Music – various

Music is not inserted into worship;
rather worship is inherently musical.
We are a singing people.
How we sing together
and what we sing together
reflects our faith,
our church,
our union with fragile creation,
our thoughts and our feelings about one another,
and our attitudes toward all humanity.
(Adapted from ‘A Theological Statement of Music in the United Church of Canada’, July 2008)

I Go to Sing
I might be exhausted and the children might be cranky,
but I will be going to church on Sunday.
Don’t know who is preaching, doesn’t matter –
the sermon may be helpful or not, holds my attention or doesn’t –
it’s the singing.
I go to sing.
I get up,
get clean,
get dressed,
possibly get mad (at not-ready kids, at empty coffee pot, at traffic)
get going,
get there,
get seated,
get comfortable,
get focused
and when the music starts,
get saved.
It’s the singing.
I go to sing.
It’s the willingness to stand if you are able,
the common agreement on page number,
the voluntary sharing of songbooks with people on your row,
even ones you rode there with –
but most of all,
it’s the collective in-breath before the first sound is made,
the collective drawing upon the grace of God,
the collective, if inadvertent, admission
that we are all human,
all fragile,
all in need of the sustaining air, freely dispensed,
all in need of each other to get the key right and not sound discordant –-
it’s the hidden life-celebration
in the act of making a joyful noise,
all together.
We don’t even have to sound that good.
Singing together still brings home
the we-ness of worship,
the not-alone-ness of life in God,
the best of all we have to offer each other.
When we are singing, I think that I might actually be able to forgive you
for being so terribly human,
and you might be able to forgive me
for being so terribly not there yet,
and we might be able to find peace now,
not postpone it for some heavenly hereafter
but live and breathe it today,
drawing in the grace of God,
voicing out our need and hope and gratitude and longing.
When we are singing, I can feel the better world coming,
and if I get to be a part of it, you do too . . .
so sing with me,
and we’ll make our way down that blessed road together,
collectively better
than we ever thought
(Source: Lindy Thompson, a Facebook post)

There are a number of helpful sites using resources commonly available in Australia including:

The Convergence Music project: Music for a just and generous Christianity
This is GOLD! Various contributors. And for $US199 you can use any content on the site, or purchase song by song. And you can submit songs too!

Inclusive Church hymns and songs

Songs that Unite (Uniting Church in Australia) – website to be closed 2016

Songs by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

George Stuart’s blogsite – new words to traditional and familiar tunes

William Wallace (NZ) (index of first lines here, with link to full scores)

Worldmaking – Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

Liberated by God’s grace (LWF 2017, Namibia) hymns and liturgy

Lectionary song:
The woman behind it is Dr Natalie Sims, a medical scientist  living in
Melbourne, originally ex-One Tree Hill UC in Adelaide. The site provides music to match the lectionary each week.

Ross Langmead music and words:

Together to Celebrate:

This site is maintained by Rev David MacGregor (Queensland), and since its origins in 2000 has offered music suggestions across the breadth of contemporary Christian music from a wide range of sources including Iona, Taize, Shirley Murray, Graham Kendrick, Bernadette Farrell and Robin Mann. Plus, David is a gifted musician himself, which he offers as gift, usually with full piano score, lyric master and mp3 demo. (Thanks, David!). There are also kids friendly music, clearly identified.

Rev David Beswick also has a list of TiS and Sing Alleluia music related to the lectionary readings in his weekly lectionary resource, and (the late) Moira Laidlaw included music in her liturgies.

Music for contemplation: VOCES8 Eventide (preview here). Available on itunes.

Hymns and songs of Hospitality to refugees and Immigrants – a compilation of music including many well known tunes with thoughtful new words. The free resource of 46 hymns from The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. The collection includes not only hymns reflecting the concerns and experiences of refugees, and how we respond as Christians; it also includes words and music from some of the regions directly affected by events and circumstances that lead to migration.

Put On Love in Perfect Measure
(© 2017 based on Colossians 3:12-17)
Put on love in perfect measure
Chosen people, holy, loved.
Clothe with kindness, God’s compassion
Tol’rance, each one God’s beloved.
All forgiven, all forgiving
In the grace of Christ our Lord
Bound as one in perfect measure
Above all
we put on love

Put on love and patience, gentleness
Modesty, wear all around
In our hearts let peace rule deeply
Peace our call; within, without
Ever thankful as your body
May Christ’s peace dwell deep in our heart
Bound as one in perfect measure
As your people
each playing our part.

