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
Holy Spirit / Commend Score = 3.03333

Function: evocative AND self referential (especially verse 2, chorus and bridge)-- chorus could be used as an epiclesis at baptism, communion or ordination, but is so focused on our collective feeling rather than the Spirit's action that it probably should not be; I might have ranked love higher, but the performance practice privileges the chorus and bridge way above the verses. A song asking for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the here-and-now. Not a very common occurrence in christian worship music. About singer's feelings/emotion, and his/her desire for the Spirit's presence. Assumes God is invited rather that the worshiper entering into everlasting worship/presence of God. No mention of God's love. Melody is not lyrical, and is rather segmented. Some use of rhyme and off rhyme, but with such repetition in the melody, one would wonder which came first - melody or words. Rarely has a song been this bold as to ask God solely for an emotional experience. The question is- What does "overcome by your presence" mean? This almost seems to be code talk for a charismatic encounter with the Holy Spirit (speaking in tongues, slain in the Spirit, etc.). It is still vague, however. The melody of this song is very accessible. Ideal key is F. This song is all about the Holy Spirit. Very rare in an ocean of songs that give a nod to God and Jesus, but not much time on the full trinity. simple chord progression and consistent melody line allows this to be a versitile piece in instrumentation. no love Entitled "Holy Spirit" but the lyrical content is more about the singer yearning for an esctatic experience that an encounter with God can provide. It does not really address the reason God would want to encounter the people i.e. to bring forth change.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (2.825)
        • Love: 3.33333
        • Time: 3.2
        • Means of Grace: 2.5
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 2.8
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 2
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.08333)
        • Gender: 3.71429
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 2.625
        • Covenantal: 2
        • Relational: 7
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 5
        • Evocative: 5
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 9
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.4)
        • Singability: 3.75
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.2
        • All congregational: 8
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 3
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 8
        • Word/Response: 6
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 6
        • Sending: 1
        • Piano / Keyboard: 6
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 7
        • Band: 7
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Focus on the presence of the Holy Spirit but in a way that doesn't worship the Spirit, but seeks the "contact high" of the Presence of God. So the work of the Spirit is reduced to a group feeling. Mr Wesley would have called this "enthusiasm" in the worst sense. Cannot commend. This song is very, very exceptional among contemporary worship songs by being so focused on the Holy Spirit. One wonders, however, if the Lord and God mentioned to in the song refer to the Spirit to one of the other Persons of the Trinity. If the latter Mixture of Holy Spirit, God, and Lord

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Range works for all voices, though very limited, trance-like melodic range and feel. Needs a worship leader. And a key lowering. Original key ok, but one step lower would be more comfortable for congregational singing. Melodic range is limited, melody, harmony and rhythm are all repetitive with little imagination and variation between verse/chorus/bridge. very predictable melody line. The melody is rather monotonous. In the video, https://youtu.be/Y0q47ZL-Yis , it functions as a pre-esctastic phenomenon song. It is possible to sing this as a call to worship or invocation.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        solo/verse. Congregation chorus and bridge.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        I've sung this "over" our communion time in the times we've done a more reflective communion instead of pure celebration. boring melody for a soloist. Would be better to have congregational participation in some way.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Band needed because of limited range of tune Wouldn't work for organ. Too much empty space. Helps to have a band to capture the dynamics, but not needed. A simple song and has a specific function of invocation within the contemporary worship style that could launch the service or serves as a penultimate song to a time of extemporaneous "singing in the spirit." To that end, the use of guitar or a worship ba

Holy Is The Lord / Commend Score = 3.18917

Verse is self-referential, chorus mostly evocative. Could work as an entrance song (probably first in set, or if last, getting quieter and slower as it comes to the end). Could also work, if without repeat of the verse and too many repeats of the bridge as the Sanctus for the Great Thanksgiving. A simple song of praise for God's work in the world and God's power and majesty on display. Phrase 1 - we stand and lift our hands (note melody descends); Phrase 2 - we bow down (note that melody ascends). This is a worship workout. Song is all about joy/ecstacy of praise. Not about response to God's goodness/love/ mercy/grace. Could be use as a communion song. Language is heavily androcentric. "He" and "him" appear frequently (in relation to the Lord God). Singability is also not the best, although many people know this song. Rhythms are quite syncopated, and the key should be lowered enough that the highest note should be D or Eb. If the highest note is E, the presence of that note on the long note in the bridge, in the midst of syncopations, strongly influences people to not sing it. Keys of G or Ab are encouraged. This song does not have deep substance othter than stating that the Lord is Holy. great song for crossover/mashup with Holy, Holy, Holy

