CCLI Top 100

The CCLI Top 100 Vetting Team sought to be generous in vetting this collection of songs to affirm those we believe we can sing as United Methodists and that can be good for us to sing. We have used criteria of adherence to Wesleyan theology, appropriate use of language for God and humanity, and singability. 

A commendable score above 3.5 (out of 5) was our “basic cutoff” for determining which songs to add to our more specific lists and where. More information is available in the vetting tool criteria. 

View the vetting tool criteria »

View the 2015-2016 CCLI Top 100 Green and Yellow Commended Lists »

Note: Selecting multiple checkboxes will yield additional titles rather than filtering initial results.

Worship Songs:
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    • Worship Movements
    • Instrumentation
This I Believe (Creed) / Commend Score = 4.1131

Strongly Trinitarian. This song could work either as part of an entrance set (mid pack, I'd think), or, probably better, as a response to the word-- more or less in the place of a creed right after the sermon. The whole thing works-- music, Trintarian theology, corporate and personal balance. It works. Hillsong did a fine job of creating a singable setting of the Apostles' Creed. Although it is deconstructed and paraphrased to make everything fit, it is still a good example of service music that works. The only thing I can't seem to place in the creed is "our defender." Whereas it could be loosely interpreted as being tied to "judge," it seems to have been added to complete the musical phrase. Very singable. Can be accompanied by any variety of instruments, but the melody needs to be led by voice only (not doubled on a keyboard). Ideal key is G. This is a re-hashing of the Apostles' Creed, which confirms belief in the Triune God and in particular, the name of Jesus. It's catchy, singable, and ecumenical. The only theological stumbling block is the constant turn toward "the name of Jesus" as the centrality of belief, even though Jesus' "name" is not an emphasis in either Creed. Could be an allusion to the Philippians Christ hymn or simply in line with Evangelical hymnody in the past two centuries. I see this song as an awakened interest in liturgical concern by Hillsong. I suspect we will see more of this approach if and when the church continues to be receptive. This return to "ancient things" seems normative in contemporary worship song landscape at the present time. Musically dull - phrases encompass a 3rd or 4th. Very repetitive. This does however enable the focus to be on the words as people "recite" the creed.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (4.05952)
        • Love: 5
        • Time: 4
        • Means of Grace: 4.33333
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 4.5
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 4.2
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 6
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (4.19048)
        • Gender: 3.4
        • Culture & Stereotype: 4.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 4.57143
        • Covenantal: 1
        • Relational: 6
        • Metaphorical: 0
        • You / Other: 2
        • Evocative: 3
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.14286)
        • Singability: 4.14286
        • Tune 2 Text: 4.16667
        • All congregational: 7
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 3
        • Solo: 2
        • Entrance: 3
        • Word/Response: 7
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 4
        • Sending: 1
        • Piano / Keyboard: 5
        • Piano / Organ: 2
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 5
        • Band: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Strongly Trinitarian with a focus on Jesus, but not a collapse to Jesus. One of the strongest, best, Trinitarian songs in this repertoire. Trinitarian focus of Apostles' Creed This song is a rarity among contemporary worship songs with its strong affirmation of the Trinity and all three Persons. Since the core idea for the song is the Apostles Creed that level of affirmation is not surprising. There are a couple of hiccups that I'm specifically not going to mark this as Trinitarian collapse, though it may appear that way. I prefer their constant turn toward the "name of Jesus" to be in line with how the Creed is presented. Most of the creed is dedicated to Christ (because of her Though the song has a strong Trinitarian creedal accent, it still ends up with a dominant Jesus focus. The phrase in measure 15-16, could have been "For I believe in the Triune God" would have helped solve the incoherence in the chorus section. God as Father. Trinity named in each person.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Works for all to sing. needs to be lowered The range is slightly above the comfort zone of men so if the key is lowered half a step, it would work. The melody is repetitive and straightforward. let the congregation sing the creed. Key is ok. Sing first verse in range written, then chorus and what follows need to be sung one octave lower than written.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Maybe band takes a bridge or two. worship leader needed for first stanza and bridge The chorus could be sung by the congregation.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        not a good solo song This song could be sung by a soloist.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        A band helps, but acoustic instruments could handle this just fine. Organ probably not. A variety of arrangements can be done. A lot of flexibility. This song can certainly serve as a sung creed. My only caveat is the phrase I had mentioned that put unnecessary attention on Jesus at the expense of the other persons of the Trinity.

