Hope College Worship – Psalms EP 2017

Last Fall we invited singer-songwriter and anglican artist-in-residence Wendell Kimbrough to perform a concert of his most recent Psalms album as well as lead a songwriting retreat with my worship teams with Hope College.  After a few hard months of edits, arrangements, and pre-production work my students booked one day in Hope’s fancy new recording studio and knocked out all 7 songs in a few takes!!

For most of my students this was the first time they had ever been commissioned to write something explicitly from the psalms – and for some of them the first time they had actually sung the words of the psalms in worship! The album is a mix of congregational, devotional, and small group worship expressions from the Psalms. We hope you find something that blesses you and your worshipping communities.

Album downloads include a songbook with chord charts and leadsheets. Any questions or comments can be directed to worship (at) hope (dot) edu.

Bono and Eugene Peterson on the Psalms


Bono & Eugene Peterson (c) 2016 Fuller Studios

My friend David Taylor along with a host of other folks from Fuller’s new studio project released a video this week that captures the relationship between U2’s Bono and Eugene Peterson over the past 20 years.  The video culminates in a short discussion at the Peterson’s home in Flathead Lake, Montana where Bono sings a bit of Psalm 23 as he recollects his youth in Ireland.   Taylor also produced a page of resources for exploring the psalms that covers a wide range of topics (art, study, devotion, worship, music). Cardiphonia contributed a list of recent attempts to set the psalms to music for congregational worship.


Resource Page

Here is a list of projects related to the psalms that Cardiphonia has sponsored over the past few years.

Songs for the Sojourns (Calvin Worship Grant exploring the Psalms of Ascents)

Hallel Psalms – modern folk arrangements of Psalms 113-118

Psalms 135-150Vol. 1 // Vol 2.  – 32 songs exploring these psalms from a variety of modern pop-folk styles.


Hope College Worship services at Calvin Worship Symposium 2016

Earlier this semester Hope College Worship was busy over at Calvin’s (shhh) Worship Symposium.  We led morning and evening services on Thursday at the CFAC and also backed up Sandra McCracken during her afternoon vespers services.  Below I’ll provide some brief info on the music and liturgy we used.

All Creatures of Our God and King – Traditional, arrangement by Hope College Worship

For the Beauty of the Earth – Traditional arrangement by Aaron Niesquist and A New Liturgy

Confession of Sin (BCP) / Assurance – Psalm 103

Here is Love – traditional, arrangement by Ian Yates & Hope College Worship

By His Wounds – traditional, arrangement by Isaac Wardell & Hope College Worship

Apostles Creed – video for universal design

All Hail Christ – original by Hope College Worship

Vespers with Sandra McCracken
Title: My Soul Finds Rest In God Alone

Opening Prayer – O Gracious Light
O gracious Light, pure brightness of the ever-living Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing thy praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Thou art worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O Giver of life, and to be glorified through all the worlds.
Songs Of Invitation
Trinity Song (unpublished)
My Help, My God – Psalm 42
Prayer for Divine Guidance
Open my lips, O Lord,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.
World without end. Amen.
Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing (B)
Come Light Our Hearts – Rain for Roots
A Collect for Grace
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as
you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength,
so you never forsake those who make their boast of your
mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Psalm Reading – 62-63 excerpts
Song – My Soul Finds Rest (Psalm 62)
Prayer (Read together as musicians continue quietly)
We have sought to find rest in places that only make us weary and empty.  Almighty God, give us your peace and quiet us from within.  We have looked for a place to hide from the storm, from the heat of the day, and from the fear that comes over us at night.  Be our eternal home, our rest, our shelter and our strength. We turn away from tthe shallow springs of self-reliance to drink from your living water that we may be satisfied.  We return again to you, our Father.  Satisfy us again with your abundance, Holy Spirit.  In every age, O LORD, you have been our refuge.
Psalm Reading – Ps 126
Rock of Ages Cleft For Me
(Augustus Montague Toplady/Trad)
Psalm Reading –  Ps 40
Closing Prayer –
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all people here below
Praise him above ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen
 Let us bless the Lord.
 Thanks be to God.



Psalm 126 – Bifrost Arts Music


Bifrost Art Music has produced a number of stellar projects of worship songs.  I’ve had a few people recently ask for charts for this song in particular which is one of their more popular for congregational use.  It is a superb example of working a psalm into a text and style that can be used in a wide variety of worship settings.  It’s also a fun one because a few different artists have covered it in their settings.

In the liner notes for the album it mentions that this song was inspired by O This Night is Dark by Tom Wuest.  See if you can find/hear the inspiration!!


Psalm 126 (Our Mouths They Were Filled)

mp3 | chart

Our mouths they were filled, filled with laughter
Our tongues they were loosed, loosed with joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord
Although we are weeping
Lord, help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy
The nations will say, “He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy
Restore us, O Lord
Restore us, O Lord


Psalm 121 – The Lord is Your Shelter (A psalm for refugees)

ps121A few years ago my church worked through the Psalms of Ascents via a calvin worship grant.  The psalms of ascents are at their heart refugee songs and I’ve been praying them steadily for all of the refugees traveling into eastern europe. Prayers that they would find a home, shelter, and a place with God. Writing from the psalms is difficult. You are trying to capture the intent of the original community, express its christological telos, and give real voice to the daily suffering of the refugee.  I’m not sure how to wrestle that all into a text and in the end I had to find comfort in another Psalm 139:5 “You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.”