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.17)
        • Love: 4
        • Time: 3.75
        • Means of Grace: 3.5
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3.14286
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 1
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (2.66667)
        • Gender: 2.75
        • Culture & Stereotype: 2.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 2.77778
        • Covenantal: 7
        • Relational: 1
        • Metaphorical: 2
        • You / Other: 1
        • Evocative: 7
        • Accompaniment: 0
        • Self-Referential: 7
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.75)
        • Singability: 3.88889
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.625
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 4
        • Solo: 1
        • Entrance: 9
        • Word/Response: 4
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 2
        • Sending: 2
        • Piano / Keyboard: 7
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 6
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Seems to be consistent Covenant God, Isaiah 6 Although a very singable song and very popular at one time, this song is essentially another power song. In other words, it doesn't say much about God except by affirming notions of exceptional power and strength. It's too bad that "awesome" has taken on such a trite connotation in recent decades. Could name God instead of using "Him". Text seems to infer from Isaiah 6. Rather than the temple filled with God's glory, it is the earth. Rference to Lord God and He pronoun Lord, He

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        This song needs to be lowered in key to compensate for the high bridge. Would be easier to sing one step down -Lower to G. Part of the song could potentially be adapted to communion liturgy. This is a traditional contemporary song. song actually says "together we sing

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        appears to be primary intended use, especially with cue "and together we sing/everyone sing" possible. But just lower the key and have congregation sing it all. bridge - solo

      • Instrumentation Comments

        If no drums, do something with guitar or something to add rhythm second time through verse The quick chord changes make the song sound cheesy, but nothing you can really do about it. Melodic material is repetitive, memorable and singable enough to learn easily. Best suited for band but it is possible to use either keyboard or guitar to accompany. Not ideal but possible given the need for a driving bass ostinato line over 3 chords (A-D-E).

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.

Breathe / Commend Score = 3.52778

For many, the intimacy of the song is just "too much." The word "desperate" has negative relational connotations now. However, the intimacy is well within our Christian tradition and even in our Wesleyan heritage, so it shouldn't be dismissed for that reason. We should dismiss it for other reasons. :) This song reflects common themes coming from Vineyard songwriters: intensity and intimacy. It would be a stronger song if it had more biblical content to give a firmer identity to this "you" that the worshiper is desparate for. If entrance, at the end of the set before prayer time. Could be a response to the sermon. If the language were slightly shifted the second time through to "your blood and body, given for me" could be an accompaniment hymn for distribution of communion. "Breathe" is a modern prayer song, and it helps fulfill that purpose by presenting images of the means of grace (particularly searching the scriptures and even holy communion) in a singable range that never gets too high or low. One could argue the chorus sounds like a love song, but it never moves too far out of the realm of theological acceptability. God not named - Spirit and Jesus are implied. Prayer. Use as a call or response to prayer. no love Video Reference: story of the song - https://youtu.be/Zb0F8pQ5p98 songwriter - https://youtu.be/ehSYvFALU5o

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.5)
        • Love: 0
        • Time: 3.33333
        • Means of Grace: 3.4
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 4
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3.5
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 2
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.16667)
        • Gender: 4
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3
        • Covenantal: 0
        • Relational: 4
        • Metaphorical: 0
        • You / Other: 8
        • Evocative: 2
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 9
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.94444)
        • Singability: 4.22222
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.75
        • All congregational: 7
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 4
        • Solo: 6
        • Entrance: 3
        • Word/Response: 9
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 8
        • Sending: 1
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 8
        • Band: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Obviously very intimate language. "You" is the only way that this song addresses the divine object of worship. This naming practice combined with the cultural romantic images in the chorus which are reinforced by the music could lead some to think of this as an erotic song. The referenc Unclear who YOU is. When she performs it, she adds "Jesus" or "Lord." It generally works. "Holy presence" points toward the Holy Spirit without using the language. I, however, don't see it as harmful to the image of the Holy Spirit. God is not mentioned. Jesus and Spirit references. Metaphors - air, bread. You Only references "holy" and You A song that calls on God from a position of desperate need as recounted on the background of the song by the songwriter (see video link)

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        congregation could get lost in all the melisma I marked it congregational because it could be sung fairly easily but it's not appropriatefor a congregation to sing becaue it has such intimate, even erotic overtones. original key ok. Short phrases easy to sing and remember. This song is relatively well known. A traditional contemporary worship song. It has vocal range and rhythm for congregation to sing. It is imperative to remember that the score is a highly quantized transcription and thus far too complex as a print form.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Solo first time through, then congregation.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        works best as a solo song This is really primarily a solo piece.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Could be somewhat flexible use different instruments to "improvise" during rests after/between phrases. This song is suitable for a variety of instrumentation.

