A Blessed Advent to All

November 27, 2016

It’s been seemingly forever since I (Karen) have been anywhere near Lent & Beyond… Bad internet connections and a very very busy season of work and ministry have pushed blogging far off my radar screen.

But I find the beginning of Advent has me itching to blog!  I’m honestly not likely to contribute much, but I may try to post once or twice a week…

For this morning, I want to post three songs that have come up in my Advent playlist this morning…  the first is a CCM classic, the second is a beautiful French worship song that I was introduced to at a retreat earlier this year, and the third is a lovely contemporary adaptation of the traditional O Come Divine Messiah.  I’ll post the songs first, and then post purchase information for all three at the end.

Michael Card’s The Promise – it captures well the hope and expectation of Advent as we review the prophecies and promises made about Messiah’s coming.  How wonderful that we who live in an A.D. word can look back and see that all the promises were true!

The second song is the beautiful, stirring  Eveille-toi, mon âme  (Awake my Soul) by the Canadian worship group Collectif Cieux Ouverts.  The words make a very apt Advent prayer (there is an English translation that appears on the video).

Finally, last year, Redeemer Downtown (the downtown congregation of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC), put out an Advent / Christmas worship album which contains a wonderful adaptation of the classical O Come Divine Messiah.  It’s called In Silence and it’s quickly become one of my Advent favorites:

Here are the lyrics:

o come, divine messiah,
the world in silence waits the day
when hope shall sing its triumph,
and sadness flee away.

o come desired of nations,
whom priest and prophet long foretold,
will break the captive fetters,
redeem the long-lost fold.

o come in peace and meekness,
for lowly will your cradle be:
though clothed in human weakness
we shall your god-head see.

***

Here are links to purchase each song:

  1. Michael Card’s The Promise, from his 1987 album The Final Word. (iTunes US store)
  2. Eveille-toi Mon Ame – the title track on the 2014 album by Collectif Cieux Ouverts (iTunes US store)
  3. Redeemer Downtown’s In Silence, from their 2015 album Permanent City (via Bandcamp)

Note: to find other Advent music I’ve posted over the years, use our Advent Music tag.


Excellent FREE Advent Music from Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC

December 2, 2015

I’ve fallen in love with a new Advent song from the Worship team at the downtown parish of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City.

They’ve got an album availble called Permanent City

Permanent City cover art

 

I’ve fallen in love with the song In Silence.

You can learn about the album and listen to samples here

You can download it for FREE at Bandcamp:

 


Brand new song from Selah: The People of the Cross; and Honoring the Martyrs (part 2)

April 28, 2015

People Of The Cross

[Scroll down for new song from Selah – it’s SO good, Wow!  But the intro is inspiring, important and relevant…]

Last week I posted an entry about the Ethiopian, Kenyan and Egyptian martyrs: Lifting High the Cross: How the Martyrs Exalted Christ by Their Deaths (part 1) I have an additional entry I planned to post as a followup, but a very busy workload in recent days kept me from completing that draft.  Today I found myself with some unexpected free time between meetings and I was browsing Twitter catching up on various prayer needs and current events around the world…  Two posts on Twitter related to the martyrs killed by ISIS grabbed my attention, and I felt it very important to post them here.  So what was going to be a two-part series, will now be a three-part series.  I’ll hope to post the third entry on Thurs. or Friday.

The first tweet related to the martyrs today was posted by the famous Catholic monk and musician John Michael Talbot:

The full text of what he wrote was:

Coptic Christians in praise of Jesus in 2011 before the uprising of recent persecutions by fanatical Islam. This is the strength that gets them through the persecution today. Do we have the same?

I watched the linked video from the great Middle Eastern Christian channel SAT-7 (over 2 million views for this video!)

Here are excerpts from the lyrics in English – they utterly astound me in light of ISIS actions killing our brothers from Egypt & Ethiopia on the grounds that they were PEOPLE OF THE CROSS.  It is almost as if this song was written to prepare the church in Egypt for the time of testing to come.  INCREDIBLE.

Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
Say that He has risen and death has no authority
And there is no forgiveness except through His blood
And the light of the Gospel is increasing
[…]
Say that He has conquered darkness and its authority
He has lit up our days and given them color
And the light of day is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Say that He is He is defeating his foes
We’re winning with His testimony and blood
And our heritage is increasing
[…]
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you
Live the joy of heaven, joy, joy
Satan will wear the clothes of one in mourning
[…]
Increase your praises to Christ, lift up the Lord with your tunes
Call out the heroes, His heroes, who walk with the cross before you

No sooner had I finished watching that, then I glanced back at my Twitter feed, and the VERY FIRST tweet I saw was this from We Are Worship USA:

So, I went straight to YouTube to watch this video. This song People of the Cross was just released today – it’s on iTunes and other music download sites.

So powerful.  May this be true.

We are the People of the Cross.  We choose Christ and count all else as loss.  We won’t be shaken.  Hope won’t be taken. We are the People of the Cross.

May this be a rallying cry to the Evangelical Church in the West to truly live as People of the Cross, following in the footsteps of the martyrs from Egypt, Kenya and Ethiopia who have counted the cost and shown that Christ is worth dying for.

Go buy this song and keep listening and keep praying for the church around the world that we may not shrink back in the face of suffering and persecution….


Easter Worship – Behold Our God (free download at We Are Worship)

April 28, 2015

One of my favorite worship songs in my Easter playlist is Sovereign Grace Music’s song Behold Our God, from their 2011 album Risen.  Their recording of the song happens to be free this week at WeAreWorship (free MP3, free chord chart, and free PDF sheet music).  Joining We Are Worship is free, and it’s a wonderful source of excellent worship music, with free downloads every week.  I’m posting a YouTube below which melds wonderful pictures of creation with Sovereign Grace’s version of the song.

I do have to say though that even though I love the original version of this song by Sovereign Grace, my favorite version of this song is the live recording from the Falls Church Anglican worship CD A Thousand Amens.   The combination of this song, followed by Praise My Soul the King of Heaven is just utterly majestic (you’ve got to hear the organ instrumental between the two songs.  I still get chills….).  I can’t recommend those two tracks highly enough.  Contemporary Anglican worship at its best!!

Here are the lyrics:

Who has held the oceans in His hands
Who has numbered every grain of sand
Kings and nations tremble at His voice
All creation rises to rejoice

Behold our God seated on His throne
Come let us adore Him
Behold our King nothing can compare
Come let us adore Him

Who has given counsel to the Lord
Who can question any of His words
Who can teach the One who knows all things
Who can fathom all His wondrous deeds

Who has felt the nails upon His hand
Bearing all the guilt of sinful man
God eternal humbled to the grave
Jesus Savior risen now to reign

You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill the earth)
(REPEAT 6X)
You will reign forever
(Let Your glory fill)

Copyright © 2011 Soveriegn Grace Praise & Sovereign Grace Worship

CCLI Number: 5937510

 


Stunning Easter Anthem: Blessed be the God and Father (Samuel Sebastian Wesley)

April 27, 2015

Via Twitter, I discovered this fantastic Easter Anthem by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.  The version in the YouTube below is sung by Consortium.

This version is available for purchase at iTunes here.  There is also a beautiful recording from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, here.

Here are the lyrics via the Choral Wiki site:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,
that fadeth not away,
reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed at the last time.

But as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.

Love one another with a pure heart fervently.
See that ye love one another.
Love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again,
not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible,
by the word of God.

For all flesh is as grass,
and all the glory of man
as the flower of grass.
The grass withereth,
and the flower thereof falleth away.

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
Amen.


A Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns

April 19, 2015
Easter Hymns

image credit: iTunes

NOTE: This post contains a listing of 70 great Easter hymns, and links to where you can purchase them, as well as links to other good hymn resources, but no audio.  I’ll be posting quite a few of thesehymns here at Lent & Beyond in coming days and weeks…. stay tuned.

***

I notice quite a lot of folks coming to L&B looking for Easter Hymns.  I’m a lover of great Easter hymns, but sadly you might not really know it by browsing Lent & Beyond.  In recent years I’ve posted much more CCM and Contemporary worship music than hymns, primarily because my digital collection of hymns and classical music has until now been quite small.

One of the greatest blessings of the internet, iTunes, YouTube, etc., has been the ability to learn and appreciate a much wider diversity of Eastertide hymns.  In my Episcopal parish growing up, we seemed to sing the same 5 or 6 Easter hymns over and over and over again.  And while that repetition made me grow to love them deeply – they became part of me in a sense – I never realized how much I was missing…

For instance, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s and working in French-speaking West Africa that I learned the fabulous hymn Thine Be the Glory (actually learning it first in French “A Toi la Gloire, O Ressuscité”) – now one of my absolute Easter playlist essentials!

