Christ Be With You/Me/Us

Ruth Cunningham wrote this. The text is a Celtic blessing.

It is a simple melody (sung twice through in each sequence of the words). It works well to make it a call and echo to begin it and then shift to singing it in unison (as noted below). It's in the Dorian mode which means it sounds approximately minor, but in fact the tune has a slightly different home, resting tone.

When I'm leading, I sing to myself a minor scale 1,2,3,4,5, and drop down one note (7 below 1) to find the starting note. I learned the song from Ana Hernandez. I begin with people standing and ask them to "do what I do and sing what I sing" and I encourage large gestures - big arm motions, stepping forward, moving whole body and from center. The gestures help people learn the song including the sequence of directions. I usually begin with singing the whole "Christ be with you" and having people echo phrase by phrase. Usually I'll do a second iteration (choosing to substitute "me" or "us" for "you") still singing call and echo, phrase by phrase. Just ahead of beginning the third iteration (shifting pronoun again), I say, "sing with me" and the shift from call and echo to simple melody in unison.

There is a lovely recording of it on Ana and Ruth's CD "Blessed by Light" which you can purchase here (CD or individual song, listed as "Christ be with me"). The song works very well as an opening or closing blessing for a liturgy or other gathering.

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