Planning for Christ the King Sunday 2016

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Well, that’s awkward…having already posted about Advent I’m now backtracking to include some resources for Christ the King Sunday – the sunday before Advent starts (Nov 20).

The Worship Sourcebook says of Christ the King Sunday:

“Christ the King Sunday focuses our worship on the cosmic character of Christ’s reign over the world. It is a proclamation to all that everything in creation and culture must submit to Christ and an invitation to actively and joyfully submit to his rule.”

Well..that just seems like a word that we need to hear right now. So here are some resources to check out for those of you that riff off of this theme/service in your worship planning.

WORSHIP PLANNING:

The Liturgy Letter – Christ the King Sunday
Service Focused around Psalm 11 and the Life of Christ – CICW
A Festival of Scripture and Song for CTK Sunday – RW
Songs and Suggestions from Global Worship Blog
Christ the King NOW – Article in Reformed Worship
Other Resources for Christ the King Sunday – CICW

RETUNED HYMNS AND SONGS:

Rejoice the Lord is King – Park Church Denver
Now to the King (1 Tim) – Wen Reagan
Jesus Lord Ascend Thy Throne – Jered McKenna
Forever Blessed be the Lord (Ps144) – Kingsborough Hymns
Rejoice the Lord is King – Christ Community Moody
The King Shall Come – Coram Deo Music
Come People of the Risen King – Stuart Townend
All Hail Christ – Hope College Worship
Justice Will Roll Down – Sandra McCracken
The Lord is King – Nathan Partain
None But Thee – Young Oceans
Come and Worship Christ the King – Resound Worship

Text: Why Should the Children of a King (Isaac Watts)

Traditional Hymns on this Theme:

Advent Planning 2016

here are some bits and bobs for your advent planning this year!

SONGS:
In my mind advent songs should  (at least) have four themes in mind.
– A focus on old testament imagery – (see “O Come Divine Messiah, Dawning Light”)
– A focus on the life of faith as a journey (See “I wonder as I wander”)
– A longing for Christ’s return, his second coming. (See “At the Name of Jesus”)
– A focus on deliverance from the present “not yet” realities – calls for justice! (See Sojourn’s “Let Justice Roll”

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Hark a Thrilling Voice is Sounding –
Love listening to these two diametrically opposed arr.’s of the same killer advent text!
Covenant Chicago // High Street Hymns

ARTICLES:

John Witvliet – “What ever happened to the second coming? & “Praying the Lord’s Prayer during Advent.”
Phil Majorins – “Sing 10 – Modern Arrangements for Advent

BITS and BOBS:

Christina Rossetti – Advent

Jacob Tilton – Psalms for Advent

The Calendar Years – Advent Album

“God has prepared for Himself one great song of praise throughout eternity, and those who enter the community of God join in this song. It is the song that the “morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” at the creation of the world. (Job 38:7). It is the victory song of the children of Israel after passing through the Red Sea, the Magnificat of Mary after the annunciation, the song of Paul and Silas in the night of prison, the song of the singers on the sea of glass after their rescue, the “song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3) It is the song of the heavenly fellowship.”― Dietrich BonhoefferLife Together

Nativity Prayer of St. Augustine
Let the just rejoice,

   for their justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
   For their saviour is born.
 
Let the captives rejoice,
   For their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
   for their Master is born.
 
Let free men rejoice,
   For their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
   For Jesus Christ is born.
 
–St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-440)

Worshipping through the Beatitudes

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Paul Neeley recently posted that Nov 1 (All Saints) has been a day that has historically reflected on the beatitudes.  It was really hard for me to find resources on the beatitudes to use in public worship when we preached through them last fall.  So here are a few pieces to meditate on that I found.

[] Hope College Worship EP on the Beatitudes

LITURGICAL:

[] Prayer of Confession (Reggie Kidd)

SONGS:

[] Blessed are the Humble Souls that See (Isaac Watts)
retune by Eric Graef

[] Words to Build a Life Upon (Mike Crawford)

[] Blessed are the Poor in Spirit (Sarah Majorins)

[] The Beatitudes Song (Brook Hills) – chart

[] Unwavering – Matt Maher

[] A City on a Hill – The City Harmonic

[] Rejoice in the Promise of Jesus (Crandal/Dufner)

[] The Beatitudes – Hillsong Worship

[] Other Songs that Reflect Central Themes
– In Feast or Fallow – Sandra McCracken
– Who is Like the Lord our God – Wendell Kimbrough
–  Blessed are the Ones – Audrey Assad
–  I Will Sing Praise (Psalm 146) – Kaitlyn Ferry

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[] Attempted Metrical Version of the Beatitudes (Bruce Benedict)

Blessed are the poor in spirit
who must trust in God alone
They will find their treasured living
In the kingdom of his Son
Blessed are the mighty mourners
Born for tears and grief on earth
Heaven’s joy will be their bounty
In the Spirits glorious birth
Blessed are the meek and humble
Heav’n and earth will be their own
Purchased for them by the Savior
Who their every care has known
Blessed are the famished righteous
those who hunger for God’s Word
All their thirst for heavenly waters
will be quenched at Zion’s throne
Blessed are the saints of mercy
showering this world with love
In the winds of gracious giving
love from God is their reward
Blessed are the pure in spirit
hearts that hate the lukewarm way
Longing for the holy family
and the maranatha day
Blessed are the Sons and Daughters
living out their days for peace
Following their blessed savior
Giving hate the other cheek
Blessed are the persecuted
Finding hope in God alone
Living for the unseen kingdom
Their’s a glorious welcome home
CHORUS:
Rejoice ye persecuted prophets
Rejoice with gladness in your God
Rejoice for great is your rewarding
Soon will be your welcome home

New Projects to support from Ordinary Time Music and Mike Crawford

Two of my favorite indie worship projects have new albums in the works that need your support!

