This South African Song in Xhosa is roughly translated “Go with us, our Savior” and comes from the repertoire of anti-Apartheid Freedom Songs written in the 1970's and 80's. It was shared with the MMC community by Paul Vasile, who learned it from Pamela Warrick Smith. In the spirit of music from many African contexts, the song invites opportunities for improvisation and adding actions/themes specific to the community's needs or experiences.
We have seen leaders share it as zipper/pocket song (i.e. Go with us, Lord, and give us your love/joy/peace) or deepen its communal spirit by crafting new verses (i.e. Come walk with us and share in our bread/...and join in the song). It makes a powerful sending song.
"Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu"
There are several poetic translations of the song into English, not all faithful to the original Xhosa:
1. You Are Holy, You Show Us the Way
2. God With Us, Lord, and Set Us All Free
3. Come Walk With Us, the Journey Is Long (Anders Nyberg)
Teaching note from Paul Vasile: When you lead Hamba nathi, make sure that you keep a steady beat so the group feels the syncopated rhythm of the tune. I teach the tune first and once that's set offer the bass line. If folks don't intuitively add harmony (almost every group I've taught this to has), outline parts.
Here is a recording of the song by the Drakensberg Boy's Choir in South Africa.
Ruth Cunningham wrote this setting of a Celtic blessing, a variation or simplification of the beloved St. Patrick's Breastplate, and it was brought to the MMC community by Ana Hernandez. The song works beautifully as a blessing, prayer song, or as a gentle Passing of Peace. Gestures, as modeled in the video below, can also help a community experience this prayer with their bodies.
The focus of the song can shift easily from 'me' to 'you' to 'us,' slowly widening the circle of intention. It can also be treated like a zipper/pocket song, with variations offered alongside or instead of 'Christ.'
"Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ to the right of me, Christ behind me,
Christ to the left of me, Christ above me,
Christ below me, Christ within me."
Love be with me...
Peace be with me...
Teaching note from Donald Schell: When I'm leading this song, I sing a minor scale (1,2,3,4,5) to myself and drop down one note (7 below 1) to find the starting note. I begin with people standing and ask them to "do what I do and sing what I sing" and I encourage large gestures - big arm motions, stepping forward, moving whole body and from center. The gestures help people learn the song including the sequence of directions'
I usually begin with singing the whole "Christ be with you" and have people echo phrase by phrase (overlapping slightly). Usually I'll do a second iteration (choosing to substitute 'me' or 'us' for 'you') still singing call and echo, phrase by phrase. Just ahead of beginning the third iteration (shifting pronoun again), I say, "sing with me" and the shift from call and echo to simple melody in unison.
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress.
Here is a video of Donald leading the song:
Here's a recording of Ruth Cunningham with her singing partner Ana Hernandez:
This short song by psalmist Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is a personal and corporate invitation to stewardship of our lives, our time, and the resources we have been given. Richard teaches the piece through call and echo, lining out each line of the song until the group feels ready to sing it from beginning to end.
The song would be suitable for seasons of discipleship and stewardship. It can be sung a cappella or accompanied by guitar or keyboard.
"To be faithful with what I've been given
To be faithful with who I am
To be faithful with how I am living
I (we) pray to be faithful.
To be faithful with what we've been given
To be faithful with who we are
To be faithful with how we are living
We pray to be faithful."
Richard's music is licensed via CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you plan to print the text or music for your community.
Sheet music and a recording are available on Richard's website.
Here is a video of the song.
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 joyful sending song was composed by Pastor Chad McKenna at a Music That Makes Community workshop in Chicago. The text is based on the Canticle of Simeon from Luke 2 and invites us to name the ways we have experienced God's salvation with all our senses.
The piece can be taught phrase by phrase using call and echo patterns. Notice the third line changes for each verse. Some leaders sing that alone, then invite the group to respond affirmatively with the final phrase. A more advanced technique is calling out the upcoming text (singing or speaking several beats ahead), essentially feeding the group the new words while they sing.
"Send now your servants, send now your servants,
Send now your servants, Lord.
Our eyes have seen salvation here.
Send now your servants, Lord."
"Our tongues have tasted salvation here...
Our ears have heard salvation here...
God has given salvation here..."
Chad has given faith communities permission to sing and share the song without copyright restrictions.
You can find sheet music for Send Now Your Servants here.
Rachel Kroh composed this song at a Music that Makes Community workshop in 2012. The text is from Burnt Norton in T. S. Eliot's The Four Quartets.
"In my end is my beginning, in my beginning is my end."
Here's a video of Rachel leading the song at The Bishop's Ranch:
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.
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.