Tar a thighearna is a beautiful Gaelic chant by singer and composer Ruth Cunningham. Translated "Come, Lord, come thou Being," the piece is a powerful invocation and useful for centering/gathering, prayers, and times when a gentle, focused energy is needed.
The text and the melody can be learned through call and echo. Take your time and repeat passages that need extra care, especially those with ornamentation. Invite improvised harmony when the community is ready.
Tar a thighearna.
Pronunciation: tahr ah hear-nah, tahr-ah-hee
Come, Lord, come thou Being.
Ruth 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. It also appeared in Music By Heart, MMC's first collection of paperless music.
Ruth and Ana Hernández recorded the song on Blessed By Light. Here's a link to a recording of Emily Scott teaching the song, then offering suggestions for how to lead it without paper.
Watch Rachel Kroh lead Tar a thighearna at Union Seminary in September 2015:
This is a gorgeous setting of an Orthodox funeral liturgy, written by Daniel Schwandt at our MMC Composers' Gathering in Brattleboro, VT in 2013.
Here's an audio recording of Dan teaching the song in Vermont right after he wrote it.
Here's the sheet music for this song.
Here's a work of art inspired by this song by Rachel Kroh.
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."
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.
The song was composed by John Bell and published in We Walk His Way from Wild Goose Publications.
Here's a video of AnnaMarie Hoos sharing the song at the Bishop's Ranch in January of 2015:
Here is a teaching track from St. Lydia's in Brooklyn, which uses it as a candle lighting during the Advent season.