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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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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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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, Come, Whoever You Are (Zola Setting)

This paperless song composed by Dale Zola is based on a poem of Rumi. This is a particularly beautiful song for Lent and times of spiritual pilgrimage, or a prayer for welcome and hospitality.

"Come, come, whoever you are,
worshipper, wanderer, lover of leaving. 
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, come again, come!"

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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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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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Arise, Shine

Arise, Shine is a two-part layered song composed by Ruth Cunningham. It's been shared at many MMC workshops and is a wonderful way to introduce your community to paperless singing.

While the text from Isaiah 60 makes it useful for the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6), it could also be used as a sung refrain for the Third Song of Isaiah in the Book of Common Prayer.

"Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the *glory of the Lord has dawned upon you."

*Some leaders in the MMC community substitute 'glory of God' 

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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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