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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 useful 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."

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

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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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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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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 slowly walk or dance their way to the table while singing, pausing to listen to 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)"

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

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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' 


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

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Palestinian Alleluia

Canadian song leader Debbie Lou Ludolph brought this rhythmic, layered Alleluia to the MMC community. Transcribed from a Palestinian source and arranged by John Bell, it can easily be taught without paper. 

The structure of the song means you only need to teach two phrases, which can be done through call and echo. It can help to use hand gestures to offer guidance as you thread the parts together. Once the higher part is learned, teach the lower. A stomp or clap on the downbeat of the second, ascending phrase helps keep the tempo steady and keeps the group in their bodies. When both parts feel confident, bring them together.

The piece is useful as a song of praise, a gospel acclamation, or even as a warm up for a choir or singing circle. 

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

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