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

Come As You Are / Commend Score = 3.44643

Even though this song doesn't hit themes of love, or deal with time, or even address God, it's much in the genre of invitation songs, including invitation to communion songs, by Charles Wesley-- hence the Strong Wesleyan Perspective checkbox. "Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast" plus "Come, Ye Disconsolate" lie close in the background here. God is not referenced here- there is some ambiguity with the personification of "Earth" and "Heaven." The main focus is on the action at the table. The meaning of "Lay down your heart" is not clear. Singability is an issue here because of the octave leap at the chorus. However, a creative way to work around this is to set the key in F and sing the entire song in the beginning range of the verse. The lilt can help make this feel like a folksong, which might add spirit to the singing. This song is rather exceptional in contemporary worship songs but much more like many classic hymns in that the thrust of the song is not to praise God or even address prayer of some sort to God but the thrust is to speak to other people by inviting them to experience heavenly comfort and grace. The reference to the table makes a possible use as an invitational song to Communion possible. This song is versatile insofar as it can be used during the Entrance as a welcoming/preparatory hymn or as a response to the Word as a commitment hymn. The only problem I have with the song is the potential mixing of messages: "come as you are," but lay aside your hurt. That's clearly not the intent of the song, but it could be confusing to some. The only other problem regarding congregational singing is the singing of multiple long-held notes in the chorus. With a strong band, people will be more inclined to sing boldly. But with a more pared down version, I can imagine congregants being more timid with those notes in the chorus. Interesting to see the use of Thomas Moore's text, Come Ye Disconsolate particularly its last line of stanzas 1 and 2. (http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/c/y/d/cydiscon.htm). Seems to confirm the trend of current songwriters working on crafting songs that draw from works of the past. Some successful and others not quite. interesting adaptation of the hymn "Come, Ye Disconsolate". This version does not refer to any part of the Trinity whereas the original does refer to God and the Holy Spirit as Comforter. Could be a secular or sacred song.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.54762)
        • Love: 3
        • Time: 0
        • Means of Grace: 3.8
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 4
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 3
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.2619)
        • Gender: 3.6
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.25
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3
        • Covenantal: 0
        • Relational: 2
        • Metaphorical: 3
        • You / Other: 3
        • Evocative: 3
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.42857)
        • Singability: 3.28571
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.57143
        • All congregational: 5
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 4
        • Entrance: 3
        • Word/Response: 6
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 4
        • Sending: 0
        • Piano / Keyboard: 6
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 5
        • Band: 6
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        "Heaven" is periphrasis for God. Not primarily addressed to God, but to sinners "Heaven" seems to be the nomenclature for God here. The song is very subtle in its images of God. Other than a reference to Heaven and the use of the masculine possessive pronoun (his from "His arms"), there's no explicit naming of the divine. Once again, an entire song is sung to no one named. "Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't cure" is a lovely line (from "Come, Ye Disconsolate") but if there are no other designators, this is so loose as to belong to another religion. Quite honestly, ther God seems to be referred to as "Heaven" throughout the song; a nice juxtaposition to "earth's" sorrow. The lyrics with hospitality essence comes close to being an invitation for communion with its imagery of "come sit at the table." While not expressly Wesleyan, it comes close. Text is coherent. Not directed to any part of Trinity, but imagining that God is isuing the invitation to "come".

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        This could function as a classic "invitation hymn" sung by the whole congregation. MAYBE transpose down one step. I would take out the bridge to make this more all-congregational. This song comes close to a congregational song genre. Three stanzas with a refrain. The melodic upturn on the words "burden" and "broken" at the chorus is awkward. Nonetheless, it is singable for most congregations. Ok for congregation though it sits high in the range. Lower to B or Bb.Wide range, so too much movement in ke yis not possible.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Could be mostly congregational, with Band taking the bridge and maybe the first verse and chorus Like many of the contemporary worship songs the difficult issue for the average singer is the range in the melody that a worshiper will be expectd to negotiate. While the chorus is accessible, the verses are easier for a leader to sing; they are rhymically challenging for the average congregation. use worship leader for first stanza and the bridge. The song includes a lot of long-held notes, which makes the worship leader's role more important. If congregation sings the refrain- it's high. Need to lower a 1/2 or whole step.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        As a performance piece during an invitation or communion could be used as an invitational / centering song of repentance The song work well as a solo for communion or invocation for prayer ministry. Wide melodic range - ok for soloist

      • Instrumentation Comments

        I can see strings working well with any arrangement of the song. Or it can be done in a more power-ballad way. Song can be rendered by a variety of instruments. Possibilities for the addition of other accompanying instruments. strings would work nicely.

