Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November 25, 2012 | Year B

Hello Everybody,

This year I have started a gratitude practice with our kids' music group. Each time we meet to rehearse (weekly) we write down three things we are grateful for. The list has included music, family, pets, white rice, ice cream, colored pencils, broccoli, chicken and mashed potatoes, video games, friends, miracles, each other...
As the weeks go by and the gratitude lists grow I am reminded of the simple blessings in and of each day and the importance of taking time to remember them.

Remember and give thanks.

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 93 
Revelation 1:4b-8
John 18:33-37

Eternal and living God, grant that the peoples of the earth be brought together in knowing harmony; help us to nourish each other with food, wisdom and careful consideration so that we may live consciously and with lovingkindness. Amen. 

Gathering: In the Lord I'll Be Ever Thankful
Jacques Berthier

Opening: Let All Things Now Living
Text: Katherine K. Davis, Schirmer Music Co., tune: ASH GROVE

Gospel: Thank You Lord

Offertory: Dear Weaver of Our Lives' Design
Text: Nancy Dorian, Music C. Huber H. Parry

Communion: Knocking on Heaven's Door/Seek Ye First

We've discovered that Seek Ye First makes a beautiful descant over the chanting of the chorus from Knocking on Heaven's Door. The tune can be slightly altered to fit the chords for Knocking on Heaven's door...it is BEAUTIFUL. G, D Am. Three chords. So easy. Meditative. It can start and end with the instruments improvising and jamming.

After Communion: Thank You For Hearing (Loving) Me 
words and music by Sinéad O'Connor
We sing this quietly and slowly--Thank you for loving, hearing, saving, seeing and healing.

Closing Hymn: Halle, Halle, Halle! arr. by John Bell, Iona Community, GIA

Saturday, October 27, 2012

November 18, 2012 | Year B Proper 28

Hi Everybody,

This week's story focuses on "Hannah's Song," and themes of forgiveness, new life, compassion and living with and from an abundant heart. Here are our selections for Sunday, November 18th.

1 Samuel 1:4-20
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25
Mark 13:1-8

Blessed God, source of all inspiration, grant us the wisdom to see your beauty in and around us; grant that we may embrace and hold fast the hope of a new life of greater care, compassion and loving-kindness. Amen.

Gathering Song: Enter in the Realm of God
Text by Lavon Bayler, music DANDANSOY

Opening Hymn:
My Soul Gives Glory to My God
Text: Miriam Therese Winter, tune: Morning Song

“My soul gives glory to my God.
My heart pours out its praise.
God lifted up my lowliness
In many marvelous ways.”

The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 198. 

My Heart is Overflowing
My heart is overflowing
with gladness and with praise.
The God who guards my going
gives meaning to my days.
Holy the Rock of Ages known in word and deed.
Giving the victory, fulfilling my every need.
     The Living God has spoken,
Earth answers with a song.
Weapons of war are broken,
the week are feeling strong.
See, we no longer hunger, crying out for bread.
Our God restores to life and raises us from the dead.
     All who are poor and lowly
will have a heavenly home.
The humble and the holy
shall surely know shalom.
God lifts the needy from the ashes of despair,
favors the outcast and the downtrodden everywhere.
     The power of compassion
can turn the world around.
The firm in faith will fashion
garlands from barren ground.
Echoes of joy are found resounding from the tomb.
Cheerful the childless woman: life stirs within her womb.
     The One who once created
and now sustains the earth,
boldly anticipated
we too would bring to birth.
Love conquers evil, setting all the captives free.
Praise God for life begetting life for eternity.    

Words and music by Miriam Therese Winter
© Medical Mission Sisters 1993, 1995

And always be ready to add a new song!
This one is being worked up by two guys with two guitars. Love it
Soul of a Man by Blind
Recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1930. 

Come and Find the Quiet Centre
Words: Shirley Erena Murray

In the Presence of the Lord by Eric Clapton
We do this one quite a bit. Simple and beautiful. We have a Hammond C3 and a great organist who can improvise and jam along. Serious church right here.

Love in My Soul
Prayer adapted by Kathie McCarthy, Music by Caroline R. Clucas
Caroline is a Gracie and an extraordinary composer. We do this as a choral anthem.

