Bless this Food is a three-part round by James E. Clemens that can be used as a table grace or meal blessing. Find ideas for how to use it on the MMC blog.
"Bless this food and bless your people.
God be with us. Amen."
The piece can also be sung in Spanish, Japanese, and Korean.
The song is published in Table Songs: Hymns for Worship, available from the composer.
Here's a video of Marilyn Haskel teaching it at an MMC workshop in Ottawa, Ontario.
Whoever Eats This Bread is by composer and consultant Eric Law of the Kaleidoscope Institute. It is an excellent example of a notated composition found in a hymnal that can be easily adapted for paperless singing.
Commonly used during the Distribution of Elements within a eucharistic liturgy (the time when the bread and wine are shared), the antiphon/antiphon can be taught through call and echo patterns. Once confident, it can be sung as a three-part canon; secondary canons can also be added on the verses.
The piece can be sung a cappella or accompanied by an ostinato chord progression played by a keyboard instrument or guitar.
Whoever eats this bread will live for ever.
1. This is the true bread
which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world. Antiphon
2. Whoever believes in me
shall not hunger or thirst,
for the bread which I give
for the life of the world is my flesh. Antiphon
Copyright for the piece is held by Church Publishing, Inc. If you don't have copies of The Episcopal Hymnal or Wonder, Love, and Praise in your community, you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.
Sheet music can be found in The Episcopal Hymnal #S170, as well as in the supplemental hymnal Wonder, Love, and Praise. It is also available for purchase here.
Here is a recording of Eric Law teaching the piece at our Music that Makes Community workshop in Los Angeles in October 2008.
To the Bath and the Table is a three-part canon composed by Mark Howe, the Director of Music and Canon Precentor of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington, VT. It's a quotation shared by liturgical scholar Gordon Lathrop and a powerful invitation into central symbols and ritual actions of the Christian faith.
The piece can be lined out in two chunks, using call and echo to reinforce the melody and text. When the community's singing is confident, you can divide them into parts and invite a canon.
Mark also composed a cantor part using Sylvia Dunstan's hymn text, Crashing Waters at Creation, which can be sung over the canon.
"To the bath and the table, to the prayers and the word,
come, every seeking soul."
Mark has given faith communities permission to sing and share the song without restrictions. Copyright for Sylvia Dunstan's hymn text is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text should you use it.
Sheet music can be found in Music By Heart, MMC's first collection of paperless music.
Here's a video of Emily Scott teaching the song at a Music that Makes Community workshop in Atlanta, GA.
The Light of Christ is a simple melody by Donald Fishel with a leader/cantor descant. It could also be taught as a two-part layered song.
Teach the piece phrase by phrase through call and echo. Then invite the community to sing it through, adding the leader part when the group is confident.
The song can be used for Vespers, for candle lighting, and as a response during the Christmas and Epiphany seasons. An accompanying instrument like a shruti box or a soft unison or open fifth on the organ can help support the congregation and sustain the energy of the song.
"The light of Christ has come into the world."
Copyright for the piece is held by Church Publishing, Inc. You will need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.
Sheet music can be found in My Heart Sings Out, a wonderful hymnal designed for all-age worship.
Here's a link to an audio recording of Emily Scott singing The Light of Christ, then offering some suggestions for how to lead it without paper.
Peace, Salaam, Shalom was written by Emma's Revolution (activists and singers Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow) after September 11, 2001 and it quickly became an anthem of the peace movement. It sets the word 'peace' in English, Arabic, and Hebrew, offering a powerful interfaith message that has been shared at protests, religious services, and in other community contexts.
"We were moving from NYC to the Washington DC area over September 11th, 2001. When the only response from the government and the corporate media was “war and retribution,” we wrote “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” and sang it at an impromptu peace march in DC that week. Less than a month later, we led the song at the first peace rally in NYC after 9/11, where over 10,000 people sang with us for the three hour march, all the way from Union Square to Times Square."
Emma's Revolution asks groups, organizations, schools, churches, etc., that use their music to pay a one-time, sliding scale fee of $75-150 for use of the song in perpetuity. See their website for more information.
Here is a recording of the song by Emma's Revolution:
Here's a clip of AnnaMarie Hoos teaching it at our MMC Leader's Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery in September 2015:
This joyful, three-part round by Bill Doggett is inspired by Psalm 101 and Micah 6, which invites us to 'do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.' The melody rises and falls intuitively and the text is short, making it an excellent starting place for communities new to paperless singing.
"I will sing a song of mercy;
sing a song of justice;
sing a song of praise to God.
I will live a life of mercy;
live a life of justice;
live a life of praise to God."
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."
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.
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.