The Wonderful Cross / Commend Score = 4.00833

Whatever is done with this, the verses need to be sung boldly or at least with some intensity, not casually whether solo or congregational. It's self-referential through and through, and the chorus makes it moreso. Could be midpack in an entrance set (probably too quiet up front to be leadoff), or maybe even last before prayer, if it moved toward an a cappella singing of the final verse with slowing repeats. Could also be a fine communion hymn, particularly during more solemn times (Passion Sunday, Maundy Thursday). This familiar hymn is based on one of the classic theories of the atonement: the moral influence theory. Contemplating the death of Christ moves us to change. Notice the playful sense of time in the original in that the singer views the crucifixion as occurring immediately in front of her or him. A revision of the Watts hymn with a chorus centered on our response to Christ's work. Could be done on Palm-Passion Sunday or Good Friday, but it's a bit upbeat and celebratory for both occasions. Focus is on Christ's death, and the instrument of death. Does not address life and ministry of Christ. Refrain idolizes cross, rather than giving attention to significance of and response to Christ's death on the cross or resurrection. Inclusion of Watt's hymn stanza 2 would add to personal depth of this song's verse. This combination of old and new is a great example of bringing new life to a well-known hymn. Ideal key is D. This is a resurection song. great crossover song Video Reference: https://youtu.be/8DNGMO35-64

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    • Themes
      • Theology (4.175)
        • Love: 4.22222
        • Time: 4.66667
        • Means of Grace: 4.33333
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 4.2
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 4
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 6
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.58333)
        • Gender: 4.16667
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.25
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.42857
        • Covenantal: 1
        • Relational: 7
        • Metaphorical: 3
        • You / Other: 4
        • Evocative: 5
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.1)
        • Singability: 4.33333
        • Tune 2 Text: 4
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 4
        • Word/Response: 7
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 9
        • Sending: 3
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 6
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 8
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Focuses on the cross of Jesus and its implications for us here and now. Notice the shift in the newly written chorus added to Watts's original text. It is common for new choruses added to older hymns: whereas the hymn spoke of God/Christ in the 3rd person, the chorus directly addresses the divine "You" in the 2nd person. The stanza with the most explicit reference to "Christ, my God" was omitted. We are left with a metaphor only: "Prince of Glory." Clearly about Jesus' work on the cross. Not Trinitarian. Full of grace and atonement because of Christ's sacrifice. "Prince of Glory" is only name used and that is found in verse. Prince of Glory Reference to Jesus as the Prince of Peace Lord, You, He, Prince of Peace This is a trope (chorus) of Isaac Watts' hymn.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        I'd really strongly recommend doing this, contrary to most performances I see. The strongest words (if not the most repeated) are in the verses. And this becomes much more musically interesting if the whole body sings the whole thing. The original hymn is well known. Both the older tune(verse) and the new tune (chorus) are singable. Original key ok. Tune and text of verse may be familiar to congregation (not all 4 verses used). Range of an octave. Easy to learn, though syncopation in chorus needs a strong/confident teacher/leader. It is a hymn with an added chorus A traditional contemporary song that is relatively well known.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Most performances I see of this give the verses to a soloist (whether Redman or Tomlin), but the singing is so disengaged that it seems boring. It's clear for them they're using the old lyrics just to get to what they really care about-- the chorus. Solo verse. Congregation chorus. Congregation sings the vs., band or small ensemble sings chorus

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Flexible arrangement possibilities. Needs something stronger at the chorus. Works best with a full band because it drags so much when done acoustically. Pedal d bass in verse could be played using cello or bass. Other strings could also accompany. could use organ on verses and band on chorus Typically depends on a band for color and dyanmics but it is possible to do this with either guitar or keyboard.