After Communion
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen with additional lyrics by Scott Lawrence

When night stands still, its stony dark holds entombed your longing heart,
And peace is just in pieces all around you.
You remember time undone, when love and light were always one,
Before you lost that precious hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

By night they stole your love away, forever lost to yesterday,
They hung the world upside down around you.
Then surprised you saw your lover’s eyes return, you recognized
The sweet enfolding, shining, hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Now instead of fear you feel a love that time cannot steal.
No darkness can conceal the light within you.
This loving grace, this love divine, seeking all that’s lost will find
The ever-living, singing, hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah


Be More Quiet Now by David Crowder
We use this as a chant and don't really get wildly loud like the original version. We just repeat and repeat... building a tiny bit instrumentally and vocally.

Closing Hymn: Tell Out My Soul
Oh, you know this one!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

November 11, 2012 | Year B Proper 27

Open My Heart

Hi Everybody,
Here are some ideas for Sunday, November 11th. Feels like this week comes straight from the heart.
That's a good place to start.

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Psalm 127
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Faith, belief, giving from your heart, trust


God of light, radiant and unfading, appear to us on our path. May the light we kindle from your grace, shine—strong in hope and wide in good will. Amen.

Psalm 127
from Psalms in Ordinary Voices.
Written by Women Inmates

A home built without the Lord's presence is built in vain
Without God by your side, your efforts go to waste.
You can work all day, all night and it will be for naught.
Daughters are made in the image of God;
our children are our reward.
What arrows are to a warrior,
a child is in a mother's arms.
Happy is a woman surrounded by family,
just as a warrior is happy with a quiver full of arrows.
Proud is a woman who stands at the gate with God and her children by her side.

Gathering Song: Give Peace to Every Heart
Jacques Berthier

Opening Processional: Blue Green Hills of Earth
by Kim Oler
Here's a beautiful arrangement with soloist and choir. The congregation and music circle at Grace sing a far less majestic but equally beautiful version!

Gospel Hymn: Though I May Speak by Hal Hopson

Offertory: When God Made Me by Neil Young
I love this song. We've sung it quite a few times and it is a beauty. Great lyrics and tune.
Great with piano and guitars and lots of harmonies on the refrain.

During Communion: As We Gather at Your Table   
Text by Carl P. Daw, Tune: BEACHSPRING

After Communion: Open My Heart Written by Ana Hernandez, published in Music by Heart

Closing Hymn: Rise words and music by Eddie Vedder
This is a big Grace favorite. We sing this on Easter, for memorial services and any old regular Grace Sunday.

Our own Scott Lawrence has added two verses. We have a great mandolin player who has figured out the accompaniment. We layer in the rest of the instruments as we go.

Such is the way of the world, can never know
Just where to put all your faith, and how will it grow.
Gonna rise up, burning black holes in dark memories.
Gonna rise up, turning mistakes into gold.

Such is the passage of time, too fast to fold.
Suddenly swallowed by signs, lo and behold.
Gonna rise up and find my direction magnetically.
Gonna rise up and throw down my ace in the hole.

Such are the stories we bring, telling the toll.
Laughter and tears full the sky, echo below.
Gonna rise up and stand in the light that I cannot see.
Gonna rise up and live all the stories I know.

Such are the songs that we sing, fears to unfold.
Music, like water, wells up, unbending our soul.
Gonna rise up and fly from the tomb that’s been holding me.
Gonna rise up and sing myself a new home.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

November 4, 2012 | Year B All Saints

All Saints, All of Us
All Saints' Sunday

This is a special liturgy for us. It includes this moment when everyone is invited to stand, one after another, and say aloud the names of those we "love and see no more." Powerful, moving and a way to stand in community to remember, be heard, and name the saints who walked among us and see no more.

I'm going to list songs we are planning to do this All Saints' and some we have used in years past.
This year our service will be co-led by some of our children. The kids will be readers, lead the prayers, the psalm and assist with the offertory. Also the 5th and 6th graders have written our prayers of the people this week. I'll re-post with that text soon!

Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 24
Revelation 21:1-6a

Themes: Remembrance and new birth. Loss, love, life.

Here is the psalm we'll be using, again from Psalms in Ordinary Voices.
Psalm 24 by Thelma Wong and Sarah Bellows Meister (students)

Of David

This gentle earth and all that it cradles,
each life, each possibility for hope,
was born of goodness and of grace,
founded in love and cast in kindness.

Who shall reach the highest heights
to stand in communion with the Good?
Those whose lives are marked by service, 
who mend what they find broken,
be it places, lives, or hope.
They shall find themselves always blessed,
as they have blessed the lives they touch.
For such is sacred community:
a circle of souls in harmony, turning towards each other.
O Sisters, open your hearts-
that comfort and love may come in!
O Brothers, open your hearts-
that comfort and love may come in!
Lift up your hearts in eternal compassion!
Lift up your hearts in perpetual peace!
What act is more sacred?
What prayer is more holy?
Open your hearts, and dwell humbly and gently in truth.

