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Shalom chaverim / Farewell, Good Friends

Shalom chaverim is a beautiful Israeli folk song that can be sung as a simple melody or as a three-part round. While literally translated "Peace, friends," the word shalom has more depth and richness of meaning than can be contained in any single English word. Hebrew scholars suggest something closer to "comprehensive well being" but that's difficult to set to music. 

Begin by inviting the community to repeat the text in Hebrew. Line out the melody until the group is confident, then divide the group and try it as a round. Leaders will often invite a step or swing from side to side, accenting the buoyant rhythm of the tune.

The piece is useful as a welcoming, blessing, or sending song, and is a wonderful way to invite the group to connect visually or kinesthetically through gentle bows, handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, or hugs. 

The Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia has written a thoughtful blog post about how she shares the song in her context.

Shalom, chaverim.

Shalom, chaverim.
Shalom, shalom.
L'hitraot, l'hitraot,
Shalom, shalom.

English singing translation:
Farewell, my friends. 
Farewell, my friends. 
Shalom, shalom.
Till we meet again, till we meet again.
Shalom, shalom.

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Peace In My Heart

This beautiful chant was written by Miriam Klamkin, a teacher and coach connected to EarthSpirit, a pagan community which gathers together throughout the year to celebrate connection with the sacred Earth. It was brought to the MMC community by The Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia.

"Peace in my heart.
Peace between our hearts.
Peace at the heart of the world."

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Salamu alaykum

This "peace" was written by Benjamin and Tamika Jancewitz who teach it in the video at an MMC event in Baltimore 2015.


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Christ, Mighty Savior, Light of All Creation

Paul Vasile led this tune at the Music that Makes Community event in Baltimore in November, 2015. An audio file of this tune, listing of printings and hymnals, and complete lyrics can be found here:

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Arise My Love, And Come Away

This is a new composition by Paul Vasile, a freelance church musician, consultant, and composer based in New York City. A frequent facilitator at Music that Makes Community events around the country, Paul is passionate about modeling and sharing leadership practices that sustain the musical and spiritual life of faith communities.

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Love, Joy, Peace, Goodness

Paul Vasile is an interim/transitional church musician, consultant and composer based in NYC.


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God Is Love, Love Is God

Paul Vasile wrote this song in December of 2015 at St. Lydia's Lutheran Church, and it's sweeping melody often elicits lush harmony when invited.

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Joy Shall Come in the Morning

This hopeful song by Mary Alice Amidon was introduced to us by Rachel Kroh, MtMC’s first Executive Director. After the 2007 shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, Mary Alice heard the pastor of a church near the college quote from Psalm 30, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Those words inspired the creation of this song, which was shared at the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC the following Sunday.

 The song could be used in a variety of contexts, including the season of Advent.

"Joy shall come in the morning.
Joy shall come in the morning soon
Joy shall come in the morning Joy shall come to you.
Out of darkness we have light, comes the day from the night.
Joy shall come in the morning Joy shall come to you.

Peace shall come in the morning.
Peace shall come in the morning soon.
Peace shall come in the morning  Peace shall come to you.
Brothers all in charity. Sisters all in unity
Peace shall come in the morning Peace shall come to you.

Love shall come in the morning.
Love shall come in the morning soon
Love shall come in the morning Love shall come to you.
Comfort us that we might live knowing love that we might give.
Love shall come in the morning. Love shall come to you.

Hope shall come in the morning
Hope shall come in the morning soon
Hope shall come in the morn ing Hope shall come to you.
Take this pain from the night.
Open your heart with wings take flight.
Hope shall come in the morning. Hope shall come to you." 

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Antiphon for Whirling

This buoyant, rhythmic setting of verses from Psalm 134 was written by Ana Hernández in 2007.

The 7/8 meter is best felt in the body, first through tapping or clapping the larger rhythmic groups (2+2+3). Ana often invites the group to sing the tune on "la" until they've gained familiarity with the melody and rhythm. Then text can be added.

"Yours the day also the night, you made the moon and the sun.
La la la la...
God has bless'd us. God has bless'd us. God has bless'd us."

A shruti box or another drone instrument can help the group stay on pitch; percussion instruments can add rhythmic support.