Because He Lives / Commend Score = 3.73333

Holding "our newborn baby" may be difficult for those with fertility issues or those who have lost a young child. The words themselves are self-referential, but I think most experience this song as evocative-- seeking and finding a union with the risen Jesus they confess as they sing it. Verse 2 is problematic on a lot of levels, but the Gaithers have already authorized changes to make it at least a little more workable (even if some of those changes, such as those in the UMH, don't really make sense). While Bill and Gloria are still alive, maybe it would be good to propose to them an alternate verse 2 that avoids all these problems. Such as "How great to watch our children growing, and feel the pride and joy they give

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.65)
        • Love: 3.66667
        • Time: 3.83333
        • Means of Grace: 5
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3.66667
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 4
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 1
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.33333)
        • Gender: 3.28571
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.16667
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.28571
        • Covenantal: 3
        • Relational: 8
        • Metaphorical: 2
        • You / Other: 1
        • Evocative: 7
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 9
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.3)
        • Singability: 4.44444
        • Tune 2 Text: 4.3
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 5
        • Entrance: 1
        • Word/Response: 9
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 6
        • Sending: 5
        • Piano / Keyboard: 7
        • Piano / Organ: 8
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 7
        • Band: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Involves at least the first two persons of the Trinity with no confusion. This song is one of the few that actually uses as its central naming practices the very biblical terms of God and God's Son. Though the song refers to the baby as "he", it continues with "this child". Since it seems to be a story land not referencing all humans, I don't see it as problematic with regard to gender. Very traditional-Father/Son language Christ centered. no mention of the Spirit Jesus, He Brief telling of salvation story through a much loved Gospel song

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        the song barely punches the Eb, which is doable for most men and women when they're not thinking about it too much. The whole congregation can sing this, and generally seems to prefer to. Original key OK. Could be lowered to G if high Eb is problematic. This memorable song is widely familiar to most congregation. The vocal range is appropriate for most congregation.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        soloist or ensemble on verses w/ choir and/or congregation on refrains. Verses can be given to soloists, chorus to congregation. verse= solo; refrain = congregation Congregation sings chorus, soloist on Verses.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        This certainly has been done as a solo, but it's well enough known that folks are likely to sing at least on the chorus.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        It sounds "old school" (because it is), but would work well for churches that try to walk the line of "traditional and contemporary" Flexible arrangements possible descant with strings or ww could be added. Can be played by most instruments.

Jesus Messiah / Commend Score = 3.7325

A rare modern communion song. Focuses in a limited way on the meanings of communion, particularly on the death of Jesus, but does that quite well. Musical motifs are very short creating a disconnected melodic line. Repetitive melodic, chordal and rhythmic material. Numerous metaphors and names for Jesus used. I like that the sacrament of communion (in this song) is rooted in love for the world

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.93167)
        • Love: 4.2
        • Time: 3.42857
        • Means of Grace: 4
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 4
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 5
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 4
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.41667)
        • Gender: 3.625
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.42857
        • Covenantal: 3
        • Relational: 4
        • Metaphorical: 4
        • You / Other: 2
        • Evocative: 8
        • Accompaniment: 3
        • Self-Referential: 2
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.65)
        • Singability: 3.75
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.7
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 4
        • Entrance: 3
        • Word/Response: 6
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 8
        • Sending: 2
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 2
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 7
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        While focused entirely on Jesus, it does so in biblically sound ways. Full of colorful metaphors for Jesus. God named 1x - collapsed into Jesus An otherwise strong song in terms of the language and naming practices has one slight slippage in that it would have been more consistent to have referred to Christ as "Lord," not "God," in the bridge. Nice paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 5. AND - one of the few sacramental references! There are several themes of atonement going on without developing any of them. Howeer all are within the framework of Wesleyan theology. Jesus ("You") Redeemer, Emmanuel, Light of the World, God, Jesus It would be interesting to see if this could be communion song especially 2nd stanza. Its textual imagery is interesting at times.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Transpose down to A or A-flat. Original key too high. Lower to F major - still bright and within comfortable congregational singing range. Very repetitive melody - easy to teach Melody is choppy. - very short little phrases. needs to be lowered in key. original key needs to be lowered. Bridge has a big interval jump, lyrically The range is suitable for congregation, the melody is relatively easy

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Solo/band verse; congregation chorus if original key lowered solo on Vs., congregation on Chorus

