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All Who Are Thirsty

Composed by Brian Wentzel, this call and response song is based on Isaiah 55:1. Themes of welcome and abundance make it effective for Baptism, Eucharist/Communion, gathering song, or sung call to worship.  

"All who are thirsty, come to the waters.
All who are hungry, come here to eat.
All who are thirsty, come to the waters.
There's enough for all."

Copyright for the piece is held by Hope Publishing. If you plan to reprint the text in a bulletin, a program, or in individual song sheet form, you must submit a request for use.

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Come to the Table (Clemens)

This Invitation to the Table by James Clemens can be offered as a call and response song, with the leader singing the first two lines and the community responding, 'We come together in Jesus' name...' and echoing the word offered by the leader (love, need, truth, etc). 

Call:
"Come, come, come to the table in love (need, truth, etc.)"

Response:
"We come together in Jesus' name.
We come to the table in love. (need, truth, etc.)"

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Come, O Lord, and Set Us Free

This expressive prayer song from the Iona Community is especially effective for Advent and can be taught through call and echo patterns. It has been used as a Gathering Song, for lighting Advent Candles, Prayers of the People, and Passing of the Peace. It's a zipper/pocket song and you can easily insert themes of the Advent season (hope, joy, and love).

The piece is effective as a simple melody but a beautiful choral harmonization and descant can also be added once the congregation part is secure. Listen to a setting from the Iona Community here.

"Come, O Lord, and set us free.
Give your people peace.
Come, O Lord, and set us free.
Come, Lord Jesus, come."

Alternative text:
Give your people hope...
Give your people joy...
Give your people love...

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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Come, Light of Lights

Come, Light of Lights is layered song composed by Ruth Cunningham that can also be sung as a 2, 3 or 4-part canon/round. 

The song is effective as an invocation or introit, a call to prayer, or a sung Prayer for Illumination. Many communities also sing it during Advent.

"Come, light of lights into my heart.
Come, wisdom of Spirit into my heart."

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Behold, I Make All Things New

This short, affirming song by John Bell references passages from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelation 21:5. It is a wonderful song of commitment and could be effective as a song of praise, sung Assurance of Pardon, sermon response, or sending song. 

"Behold, behold I make all things new,
beginning with you and starting from today.
Behold, behold I make all things new,
my promise is true for I am Christ the way."

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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Christ is our Guiding Light

Christ Is Our Guiding Light was composed by Rev. Eric Law of the Kaleidoscope Institute and works well as a canon or round in 2, 3 or 4 parts. There is also a lovely descant line for a cantor to sing once the group is confident. It could be used as a candle lighting song, for the Passing of Peace, and even in protests and marches. 

"Christ is our guiding light:
Come, let us walk in the way of peace."

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Sithi Haleluya

This Ndebele song is sung in churches all over Zimbabwe in Africa. I learned it from Hilary Seraph Donaldson in her series of instructional videos called Break into Song. Hilary learned it from Maria Minnaar-Bailey, and it is available in written form in Maria's Chaia Marima Songbook 3.

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All Peoples, Clap Your Hands

This setting of Psalm 47 was written by Pascal Jordan, a Benedictine brother from Trinidad. We learned it from Hilary Seraph-Donaldson in her wonderful series of instructional videos, Break into Song.

A solo or cantor line carries the psalm text, while the community responds with “Alleluia,” and rhythmic leg-slapping and clapping. The rhythmic underpinning is reminiscent of a child’s clapping game or the ubiquitous accompaniment of drum kit, congas, and other percussion that drives a steel drum band. This infuses the song with the strong sense that the whole community is drawn into the act of worship.

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God Bless Every Step

This blessing song by Ruth Cunningham sets a translation of a Celtic chant from the Céile Dé order. It's extraordinarily versatile and can be sung as a simple melody (Part I alone), a two-part canon, and as a layered song when Parts II and III are added. 

The song has been used for blessing and sending, on Earth Day and for earth-honoring services, and on labyrinth walks and pilgrimages. It can help to have a drone instrument (a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ) accompanying.

Part I:
"God bless every step that I am taking,
and bless the earth beneath my feet."

Parts II and II:
"God bless every step,
God bless the earth."

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Come, Holy Spirit

This call and echo song by John Bell is an invocation of Spirit including the Aramaic phrase Maranatha (Our Lord-come!), which appears in early Christian prayers and liturgy. The piece could be effective during Advent or Pentecost, or as an invitation to gathering or prayer. 

One key to leading the piece is a gesture that invites the group to sustain the final note of each phrase, while the leader sings the next phrase over it. Some leaders make a circular motion or move their hand outward to invite a continued sound.  

"Come, Holy Spirit. (Come, Holy Spirit.)
Come, Holy Spirit. (Come, Holy Spirit.)
*Maranatha! (Maranatha!)
Come, Lord, come! (Come, Lord, come!)"

*Some song leaders in the MMC community substitute 'Come among us" or 'Dwell among us' in place of the Aramaic word. 

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

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Come All, Draw Near and Eat

This call and response song setting was composed by Mark Howe and has a haunting, challenging, and beautiful shape. The tender, reverent language of this 5th century Syrian Eucharistic prayer is also striking. 

Teach the response first and let the community become comfortable with the intervals through repetition. Once learned, the community might move to the table during the refrain, pausing to listen on the verses.

The piece is most effective when accompanied by a drone instrument (a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ).

"Come all, draw near and eat."

Your heavens are too high for us to reach, (Refrain) 
But here in your house you come close. (Refrain) 
Your throne is a fire none can touch, (Refrain) 
But here you live and dwell in bread and wine. (Refrain) 
You come to us so we can touch you. (Refrain) 
You draw us to you with cords of love. (Refrain) 
You dwell tenderly with us. (Refrain)

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Palestinian Alleluia

We learned this rhythmic, layered Alleluia from Debbie Lou Ludolph at a Music that Makes Community workshop in Minneapolis in 2014.