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Love and Faithfulness Shall Meet (Psalm 85)

This canonic setting of Psalm 85:10 was written by Albuquerque-based composer David Poole. Many of his pieces have been created in collaboration with John Philip Newell, the well-known author and teacher on Celtic spirituality.

This setting could be used in various contexts: as a psalm refrain, as a sung Passing of the Peace, or in liturgies focused on peace and justice.

"Love and faithfulness shall meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss."

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Agnus Dei (St. Bride setting)

Written by John Bell as part of the St. Bride setting, this paperless response incorporates call and echo learning to encourage community participation. The melody rises and falls gently, inviting a quiet, focused energy. When learned well, the piece can be sung as a canon in as many as four parts (with groups entering each measure).

It could sung a cappella or accompanied by a drone instrument (a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ) to support the community's voice. 

"Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us. 

Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us. 

Lamb of God you take away the sin of the world, 
grant us your peace."

Teaching note from Paul Vasile: Practice the response before worship and encourage the community to trust your gestures, even if they seem to be too soon. The overlapping parts generate energy and the confidence of the community will grow in time.

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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Holy, Holy, Holy Lord (Iona setting)

This call and echo Sanctus was composed for the Iona Community in Scotland. It can be sung unaccompanied or with a drone instrument (like a shruti box).

The echo comes quite quickly and there is slightly overlap between the leader and the assembly, so be ready to cue them with a clear, inviting gesture.

"Holy, holy,
Holy Lord of pow'r and might.
Heaven, earth,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
All glory to your name.

Blessed, blessed,
Is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Blessed, blessed,
Is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!"

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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We Are Coming, Lord, to the Table

We Are Coming, Lord, to the Table is joyous communion song from Sierra Leone transcribed by Greg Scheer, a composer, author, and speaker with roots in the Reformed Church. It was carried to MMC by Paul Vasile, who learned it at a Calvin Institute of Worship symposium at the Chandler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA.

Because each section of the song repeats, it's easiest to teach the community through call and echo. In the second section, the word changes from "bread" to "wine" on the repeat, so it can be helpful to call it out a few beats ahead. Once learned, harmony can be invited. Drums and other rhythm instruments can also be added, but be sure they support the group's learning.

"We are coming, Lord to the table.
(We are coming, Lord to the table)
With the gift of bread we are coming, Lord.
(With the gift of wine we are coming, Lord.)
Oh, we are coming, Lord.
(Oh, we are coming, Lord.)

We are coming, Lord to the table.
(We are coming, Lord to the table)
To receive the bread, we are coming, Lord.
To receive the wine, we are coming, Lord.
Oh, we are coming, Lord.
(Oh, we are coming, Lord.)

Copyright for the song is held by Greg Scheer. A CCLI license is required to print or project the music or lyrics.

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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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Come, Bring Your Burdens to God (Woza nomthwalo wakho)

This South African traditional song from the singing of the Mooiplaas congregation was transcribed and arranged by John Bell of the Iona Community.  

To lead it, sing through it once or twice, perhaps reinforcing the shape of the melody with your hand. It's easy enough that folks will start singing with you quickly. Encourage harmony and add the leader part once the group is confident.

"Woza nomthwalo wakho,
Woza nomthwalo wakho,

Woza nomthwalo wakho,
Uyes’akasozathi hayi.

English singing translation:
"Come, bring your burdens to God,
come, bring your burdens to God,
Come, bring your burdens to God
for Jesus will never say no."

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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There Is Enough

Kerri Meyer wrote There Is Enough at a Music that Makes Community workshop and it became an instant hit! The melody was adapted from a Peter Mayer refrain and she also composed a descant to sing over the tune. 

The song is easy to teach through call and echo. Simple hand gestures can help reinforce the subtle differences between the phrases, especially the first and third. And harmony is so intuitive it may show up before you invite folks to add it.

We've seen the piece shared in so many settings - from church suppers and stewardship campaigns to a protest in the office of a United States senator.

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

"God has blessed her people, God has blessed us!"

The Rev. Breen Sipes of Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish in rural Nebraska shared additional verses she's used with young people in her community:

"I am enough..."
"You are enough..."
"God has enough..."

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

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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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