See Part #1 of this post on some background for what The Vertical Habits are.
The Vertical Habits was initially developed as an exercise to correlate the basic parts of human communication with the communication that happens in worship between God and us, and through that deepen our understanding of the role of communication in worship. Helping all of us to understand that worship grows out of the basic elements of relational communication. It is a brilliant condensation of what theologians refer to as ‘dialogical‘ worship.
Along with creating visual materials to go along with each ‘habit’ we also took a stab at writing songs to support each element. Writing music was beyond the initial scope of our project directed by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship but we felt these habits begged the question. Four songwriters committed to exploring how music could help reinforce the teaching behind each habit.
First, the musicians were asked to study each vertical habit and to write both text and music in a style that would ‘fit’ the mood of the habit. We did this in conversation with the visuals materials that were being developed as well (see link above). After coming up with an initial version we work-shopped them amongst ourselves and came up with some final versions aimed at being generally congregational. These songs would eventually be incorporated into our children’s worship program and sung in family worship. The recordings are all rough demo’s but provide a pretty unique glimpse into songwriters working hard to serve the church for a specific project and context.