And then of course, there are online hymnals and their Easter hymn collections which make learning new/old hymns easy these days:

With all of these resources to scour for good hymns, I devoted a fair bit of time (and a bit of money) in recent weeks to significantly increase my Easter hymn and classical music collection and creating a great Easter hymns & classical anthems playlist.

So, in case it’s a blessing and encouragement and helpful resource, here is a current list of 70 favorite Easter hymns. For each hymn I provide details for the version that’s in my playlist (artist, album, purchase link). I have not included details on composers, tune or lyrics.  In most cases you will find that information at Hymnary.org or the Cyber Hymnal.

For some hymns, I’ve included links to some alternate versions, including alternate tunes, instrumental versions, or contemporary renditions. There are a few modern hymns included – such as In Christ Alone.  The majority of these hymns are from the Anglican tradition, but I’ve thrown in a few Evangelical / Gospel type hymns as well.  My tastes are broad – any hymn that focuses on the joy and glory of Christ’s resurrection and His victory over death and His redemption of His people is fair game!

I’d love for commenters to add suggestions and tell us about your favorites!  Let’s turn this into an OPEN THREAD about memories of favorite Easter hymns… what songs do you love and why?

Note: this list includes only hymns.  I may try to create a separate post with some favorite recordings of Easter classical music, carols and anthems.

***

Below is a list of the Titles and Artists for all the hymns.  Here is a link to the Excel Spreadsheet which will give you full details on the album and a purchase link in the iTunes store (US).

Title,  Artist

  • A toi la gloire, Les petits chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly
  • All Hail the Power – No. 1 [Instrumental – tune: Coronation], The King’s Brass & Tim Zimmerman
  • All Hail the Power (arr. Sterling Procter – tune: Diadem), The Chancel Choir, The Chapel Choir, Broadway Baptist Church and The Oratorio Chorus, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, The Festival Brass
  • Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven, The Choir Of Sheffield Cathedral
  • Alleluia! Sing to Jesus (with handbells), Concordia Publishing House

Read the rest of this entry »


Easter Hymns: How Shall I Sing That Majesty (Coe Fen)

April 19, 2015

 

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iA2o-OfhL._SY300_.jpg

Back in 2012 I blogged about this hymn – having newly discovered it via a blog post by Patrick Comerford.  (Patrick Comerford later posted a much more detailed entry about this hymn here.)

This Easter, I decided to upgrade my Easter hymns playlist, and I treated myself to purchasing this hymn, choosing a version to the tune of Coe Fen, sung by Wells Cathedral Choir, from a 1999 album The English Hymn, Vol. 1 – Christ Triumphant.

Below I’ve posted a pretty good recording of this on YouTube (apologies that there is an ad)

Christ’s Hospital School singing ‘How Shall I Sing That Majesty’ to the tune of Coe Fen by Ken Naylor (CH 1980-86). It was recorded for BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Half Hour.

I much prefer the Wells Cathedral Choir version, however.

Lyrics:

1 How shall I sing that majesty
which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
thy throne, O God most high;
ten thousand times ten thousand sound
thy praise; but who am I?

2 Thy brightness unto them appears,
while I thy footsteps trace;
a sound of God comes to my ears,
but they behold thy face.
They sing, because thou art their Sun;
Lord, send a beam on me;
for where heav’n is but once begun,
there alleluias be.

3 Enlighten with faith’s light my heart,
inflame it with love’s fire;
then shall I sing and bear a part
with that celestial choir.
I shall, I fear, be dark and cold,
with all my fire and light;
yet when thou dost accept their gold,
Lord, treasure up my mite.

4 How great a being, Lord, is thine,
which doth all beings keep!
Thy knowledge is the only line
to sound so vast a deep.
Thou art a sea without a shore,
a sun without a sphere;
thy time is now and evermore,
thy place is everywhere.

Learn more about this great hymn and find resources (arrangements, handbell scores, etc.) at Hymnary.org.


An Easter Adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Kelley Mooney and Choir

April 7, 2015

I discovered this song online yesterday.  It’s the third entry that shows up when one types “Easter Music” into the Google search bar.