      • Solo Singability Comments

        The range is way too high making it out of reach.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Somewhat flexible, but with long holds it needs something to drive rhythm (either strums or drums) Very repetitive motifs in each section. Without accompaniment harmony and rhythm it would flop. Add acoustic instruments to add interest. Can work with almost any arrangement. drop the key This song can be presented in a variety of instruments.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness / Commend Score = 3.705

A gem that might seem too individualistic (for some), but one that has proven to be an excellent hymn sung in many different languages and applying to many different cultures. Strong song of personal and corporate praise for God's faithfulness. It alternates between evocative and self-referential, but not in confusing ways. Verse 2 is almost entirely evocative. There are minimal passing references to other themes but they are so brief that I did not include them in keywords. st. 1 - Nature of God. St. 2- creation. St. 3 - salvation and presence One would be hard-pressed to find a congregation not familiar with this hymn. Text and singability have made this a long-time favorite. great hymn that could be used as crossover

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.60167)
        • Love: 3.71429
        • Time: 3.85714
        • Means of Grace: 3.75
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3.4
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 4
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 3
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.21667)
        • Gender: 3.28571
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.22222
        • Covenantal: 8
        • Relational: 4
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 3
        • Evocative: 8
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.4)
        • Singability: 4.77778
        • Tune 2 Text: 4.2
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 6
        • Solo: 5
        • Entrance: 7
        • Word/Response: 9
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 8
        • Sending: 4
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 8
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 6
        • Band: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        "all I hath needed thy hand hath provided" is not always a true reality for many people with lower socioeconomic statuses. Father AS Covenantal God, in a text based on Lamentations. This hymn from the early 20th century is exceptional among contemporary songs by naming God the Father but not Jesus Christ. The song is addressed strictly to God the Father. God is named as Father. Jesus and Spirit are implied but not named. Use of Thee, Thy, Thou is archaic. One reference to "God my Father (scriptural)," but no blatant uses of "he" Lord God God, Lord A traditional hymn that is widely used across denominational lines. The language is archaic.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Has worked well as a congregational hymn for nearly a century. Original key is good. Could be lowered no more than one step. If raised, no more than 1/2 step for congregation Congregational Hymn Familiar to most congregations

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        great arrangements can be done with choirs in leading the verses, with the full congregation in the refrain. Any one verse (especially 1 or 3) could easily function as a solo, with chorus as congregational. soloist verse, congregation refrain Soloist on Verses Choir on Refrain It is possible to sing this as a hybrid with the solo on the verses and the people on the stanza as in camp meeting style.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        There are plenty of strong solo arrangements for this. It is possible to sing this as a solo

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Can be done many ways

Christ Is Risen / Commend Score = 3.68833

One of the few praise songs that utilizes a Victor-themed atonement theory. Because of that reason alone, I've done this song multiple times. Uses both scripture and ancient liturgy (the Easter troparion from the mass of Chrysostom) to proclaim the resurrection and to exhort the people to confession and life in the Risen Lord. This isn't anti-Wesleyan, but both Wesley and the Orthodox liturgy quoted don't stop with resurrection and justifiction, but move on to entire holiness (theosis) in Easter praise. And it only gets a 3 on love because it seems to limit love to Christ's death, and not his action in resurrection (replaced by "in strength you reign). So it doesn't get the Wesley checkbox. Could be used as a mid-pack entrance hymn at Easter (verse is a bit too intimate and slow for an opening song, unless it's a more contemplative service from the start), or a song leading into prayers later in the service, or a song of thanksgiving during or after communion. An exceptionally strong song in picking up New Testament echoes on proclaiming the victorious, saving work of Christ in both death and resurrection. Even though there is a great deal of syncopation in this song, the tempo and the extensive repetition help the congregation internalize the rhythm quickly. There doesn't seem to be enough melodic variance in the melody, though, to make this a very memorable tune. Also, because of the wide range, the ideal key is D, which puts the vast majority of the song in a low range. The only way to use a higher key would be to have the congregation sing some of the harmonic (as opposed to melodic) material within the bridge and later choruses. Repetitive motives and chords - may be easy to teach and learn, but how interesting is melody for the long run? This is a resurection song and how Christ now lives in us Video Reference: https://youtu.be/ptqVzhVSUPE