White River Press

Gathering: The Leaves Fall Patiently

Text, Sara Teasdale (August 8, 1884 – January 29, 1933)
Music written by Ann Strickland for a Loretto Community equinox service.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

All This Joy
Words and music by John Denver!
A member of the congregation brought this song to my attention. 
Had never heard it before. We sing it quite a bit now and it is a big favorite.
Simple and beautiful.

Calling All Angels by  Jane Siberry
This we've done as a solo. Wow.

This year we will add Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Gospel: In My Life
John Lennon (and Paul McCartney)
Already posted a sweet version by Dave Matthews

Last year a member of the music circle suggested Do You Realize
 by The Flaming Lips
Here is a great version with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
We used hand bells, a soloist sang the verses, guitar and piano accompaniment and our kids singing group sang along on the chorus. It was amazing.

This year one of our kids suggested
I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
One of our high school students is rewriting some of the lyrics, as they are all not appropriate.
That in itself is such a great exercise. The kids will lead this one. 

During Communion
Last year was Just Breathe by Eddie Vedder. Suggested and sung by one of high school students.

This year Turn to Stone by Ingrid Michaelson (posted already)
Also an original piece by one of high school students.

Song after Communion
I'll Remember You by Bob Dylan
The version that inspired this is from the movie Masked and Anonymous. Amazing really.
We did this piano only, a high school student sang it as a solo.

Closing Hymn
We've closed with a bluesy, rousing, New Orleans style When the Saints. Most excellent.
This year Angels Watchin' Over Me arranged by our own Darden Burns. The kids will lead!

October 28, 2012 | Year B Proper 25

Wow, we've come full circle! You Call That Church Music has completed the 3 year liturgical cycle. October 25, 2015 is HERE!

October 28, 2012
See, Hear and Trust

Job 42:1-6, 10-17
Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22)

Jeremiah 31:7-9
Psalm 126 

Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 10:46-52

Trust, healing, acceptance, power of prayer and faith

A bit about us here at Grace and our liturgy. Bill Harper, rector of Grace has led and encouraged the congregation and staff to create liturgy that is heartfelt, true and a bit outside the box. We use resources and get ideas from all over the place. Poetry, popular songs and film as well as the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. The secular and sacred combine to make our worship experiences reflect our own varied beliefs. I'll try to share some of our liturgical resources and finished bulletins from time to time. Here is a GREAT resource. Psalms in Ordinary Voices is a complete reworking of all 150 psalms. I cried the first time I read it.

Psalm 34
by The Davis Family

In loving memory of Doris Eloise Allen Davis
Beloved mother and grandmother

We have ancestors who have passed through the journey of time
and have become angels who stand by our sides to guide and protect us.
As we find our way in our journey,
we feel their presence and listen to their warnings.

The message is clear and resonates within this Psalm. It is nothing new.
We have heard it before when we were once children ourselves.
Now we have the blessings of children to guide and to raise,
and the message is even more powerful.

Respect...always with respect with words and action.
Truth...always keep truth within our lips.
Humility... growing up is a joyous journey
but we find ourselves in foolish confidence.
Deceit, greed, and jealousy have ways of self-consumption.

Recognize that we are not perfect and to know
perfection is to understand
and to acknowledge that there is Only One.

When fear confronts us and engulfs us with hopelessness and despair,
stand tall and be humbled by the presence of the Spirit.

To know Him is to know that we are always protected,
that our prayers are heard
and that He stands by our sides in our journey.

OR Psalm 126
by Ivan Anderson

The only way to get something for nothing is to be lucky.
It's easy to be thankful when you're lucky.
Everyone wants to be lucky.

If I can't be lucky
          I'll just have to be ready.

from Psalms in Ordinary Voices ed. by Andrea Ayvazian, Photographs by Ellen Augarten. White River Press

Music for this week

Gathering: Take O Take Me As I Am  John Bell

Opening Processional: Be Thou My Vision

Gospel: Moved By the Gospel

Offertory: As I Went Down to the River to Pray

During Communion: Oh, Light Divine
Tune: Trad. Shenandoah
Text: Scott Lawrence

This song was written by a member of our music circle Scott Lawrence and is one of our favorites. 

The above version, by Victoria Williams, was our inspiration. We heard it years ago and have used it quite a bit.

