MOVE ...In Love Worship Series, week 4
August 26, 2018
The following selections are congregational songs (most of which are chosen from this week’s Hymn Suggestions) with notes on key, tempo, and instrumentation, along with some practical and creative considerations in singing.
There’s a Spirit of Love in This Place
Source: Worship & Song, 3148
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 60-64 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, band, or rhythm section
Notes: This song by Mark Miller would make a great theme song for the entire “...In Love” series. Singing this work would be fitting at any point during the worship service, but it would be especially poignant as the last song of an opening worship set to put the language of love and peace on the mouths of the gathered community near the beginning of the service.
Resources: There's a Spirit of Love in This Place Hymn Study »
They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love
Source: The Faith We Sing, 2223
Recommended Key: Em–Fm
Tempo: 92-136 bpm (quarter note)
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, solo guitar, strings, or any band ensemble (rock, jazz, etc.)
Notes: Another option for a theme song for the series, I would wager this is one of the most widely sung works across worship styles throughout the church. The unity expressed in the text and the immediately recognizable tune make this a congregational favorite, even across generational lines. As indicated in the tempo suggestion above, it is possible to sing this in a variety of ways, whether slow or fast, and across genres. Experiment with the accompaniment, and be encouraged to sing boldly!
You’ve Got to Move
Source: The Africana Hymnal, 4077
Recommended Key: B♭m–Dm
Tempo: 84-88 bpm
Instrumentation: a cappella with hand claps
Notes: This short, rhythmic song is an example of a “ring shout,” which is an African American tradition of singing that involved music, dancing, and shouting, all while standing in a ring. The melody of a song would be sung and improvised upon while drums were played, hands clapped, and feet shuffled to embody the ecstatic nature of the song. It is clear why it was selected for this Sunday, with the theme built upon the imperative, “Move.” If you have the opportunity to consult the recording that comes with The Africana Hymnal, it will be helpful because it helps teach the performance practice of the singing and clapping together. If the clapping as written on the score is too difficult for your congregation, it is also possible to proceed with other options:
Clap in a half-note pattern (the slower pattern on the recording) throughout on beats 1 and 3. Have the congregation clap in a half-note pattern on beats 1 and 3 while the choir or a selected group claps the more syncopated pattern from the score.
For more information on a ring shout, be sure to watch the video, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music or read the small-group study of the same title.
Resources: Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music
Be Thou My Vision
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 451
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 84-92 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, guitar, or band
Notes: This hymn is well known and should be accessible to a variety of worship settings, regardless of style. The tune is very lyrical and idiomatic of Irish folk music. The addition of flute, recorder, or tin whistle might be appropriate, as well as a pulsing hand drum.
Resources: History of Hymns: "Be Thou My Vision" »
View and download an alternate accompaniment »
Choral Introit »
Go Forth for God
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 670
Recommended Key: F
Tempo: 112-120 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ or piano
Notes: This stately hymn presents a bold, yet loving approach to going into the world with “the armor of God.” Keep the tempo quick enough that it is inspiring for people as they leave and not so slow and heavy as to become a dirge. Slowing down the last stanza would be appropriate, but be sure it is still enough to encourage people to move confidently from worship into the community.
Resources: History of Hymns: "Go Forth for God" »
Lead On, O King Eternal
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 580; Mil Voces Para Celebrar, 174
Recommended Key: C or D♭
Tempo: 108-112 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ or piano
Notes: This familiar hymn and tune is very accessible and singable in most settings. Many organists and pianists, however, shy away from playing in 5 flats (the key of D♭), so an accompaniment in C can also be found at No. 571 in The United Methodist Hymnal. Keep the tempo moving forward! A descant and alternate harmonization can be found within The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement.
May You Run and Not Be Weary
Source: The Faith We Sing, 2281
Recommended Key: G
Tempo: 100-104 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, guitar, or band
Notes: This short chorus is appropriate at the end of a worship service as a closing song of sending. If the congregation is unfamiliar with it, make it a choral benediction to help the gathered body learn it. Then sing it for a few weeks to help commit it to memory! Regardless of how it is presented, make sure it is not too rigid. The tempo and rhythms should feel relaxed.