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://i2.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.


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