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Songs for Easter Season, 2017

This is a place for our Song Leaders, as well as congregants, to learn the songs we sing at St. Lydia’s. 


Song Leaders and singers, here’s the place to find and practice ALL the music we’ll be singing during the season of Easter in 2017!  Bookmark this page so that you can check in often to listen to the pieces and practice.

Gathering Song: “Kiev Alleluia

Candle Lighting Song: “The Lord is My Light,” Lillian Bouknight

Eucharistic Prayer Setting: “Festive Table Acclamation,” Paul Vasile

Prayer Song: Song Leader’s Choice.  A selection of songs may be found here.

Gathering Song at the Offering: ”Mxadana Alleluia

Closing Hymn: “Now the Green Blade Rises,” French Carol or “Jesus Christ is Risen Today



Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs For Lent, 2017

It is Lent! The time when we wander in the wilderness together, and find still quiet spaces to listen for the voice of God. Everything gets a little more spare, our music included.


Gathering Song

A Kyrie Eleison, which means, “Lord, Have Mercy.” This Kyrie is from the Iona Community in Scotland.


John Bell Kyrie


Procession to the Table Song

This juicy tune, “Here is Bread for the Hungry Soul,” which reminds us we are forgiven and also that we’re going to eat soon! The harmonies are recorded for you, but folks will mostly improvise off the melody!


Note: I usually flip the words to, “here is bread for the hungry heart, here is wine for the thirsty soul, because I think the alliteration sounds better and makes the song easier to remember!


Here is Bread for the Hungry Soul,” words: Mary Kay Beall; music: John Carter

Sheet Music


Table Acclamation

We’ll use the very simple Lent Table Acclamation


Prayer Song

What We Need Is Here, written by the students of the Episcopal Student Group at MIT. A lovely setting of the first line of the poem by Wendall Berry.


Offering Song

Love and Faithfulness Shall Lead


Closing Hymn

What Wondrous Love is This

*Please note, the harmonies on this recording are not the harmonies from our current sheet music.

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Epiphany, 2016

Learn the music we’ll be singing in the season of Epiphany, which takes us from just after Christmas to the beginning of Lent on March 1 and is a season about God’s light found in all the ordinary places. 


Gathering Song
Arise, Shine
Jyothi Dho Prabhu
Candle Lighting Song
The Light of Christ Has Come Into the World 
Illuminate Me, Anne Krentz Organ
feel free to lead just the first part of this song, or you can add the second part (“O God give me light” for more challenge)
Table Acclamation
Shelton Table Acclamation
Prayer Song
Song Leader’s Choice
Final Hymn
Be Thou My Vision, recording here (just wait for the part when the drums come in guys!!), or here (violin and harp by girls with braids in a field!!) sheet music here (scroll down)
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, recording here (hey there big organ!) sheet music here (scroll down!)

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Jyothi Dho Prabhu (Give Us Light)

This beautiful tune from India may be sung in both Hindi and English.


Here is an orchestrated version by Charles Vas. There is a short introduction with lower voices, then the higher voices come in in the melody.

You can listen to a simple recording by John Bell and Alison Adam. This version is quite slow, and has a higher part in the middle that we will not sing at St. Lydia’s.

Sheet music of the tune with the text may be found here.


Text you can use:


Jyothi Dho, jyothi dho, jyothi dho prabhu. (Be sure to tell people that these words are Hindi and mean “give us light.”

Give us light, give us light, give us light O Lord.

Give us peace, give us peace, give us peace O Lord.

Save us now, save us now, save us now O Lord.

Give us life, give us life, give us life O Lord.

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Music for Advent 2016

Dear Song Leaders,

Saint Lydia’s celebrates a lengthened Advent season that begins on Sunday, November 6.  Here is the music we’ll be singing during that time.

