Worship Music April 29

Our sermon this week was a continuation of the 40 Days After idea – what Jesus did and who He interacted with in the forty days after His resurrection. This week’s message was from John 21, the passage where Jesus meets the disciples while they are fishing. There’s a lot in that chapter, and I wasn’t really sure where Mike was going to go with it. But I latched on to the “follow me” idea. This is how the set looked originally:

Everyday
Pastor’s Greeting
Hosanna (Praise is Rising)
Glorious
One Pure and Holy Passion
Be Thou My Vision
Sometimes By Step
Prayer

However, sometimes things change at the last minute. In this case, I wasn’t sure if Everyday was a song that had been sung at Communion before. I didn’t want to do two new songs (and I knew that Glorious would be new). So my thought was we could do Everyday as a prelude if they hadn’t sung it before. When I showed the songs to the team, they didn’t care for Glorious at all. They said that Everyday was a new song for them, but that they thought it was easy enough to do with the congregation. So we replaced Glorious with Everyday. Then they said, “you know, going from Everyday to One Pure and Holy Passion is a pretty big dynamic change.” Well, something like that anyway. That’s what they meant. I had ordered them that way because of the keys (One Pure and Holy Passion being in A (or Bb) and the last two being in D. But I also wanted to do a more aggressive version of Be Thou My Vision (a la Rend Collective Experiment). So we changed the order again to put Be Thou My Vision after Everyday. So the final set list was list this:

Hosanna
Everyday
Be Thou My Vision
One Pure and Holy Passion
Sometimes By Step

I’ve mentioned before that I like Hosanna because the lyrics and music seem to come together well and the rest of the lyrics fit the idea of
“hosanna!” as a cry out to God. I liked it for this week because of the idea in the song of being with Christ (as that is kind of an overarching theme in the entire sermon series) but also “when we see You, we have strength to face the day. In Your presence all our fears are washed away.” I’m not sure why that stuck out to me. It made a lot more sense after hearing the sermon and hearing Mike talk about the disciples and what they were going through after the crucifixion and resurrection. Side note, on the last chord or so my D string broke. I was not happy.

As I said, Everyday was a new song for the congregation. It’s an odd song for me because I learned it in Romanian before I knew there was an English version of it. So I’ve never really cared for the English version. But, the theme of the song is heavily “follow after You” along with being a light unto the world (which is something else that I have been talking/praying about recently). So even though the congregation hadn’t sung it, I thought it worthwhile. I also like the feel of the song. Somehow it’s not as serious sounding as some of the other contemporary songs that we do. It was not particularly easy to do the song with a missing string, but I managed and it worked well. I think a lot of people were familiar with the song so that helped quite a bit.

I wanted to do a version of Be Thou My Vision closer to Rend Collective Experiment than the traditional style. We weren’t close. But it was a little faster and a little more to the rock side of things. So that’s something. As far as the theme is concerned, there really aren’t many songs that are better than this one. The only problem as far as the service yesterday was that by this point my guitar was beyond tuning. I tried. But with the first chord I heard how badly out of tune with the piano it was, so I stopped and we sang it with just the piano and drums. So…it wasn’t quite the powerhouse song I had in my mind. But it was still very good.

One Pure and Holy Passion fits nicely here with the theme – in fact that’s pretty much the whole idea of the song, “give me one pure and holy passion…to know and follow hard after You.” So there was no question as far as that was concerned. I didn’t like where it was in the set. It’s in a different key (as I mentioned before) so I would have preferred to do it before Be Thou My Vision. It simply felt out of place there. Playing it with just the piano worked fine thanks to Karen (even though she was not familiar with it before yesterday).

We could have ended with One Pure and Holy Passion, but we ended with Sometimes By Step because I really like the “I will follow You all of my days” line. I think I like the way that song can flow a little, so it can be fairly loud and full up front and then you can bring it down at the end to be a slow, intentional, prayer kind of song. It’s also one of those songs that works very well with just a piano (or piano and drums as we had Sunday). In fact, I almost prefer it that way.

April 30, 2012  Tags: , ,   Posted in: music, worship and the church

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