D Psalms and Canticles

Stories from the four churches

At St Ann’s the worship planning group have been giving some thought to the fact that theirs is one of many churches where people are reluctant to sing psalms to traditional Anglican chant because they want the worship to be accessible and ‘user-friendly’, especially to those unfamiliar with traditional worship. At one stage they hadn’t the musical resources anyway. They went for a couple of years without using the psalms in any regular way at all, and were in danger of becoming unfamiliar with the riches they contain. So they explored the ways in which other churches are using the psalms musically today, ways which are adaptable to different levels of musical expertise and resourcing. As a result, they’re using a metrical psalm in today’s Sunday service. Metrical psalms have been popular since the sixteenth century, and many have been written recently, including many worship songs based on psalms. Any congregation that finds hymn singing valuable can sing psalms in this way, though hymns and songs vary considerably in how closely they stick to the written text of the psalm itself.

Today St Bartholomew’s are using Psalm 66 from this section of New Patterns for Worship. The two sides of the congregation are saying alternate verses of the psalm. They have not much in the way of musical resources, and so have been studying a variety of ways of saying the psalms (see here). They have tried some of these approaches with the canticles too, but have realized that some of them are different from the psalms, in that they do not necessarily follow the parallelism of Hebrew poetry. Therefore the verses don’t have to be said alternately, which sometimes destroys the sense. Some canticles are best said all together. Some might be sung by a cantor with responses.

At St Christopher’s there is a cantor (someone with a strong voice who can give a lead and sing solo) who sings the text of the psalm to a simple ‘tone’ or melody. The congregation then sing a simple response, which can begin and conclude the psalm, or be repeated after each verse or group of verses. This works well unaccompanied but today the organ is used; other instrumental accompaniments are also used. There are many books available which contain this sort of simple chant. Some use a similar approach but with a more ‘worship-song’ style of melody for the response. Another approach they have tried at St Christopher’s is to speak the words of a psalm over a background of quiet instrumental music, using either suitable pieces of music found by the organist, or published resource specifically designed for this.

The board outside St Dodo’s advertises Choral Evensong. For a while, when they had no organist, they set up a gramophone (as they called it) on the chancel steps and had the choir singing along to a record of a famous cathedral choir while everyone listened. This evening there is an organist and a robed choir of five people, and they sing the psalms to the New Cathedral Psalter, but to an unfamiliar chant pitched very high and too irregular for anyone else to join in. It is difficult to hear the words, which are different from those in the Common Worship books, because the organ is so loud it is drowning out their voices, which is perhaps as well, because it sounds as if they are having a competition to see how many words they can get on to one note …

Saying the Psalms: what St Bartholomew’s considered

Saying the Psalms is perfectly acceptable, and not necessarily a poor substitute for singing them. Here are some approaches to consider:

*    solo voice for the main text, with an unvarying congregational response after each verse or after a group of verses (see, for example, Psalm 8 below);

*    splitting the congregation into two parts (two sides of the building; men and women; adults and children; or whatever is appropriate) and having each part take alternate verses of the psalm; alternatively, give the groups half of each verse – this is especially effective if the psalm utilizes the technique of ‘parallelism’, where each verse contains the same idea articulated in two different ways (Psalm 66, below, could work in this way);

*    using the same approach, but splitting the psalm between leader and congregation (see, for example, Psalm 141 below);

*    saying the whole psalm together congregationally (see, for example, Psalm 118a below);

*    listening while the psalm is read by one or more solo voices (see, for instance, Psalm 70 below), perhaps with a quiet, reflective instrumental accompaniment on a flute, acoustic guitar or soft keyboard at a distance.

In each case it will be important to consider the particular style and genre of the psalm in question to determine the most appropriate way of using it. Such considerations will also have implications for the manner in which the psalm is recited:

*     shouted loudly, by a standing congregation, for a psalm which is an act of praise to God;

*    recited quietly, slowly and reflectively, with the congregation kneeling or seated, for a psalm of lament;

*    proclaimed loudly from one part of the congregation to another for a psalm which is a call to worship;

*    listened to quietly, followed by silence, for a psalm which articulates the psalmist’s anger and frustration etc.

As the Introduction to the Psalter in Common Worship: Daily Prayer says, ‘some psalms, or parts of psalms, lend themselves to one method rather than another, and those leading worship should consider carefully which will be best in each instance’.

Singing the Psalms

Psalm and canticle texts can be sung in four different ways:

*    by everyone;

*    in dialogue between two groups, or between soloist and everyone else;

*    by a soloist (or choral group) with refrain for everyone else;

*    by a soloist or choral group, with everyone else listening.

The nature of the music will depend whether the text is metrical or irregular prose. Metrical texts can have hymn- or song-style music; irregular prose texts need some form of repeated melody that can be adapted to irregular patterns of words.