Ordinary Time Music:

Ben Keyes, Jill McFadden and Peter La Grand have produced some stunning sacred music for the church over the past 10 years..from originals to retuned hymns they have worked their way across the church year and are currently prepping a project for the season of advent.  They currently need your support on a Kickstarter to release the album. So yeah…a must get! Also check out Peter’s new project Mixed Multitude Music.

Mike Crawford and the Secret Siblings:

I’ll try not to fanboy too much here but *gush* we’ve been waiting for this new record for a long time and now you can head over to Kickstarter and help make it a reality.  You can listen to a bunch of their stuff at their bandcamp page.

Bits and Bobs – Fall 2016

Here are a number of new albums, articles, events, and liturgical ephemera you gotta check out soon!

Before we get to the onslaught of ridiculously good new albums:

[] COS yearly psalm contest has its deadline this week.  Get writing people!

[] Doxology and Theology Worship Conference – Nov 3-5, Louisville, KY (Sign up soon!)

[] Reformed Worship – September 2016 issue – has a ton of great articles and features a number of friends from the Liturgy Fellowship (Zac Hicks, Phil and Sarah Majorins)

[] The Worship Pastor – Zac Hicks
Zac’s long awaited opus for worship leaders comes out next month.  Pre-order your copy NOW at Amazon.

[] The Welcome Wagon – support their kickstarter for their new album.

[] Calvin Worship Symposium – Hope college worship will be leading again this year along with a host of great speakers – NT Wright, Mako Fujimura, etc.


This is a rich album of original worship songs based in the gospel of Luke – you’ve got a wonderful range of approaches to both text and tune and the whole album is situated within a local church body.  I’m also pretty biased – this album was produced by a lot of good friends and recorded at Hope College. You can read more about the album HERE.


Wendell is one of the finest lyric writers I know and has been working steadily at his church writing refrains for the psalms.  This album is a collection of the best expanded into full songs and has tons of great options for congregational singing. The album was produced by Isaac Wardell (Bifrost Arts) and uses the same team that supported Sandra’s Psalms album..so gold! You can find out more HERE.

Peter La Grand leads off this new effort from Mixed Multitude Music. The first album is a nice mix of new songs for worship largely rooted in the psalms.  Peter is a long time contributed to Ordinary Time Music and often blesses Cardiphonia compilations.


This is Sandra’s followup album to her critically acclaimed Psalms album that came out last year.  I haven’t had a chance to listen real deep but the sounds are good.

Retuned Hymnal

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Western Seminary, which lives a few hundred feet from my office at Hope College was nice enough to interview me recently about a new project we’ve been working on for the past year – the Retuned Hymnal.  You can watch the interview HERE as a part of their new video blog project LuxCast. 

The Retuned Hymnal will be a database driven site like CCLI’s songselect that will provide open-source access to the best grassroots worship music that we’ve run across in the past 15 years or so.  The site will be about 40% retuned hymns, 20% new liturgical/service music, 20% traditional hymns with new arr’s, and the rest original stuff.

We’ll be beta testing all this year and will release the site officially and commercially in summer 2017.  So far we’ve indexed over 800 songs with lyrics, chords, and leadsheets.

The site will provide some fun stuff like:

  • One stop shop for searching songs from the wider retuned hymn movement.
  • Author data, key and meter data, Scripture tags, theological tags, and liturgical tags for every song.
  • Links back to bandcamp and hymnary where available
  • The ability to stream every song directly from bandcamp (when applicable)
  • Ability to see every retune of a particular text on one page.
  • Streaming by category or theological theme (stream every ‘ascension’ song for example).
  • Analytics for subscribers like theological data on setlists.
  • Up to date whole site analytics on the most popular songs by week, month, etc.
  • and of course a whole lot more!!

NYC RUF Album Liner Notes – Tom Cannon

Here’s a great quote from Tom Cannon, RUF Pastor at NYU whose RUF group produced one of the earlier Retuned Hymn albums – this was released just after the first Indelible Grace album.

You can download a PDF of the liner notes HERE.

Tom Cannon, RUF Pastor NYC, (From “From Depths of Woe” CD, 2000)
“What is offered here are songs that convey the tradition and immediacy of the church and its music. Most of the songs are hymns and psalms that are part of a rich heritage – signposts that remind us that the Holy Spirit has been at work long before this generation; songs steeped in theological and poetic integrity. The music is newer, much of it composed in recent years by RUF students from around the country.
These are not submitted as the last, best or only word on music in the church, a functional arrogance that plagues much present-day Christian music culture. Rather, they are a way, ever feeble, to join the song that will go on forever.”
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