Let the word of Christ dwell richly
Teach each other on the way
May our doing, saying, living
Be in Jesus’ name, we pray
Giving thanks to God, Creator
Singing psalms and songs in praise
Bound as one in perfect measure
Clothed with love
through all our days
(Words: David MacGregor, Willow Publishing. Tune: Hyfrodol)

Hymn of discipleship: Celebration Song
Tune: Battle hymn of the republic)
There’s a song of celebration that is ringing round the earth,
As humanity unites to sing of dignity and worth
Out of poverty and anger God is bringing hope to birth
Let all creation sing!
Sing of hope and liberation;
sing of justice and salvation,
Sing with holy indignation.
Let all creation sing!
It’s a song of solidarity, of protest and of pain,
On behalf of all who suffer for another person’s gain,
It’s a call to faith and freedom that will never be in vain;
Let all creation sing!
It’s a song that’s sung in unison, but heard in harmony,
Many voices, many accents, and a trillion ways to be,
And it liberates the wealthy as it sets the needy free,
Let all creation sing!
Copyright © Michael Foster, Kevin Mayhew Ltd.

“Spirit, Open My Heart” (MV #79)
The hymn is an plea to God to (re-)open our hearts to the natural feelings of the human life that, over time, we may have become less responsive to.  It reminds us that, if God’s love is our guiding principle, we will live our lives and respond to others differently.  This hymn connects to Psalm 51, used on Ash Wednesday, which expresses the desire to have God create in us a clean/new heart, to better serve God and the world.

Spirit, open my heart to the joy and pain of living.
As you love may I love, in receiving and in giving, Spirit, open my heart.

God, replace my stony heart with a heart that’s kind and tender.
All my coldness and fear to your grace I now surrender.

Write your love upon my heart as my law, my goal, my story.
In each thought, word, and deed, may my living bring you glory.

May I weep with those who weep, share the joy of sister, brother.
In the welcome of Christ, may we welcome one another.
(Source: Ruth Duck, 1994; tune: traditional Irish melody WILD MOUNTAIN THYME, which was arranged by Arthur G. Clyde in 1997)
Hear an instrumental version of the tune here, and sung at Geneva Presbyterian Church and played on guitar below.

Here and now we’re bound together:
held in one divine embrace.
Help us see, in one another,
difference as a gift of grace.
As each passing generation
worships you in fresh new ways,
join our songs with all creation,
lift our voice to sing your praise.

Lord, affirm our shared vocation:
may we bring your plans to birth,
build your church on sure foundations,
fit to serve a troubled earth.
Growing, praying, sharing, learning,
deep in wisdom, broad in scope,
love-revealing, truth-discerning,
living out the gospel hope.

In your work of transformation
you are making all things new.
Stir our hearts’ imagination,
call us now to work with you.
Send us out to share your mission;
show us each our part to play
as we live the  Great Commission
joyful in the world today.
(tune: Abbot’s Leigh, or any suitable 8787D trochaic tune; words: Ally Barrett)

May this place be one of nurture
where we all may come to know
how your endless love sustains us
as we live and move and grow.
May we work to build your kingdom
full of truth and light and grace,
living life in all its fullness
held in one divine embrace.

From our negligence and failures
you have called us to repent,
drawing energy for action
from the voices of lament.
As the secret hurts long hidden
may at last be brought to light,
may the truth unlock the freedom
that is every person’s right.

For you hold the broken hearted
till they learn to live again,
and your justice stands like mountains,
while your mercy falls like rain
when the smallest child is valued,
and the strong empower the weak,
when each human life is hallowed
and the unheard voices speak:

So with humble thanks we praise you
and we lift to you in prayer
all the people you are calling
to this ministry of care.
Give us wisdom, grace and courage,
holding fast to all that’s good,
seeing Christ in one another
we will love and serve our Lord.
(Tune: Corvedale (often used for There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy); Words: Ally Barrett)

All of Life is Filled With Wonder (interfaith version)
Tune: HYMN TO JOY D (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)

All of life is filled with wonder, so we thank you, God of love –
For the crash of evening thunder, clearing clouds, then stars above;
For the night that turns to glowing as we feel the morning mist,
God, we praise and thank you, knowing every day we’re truly blessed.

For the joy of daily waking, for the gift of each new day,
For the smell of fresh bread baking, for the sound of children’s play,
For the ways we seek to serve you as we work and volunteer,
God we humbly praise and thank you for your presence with us here.

For the ways we’re blessed with plenty – love and laughter, neighbours, friends,
Nature’s wonders, seasons’ bounty, life in you that never ends,
For the ones who’ve gone before us, giving witness to your way –
We rejoice in all you give us every moment, every day.

For your love in times of trouble, for your peace when things are tough,
For your help when hardships double, for your grace that is enough,
For a stranger’s gentle kindness, for a doctor’s healing skill –
God, we thank you that you bless us, and you bless your world as well.

For your presence in our neighbours, for your love that claims and frees.
For our talents and our labors, for our faith communities.
For your daily great surprises – poor ones lifted, lost ones found –
God, we thank you! Hope still rises, as your gifts of grace abound.

Tune: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”) (MIDI)
Alternate tune: IN BABILONE, Traditional Dutch melody (“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”) (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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