Revelation Song / Commend Score = 3.28667

Revelation uses the king of kings language only twice (17:14, 19:16), and king of the nations just once (17:3), so the king language here seems excessive with many repetitions of the chorus; goes back and forth between self-referential and evocative. My sense is which is would actually be EXPERIENCED as would depend on the specific arrangement and accompaniment. May seem more evocative with a fuller accompaniment, more self-referential (even in the explicitly evocative sections) with a quieter, more intimate accompaniment. very poor text/tune fit; phrases broken up in awkward and inappropriate places; incomplete sentences seem random - like trying to find words/images to make a song; syllable emphasis is sometimes in the wrong place; very repetive 4 chord progression - no variation throughout the entire song; Accompaniment - needs variety of instrumentation or variety of rhythm to make it interesting. COuld potentially use the chorus as a response to liturgy or scripture reading. The pairing of the sanctus with Jesus' power and majesty is fine

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.39)
        • Love: 3
        • Time: 3.85714
        • Means of Grace: 3
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 1
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.11667)
        • Gender: 3.4
        • Culture & Stereotype: 4
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3
        • Covenantal: 4
        • Relational: 5
        • Metaphorical: 3
        • You / Other: 6
        • Evocative: 7
        • Accompaniment: 3
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.25)
        • Singability: 3.25
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.3
        • All congregational: 3
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 5
        • Solo: 3
        • Entrance: 4
        • Word/Response: 6
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 7
        • Sending: 1
        • Piano / Keyboard: 8
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 6
        • Band: 7
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Binitarian (Spirit is missing). Trinitarian collapse is readable, if not intended, in verse 1-- The one who sits upon the throne in Revelation is the Father, not the Lamb. Song about Jesus but some reference to Lord God Almighty. "King" language is common. Refers to Jesus and God as well as directing phrases to "You" collapse - God/Jesus Draws on metaphors that are typical in eucharistic setting aside from the book of Revelation.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        If sung as written, rhythm in verses if complex for congregation. Original key ok. Syllable emphasis is awkward. Needs the assistance of a worship leader. The harmonies to this song are difficult and do not sound good. This song could easily be used as service music (Santus-Benediction) on certain occasions.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        tune is a bit muddy in places, hard to find, but singable IF the soloist/band will sing it straight on verse 1 and chorus and keep it straight at least through verse 2; chorus could be taken out and used as a doxology solo = verses; congregation = refrain verse - solo, chorus - all

      • Solo Singability Comments

        Not a good solo song.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Needs some sort of continuo to keep it going, especially through the verses Entire song is repeated 4 chord progression. Works better with a band, but can be done with one instrument. While it can be presented using a variety of instruments, preference would be for a band particlarly in the chorus in contrast with solo instrumentation on the verses.

Set A Fire / Commend Score = 3.16204

A sanctifying song, in many ways. Though it does not explicitely mention the Holy Spirit, the fire imagery helps the worshipper petition for God's sanctifying grace. The song actually says little about God, which by itself doesn't disqualify this song for use in Christian worship. The song is a strong statement of desire and resolve on the part of the worshiper to be indwelt by God more fully. The structure and lyrics lend themself to liturgical emotion and resolve. Judiciously placed within a broader liturgical context this song could be a useful expression of renewed dedication on the part of the worshipers. A cyclical song. Could work well toward the end of an opening set (before prayer time), as a response to the word, or as a song during communion. This one gets the Strong Wesleyan Perspective checkbox for its desire to abide in God's love. This is hard to classify: I want more of you. Song seems like a response to something. Not much textual content. Personal desire for a highly emotional experience of God. God serves the emotional need of the singer. I applaud the inclusion of a basic, cyclic structure within this modern catalog. This is not much different than the cyclic songs from Iona or Taize. It doesn't "say" much, but it does function like a proper breath prayer. Very limited melodic contour, but it is driven by rhythm more than melody. Ideal key is G-A. Taize-esque centering chorus Repetivie - can take on a modern day Tazie style. Video Reference: https://youtu.be/8dfcp3innRk