demo | chart

1.O Lord, when long has been the night
when eyes plead to the hills
Our help will come at break of day
Your glories to fulfill
O Lord! You are our helper
O God, You are our stay (through every pilgrim way)
O Lord! You are our shelter
through the night and through the day!
2.O Lord, when through the heat of day
our journey carries on
We know that soon you’ll lead us home
to new jerusalem
3.O Jesus when you raised your eyes
You breathed now, “it is done”
You bore the cross and raised us up
to reign beside your throne!
4.O Lord, you are our shepherd here
when far from home we’re cast
A stranger in a foreign land
we need your sweet repast.
5.O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
soon gather all that’s yours
Your presence now renew in part
the whole forevermore
C  D  Em  C
The Lord is your light, the Lord is your life
The Lord is your keeper
The Lord is your guard, in front and behind,
forever near you
Our God will keep your going out and coming in
Our God will hem you in – His love will never end

(c) 2015 Cardiphonia Music

Psalm 146 – A Psalm for seeking justice

Last night at the Gathering (Hope College’s Sunday night student service) Trygve and Dr. Mark Husbands preached on the 4th beatitude. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.”  Mark was sharing specifically in relation to his work with the Emmaus Scholars – a hope college residential program that seeks to help students connect their learning environment with opportunities to live out mercy and justice. He mentioned Psalm 146 as one place to connect our worship and our lives.  Here is a version from our latest compilation by Kaitlyn Ferry, a musician from Knoxville, TN.


Trust not in princes, nor in mortal man
He has not the power to save.
His plans are fleeting all his thoughts perish
as he is laid in his grave

I will sing praises, o my soul, o my soul
I will sing praises, o my soul

Blessed is he whose help is God
maker of heaven and earth
blessed is he who hopes in the Lord
His faithfulness ever endures

He will bring justice to the oppressed
Prisoners he will set free
The Lord watches over widows and the orphans
There is none too low he can’t see

Cardiphonia Compilation – Psalms 135-150


Cardiphonia is excited to release the first in a new series of compilations focusing exclusively on the psalms.  You can find them at a new bandcamp address Psalms.Bandcamp.com.  We started with the last section of book five – Psalms 135-150.  This section of psalms contains a lot of familiar psalms and phrases and is a great illustration of the many types of psalms (Praise, lament, thanksgiving, etc). From hear we hope to cover the rest of the psalter over the next ten years!  The new collection is two albums and 30+ songs demonstrating a wide variety of approaches to singing the psalms in modern worship. Our hope is that every community might find something that connects musically with their congregation.  One consistent voice I’ve heard is that churches would love to sing the psalms but that it is difficult to find versions that sync with their musical culture. Obviously this particular compilation only scratches the surface of musical options available.

Wherever the Psalter is abandoned, an incomparable treasure vanishes from the Christian Church. With its recovery will come unsuspected power.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Songbook for Both Albums + introduction to the Psalms by Ron Man

Other Psalms resources:

Singing Laments

Seven Reasons to Sing the Psalms

Songs for the Sojourn – a worship grant in the Psalms of Ascents


Bruce Benedict – is the Chaplain of Worship Arts at Hope College and helps organize things at Cardiphonia.
Caroline Cobb – is a musician and songwriter from Palo Alto, CA by way of the great state of Texas.
Christie Chew – is a san francisco songwriter and musician at City Church, Mission Site.
Coastland Commons – is a collection of musicians and artists working in the Seattle, WA area.
Craig Harris – a songwriter and seminary student at Covenant seminary in St. Louis, MO
David Potter – is a songwriter and worship leader at Coram Deo Church.
Gathering Sound Collective – is a group of worship leaders, planners, and artists who are passionate about worship in local congregations.
Greg Scheer – is the worship director at Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids, MI and an associate of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Jeff Bourque – is the Director of Worship at Grace Community Church in Nashville and the genius behind congregationalsongs.com.
Jered McKenna – is the music director at Mitchell Road Presbyterian in Greenville, SC
Kaitlyn Ferry – is a songwriter and a member of the Green Carpet players at Redeemer Knoxville.
Kelsey Vaughn – is an RUF intern and member of the Green Carpet players at Redeemer Knoxville.
Kingsborough Hymns – a retuned hymnal project from Park Slop Pres in Brooklyn, NY
Luke Morton – is a pastor and musician at Green Lake Presbyterian church, in Seattle WA.
Music from the Gathering Church – the brainchild and studio chops of Jeff Crawford and crew.
Nathan Partain – is the worship director at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN
Rick Jensen – is a founder of the liturgy fellowship and currently leads worship at Trinity Church Oxford, England.
The Alone Instrument – is the music ministry of Columbia Presbyterian Church, Columbia SC spearheaded by Kenny McWilliams.
The Crossing Music – is the music ministry of The Crossing in Columbia, MO
The Gentle Wolves – are members of the worship team at Servants Church in Austin TX – wrangled and produced by Richard Kentopp.
The Welcome Wagon – is the work of Vito and Monique Aiuto.  They pastor Resurrection Pres in Williamsburg, NY and release music through Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Tim Nicholson – is the worship director at Lexington Pres and producer behind Lux Mundi Music.
Trinity Anglican Music – the music ministry of Trinity Anglican Mission in Atlanta, GA produced by Marty Reardon.
Wendell Kimbrough – a songwriter, worship arts director and artist-in-residence at Church of the Apostles in Fairhope, Alabama.
Wes Crawford – Wes Crawford is a noted jazz player and music director at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City, MO