’m up to “Journey for Home” but I blogged that last year looking for new songs for Lent.
The next song is another with music by Paul A Tate, this time setting William H Draper’s translation of words by St Francis of Assisi.
The song is call and response between cantor and assembly and this time I think it really has to be that way. To add some spice there is a descant that floats above both the other parts in the refrain.
The six verses cover a lot of territory so if you have a cantor this is a bit of a Swiss army knife song for liturgy.
I’m about half way through VAO Vol 1 and the difference between OCP/spiritandsong and WLP seems to be that WLP has more choir songs, more liturgically useful songs and less straight P&W.
The text is in the sample at WLP where you can purchase the sheet music for download. You can hear a snippet where WLP is selling the CD.
I couldn’t fit the descant in but the cantor and assembly parts are panned hard right and left to follow them more easily.
I've worked my way through the As One Voice books and other collections making backings on Band in a Box to help me (& you if you're interested) learn new songs for church. This is aimed at churches and musicians that own the collections but haven't exploited them fully. If you don't have them they are certainly worth buying. This site does not distribute copyrighted sheet music.
Any opinions expressed here are personal views and not the responsibility of any Church.
All music backings posted are created by myself and the intention is for them to be used to learn the songs. If any copyright holder wishes me to cease publicising and promoting their wares and directing people to where sheet music can be legally purchased please let me know.
As One Voice: The Next Generation
This book is hugely recommended and I suggest you go to the AOV site and buy a copy.
Mason’s “Mass of Glory and Praise”
To access my backings for Paul Mason's mass go to Feb 2011 in the archive.