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Gloria a Dios / Glory to God

Gloria a Dios / Glory to God is from the ecumenical Lima Liturgy and appears in many denominational hymnals and song books. But the structure of the song (combination of call and echo and layered) invites you to teach it to a group without paper.

Try it in place of the Gloria or Gloria Patri, or include it in your Christmas pageant or an intergenerational celebration, with children or youth serving as song leaders.

"¡Gloria a Dios*, gloria a Dios, gloria en los cielos!
¡A Dios la gloria por siempre!
¡Alleluya, amén! ¡Alleluya, amén!

Glory to God, glory to God, Glory in the highest!
To God be glory forever!
Alleluia, amen! Alleluia, amen!"

*Some songbooks include additional Trinitarian verses (glory to Christ Jesus, glory to the Spirit)

Teaching note: The first part of the song is call and echo, which also offers an effective way to introduce short phrases in Spanish. Be sure to offer clear gestures that invite the congregation to listen and sing, especially if the congregation jumps in early as they sometimes do on the first phrase.

The second part of the song ("Alleluya, Amen") builds up layers of rhythm and harmony through repetition. Some song leaders teach this part first. Divide the group into three parts and encourage them to keep singing as the harmony builds. Having members of the choir around the congregation or within the community can offer support.

Copyright for the piece is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.

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Freedom, Come

This call-and-response song by Ben Allaway is inspired by South African-style songs of the anti-Apartheid movement. It is effective as a protest song, as a prayer for healing and liberation, and is sung by some congregations at the Easter Vigil. The piece can be sung a cappella or you could add percussion.

"Inside these walls: Freedom, come!
Come, one and all: Freedom, come!
Come with your burdens: Freedom, come!
We will share your burdens: Freedom, come!

Teaching note: Teach the rhythmic “Alleluia” first, making sure to help the community hear the wonderful syncopation. Repeat it until it feels sturdy. Then, teach the response “Freedom, come,” which is consistent throughout.

Ben has given faith communities permission to sing and share the song without copyright restrictions.

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Spirits Rising

Spirits Rising is a powerful prayer for healing by Lisa Levine, a nationally known cantor, composer, recording artist, author and worship artist. The wordless refrain connects this song to the Hasidic Jewish tradition of niggunim, wordless tunes that are sung to enliven the soul and body.

Many leaders begin by teaching the refrain through call and echo, first in unison and then in harmony. Once the refrain is confident, return to the beginning and invite the group to sing the verses through call and echo.

The piece is useful for gathering groups, for services of healing prayer, and in interfaith contexts. 

"Spirits rising,
like the sun;
love within us,
Holy One.
Spirits rising,
like the wind;
winds of healing,
winds of change.

Na, na, na na..".

Additional verses can be found in the printed score.

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