This is a song from South Africa, from a community of people living with HIV/AIDS. It is available in written form as an arrangement by John Bell in We Walk His Way from Wild Goose Publications.
Here's a video of Patrick Evans leading God Welcomes All at MMC in San Francisco in 2011:
Here's a video of Emily Scott teaching God Welcomes All at MMC in Houston in 2011:
Sithi Haleluya is a well-known Ndebele church song from Zimbabwe, often sung in Shona, as well. It was popular during the anti-Apartheid movement where it was also part of a wide-ranging repertoire of South African protest/freedom songs.
The song was first shared with the MMC community by Canadian song leader Hilary Seraph Donaldson, who learned it from Maria Minnaar-Bailey. Maria grew up in rural Zimbabwe where she played in local marimba bands and learned and taught indigenous styles of music. She now brings those first-hand experiences of African music making to communities in the United States.
You can learn more about the context of the song and find teaching strategies through Break into Song, a series of instructional videos created by Hilary.
Singaba hambayo thina kulumhlaba
Literal English translation (Maria Minnaar-Bailey):
We are walking along in this world of woe,
but onward home to Heaven we go.
English singing translation (Andrew Donaldson and Hilary Seraph Donaldson):
Together we walk along in this world of woe,
for heaven calls us on and home we go.
Sheet music for the song can be found in the recent Global Song resource Hosanna! Ecumenical Songs for Justice and Peace. You can also find an arrangements for SATB choir and marimba ensemble in Maria's Chaia Marima Songbook 3.
Here's the Break into Song episode created by Hilary exploring Sithi Haleluya:
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.
"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."
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.
"Come to the table, come to the table
All is now ready, come one and all. Come, oh, come."
"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.
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.
Here's a video of Emily Scott leading Arise, Shine at one of our first Music that Makes Community workshops at St. Gregory of Nyssa Church in January 2008.
Here's a video of Patrick Evans and Paul Vasile leading an improvised setting of Isaiah 60 from our Music That Makes Community workshop in Ottawa, Canada in August 2011.
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.
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress. It is also published in Sing With the World, a collection edited by John Bell and Alison Adam of the Iona Community in Scotland and published by GIA Publications, Inc.
Here's a video of Debbie Lou leading the song at The Bishop's Ranch:
And here is a recording from GIA's Sing With the World collection mentioned above: