Raising Awareness Through Global Song
Celebrate the international language of music and praise by teaching these global songs to your congregation.
The selections below would make excellent choices for One Great Hour of Sharing, a Churchwide Special Sunday that raises awareness about disaster relief. Your gift on that Sunday helps support the work of UMCOR.
It is often through the gift of music that we connect with people, their communities, their needs, their gifts, and their faith. As congregational leaders prepare for One Great Hour of Sharing, the following suggestions from Global Praise 3, a Global Praise resource, are offered for use in worship to enable God's people to pray together in the universal language of music. The songs were chosen for possible use as service music or congregational song rather than as choral anthems. This music can serve as a bridge in worship between God's people throughout the world.
A va de laa mioo (Come, One and All): Global Praise 3, Song #51/52
The congregation will quickly learn this communion song. It can easily be taught through a call and response pattern between the choir/song leader and congregation prior to the worship service. Consider singing stanza 1 as a part of the Invitation, stanzas 2 and 3 just prior to distribution of the elements and stanza 4 after all have been served. It could be led by a song leader, choir, or by the celebrant if they are comfortable singing alone.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Na nzela na lola (As Long As We Follow): Global Praise 3, Song #154/155
This song has many uses in worship with the options given to create 2 additional stanzas. The leader part will be most effective when sung by a song leader. The choir can give confidence and security to the congregation as they join their voices to sing the "All." Uses include singing stanza 1 as a response to the reading of scripture. Stanza 2 can be used anytime the congregation needs sing their hope, as a response to prayers, to a difficult time in the life of the congregation or community, and also with themes of ecology, especially if you use the suggestions in the songbook for creating additional stanzas. Consider teaching the choral harmonies to your congregation over several weeks. This would be wonderful sung a cappella in parts by a congregation. Add hand percussion to add rhythmic vibrancy.
Some man dey ask me say (Someone May Ask Me Why): Global Praise 3, Song #179
This song will engage the children of all ages in your congregation. It would work equally well after the Greeting or as response to the Sending Forth. Teach this song to your congregation and you can use it any time you are using the theme of "Jesus: Light of the World." Begin with an improvised drumming pattern. If needed, a leader could sing the first two phrases, through "What's it that makes you to shine?," with the entire faith community responding "I will just tell them that it is Christ Jesus that makes me to shine." Continuing together, encourage the congregation to clap as they sing, "I will shine." They will enjoy singing the entire song on repeats of the song. Children and youth enjoy the repetition and the feel of clapping against the triplet rhythms. Your toddlers and pre-school aged children will easily sing, "I will shine" with the congregation.
Prabhoo Lay lay mujhay (O Lord Jesus, Enfold Me): Global Praise 3 Song #164/165
Sung as a response to prayer or in between prayer intercessions, the refrain of this song will soon become a "heart song" of the congregation. Consider singing the refrain and a stanza as a response to prayer or as a part of a time of personal dedication to Christ. Because of the repeated pattern of the stanza, you can also consider singing the stanza in a call and response pattern to teach the congregation the music. For a first experience, consider having the congregation learn and sing the refrain with a song leader and choir singing the stanzas. As the congregation learns the stanzas they will join in the singing. Faith communities with liturgical dancers may want to ask the dancers to interpret the text of the stanzas.
Esho hae Probhu (Come, O Jesus Christ): Global Praise 3, Song #129
The opening and closing phrases of this song from Bangladesh use the same melodic line. This line could be taught using your hand to show the descending pattern of the melody. A song leader or choir could sing the second through fourth lines of the song with the congregation joining on the first and last phrases. Appropriate for both the season of Advent as well Passion/Palm Sunday, the song could also be used in worship as a call to prayer or as a part of an evening worship service.
Haleluya! Pujilah Tuhan (Hallelujah! Praise the Lord): Global Praise 3, Song #1
Focus on teaching the first two lines of the music to the congregation during the gathering time prior to worship. (Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord forevermore, praise the Lord, hallelujah!) The second portion of the song is melodically the same with slightly different rhythms to match the new text. Sing as the opening to worship, adding the percussion as noted in the score. This would also work wonderfully as a congregational recessional. Use this when the congregation is moving from place to place prior to or after a gathering of the community. The percussion will keep the pulse for the congregation as they sing and walk together.
Refrain, Perëndi plot madhështi (God of All the Universe): Global Praise 3, Song #88/89 refrain
The refrain of this song is a perfect response any time the people of God need to say thanks in worship! Consider singing this after the expression of the joys of the community, as a part of a praise medley in worship, or as a part of the call to the offering. With so few words in the refrain, this is easily sung in the native language or English.
LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
O Ségnè, nou pòté rémèsiman (Loving God, We Come with Thanks): Global Praise 3, Song #92/93
Do we recognize the many gifts that we have from God? This song invites us to see the harvest God has given! The final stanza cries out for God to receive us and accept us, closing with a thanksgiving for God's love. Your congregation will quickly learn the melody, especially if you add guitar and hand percussion. Once the congregation has learned the song, consider using the last portion of stanza 3 as a response in worship anytime a thanksgiving is appropriate in worship. (God receive us….)
Salamun Kullaheen (May Peace be with You): Global Praise 3, Song #83
Passing the peace takes on new meaning as you sing this song from Lebanon, greeting one another in the name of God. If your congregation does not pass the peace, consider using this after the confession and pardon of sins in worship. The song could also be sung between the celebrant and the people. The celebrant sings "May peace be with you" with the congregation answering "God's peace be now with you."
Lebanon, Palestine, & Israel
Ayyuhal masslubu zulman (So Much Wrong): Global Praise 3, Song #157/158
A song that embodies the sorrow of injustice, it could be used in worship as a response to the tragedy of injustice that is throughout the world. Also consider using this on Good Friday. Add a single handbell playing the tonic of each of the chords noted in the score as accompaniment. The melody would be beautiful played on alto flute or recorder as a part of the introduction. A song leader could lead the stanzas with the congregation responding with the refrain. The refrain could also be used as a response to scripture or prayer during the service. Discuss with your liturgical dance leadership the possibility of adding liturgical dance to the song.
God's Justice Will Come: Global Praise 3, Songbook #156
This song is based on Hosea 6:1-3, which is one of the lections in Year A following Pentecost. The strong justice text can be used in a variety of settings throughout the year. The stanzas are especially effective as a part of a call to prayer or confession any time of the year. The 4/4 meter and tempo enables this song to be used in contemporary or emerging worship services as well as traditional/blended services. The congregation can easily learn and sing the refrain. A Song Leader or Praise Team Leader would sing the stanzas between the refrain if so desired. Consider introducing the refrain alone as a response for several weeks and then adding stanzas as appropriate to the worship theme of the day.
In Mission Together: Global Praise 3, Song #153
Congregations looking for a "theme song" for their One Great Hour of Sharing/mission emphasis will want to teach this to their congregation. The syncopation adds excitement but it is in the text that the people will find their call to serve. Visual images abound! Consider creating banners, liturgical dance, or original bulletin artwork. Churches with projection capabilities will enjoy finding pictures and graphics to visually interpret the text. Consider singing the hymn on the "kick off" Sunday with your mission emphasis. You could then sing the refrain as a response to a weekly mission moment in worship. Stanza 3 would work very well as a song at the conclusion of communion. Many churches sing a closing song or response to the Benediction; stanza 3 will also send the congregation out to serve the world.
- by Rev. Debra Tyree
Rev. Debra Tyree serves as Business Manager for Global Praise Program at Global Ministries. She has served in music ministry in local churches for over 30 years and currently serves Bellevue UMC in Nashville, TN, as Minister of Music. Tyree is nationally recognized as a clinician and leader in the areas of worship and church music.
January 10, 2008