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.75167)
        • Love: 3.14286
        • Time: 3.75
        • Means of Grace: 4
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3.88889
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 5
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 4
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.45)
        • Gender: 3.57143
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.33333
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.5
        • Covenantal: 2
        • Relational: 7
        • Metaphorical: 0
        • You / Other: 5
        • Evocative: 6
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.8)
        • Singability: 3.88889
        • Tune 2 Text: 4
        • All congregational: 8
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 4
        • Entrance: 6
        • Word/Response: 8
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 7
        • Sending: 3
        • Piano / Keyboard: 7
        • Piano / Organ: 0
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 7
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        The instrumentation brings out the lyrical emphases. The bridge, particularly, is quite celebratory and awe-filled. A Christ hymn through and through. The reference to "our God is not dead, he's alive" is a reference to Jesus, which in context of resurrection and Thomas's confession is workable if not ideal. (Our Lord is not dead would be better, perhaps). The naming practices in this song, which has very strong content, names Christ and him as "you." Exclusively Christological. Strong in Wesleyan theme for holding forth freedom--no need to remain in sin, God has defeated the night, etc. Heaven is personified to be God. About Christ. God is mentioned 1x but could be interpreted as a substitute name for Christ. Mentions Christ and God, but the Holy Sprit is absent Christ, He A retelling of the work of Christ. Has a strong Pauline theological perspective of God's salvific work.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Needs to be lowered. Doable, so long as the congregation is not expected to sing the high G (make that a descant rather than having the lead vocalist do it). Original key too high when it gets to bridge. If cong sings, lower to E or Eb. Verse is bascally 3 notes. Entire song uses very repetitive motives The song is sufficiently repetitive in its musical structure and can be managed by most congregation. One caveat would be the range and may need to be lowered.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Probably the best way-- verse 1 to soloist, along with bridge the first time, rest to congregation. The bridge does goes high in the melody line in the original. Congregation joins in on the chorus all on chorus

      • Solo Singability Comments

        Can work, and for the really high notes (if they will be sung, the score doesn't make them mandatory) probably this is the way to do at least those parts. Acoustic guitar is all that's needed for this. If in original key, solo would be best.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        A powerful, modern Easter song. The only problem I have with this is that the music is not celebratory enough for me. Flexible depending on group size. The larger the group, the more a band (acoustic or otherwise) becomes necessary to sustain the repetitions and a congregation in singing them. From the reference video featuring Matt Maher himself, this song need not have a band. Nonetheless having one would enlarge performative possibilities.

We Believe / Commend Score = 3.67667

Only okay on gender, because there's not a reason to give Holy Spirit male gender. Mark onl okay also on Culture/Stereotype for reference to "when all is dark. Suggest replacement with "when light is dim" or "no light shines" or something like that. A strong affirmation of Trinitarian faith and the basics of the Christian faith, but tries to gain power musically cheaply by octave jump rather than compelling melodic line. A Statement of Faith - both belief and action. Kingdom of God here and now. A corporate, Triune address of our beliefs. Easy melody; very singable. But the chorus is a bit confusing

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.67833)
        • Love: 3.71429
        • Time: 4.66667
        • Means of Grace: 3.33333
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3.83333
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3.5
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 4
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (4)
        • Gender: 3.5
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.8
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 4.55556
        • Covenantal: 4
        • Relational: 8
        • Metaphorical: 0
        • You / Other: 1
        • Evocative: 5
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.35)
        • Singability: 3.22222
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.55556
        • All congregational: 6
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 6
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 2
        • Word/Response: 9
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 4
        • Sending: 3
        • Piano / Keyboard: 6
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 6
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Explicit Trinitarian affirmation. This song is based on the main affirmations of the Apostles Creed, which makes it very, very exceptional within the larger body of contemporary songs. The clear affirming of all three Persons of the Trinity characterizes much classic worship materials bu Somewhat modalistic. An affirmation naming all persons of Trinity. Traditional use of God as Father rather than more inclusive name. We believe in the Holy Spirit