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If In Your Heart (Setting 1)

Ana Hernández has written two contrasting settings of If In Your Heart, a short text by 17th century mystic and poet Angelus Silesius. The first is a rhythmic setting that creates a sense of joyous anticipation. It is wonderfully suited to the Advent and Christmas seasons and could be effective as a gathering or processional song, for candle lighting, or as a Gospel acclamation.  

Ana suggests a syncopated clapping rhythm that suggests a heartbeat, adding another dimension to our singing of the text.

"If in your heart you make a manger for his birth, 
then God will once again become a child on earth."

Teaching note: Teach the melody until secure, repeating phrases and breaking them down as necessary. Try assigning the handclap pattern to a small group (or even a percussion instrument), but encourage them to stay soft until the group’s confidence grows and it ‘locks in’ rhythmically.

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I Will Supply Your Need

I Will Supply Your Need is a call and response song by Ben Allaway, inspired by Philippians 4:19 and the devotional book God Calling by Two Listeners, edited by A. J. Russell. Easily learned and well-suited to many liturgical contexts, the song can deepen into a place of spacious prayer. Improvised harmonies can be invited and additional calls can be written or extemporized to name specific needs within the community. 

Additionally, the song leader can shift the language of the response from 'I will...' to 'You will...' as well as offer dynamic instructions that shape the energy and flow of the song.

"Jesus said to me, "I will supply your need."

The weak need my strength...
The strong need my tenderness...
The fallen need my salvation...
The righteous need my pity for sinners...
The lonely need my friendship...
The fighters need my leading...
No one of this world can be all these to another...
Sing it over...
Believe him/Christ when he says...
Hallelujah...
Thank you, Lord..."

Teaching note: Perhaps the biggest challenge is the shift from teaching the response (which we model through call and echo) to the call and response structure. Most groups need a gentle reminder (either spoken or sung) that they keep singing the response and don't echo the call. 

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In My End Is My Beginning

Rachel Kroh composed this song at a Music that Makes Community workshop in 2012. The text is from Burnt Norton in T. S. Eliot's The Four Quartets

"In my end is my beginning, in my beginning is my end."

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Listen to the Word of God

This lively call and response song composed by Marilyn Haskel was originally written for a weekly paperless Eucharist at St. Paul's Chapel in New York City that welcomed visitors from around the world.

Begin by teaching the 'Hallelujah!" responses, then sing the call and invite the group right in. Before you know it, the group will be singing the whole song. In Marilyn's context, a quartet of singers filled out the harmony parts in the printed score.

"Listen to the Word of God.
Hallelujah!
Hear the living Word.
Hallelujah!"

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Go On Your Way in Joy, My Friends

This joyful song by Kerri Meyer, inspired by writer Annie Dillard, has quickly become a favorite in the MMC community. Many of our leaders use it as a sending song, even adding steps that invite the community to dance and sing! It's also a zipper/pocket song that welcomes text changes for the context or season you're in.

"Go on your way in joy, my friends!
Go on your way in joy, my friends!
Go on your way in joy, my friends!
Let your left foot say 'Glory!'
and your right say, 'Amen!'"

Alternative text:
Go on your way in peace...
Go on your way in love...
Go on your way in hope... 

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Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu / Go With Us, Lord, and Set Us All Free - South Africa (Xhosa)

This South African Song in Xhosa is roughly translated “Go with us, our Savior” and comes from the repertoire of anti-Apartheid Freedom Songs written in the 1970's and 80's. It was shared with the MMC community by Paul Vasile, who learned it from Pamela Warrick Smith. In the spirit of music from many African contexts, the song invites opportunities for improvisation and adding actions/themes specific to the community's needs or experiences.

We have seen leaders share it as zipper/pocket song (i.e. Go with us, Lord, and give us your love/joy/peace) or deepen its communal spirit by crafting new verses (i.e. Come walk with us and share in our bread/...and join in the song). It makes a powerful sending song.

"Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu"

There are several poetic translations of the song into English, not all faithful to the original Xhosa:  

1. You Are Holy, You Show Us the Way
2. God With Us, Lord, and Set Us All Free
3. Come Walk With Us, the Journey Is Long (Anders Nyberg)

Teaching note from Paul Vasile: When you lead Hamba nathi, make sure that you keep a steady beat so the group feels the syncopated rhythm of the tune. I teach the tune first and once that's set offer the bass line. If folks don't intuitively add harmony (almost every group I've taught this to has), outline parts.

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We Are Coming, Lord, to the Table

I learned this song from Sierra Leone (transcribed by Greg Scheer) at a congregational song symposium at the Chandler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA. Because each section of the song repeats, it's easiest to have folks echo after you. In the second section the word changes from bread to wine on the repeat so you have to think about how to prompt that. A few beats before the repeat I'll often say the new text and make sure that folks notice the change in that moment.

 

Song Form: Simple melody with SATB harmony
Place of Origin: Sierra Leone  
Copyright Holder Name: Arr. © 2008 Greg Scheer
Terms of Use: You must contact Greg Scheer to use the piece, or purchase the publication in which it appears
Print Source: Published in Global Songs for Worship. Purchase this book from Amazon here.
Publisher Name: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Faith Alive Christian Resources
Year of Publication: 2010

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There Is Enough

This song was composed by Kerri Meyer in San Francisco, CA. This video of 'There Is Enough' is taught by AnnaMarie Hoos, who learned it from Kerri Meyer. The melody was adapated from a Peter Mayer refrain, and Kerri Meyer composed the descant.

The lyrics are:

There is enough!
There is enough!
There is enough, oh,
Enough and some to share!

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