BRING LIFE | Healing Hands Worship Series, week 1
July 1, 2018
The following selections are congregational songs chosen from this week’s Hymn Suggestions, with notes on key, tempo, and instrumentation, along with some practical and creative considerations in singing.
Healer of Our Every Ill
Source: The Faith We Sing, 2213
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 84-92 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or guitar
Notes: We recommend the use of this hymn as a theme throughout the entire “Healing Hands” series. Marty Haugen has created a hymn in which the text and tune are both comforting. For the first four weeks, sing the refrain, one stanza each week, and the refrain. On the final week, sing the entire hymn. This will teach the hymn to the congregation over time and closely tie it to the theme of the series.
There Is Power
Source: CCLI #7026322 »
Recommended Key: B♭
Tempo: 80 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, guitar, or full band
Notes: If you are in a setting with a band or modern worship music style, we recommend the use of this hymn as a theme throughout the entire “Healing Hands” series. Singing this every week will help the congregation learn and sing with vigor by the last week. The recommended key is a bit lower than the original setting to accommodate for congregational singing.
Jesus’ Hands Were Kind Hands
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 273
Recommended Key: F
Tempo: 72-76 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano or organ with finger cymbal
Notes: This is a simple song that has a small range and works well with singers of any age. Often, songs that involve language centering on children are relegated to children’s choirs, but I would challenge your congregation to sing this as led by children. Have a children’s choir sing to support, but also have a child who helps lead the congregation by cueing them when to sing. At the end of each phrase, a finger cymbal fits quite nicely.
Oh, I Know the Lord’s Laid His Hands on Me
Source: The Faith We Sing, 2139
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 100-106 bpm
Instrumentation: a cappella
Notes: Spirituals are best sung (and most authentically sung) a cappella, which can work in congregations with or without a choir. The refrain is repetitive enough that it can be easily learned. The song is divided up in “leader” and “all” sections, which create a call-and-response action. The choir supports underneath the leader by humming on an E♭ chord (A unison E♭ note would also work). Only use an accompaniment option if a cappella is not a possibility.
When Jesus the Healer Passed Through Galilee
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 263
Recommended Key: F
Tempo: 54 bpm (dotted quarter note)
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, and/or guitar
Notes: This modern folk hymn contains an engaging call-and-response dialogue in which the leader serves as the narrator and the congregation serves as the crowd. Participating in this dramatic rendition of the Scripture will help the congregation internalize the story of Jesus calling the disciples and sending them out to cast out demons, heal the sick, and spread the good news. The folk quality of the song lends itself to be accompanied by a guitar and light percussion, but keyboard instruments such as organ or piano would also work as long as the accompaniment is not too heavy. Keep the instruments and voice light within this style. Another engaging option would be for a children’s choir to sing this within the body of the service. Have child soloists sing the verses and the whole choir join together on the sections designated “All.”
Resources: History of Hymns: "When Jesus the Healer Passed Through Galilee" »
When the Poor Ones (Cuando El Pobre)
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 434
Recommended Key: D minor
Tempo: 132-136 bpm (eighth note)
Instrumentation: Piano or guitar, solo wind,or string instrument
Notes: There is a certain lamenting quality to the melody in this song that begs for time to let the phrases sing. However, the changes from minor to major in the chord progression offer glimmers of hope. Allow the musical dynamics to grow in volume when those occur (for instance, on the second phrase). Have a solo instrument introduce the melody and continue to improvise throughout. Light percussion can also be added for deeper musical texture.
Resources: History of Hymns: "Cuando El Pobre" » (Sanchez-Bushong)
History of Hymns: "Cuando El Pobre" » (Hawn)
Woman in the Night
Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 274
Recommended Key: C minor
Tempo: 48-52 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano or organ
Notes: Too few stories, hymns, and sacred songs are focused upon women in the Bible, and this hymn is a way to highlight the ongoing narrative of women as leaders in faith. It is possible for a soloist to sing this, but the text is poignant and important enough for it to pass the lips of the entire congregation.
Resources: History of Hymns: "Woman in the Night" »
Source: CCLI #5665521
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 78-82 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, guitar, or band
Notes: A service focusing on stories of Jesus’ healing is a good time for people to hear the good news that God makes “beautiful things out of the dust… out of us.” The simplicity of the tune longs for a simple accompaniment as well. If you are familiar with Gungor’s original recording, you will note that it begins with a piano, guitar, and cello. This would be a beautiful accompaniment throughout, if desired. Full band can be used, but don’t feel like you have to use all the instruments all the time. Find ways to show creativity with the instrumentation you may have within your church. Also, make note that the best key for this song is D. However, the original melody leaps an octave in the second chorus, which is far too high for a congregation to sing. Though the timbre will be different, you can accomplish the same effect by having a male voice on the stanzas and opening choruses before the leap, and then supplement with a mezzo female voice at the leap. When a congregation hears a male voice singing that high, the immediate thought is, “I can’t sing that,” and the voice oftentimes shuts down instead of continuing singing an octave lower. A female voice in the same frequency range assures the congregation that it is ok to not strain and leave the voice in a lower range when singing.
Other recommended congregational songs:
There Is a Balm in Gilead The United Methodist Hymnal, 375
Healing (Richard Smallwood) Watch the YouTube Video »