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        the melodic range is very wide. If song is sung in low octave, some notes too low. Raising key makes the high notes too high for congregation. Syncoation of the verse is a challenge for congregation. Octave jump might be hard for the males in the congregation. But I suppose they don't have to. this is a "we" song. It should be sung but the congregation. drop key I think this is a singable song except for a section where the melody is sung an octave higher. If the song leader is able to mitigate this dramatic effect in favour of the congregation's tessitura, this would would be accessible.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Verse 1 (at least) solo, chorus can be all congregation. Bridge either needs to be doubled or the whole thing needs to be transposed down-- but probably the former, because the church can't "live loud" on low notes. The verses are so low and seem like a set-up to the congregation on the chorus. Solo: Verses; All: Chorus/Bridge It is possible to alternate soloists with congregation

      • Solo Singability Comments

        wide range of melody and the difficulty of a workable transposition makes solo/band a good option No! This song can also sung as a solo clearly demonstrated in the video.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        A very versatile song. While this song is conceived for band, it is possible to use other instrumentation. Its modified verse-chorus form is its strength. Equally important is its limited vocal range. Video reference: https://youtu.be/WjZ01FcK0yk?list=RDWjZ01FcK0yk

How Deep The Father's Love For Us / Commend Score = 3.675

A rare newish cross hymn with a very singable and lovely tune. This COULD be read as Penal Substitutionary Atonement, but needn't be. The Father turning the face away fits with the cry of forsakenness from the cross. The language is more biblical than polemically PSA. The technique found in verse 2 of placing the singer within the biblical story at the foot of the cross is something done by Charles Wesley and adds a dynamic sense of time to this song. This song only speaks of atonement as some kind of transaction. It also indicates that God's love is only demonstrated in Jesus' death and resurrection. st. 1 - "The Father turns his face away" reads as a denial of God's love. In this song, Stuart Townend has done a beautiful job of making the pain and paradox of the cross very personal. I just wish the words were a bit more gender-inclusive. I appreciate the melodic nod to "Near the Cross" (m. 2) and the ability Townend has to use a tune in 5/4 time. Ideal key is F. Song must be sung through all three verses, in order, for the song to make sense. love in title only, ransom atonement This is a present day hymn that is thoughtfully crafted that I think UMC can consider.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.58333)
        • Love: 3.55556
        • Time: 3.77778
        • Means of Grace: 4
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3.5
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 4
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 6
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.18333)
        • Gender: 2.5
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.5
        • Covenantal: 4
        • Relational: 8
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 1
        • Evocative: 7
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 7
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.35)
        • Singability: 4.55556
        • Tune 2 Text: 4.25
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 1
        • Solo: 6
        • Entrance: 0
        • Word/Response: 8
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 7
        • Sending: 1
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 5
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 8
        • Band: 4
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Father and Son interacting at the cross To name two Persons of the Trinity and to have them work in cooperation for our salvation is an exceptional thing in contemporary worship songs. I think this song should be commended for doing so. "Bring many sons to glory" is problematic. What about daughters and other folks not confined to a gender binary? // On another note, I do enjoy the notion of my voice calling out among the scoffers - a very powerful image. exclusively male reference to God. The Father and Son are in relationship but the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. Missing the Holy Spirit. Reference to God and He-His, and Jesus God/Jesus This song has strong theological underpinning on the salvation plan of God via John 3:16.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Pitched just a tad low. Very congregational. Beautiful melody. original key OK, but could be raised 1 or 1.5 steps. Singable, memorable and lovely melody. 5/4 meter adds interest. Melody could stand alone w/o accompaniment. Stuctured as a hymn - congregtional friendly. It is an effective melody that is suitable for congregation.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Choir arrangement for refrains would be nice

      • Solo Singability Comments

        Could be a solo, too, but works very well as a hymn. would make a beautiful solo. Could also be sung as a solo

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Flexible. This song doesn't require overpowering accompaniment. Can work with almost any arrangement. legato strings or woodwinds. Add a descant. A song that can use a variety of instruments including band but its character is better suited for acoustic rather than amplified instruments. Keep the accompaniment simple - https://youtu.be/3IQUXJ_H16Y

