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I Will Give You Rest

This soothing chant by Ana Hernández is based on a phrase from Matthew 11:28. She suggests using it for personal meditation/centering, as well as in worship services. The tune quickly welcomes harmony; it could also be accompanied by a drone instrument (a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ), keyboard, or guitar.

"Come unto me and I will give you rest."

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I Am Thirsty

This joyous song call and response song by Marilyn Haskel celebrates the life-giving, renewing waters of baptism. The text draws imagery from the miracle of water from the rock in Exodus 17, as well as Jesus' words to the Samaritan woman in John 4.

Marilyn begins by teaching the community's responses, which can take some time and patience. As the piece grows in confidence, harmony can be invited and a second leading voice can be added.

"I am thirsty. I come to Jesus.
I believe. I come to drink.
From the rock came life-giving water;
from the well, water for all.

From my heart, water is flowing;
from my heart, outward to all."
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Sanctus and Benedictus (St. Bride setting)

This eucharistic response was written by John Bell as part of the St. Bride setting, a set of paperless service responses incorporating call and echo learning to encourage community participation. 

The echo comes quickly in several moments and it can feel as if the assembly is 'interrupting' the leader. Practice the response quickly before worship and encourage the community to trust your gestures, even if they seem to be too soon. The overlapping parts generate terrific energy and the confidence of the community will grow as you sing it over several weeks.

And when the first beat of the measure is a rest ("are full of your glory" and the second "Hosanna in the highest"), consider a stomp or clap to remind the assembly of the silence.

The response 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. 

"Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, (Holy, Holy, Holy Lord)
God of power and might, (God of power and might)
heaven and earth are full (heaven and earth are full)
are full of your glory. (are full of your glory)

Blessed is the one who comes (Blessed is the one who comes)
in the name of the Lord! (in the name of the Lord!) 
Hosanna in the highest! (Hosanna in the highest!)
Hosanna in the highest! (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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Hands of Healing

This song by Carol Webb would be especially effective during prayers for healing and wholeness. Individual names may also be substituted for 'me,' adjusting the rhythm as necessary. The piano accompaniment is optional.

Carol writes about the inspiration for the song in a beautiful blog post.

"Hands of healing, Jesus, lay on me;
gentle hands of healing, Jesus, lay on me."

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Here is Bread for the Hungry Soul

This Gospel music-inspired communion song was written by Mary Kay Beall and John Carter.

"*Here is bread for the hungry soul.
Here is wine for the thirsty heart.
Here is forgiveness, full and free.
Here at the table of the Lord."

*Several MMC leaders have sometimes swapped the first two phrases to good effect: 'Here is bread for the hungry heart. Here is wine for the thirsty soul.'

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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Haleluya Pujilah Tuhanmu

Haleluya Pujilah Tuhanmu was introduced to the MMC community by Scott Weidler. Written by Glodlief Soumokil, a prolific composer of sacred song from Indonesia, the setting we have shared in our workshops is just the first half of the song. 

Scott teaches the song by inviting the community to echo phrases of the text in Indonesian. Then he sings the tune and asks the community to echo the tune phrase by phrase, using his hands to model the shape of the melody. When the community is singing confidently, he adds a simple step (long, long, long, short, short).

The piece can be used as a song of praise, a processional, or even as a psalm refrain. Drums and shakers, as well as stomps and claps, can offer rhythmic support.

Indonesian:
Haleluya! Haleluya!
Pujilah Tuhanmu s'lamanya haleluya!

Nyani dan soraklah
agungkan namaNya.
Pujilah Tuhanmu s'lamanya haleluya!

English singing translation:
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord our God forevermore, Hallelujah!

Shout with joy, lift your voice,
Glorify God's holy name. 
Praise the Lord our God forevermore, Hallelujah!

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Hakuna Wakaita sa Jesu / Hukuna Munga kama wewe / There's No One Like Jesus - African Praise Song

This popular African Praise Song exists in a staggering number of variations, depending on the country, language, and denominational background of the community singing it. Here are three versions that have been widely shared within the MMC network: in Shona, Swahili, and English. You'll notice subtle differences in melody, harmony, translation, and instruments accompanying the song. 

The piece is a powerful affirmation of Jesus as teacher, leader, and savior. Many communities embody the text by walking around, searching, and turning around.

Shona:
"Hakuna Wakaita sa Jesu, 
haku hakunaba/hakuchina.