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.03704)
        • Love: 3
        • Time: 3
        • Means of Grace: 3
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3.28571
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 2
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (2.90741)
        • Gender: 4.25
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.5
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 2.5
        • Covenantal: 3
        • Relational: 1
        • Metaphorical: 0
        • You / Other: 5
        • Evocative: 1
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.66667)
        • Singability: 4
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.33333
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 2
        • Solo: 2
        • Entrance: 6
        • Word/Response: 8
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 5
        • Sending: 2
        • Piano / Keyboard: 6
        • Piano / Organ: 1
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 8
        • Band: 8
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        Written in pared down, personal prayer language. You/God, unclear which person of the Trinity to which this refers, but also no collapse. This is only about what a singer wants from God: fire. God is named. One might speculate that the fire is Holy Spirit and presence of God. God, You God A song that expresses a longing for God.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Can be used as a "tag" on a variety of other songs. What facilitates congregational singing in this piece although the rhythm appears to be complicated is that the lyrics seem like a couple of sentences loosely set to music. They are half sung and half spoken. Either transpose down to A (at least!) or double at an octave lower Melody is mostly 4 notes. Harmony is 4 repeated chords. If sung as written, sing 1 octave lower. Otherwise transpose down to A or Ab so highest note is D or Db. This song needs to be orally led rather than visually (music score). Doing the latter would complicate the learning process. The range is rather high and needs to be lowered. Even the singer on the video appears to be straining a little - even if it might

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Could work well with a choir.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        Not a good solo song. Melody is not interesting, but could be a solo.

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Requires an understanding of dynamics, but doesn't need to be a full band. Probably needs band for an extended cyclical performance, but could work just fine with acoustic/strings alone for a more intimate gathering or if there's not a felt need to do a lot of instrumental solo work Accompaniment needs to be subdued, so a band needs to take an acoustic approach and not full volume amplified.

Man Of Sorrows / Commend Score = 3.34167

Lyrically strong, but theologically problematic for Wesleyans in two significant ways. The endpoint of salvation, as emphasized in the repeated bridge, is justification already accomplished. There is no mention of sanctification or the call to live as faithful disciples of Jesus. The curse of sin DOES still have hold on us, and we spend the rest of our days trusting in Christ's power to continue to break it. I don't know what we'd need to do to fix that bridge, other than simply not sing it. Without the bridge, this could be commendable. It's an excellent hymn for Easter Vigil, for communion, or anytime the congregation is deeply focused on the cross and resurrection of Christ. A full-fledged atonement hymn that highly emphasizes transactional language. Though the music is certainly joyous for the resurrection and the refrains, the lyrics are missing a level of ecstasy that would make this more Wesleyan. Effective use of rhyme. Life, death, resurrection of Jesus. Response does not go beyond praise. Missing Spirit and sanctification. The obvious Wesleyan theological problem in this song is the reference to the "wrath of God." It seems to approach the atonement from at least a couple of different perspectives. The melody is very motivic, memorable, and singable. Ideal key is D or Eb. love is in the cross The melody of the verse and chorus is well constructed. The Bridge is not so interesting. Video Reference: https://youtu.be/s7ZJ5D5q54g

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.125)
        • Love: 3.3
        • Time: 3.4
        • Means of Grace: 4
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 2.9
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 2.5
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 2
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.26667)
        • Gender: 2.75
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3.33333
        • Covenantal: 4
        • Relational: 9
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 2
        • Evocative: 8
        • Accompaniment: 1
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.85)
        • Singability: 3.88889
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.9
        • All congregational: 9
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 7
        • Solo: 5
        • Entrance: 0
        • Word/Response: 9
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 7
        • Sending: 2
        • Piano / Keyboard: 7
        • Piano / Organ: 3
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 6
        • Band: 7
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        No Trinitarian collapse here, just missing the person and work of the Spirit A lot of transactional language. Another example of several recent songs that seek to remember and reflect on Christ's saving activity. It is interesting that this song uses archaic English (thee) in the chorus to help make a rhyme. Perhaps the most exceptional aspect to this song is t Stronger Wesleyan influence by emphasis with the curse of sin having no hold on, the Son sets free, etc. Still problematic with exlusive language for people. Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Sent from God. No mention of Spirit. Mentions love, but also wrath of God. "Men" and "Thee" could be updated. Jesus, He Missing the reference to the Holy Spirit This song delves on the love of God expressed through the passion of Christ.