Our God Saves / Commend Score = 3.65278

A very simplistic song with a Trinitarian theme (not necessarily a Trinitarian address) emphasizing God's salvific nature and the hope therein. It is very corporate, easily singable, and can work with a variety of arrangements (across a variety of skill levels). A strong, generic first in set, call to worship song, though I find the chorus a bit disappointing relative to the sort of textual power I would have expected from the opening. Mentions all parts of trinity. Use of rhyme and off rhyme. Text is trying to fit an already existing melody. "mourning turn to songs of praise" seems non sequitor. God saves what and for what? Great opening song! Could be used doxologically. Ideal key is D. no love Video Reference: https://youtu.be/W3INVZuruRE

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.22222)
        • Love: 4
        • Time: 3.25
        • Means of Grace: 3.33333
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 1
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (4.22222)
        • Gender: 4
        • Culture & Stereotype: 5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 4.33333
        • Covenantal: 2
        • Relational: 8
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 2
        • Evocative: 7
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 4
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.94444)
        • Singability: 4.22222
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.66667
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 2
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 9
        • Word/Response: 4
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 4
        • Sending: 4
        • Piano / Keyboard: 7
        • Piano / Organ: 0
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 7
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Highlights the salvation of God from the corporate perspective. The song is exceptional in naming all three Persons of the Godhead Stronger trinitarian emphasis Actual Trinitarian references used well. All parts of trinity named. Invokes the whole Trinity Trinity! You All three present in song The personhood of God is explicitly named. A call to worship type of song. Slight anthropocentric.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        The lack of a bridge brings a simplicity to this song that makes it easier for congregational singing as compared to some other songs. Intended primarily as an all-congregation song. Might could be raised by a step (from D to E) to avoid the falling out on the low side in the verse (A below middle C). musical motives are very repetitive. Original key OK. This is a song with suitable vocal range and rhythm for congregation. Melody is not quite imaginative. Music is primarily guitar and drum driven. Sounds tired.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        Very repetitive - add interest with instruments if solo

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Can work with almost any arrangement. 5 Could be just acoustic (guitars) but needs extra volume and rhythmic support for the chorus. Band needed for larger venues. So repetitive melodically - needs rhythm and harmony to give interest. While it can be played with a variety of instruments, this song needs the drive of a band.

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) / Commend Score = 3.65104

transpose down, maybe D to F, could work during reception of communion, Psalm 103; Mostly self-referential, but verse 2 is evocative; easily used with a wide range of instruments, not Wesley Checkbox but Methodists would gladly sing it Evocative. Covenantal. If viewed through lens of Psalm 103 condensed - the Psalm is blessing God for God's love, compassion, mercy and faithfulness. I would suggest lowering the key to Eb major. The refrain could be used as a congregational response during prayer. Could be used to teach Psalm 103 to children in choir or Sunday School. Accompaniment - piano; piano/guitar; add cello and violin for bass and a simple descant line. Could stand to be transposed down a few keys to make it more accessible for female voices. As much as this is overdone, I still like the musical qualities about it the best. The best key for congregational singing is F. Even though the text never mentions the words "God" or "Jesus," the refrain can still be used as a Psalm response, particularly with Psalm 103. This song is one of the few that mentions the extent of human frailty, even by its acknowledgement of death. Thus it is one of the few that picks up the notion found in many 18th and 19th century hymns of Christian worship as a long journey of discipleship and commitment.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.71875)
        • Love: 3.57143
        • Time: 4
        • Means of Grace: 2
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 0
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 2
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.10417)
        • Gender: 3
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.4
        • Covenantal: 6
        • Relational: 1
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 2
        • Evocative: 6
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 3
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (4.0625)
        • Singability: 4.28571
        • Tune 2 Text: 4
        • All congregational: 7
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 4
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 6
        • Word/Response: 6
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 5
        • Sending: 2
        • Piano / Keyboard: 4
        • Piano / Organ: 2
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 4
        • Band: 4
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Only uses "Lord" as a reference to the Divine. It's unclear which person(s) of the Trinity this song is addressing. Gender for people: none since oriented to self ("my"). Part of song is evocative (verses). Frequently mentions "you" and "his" This song is influenced strongly by language of the Psalms and so the naming of God relies upon the use of "Lord."

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Lots of repetition. Easy melody for verses and chorus. Great contour and motivic quality Lower from original key

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        v4, for example, is a good solo verse with a congregational response in the chorus lower from original key

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Flexible arrangements possible

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