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Christ Be With You / Me / Us

Ruth Cunningham wrote this setting of a Celtic blessing, a variation or simplification of the beloved St. Patrick's Breastplate, and it was brought to the MMC community by Ana Hernandez. The song works beautifully as a blessing, prayer song, or as a gentle Passing of Peace. Gestures, as modeled in the video below, can also help a community experience this prayer with their bodies. 

The focus of the song can shift easily from 'me' to 'you' to 'us,' slowly widening the circle of intention. It can also be treated like a zipper/pocket song, with variations offered alongside or instead of 'Christ.'

"Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ to the right of me, Christ behind me,
Christ to the left of me, Christ above me,
Christ below me, Christ within me." 

Alternative text:
Love be with me...
Peace be with me...

Teaching note from Donald Schell: When I'm leading this song, I sing a minor scale (1,2,3,4,5) to myself and drop down one note (7 below 1) to find the starting note. 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 have people echo phrase by phrase (overlapping slightly). 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.

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Come to the Feast

Sylvia Miller-Mutia created Come to the Feast at a Music that Makes Community gathering in January 2015. While created as a song for people to sing in procession to the table for communion, it is easily adapted to serve as an invitation or transition into any part of the liturgy.

"Come to the feast!
Come, one and all. Come to the feast."

Alternative texts:
Come, hear the Word...
Come, pray with us...
Go now in peace...

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Salaam Aleikum/May Peace Be With You

This song is originally from Ghana, and the version we've sung at many MMC events is from a setting by Marty Haugen and Marc Anderson. You can find the sheet music and a recording of the song at GIA Music.

 

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Dumiyah

This contemplative, layered setting of Psalm 65 by psalmist Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan is a dialogue between two phrases in different languages.

Dumiyah
Tibi silens laus

Hebrew translation:
Silence

Latin translation:
For you, silence is praise

Richard's music is licensed through CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you print the text or music for your community.

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God Our Home and Help

This gentle melody by psalmist Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is an invitation to release and rest drawn from Psalm 46. It can be used as a Psalm refrain, as a prayer song, or in times of challenge or crisis. With or without accompaniment, the tune quickly finds harmony. 

"God our home and help,
O God, our home and help,
we entrust our troubles to you."

Richard's music is licensed through CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you print the text or music for your community.

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Hear My Cry, O God (Psalm 61)

This layered song by psalmist Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is based on Psalm 61. Each part can be taught to a different part of the community or choir. When each is secure, they can be combined to create a rich, textured space for prayer.

The song can be sung a cappella or accompanied.

Part 1:
"Hear my cry, O God. Listen to my prayer."

Part 2:
"From the end of the earth I call to you, though my heart is faint."

Part 3:
"Let me abide with you forever."

Richard's music is licensed through CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you print the text or music for your community.

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In God Alone (Psalm 62)

This short but versatile refrain by psalmist Richard Bruxvoort Colligan can be sung as a simple melody or as a canon. Based on words from Psalm 62, it can be used as a psalm refrain, a prayer song, or in moments of challenge and crisis.

With or without accompaniment, the tune quickly finds harmony. 

"In God alone my soul is at rest.
Be at rest, my soul."

Richard's music is licensed through CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you print the text or music for your community.

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What We Need Is Here

This song was composed by Amy McCreath. It has become an anthem of sorts for the Music that Makes Community network because of its simple but powerful lyrics and easily taught (and harmonized) melody.

 

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To the Bath and the Table

This is a popular song from Music By Heart (#56), the original collection of songs published as part of the Music that Makes Community project. It was composed by Mark Howe.

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The Light of Christ

This song was composed by Donald Fishel and is available in printed for in My Heart Sings Out from Church Publishing.

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The Gifts of God

This song was composed by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan. See Richard's public MMC profile here.

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The Bread Which We Break

This is a popular song from Music By Heart (#45), the original collection of songs published as part of the Music that Makes Community project. It was composed by Marilyn Haskel.

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Hold My Hope/Teach Me To Be Love

This powerful, multi-part layered song was composed by Ana Hernández. It has often been used as a prayer song, holding space for fears and challenges to be named, held, and blessed by our collective voices.

Ana often begins with two lower voices (the ostinato, "Hold my hope... and the response, "Hold my trembling...") and lets the rhythm settle before lining out the melody. Further harmonies can then be lined out or improvised by the group.

"Hold my hope. 
Hold my trembling.
Hold my heart, teach me to be love."

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Tar a Thighearna

'Tar a Thighearna' was composed by Ruth Cunningham. The text in Gaelic is translated, "Come, Lord, come thou Being." Ruth and Ana Hernandez recorded it on Blessed By Light, one of their albums as the duo Harc. 

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Send Now Your Servants

This joyful sending song was composed by Chad McKenna at an Music That Makes Community workshop in Chicago in 2011.

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