It’s lovely, and there’s a wonderful story behind the song.  Kelley Mooney is a Roman Catholic singer and songwriter in Canada.  Her parish priest had heard Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” and thought it might make a good song for Kelley to sing in church for Easter.  She became troubled that the lyrics might not be so appropriate for church worship, so she wrote a modified version focused on the narrative of Christ’s passion and resurrection.   Kudos to her, she contacted the publishers for copyright to use Leonard Cohen’s music, and then it was first recorded with her singing with a school choir.  She later published a CD with the song.   The video of her singing with the choir has gone viral – 8 million plus views on GodTube and nearly 3 million on YouTube!  Wow.

Below is the GodTube version of the song.  It’s also available on You Tube.   Here is Kelley Mooney’s website, and here is the link to purchase the recording of her singing the song  (via iTunes).

Here are the lyrics:

Hallelujah by Kelly Mooney
Adapted to the music of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

“A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said did you forget me Father did you?
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)

He hung His head and prepared to die
Then lifted His face up to the sky
Said I am coming home now Father to you
A reed which held His final sip
Was gently lifted to his lips
He drank His last and gave His soul to glory

Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)

The soldier who had used his sword
To pierce the body of our Lord
Said truly this was Jesus Christ our Savior
He looked with fear upon his sword
Then turned to face his Christ and Lord
Fell to his knees crying Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)

Took from his head the thorny crown
And wrapped him in a linen gown
And laid him down to rest inside the tomb
The holes in his hands, his feet and side
Now in our hearts we know he died
To save us from ourselves oh hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)

Three days went by again they came
To move the stone to bless the slain
With oil and spice anointing hallelujah
But as they went to move the stone
They saw that they were not alone
But Jesus Christ has risen Hallelujah

Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)
Hallelujah (repeat 4 times)


Updated Easter Music Series – Index (2014 and 2015)

April 6, 2015

Last updated 18 April 2015.  (I’ll aim to update this every Saturday during Easter)

During the Easter Octave of 2014, we posted some great Easter music.  I intend to post more throughout this Eastertide (my schedule and internet connection permitting!).  So here’s an index of our Easter Music Series entries so you can go back and find any great songs you might have missed.

Songs are grouped by Music Subcategory:

1. CCM Classics for Easter  (CCM from early 70s – early 90s.  Includes artists such as 2nd Chapter of Acts, the Imperials, Keith Green, Dallas Holm, Sandi Patty & Larnelle Harris, DeGarmo & Key, Amy Grant, Michael Card, Benny Hester, Bob Bennett, Leslie Phillips, Glad, Petra…)  [Some classic “Gospel” music is in this category too – Jesse Dixon, Andre Crouch….]

2. Easter Hymns & Classical

3. Easter Worship Songs  (Contemporary worship songs from songwriters such as Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, etc.)

4. “Contemporary CCM”  (CCM songs from the mid-90s to the present, includes artists such as Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, MercyMe, Mark Schultz, ThirdDay…)

5. World Music for Easter:  Easter worship songs from around the world in various languages!

***

1. CCM Classics for Easter 

NEW:

Gaither Vocal Band: Alpha and Omega (1984)

Steve Green: I Know that My Redeemer Liveth (from New Young Messiah 1993)

LAMB: Hallelujah (1981)

—-

***

2. Easter Hymns & Classical

NEW: 

Paschal Canon Odes 1 & 3, Byzantine Choir of St. George Cathedral

Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for us – Richard Dirksen

The Lord is Risen Indeed! (Easter Anthem) William Billings

***

3. Easter Worship Songs

NEW:

He is Risen – Paul Baloche & Graham Kendrick with the All Souls Orchestra

See what a morning (Resurrection Hymn) – Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

 Easter Season Playlist – Contemporary Worship Songs  (note this contains no audio, just a list of 45-50 good Easter-themed contemporary worship songs)

 

***

4. “Contemporary CCM”

NEW: 

Sojourn: the Warrior

Victorious, a fantastic new song by Third Day

Easter video: “Dance Your Shoes Off” (includes the song “Rise Up”)

An Easter Adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – Kelley Mooney and Choir

—-

***

5. World Music for Easter

***

PLEASE READ these two important notes: 

1) Any music I have uploaded is music I have legally bought and paid for.  I HIGHLY value copyright and want to ensure artists get credit and royalties for their work.  Please respect music copyrights.  In almost every music post I have provided a link (often to the iTunes US store because that is handy for me to link) as to where you can purchase the song(s).  In some cases the post will have an embedded MP3 files.  Sometimes that’s because the albums are out of print.  In a few other cases it was because I was having problems with WordPress’ audio playlist feature.  Please do NOT download music from Lent & Beyond, but purchase the songs if you enjoy them!