Gathering hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Lamp Lighting hymn: “Creator of the Stars of Night

Table Acclamation: “Vasile Advent Table Acclamation

Prayer Songs: (The usual choices)

Post-Cleanup Gathering song: “Amen Siakudumisa/Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God

Final Hymn:

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” (November 6-21)

For the Beauty of the Earth” (November 27-28)

In the Bleak Midwinter” (December 4 – 19)

As always, listening and practicing at home is a great way to feel more at home with the material.  Even if you are not currently scheduled to lead song during Advent, familiarizing yourself with the material helps you prepare for the moment when someone has to cancel at the last minute and you volunteer to step in.  And, of course, even when you are not song leading, being able to sing these confidently will help the congregation find its way.  You’ll get an appreciative smile from the song leader.

Enjoy these.  Enjoy Advent.  And thank you for taking up this wonderful piece of hospitality — song leading.

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing — ”In the Bleak Midwinter”

Most excellent Song Leaders,

Here’s a gentle final hymn for Advent, “In the Bleak Midwinter.”

The sheet music is here:  In-the-bleak-midwinter.

And here’s a lovely online recording that gives you the sense of tempo and mood.

If it’s within your power to make it snow outside as we sing, by all means, do.  :-)


Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing — “For the Beauty of the Earth”

Hello, Song Leaders!

Here’s a lovely hymn of thanks and praise, “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

Here’s the sheet music.  For the Beauty of the Earth

And here’s a video of it performed by organ and choir.

Remember that it helps those who are less familiar with the hymn to sing the first verse on melody only before breaking into parts.

Enjoy this beautiful hymn, and thanks for your leadership!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing — ”Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Hello, Song Leaders!

Here’s a final hymn for Advent, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.”

We’ve set the words to a to a tune you might have sung with the text “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling . . . ”

Here’s the sheet music.  Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.

And here’s a practice recording — Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus — with a piano playing all four parts.  Because it’s so short, only two verses, we might break our usual custom of waiting until verse 2 to add harmony.  Depending on your sense of the group’s ability to find their way through it, you can invite people to break into parts right away.  If you do that, make sure that you or some other strong singers are going to hold down the melody to guide less familiar people through the hymn.

Thank you for leading!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing — “Amen Siakudumisa” / “Amen, We Praise Your Name, O God”

Hello, Song Leaders!

“Amen Siakudumisa” is a hymn by Stephen Cuthbert Molefe, a South African composer and choir master.  The original words are in Xhosa, and we sing it in both Xhosa and English.

Xhosa lyrics:
Amen siyakudumisa (masithi)
Amen siyakudumisa (masithi)
Amen, Bawo; Amen Bawo;
Amen siyakudumisa. (masithi)

English lyrics:

Amen, we praise your name, O God. (sing ‘amen’)
Amen, we praise your name, O God. (sing ‘amen’)
Amen, amen
Amen, amen
Amen, we praise your name, O God. (sing ‘amen’)

Here’s a recording so you can learn the melody and get a sense of the tempo at which we’ll sing it.  Amen Siyakudumisa


It’s a great song, and a great way to honor the musical influence and freedom struggle of the South African church.

Sing Amen!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs We Sing — “Creator of the Stars of Night”

Hello, Song Leaders!

“Creator of the Stars of Night” is a centuries old hymn we’ll be singing as a lamp lighting song during Advent.

We’ll be singing it in unison using call and echo.

You have two options.

Method #1:

This is the simplest approach.  You, the song leader, sing a line and invite the congregation to echo it back.

Song Leader: Creator of the stars of night,
Congregation: Creator of the stars of night,
Song Leader: Your people’s everlasting light
Congregation: Your people’s everlasting light

Method #2:

You could teach the congregation how to sing the entire first verse.

Creator of the stars of night,
your people’s everlasting light,
O Christ, Redeemer of us all,
we pray you hear us when we call.

Then, you sing verse two, solo, cuing them to repeat the first verse as you finish.  You continue this alternation between you as soloist, singing through the other verses, and the congregation refraining with verse one.

To give you a sense of the melody, listen to this recording, which is performed in Latin.

And here is the sheet music.  Creator of the Stars of Night

It’s a beautiful and meditative hymn, and one of the rare chances we get to sing plainchant together.



Posted in: Songs We Sing