Post-Pentecost 2018 Worship Planning Series

Third Sunday After Pentecost 2018, Year B

What we have the power to do in our season of “Why?” is exactly what Samuel and God did. We can pray, processing what we’re seeing before the face of the Almighty. We can hear God’s word for us in the face of our “Why?”. We can hear God reminding us of our role, and God’s, in the midst of our situations. And maybe we can sense God reminding us that God still has good work for us to do...


All Praise to Our Redeeming Lord

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 554
Recommended Key: A♭ (if using ARMENIA)
Tempo: 104-112 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ or piano
Notes: This hymn of Charles Wesley is a song of unity with an amazing abundance of language to support the images of connection: “joins,” “together,” “hand in hand,” “we all,” the same,” “agree,” “concentered all,” “harmony,” “one,” “common,” “fellowship,” “meet.” Because the hymn is written in CM (common meter), there are plenty of other tune options other than ARMENIA if that tune is not familiar to your congregation. Other suggested tunes include AZMON and ST. ANNE, among others.

Blessed Assurance

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 369
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 58-64 bpm (dotted quarter - "traditional") OR 120-128 bpm (eighth note - "gospel")
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, or band
Notes: This hymn is consistently one of the most sung hymns throughout the church. It is revered in many different cultural contexts, too, so there are different ways to approach the performance practice. I have recommended two tempos, depending on the style it is played. Choirs, praise teams, and soloists can all lead the singing of this rousing hymn. Arrangements of this tune for other ensembles (handbells, for instance) are ubiquitous.

O For a Heart to Praise My God

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 417
Recommended Key: F (if using RICHMOND)
Tempo: 100-112 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ or piano
Notes: Another CM (common meter) hymn, it is possible to sing this hymn with the tune provided—RICHMOND—but it can also be paired with any number of CM tunes. RICHMOND is joyous and presents a tune characterized by joy, but there are a few tricky leaps throughout. AZMON would also be recommended here, in addition to LAND OF REST.
Resources: History of Hymns »

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

Source: CCLI #7019974
Recommended Key: Em (G)
Tempo: 66-70 bpm
Instrumentation: Band, piano, or solo guitar
Notes: An interesting take on the classic hymn, the tune AMAZING GRACE is not incorporated here, but the first stanza of the hymn is repeated as the pre-chorus in this song. I think it would also be possible to avoid the chorus and simply use the pre-chorus in place of it. In doing so, the focus is placed upon the “Amazing Grace” text with the repetition of each chorus. The vocal range is very accessible for most congregations, and the melody can be easily learned.

Prayers of the People (The Faith We Sing)

Source: The Faith We Sing, 2201
Recommended Key: E♭
Tempo: 82-88 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, or solo guitar; winds or strings on melody
Notes: The congregation sings the refrain every time, with the concluding line begun by a leader (“Lord, in your mercy”) and the congregation responding (“Hear our prayer”). The accompaniment can either continue underneath the reading of the intercessions and spoken requests, or it can be silent during the intercessions. If silence is chosen, resetting the tonality for the leader may be necessary before singing.

Prayers of the People (The Brilliance)

Source: CCLI #7039048
Recommended Key: D
Tempo: 100-108 bpm
Instrumentation: Piano, organ, or guitar
Notes: This short song is intended to be sung as responses for intercessory prayer. Continue the rolling accompaniment underneath the spoken intercessions, and vary the responses between the A theme (“You hear us calling…”) and the B theme (“Lord, have mercy”).

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 340
Recommended Key: Fm or Em
Tempo: 98-104 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ, piano, guitar, or band
Notes: This minor pentatonic tune, RESTORATION, is one of the easiest to sing in the hymnal, and it is very idiomatic of the shape-note repertoire. The larger musical form of the work (not divided up in phrases) is AA, meaning that the melody is the same between the stanzas and the refrain. This hymn makes a very memorable invitation and is easily led in traditional or contemporary settings.

Come Ye Sinners

Source: CCLI #7035184
Recommended Key: B♭
Tempo: 72-76 bpm
Instrumentation: Band, guitar, or piano
Notes: Congregational singing with this song would be best saved for the chorus. The stanzas can be sung by a soloist. The hymn incorporates much of the original hymn text, but the chorus is heavily adapted, and the bridge is original material. The tune is completely different from RESTORATION.

Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow

Source: The United Methodist Hymnal, 94
Recommended Key: E♭ or D
Tempo: 68-74 bpm
Instrumentation: Organ or piano
Notes: This one-stanza hymn of Trinitarian praise is often referred to as “The Doxology,” or interestingly enough in some United Methodist churches, “The New Doxology.” This text was written to provide a text without the completely masculine, one-dimensional references to God found in Thomas Ken’s original hymn (UMH, 95). The combination of text and tune create a statement of praise that has both energy and theological integrity.
Resources: Lead Sheet

New Doxology

Source: CCLI #5075025
Recommended Key: F
Tempo: 86-98 bpm
Instrumentation: Band, piano, or guitar
Notes: This song incorporates the melody and text of Thomas Ken’s original work. A couple of notes: If you refer to the lead sheet on CCLI SongSelect, there is an unnecessary rest in the middle of each phrase of the verses. Sing all the way through the entire phrase without the rest. If you need to take the rest, the tempo may be too slow, or you may need to work on your breathing! Also, the incorporation of Ken’s text restores the concern over heavy use of masculine imagery for God. If this song is chosen, you may wish to balance this imagery with more expansive images and language in other places in the liturgy.

In This Series...

Trinity Sunday 2018 — Planning Notes Second Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes Third Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 2018 — Planning Notes