Written by Don Heffington

Although the Lord be high above
He doth regard the lowly
And deep within the secret heart
The Lord shall surely know thee

Although I walk in trouble, Lord
I know Thou wilt revive me
You hold me in Thy very hands
And always walk beside me

I love you with mine own true heart
Before the world I’ll praise Thee
Your love was there before the start
Thy mercy doth amaze me

If I ascend to heaven, Lord
I know Thou wilt be with me
And if I make my bed in hell
I know Thou won’t desert me

How precious are thy thoughts to me
How great Thy loving kindness
How blind the man who cannot see
That God will ease his blindness

Closing Hymn: Love Divine
Well, the Wesley text to Hyfrydol is what I was thinking, but look what I found on youtube!
This Seal song is perfect. This is kind of how it works too. Looking around for something else and I find a GREAT new song.

Love's Divine
Then the rainstorm came, over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost, all of my, belief you see
And realized my mistake
But time through a prayer, to me
And all around me became still

I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Through the rainstorm came sanctuary
And I felt my spirit fly
I had found all of my reality
I realize what it takes

Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bet (don't bend), don't break (don't break)
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
Cause love can help me know my name

Well I try to say there's nothing wrong
But inside I felt me lying all along
But the message here was plain to see
Believe me

Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bend (don't bend), don't break (don't break)
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
Cause love can help me know my name

Love can help me know my name.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 21, 2012 | Year B Proper 24

We've come full circle at You Call That Church Music.
Here is the link to the 2015 post, October 18, 2015.

October 21, 2012
Amazing Grace

Job 38:1-7, (34-41)
Psalm 104:1-9, 25, 37b
Hebrews 5:1-10
Mark 10:35-45

Theme: Grace and Blessing

Not really pushing the envelope this week. We are doing a few favorites though.

This is our annual parish retreat weekend and our congregation is in two places this Sunday.
The service at the retreat and at Grace will include one of our favorites, Amazing Grace, sung to The House of the Rising Sun tune.

Gathering: Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant

Processional: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Gospel: Amazing Grace

Offertory: City Called Heaven (solo)

After Communion: Bless the Lord My Soul
We are lucky to have many fine musicians in our music circle. Our instrumentation varies and includes cello, dulcimer, hammond C3, guitar, bass guitar, concertina, flute and piano. These Taizé pieces are beautiful when arranged with descant and counter melodies using different instruments.

Closing Hymn: Earth and All Stars
A favorite. Loud boiling test tubes? Come on! Just perfect.

I'm working with our kids to prepare for a youth-led All Saints' service.
Here are two we are practicing:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 14, 2012 | Year B Proper 23


Welcome to You Call That Church Music?, a blog dedicated to sharing musical ideas used in worship for congregations following the Revised Common Lectionary. I am the music director at a very creative and active congregation in the Pacific Northwest . I'll share the main themes gleaned from the readings for each week and our musical selections. I'll try to find video and web resources for you to use too. Hope you find it helpful. 

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
The Season of Homecoming
Overall Theme For the Year: Come Closer

The Readings:
Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Psalm 22:1-10
Hebrews 4: 12-16
Mark 10: 17-31

The Themes: God's presence and give it away, give it away, give it away now.

The Playlist:

Surely the Presence of the Lord, refrain only. By Lanny Wolfe

We Cannot Own the Sunlit Sky. Text: Ruth Duck, Tune: How Can I Keep From Singing by Robert Lowry

Ubi Caritas et Amor. Text: Latin, 8th c., Tune: Jacques Berthier  

Offertory: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. U2

During Communion: She's Got the Whole World in Her Hands Text: Traditional, Music: arr. Hezekiah Brinson, Jr. (BEAUTIFUL arrangement from Lift Every Voice and Sing II)

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. By Sinéad O'Connor (We do a simplified version with only 3 verses) 

After Communion: You Will Find Yourself. Composed by one of my third-grade piano students.

The time has come, for all to hear.
The songbirds calling, right in your ear.
Making a sunny day, right here.
And over again, you will find yourself.

Recessional: Joyful, Joyful 

As Natalie Sims points out in her blog Singing from the Lectionary sampling The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give it Away could work. Some of the lyrics may not be appropriate, but some are spot on.

"There's a river born to be a giver
Keep you warm won't let you shiver
His heart is never gonna wither
Come on everybody time to deliver

Give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away now
Give it away give it away give it away now
I can't tell if I'm a king pin or a pauper"

Also wanted to share 3 great songs we used in the service last week.
One Day by Matisyahu. Our kids' music group led this one. 

Have a Little Faith by Michael Franti

All Creatures of Our God and King arranged by David Crowder. Our version was piano and mezzo-soprano. Gorgeous.

That's it for this week. We have a special service planned for All Saints', more on that soon.