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Songs We Sing — Prayer Songs

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


At Saint Lydia’s our prayers begin and end with a song that the song-leader chooses from a list of options.  Below, you’ll find links to recordings of those songs made by our own Heather Young, who sang them to us all the way from her new home in Seattle.  (Thank you, Heather!!!)  Note that some of the recordings include helpful notes for performance.

Because the prayers at Saint Lydia’s take place when we are all sitting around small tables, the song leader can’t rely on visual cues to let the rest of the congregation know when to listen, when to begin, and when to end.  That means, as you practice these songs, it will be useful to think about how to use your breath and note lengths to guide the congregation.  Heather has given useful tips in this regard.


Shine On Me

A tune that Emily learned from her pastor, Dr. Brad Braxton, and she’s shared it with the congregation at St. Lydia’s.  The piece was recorded in the late 1920’s by Blues and Gospel performer Blind Willie Johnson.  You can listen to a snippet of his recording here.


I Will Guide Thee

Rachel brought us this piece, often sung by her friends the Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, folk singers in Vermont.  You can hear Peter’s choral arrangement of this piece here.  The song is a variation on an 1873 hymn called “Precious Promise”


I Must Tell Jesus

Emily brought us this hymn from her time at The Riverside Church, where it was sung as an anthem.  It’s a variation on a hymn of the same name written by Elisha A. Hoffman in 1893.


All Shall Be Well

Emily wrote this setting of Julian of Norwich’s famous text, “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”


What We Need Is Here
This piece was written by students in the Episcopal/Lutheran student group at MIT, and taught to us by their priest, Amy McCreath.


Tar a Thighearna

A piece by our friend, Ruth Cunningham.  It’s published in the volume, Music By Heart.  The piece is a simple, beautiful melody, which encourages improvisation from the congregation.  We sing it during prayer at St. Lydia’s, and on Good Friday.


Come, Bring Your Burdens to God

A lovely song from Kenya taught to us by our musicians in residence, Paul Vasile. Paul always reminds us that the line, “Jesus will never say no,” does not imply that all our prayers will be answers, but simply that Jesus will never say to to carrying our burdens with us.


My Soul Waits

A beautiful song by our own Debbie Holloway.  It’s singing suggests the rhythm of breath and is not only great as a prayer song but as an introduction to meditation and contemplation.


Fear Not the Pain

A stanza of What You Cannot Hold, from Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus, I, 4, set to music by Rachel Pollak Kroh.


Don’t Be Afraid

By John Bell

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Lent 2024

Hello song leader, singers, and lovers of song!

Here is our menu of music for Lent 2024

Gathering Song: Love and Faithfulness Shall Lead

Confession: Come, bring, your burdens to God

Candle Lighting: Down to the Well or Wade in the Water

Table Acclamation: Lent Table Acclamation

Prayer Song: Song leader’s choice.  (Here are a few.)

Gathering Song: What We Need Is Here

Closing Hymn: Ask the Complicated Questions

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Advent 2023

Dear Song Leaders and all singers,

Here is the menu of songs we’ll be singing during Advent.

Gathering song: O Come, O Come Emmanuel (with updated lyrics)

Candle Lighting song: Within Our Darkest Night

Table Acclamation: Vasile Advent Table Acclamation

Prayer song: Songleader’s choice, including this new Taizé song.

Offering Song: Taste and See

Final hymn:  This will be a surprise hymn that we pick each week and practice during rehearsal before church!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Summer 2023

The music menu for summer is here!

Gathering Song: Come, Come, Whoever You Are

Candle Lighting Song: Evening Lamps are Lit

Table Acclamation: Shelton Acclamation (not to be confused with the similar sounding “Summer Table Acclamation”)

Prayer Song:  Build a Shelter / Let It Rest, Down to the River to Pray, or any of these prayer songs or one you’d like to teach!

Offering Song: Zimbabwe Allelulia

Final Hymn:  In June we’ll sing, Spirit I Have Heard You Calling, and in July and August, we’ll sing Day Is Done.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Songs for Fall 2023

Dear Songleaders,

Here are the songs will be using for dinner church for the new liturgical season!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Songs for Eastertide 2023

Dear Song Leaders,

Here is the music we’ll be singing during Eastertide!

Songs for Lent 2023

Dear Song Leaders and Lydian music lovers,

Here’s our menu of songs for Lent:

Thank you for leading your community in song!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Fall 2019

Hello song leaders! Here is the music we’ll be singing this fall (Sept 8 – end of October).

There are lots of songs from Lydian composers! Click the linked song titles to hear the recording.


1) Gathering Song
The Mighty Will Fall, by Debbie Holloway
Lament for Zion, by Debbie Holloway


2) Candle Lighting Song
The Journey of a Thousand Miles, by Paul Vasile
Lead Me, Guide Me


3) Table Acclamation
Fall Table Acclamation, by Meave Shelton


4) Prayer Song
Song Leader’s Choice


5) Gathering Song
Shukuru Yesu


6) Final Hymn
Come Thou Fount

God Whose Giving Knows No Ending


Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Summer 2019

Hello song leaders! Here is the music we’ll be singing for the rest of this summer. We’ll switch some songs up from time to time, so check the months on the list below to make sure you learn the relevant music for the service you’re leading.

Click the linked song titles to hear the recording. Check out the harmony parts and optional descants (high solo parts) for the Candle Lighting Songs.


1) Gathering Song

June: Come Holy Spirit


July & August:

Come All You People


Sing God’s Praises Glory Hallelu


Jesus, We Are Gathered


2) Candle Lighting Song

June: Come Light of Lights

July & August: Christ is Our Guiding Light


3) Table Acclamation

Summer Table Acclamation


4) Prayer Song

Song Leader’s Choice


5) Offering Song

Caribbean Alleluia

– or –

Know That God Is Good (sheet music)


6) Final Hymn

June: Come Down O Love Divine

July: Spirit I Have Heard You Calling

August: Day is Done

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Songs for Eastertide 2019

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

Happy Easter! Christ is risen indeed, Alleluia! We’ve got lots of Alleluias this season. Click the linked song titles to hear the recording, and bookmark this page so that you can check in to listen to the pieces and practice.


1) Gathering Song

Kiev Alleluia


2) Candle Lighting Song

The Lord is My Light,” Lillian Bouknight

The Lord is My Light and My Salvation (not to be confused with other songs we sing using the first half of that sentence).


3) Eucharistic Prayer Setting

Festive Table Acclamation,” Paul Vasile


4) Prayer Song

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


5) Song at the Offering

Duncan Alleluia


6) Closing Hymn

April 28 – May 13
Now the Green Blade Rises,” French Carol


May 19 – June 3
Jesus Christ is Risen Today





Posted in: Songs We Sing