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!'"
Go on your way in peace...
Go on your way in love...
Go on your way in hope...
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress. You can find a setting of the melody alone, as well as a harmonized version arranged by Andrew Donaldson. The first eight measures of this arrangement are the original song by Kerri, and the the rest is an optional modulation just for fun.
Here's the recording from the first time Kerri taught this song at MMC after she wrote it.
Here's a video of Hilary Donaldson leading this song in her congregation, Eastminster United Church in Toronto, ON.
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."
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress.
Here's an audio recording of Fear Not the Pain made in Brattleboro in 2013 as well as the melody transcribed by Marilyn Haskel.
Here's a a four-part arrangement of the song by Peter Amidon. If you enjoy it, you might want to see some of Peter's other arrangements in 55 Anthems for the Small Church Choir.
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.
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.
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress, or in Music By Heart.
Here's a downloadable audio recording of Emily Scott teaching this song and giving suggestions for how to lead it paperlessly (scroll down on the page to "February 9-March 3" to find the song).
Here is a video of the song made by Paul Vasile using Acapella, an iPhone/iPad music collaboration app.
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."
Here's a video of Ruth Williamson leading Christ is Our Guiding Light at Music that Makes Community in Los Angeles in October of 2008.