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        Needs to be transposed down at least to E. Hitting the F this many times would be problematic for too many. Otherwise works on verse, chorus and bridge. Needs to be lowered. Phrasing of bridge is weird. The melodic range seems a bit high and extended for a normal congregation. Very high, short phrases interrupted by musica lrests. original key too high for congregation. Lower 1 - 2 steps - D maj would be ok. Singable and memorable melodic lines. A modified verse - chorus form that is quite easy to sing. It could easily replace "the Old Rugged Cross."

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Might give verse 1 to soloists, and bridge first time, to soloists. Rest works for congregation. Worship leader for verses, everyone for refrains and bridges Solo verse and bridge; Cong chorus. Choir or congregation joins in on bridge or chorus The soloist could do the verses with the congregation singing the chorus.

      • Solo Singability Comments

        It could be sung as a solo too

      • Instrumentation Comments

        A full band unleashes the full potential of the song, but it can be done well pared down. Chorus could be used as a response to litany or scripture.unison and part singing. Strings. While the Hillsong group uses a band to accompany the song, its song structure lends itself to be accompanied by other instruments easily. There are not so much non-vocalize gaps which makes the use of other instruments possible.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) / Commend Score = 3.375

needs the rhythmic dynamics of a percussive instrument to drive the song Australia lots of water, piano or acoustic continuo with variations in bridge, works better as recitative, learn it from a chord chart Imagery draws on Australian surf culture. Self referential, variance on instrumentation needed given the repetition. Think recitative approach. Preferred teaching sans music score. acoustic setting; Instruments: Acoustic accompaniment (violin melody then descant, cello bass, guitar, piano) Syncopation makes it challenging for congregational singing. I would take out some of the dotted rhythms to smooth out the melody This song uses confusing metaphors: 1) oceans rise & your embrace; 2) "deeper than my feet could ever wander"?? Feet don't wander in the deep oceans. What is being talked about "in the presence of my Saviour"? Now? Eternal? Near future? In worship? It's missing some key words about grace that I would like to see for the Bridge, but I still marked it as Strongly Wesleyan because of its emphasis on the Spirit leading us to cooperate in our full salvation. This song has a strong Wesleyan perspective because of the combination of personal and social holiness. The verses and chorus relate to personal holiness, and the bridge addresses personal and social holiness. The call to discipleship is strong in this song. Because of the prayerful nature of the text, a lower key is ideal. In this case, D-E.

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    • Themes
      • Theology (3.36667)
        • Love: 3
        • Time: 4
        • Means of Grace: 3.14286
        • Incarnation / Atonement: 3
        • Holy Spirit / Sanctification: 3.66667
        • Strong Wesleyan Perspective: 4
        • *Sums in gray box.
      • Language (3.31667)
        • Gender: 4.28571
        • Culture & Stereotype: 3.66667
        • Images of God / Unitarian: 3
        • Covenantal: 1
        • Relational: 5
        • Metaphorical: 1
        • You / Other: 5
        • Evocative: 1
        • Accompaniment: 2
        • Self-Referential: 5
        *Sums in gray boxes.
      • Singability (3.45)
        • Singability: 3.375
        • Tune 2 Text: 3.6
        • All congregational: 3
        • Hybrid (Solo/Congregational): 6
        • Solo: 5
        • Entrance: 2
        • Word/Response: 8
        • Thanksgiving / Communion: 3
        • Sending: 4
        • Piano / Keyboard: 5
        • Piano / Organ: 0
        • Acoustic / Guitar: 5
        • Band: 4
        *Sums in gray boxes.
    • Comments
      • Images of God Comments

        vs. contains reference to "You" and bridge leans towards "Spirit" apart from a significant Trinitarian slip in the interlude, text is decently Trinitarian, and actually references the Spirit. Consider skipping interlude or replacing with vocalese. Problematic that God the Father is not mentioned by name/title when Spirit and Savior are. Only vague "You." I love the bridge's dedicated address to the Spirit. // Some people might perceive this song as too romantically "me and jesus" Savior, Spirit

      • Congregational Singability Comments

        once the congregation learns the road map of the song, it can be a powerful song for the Church to sing When I first heard this song, I never envisioned congregations singing through the entire song (difficult jumps and unnatural breathing patterns); yet, I was proved wrong.

      • Hybrid Singability Comments

        Verse is too low for congregations to sing, but chorus would be too high for congregation, and more of a recitative than a congregational setting. So verses to soloist, chorus to congregation and bridge first time to solo then to congregation on repeats. soloist on verses; congregation on bridges and choruses

      • Instrumentation Comments

        Can work with almost any arrangement.

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