 
Ndamhanyamhanya kwese kwese,
Ndatenderera kwese kwese,
Ndatsvagatsvaga kwese kwese,
Haku hakunaba/hakuchina."

Swahili:
"Hakuna Mungu kama wewe, 
Hakuna na hatakuwepo

Nimetembea kote kote,
Nimezunguka kote kote,
Nimetafuta kote kote,
Hakuna na hatakuwepo."

English (singing translation):
"There's no one, there's no one like Jesus.
There's no one, there's no one like him.

I've walked and walked all over, over.
I turned and turned all over, over.
I've searched and searched all over, over.
There's no one, there's no one like him.

English (literal translation):
"There is no God like you.
There isn't, nor will their ever be!

I've walked everywhere,
I've circled/turned everywhere,
I've searched everywhere. 
There isn't, nor will there ever be!"

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God Who Has Saved

This is a song written by James Clemens with lyrics by the poet David Wright. It is available in written form in A Field of Voices

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Guide Us Waking, Guard Us Sleeping

This layered chant commonly used for the service of Compline was written by tunesmith Ana Hernández. Here's a description of the piece from her website:

Guide Us Waking, Guard Us Sleeping is an eight-part circular chant with optional piano accompaniment you may improvise in almost any musical style, from early music to gospel. It's also beautiful with unaccompanied voices. You may also use as few as three parts and still create something beautiful, which makes it perfect as an anthem for small choirs, chanting groups, and improvisors. My friend Julia taught it to her choir and they sang it at the end of rehearsal every Thursday night for years while they put away their books and put on their coats.

"Guide us waking, guard us sleeping,
that awake we walk in love/watch with Christ;
and asleep we may rest in peace."

 

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God Welcomes All

This is a song from South Africa, from a community of people living with HIV/AIDS. It is available in written form as an arrangement by John Bell in We Walk His Way from Wild Goose Publications. 

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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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Sithi Haleluya

Sithi Haleluya is a well-known Ndebele church song from Zimbabwe, often sung in Shona, as well. It was popular during the anti-Apartheid movement where it was also part of a wide-ranging repertoire of South African protest/freedom songs.

The song was first shared with the MMC community by Canadian song leader Hilary Seraph Donaldson, who learned it from Maria Minnaar-Bailey. Maria grew up in rural Zimbabwe where she played in local marimba bands and learned and taught indigenous styles of music. She now brings those first-hand experiences of African music making to communities in the United States.

You can learn more about the context of the song and find teaching strategies through Break into Song, a series of instructional videos created by Hilary.

Ndebele:
Singaba hambayo thina kulumhlaba
Siy’ekhaya ezulwini.
(Sithi) Haleluya.

Literal English translation (Maria Minnaar-Bailey):
We are walking along in this world of woe,
but onward home to Heaven we go.
Hallelujah.

English singing translation (Andrew Donaldson and Hilary Seraph Donaldson):
Together we walk along in this world of woe,
for heaven calls us on and home we go.
Hallelujah!

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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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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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Fear Not the Pain

Fear Not the Pain was composed by Rachel Kroh at a Music that Makes Community Composers' Retreat in 2013. The text is from Rainer Maria Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus. 

The song can be used in many different contexts: at the bedsides of the dying, a mantra for individuals struggling with chronic pain, in interfaith worship gatherings, as well as in liturgies centered around themes of healing, justice, and reconciliation. 

"Fear not the pain,
let its weight fall back into the earth.
For heavy are the mountains, heavy are the seas."

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As We Eat This Bread

This song was composed by Reverend Stephanie Spellers at a Music that Makes Community event in Boston in 2009.

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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 (Baker-Trinity)

Jennifer Baker-Trinity composed Come to the Table during her first MMC workshop at St. Luke's in Park Ridge, IL. The two-part layered song could be useful as a congregation is invited to come forward to receive the elements of bread and wine. 

Part I:
"Come to the table, come to the table
All is now ready, come one and all. Come, oh, come."

Part II:
"Come one, come all."

Copyright for the piece is held by Augsburg Fortress so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.

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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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Do Not Fear, I Have Redeemed You

This beautiful melody based on Isaiah 43:1 was written by Adele Crawford at a Music that Makes Community workshop in New York City.

She often uses the song during a time of prayer, repeating the refrain between petitions so it can sink in deeply. It could also be effective for baptism or renewal of baptism liturgies, in moments of crisis or trauma, or when we need to be reminded we are not alone.

"Do not fear, I have redeemed you.
I have called you by name.
You are mine."

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