2) I have gone back through posts from 2014 and prior years that are linked here to try and make sure all the links are working.  If you find a broken link, we’d greatly appreciate it if you would leave a comment telling us so I can fix it.  Thanks.


Music for Easter Monday – See what a morning (Resurrection Hymn)

April 6, 2015

I expect that like last year, much of whatever Easter devotional blogging I can find time to do will center around music.

Singing Easter hymns and worship songs throughout the 50 days of Easter is one of the best and easiest ways I know of to keep the joy of Easter alive and fresh  in our hearts.  Also as in 2014, I expect to post a variety of old hymns; modern worship songs and new hymns; and also Easter-focused songs by CCM artists such as Third Day, Casting Crowns, Andrew Peterson, Natalie Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Twila Paris, etc.

You can find all our Easter Music entries here.  See also this index of Easter music entries (which I will try to update regularly).

This morning in our team’s morning prayer time, we sang “See What a Morning” (Resurrection Hymn) by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.  The words are SO powerful!  I was especially struck by the lines about how Christ’s resurrection clothes our faith with certainty.  And also, the image of the Lord’s voice “speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,” – just as Jesus did on the road to Emmaus, with His two discouraged disciples.  As He spoke the Scriptures to them, their hearts burned within them, and when He revealed Himself to them, they were filled with joy and hope and ran to tell the other disciples…  May the Lord continually stir up and revive our hearts with the joy of the resurrection this Easter season!

You can read about the background to the hymn from the Getty’s website.

SEE WHAT A MORNING
Gloriously bright
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes,
Tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce Christ is risen!
See God’s salvation plan, wrought in love,
Borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man, for He lives:
Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, ‘Where is He laid?’
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope,
Bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit
Who clothes faith with certainty,
Honour and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned
With power and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won,
Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives, Christ is risen from the dead!

You can download the lyrics for free at Worship Together.
Here’s the links to buy this song at iTunes (Townend version), or here (Getty Version)


Easter Music – Classic Hymns: The Strife is O’er – Truro Cathedral Choir

April 5, 2015

(I can’t resist reposting this even though I’ve posted it in other years.  I need these words this Easter Morn!  Look for new Easter devotional entries beginning Monday.)

easter-lily

For this morning’s Easter musical selection, I’m choosing one of my favorite classic hymns:

The Strife is O’er performed by the Truro Cathedral Choir.

(Should the embedded music file not display or play, use this link, but please respect copyright and purchase the file should you wish to keep it.)

This version appears on the 2009 album Easter Joy, with 51 hymns and songs by assorted artists.

Here is a pretty close version of the lyrics (there are a few minor differences)

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
Now is the Victor’s triumph won;
Now be the song of praise begun.
Alleluia!

2. Death’s mightiest powers have done their worst,
And Jesus hath His foes dispersed;
Let shouts of praise and joy outburst.
Alleluia!

3. On the third morn He rose again
Glorious in majesty to reign;
Oh, let us swell the joyful strain!
Alleluia!

4. He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heaven’s high portals fell.
Let songs of praise His triumph tell.
Alleluia!

5. Lord, by the stripes which wounded Thee.
From death’s dread sting Thy servants free
That we may live and sing to Thee.
Alleluia!

Note, as is often the case, the American version of the hymn is somewhat different.


Music for Good Friday- John Michael Talbot- Prayer Before the Cross

April 3, 2015

One of my favorite worship songs – a musical prayer – just played in my Good Friday playlist.  I’m spending the evening listening to music focused on the Cross.  I thought I’d share this here since it’s from an older album that may not be so widely known or played these days.
Troubador

(John Michael Talbot,  from Troubadour of the Great King, 1981.  iTunes link)

We adore You, most holy Lord
Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus Christ
As we gather together in this place
And throughout all the world

We worship You, Lord
We adore you, Oh Lord
And we bless Your holy name
For by Your cross
You have redeemed us
You have redeemed all the world


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