As with saying psalms, some ways of singing them may be more appropriate for different churches, for different contexts of worship, or for different psalm texts. There are many permutations and possibilities, and a whole range of musical styles.

Here are some options.

Psalm and canticle paraphrases (metrical psalms)

Hymn style, sung by everyone (or shared alternate verses).

Song style, sung by everyone (or shared alternate verses).

Song style, with solo or choral verses, and refrain for everyone.

Song style, sung by a cantor or choral group.

Psalm and canticle texts

Stressed prose (e.g. the Grail Psalter)

*    Sung to a simple chant by a cantor, or choral group, or by all, with or without refrain for everyone (these include the psalms and canticles set by Joseph Gelineau).

Unstressed prose (e.g. Common Worship Psalter, ICEL Psalter, Book of Common Prayer Psalter)

*    Sung by a cantor, or choral group, or by all, to a simple, modern chant, with or without refrain for everyone.

*    Sung to a plainsong tone by a cantor, or choral group, or by all, with or without refrain for everyone.

*    Sung to Anglican chant by a cantor, or choral group, or by all, with or without refrain for everyone.

In all these examples, the refrain can be sung in the style of a chant, or can be a hymn- or song-style setting.

Psalm or canticle settings (paraphrase or prose)

*    Intended for singing by a soloist or choir, and to be heard by everyone else. A sung repertory of psalms and canticles needs to be built slowly, so that everyone is comfortable and confident.

The large range of psalms specified in the lectionary means that it may not always be possible to sing the psalm specified as part of the Liturgy of the Word. There are, however, opportunities to use a psalm text in other parts of the service where there is singing.

It’s often easier to sing psalm paraphrases (metrical psalms) to familiar hymn and song melodies. However, prose psalms and canticles can become part of the musical repertory of a congregation, particularly if the number of psalm or canticle texts and chants used is reasonably small.

How to construct a psalm or canticle response

Both here in this section, and in the Psalms and Canticles in Common Worship: Daily Prayer, some responses are provided for the congregation, but alternative responses may be used for particular occasions, for instance to fit with a particular season or theme.

*    A verse or half-verse from within the psalm or canticle may be appropriate, or a text from elsewhere may be chosen.

*    Remember that the main aim of the response is to provide an opportunity for reflecting on the theme.

*    Responses should be short, memorable, and capable of repetition.

*    The response should support and not interrupt the flow of the psalm or canticle, either in its rhythm or in its sequence of thought.

Notes to the resources

1   The note on Psalms from A Service of the Word (Note 6) gives considerable scope for variety and flexibility in the use of psalms. It permits:

*    saying or singing the psalms in traditional ways;

*    using a metrical version (that is, a hymn or song based on a psalm);

*    using a responsive form, or a paraphrase.

In addition, permission is given for the use (on occasions) of a song or canticle taken directly from another part of Scripture to replace the psalm.

2   In this section we have provided a small selection of material taken from, or based on, psalms and canticles. There is a variety of style and presentation, and we have tried to consider the needs of a congregation saying the psalms as well as singing them. One of these examples might replace the psalm set in the lectionary on suitable occasions. Each of them could be further adapted, and they are intended to encourage local creativity.

3   These examples, apart from one instance, do not follow the Common Worship Psalter. They are drawn and adapted from a variety of translations of the Bible. Some are much closer to paraphrase than translation. In doing this we have tried to keep in mind the needs of children and of worshippers who are familiar neither with church, nor with echoes of traditional translations or biblical passages.

4   For one of the psalms (Psalm 34) and some of the canticles (Venite, Jubilate, Magnificat) we have deliberately included a number of alternatives, to demonstrate the wide range of styles in which psalms and canticles can be spoken or sung. Metrical versions may of course be spoken as well as sung.

5   We have tried to provide psalms which connect with particular ‘moods’ (such as joy, thanks, lament, struggle, praise, anger, reflection, questioning, etc.) as well as with particular seasons.

Psalms and verses from psalms

Verses from Psalm 8

D1

The ICEL (International Commission on English in the Liturgy) translation, with a response.

Lord our God,

the whole world tells the greatness of your name.

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

Even the babble of infants

declares your strength,

your power to halt the enemy and avenger.

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

I see your handiwork in the heavens:

the moon and the stars you set in place.

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

What is humankind that you remember them,

the human race that you care for them?

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

You treat them like gods,

dressing them in glory and splendour.

You give them charge of the earth, laying all at their feet:

cattle and sheep, wild beasts,

birds of the sky, fish of the sea, every swimming creature.

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

Lord our God,

the whole world tells the greatness of your name.

Your glory reaches beyond the stars.

Psalm 34

D2

Common Worship: Daily Prayer contains responsive versions of all the psalms, with psalm prayers for each one. One of these, Psalm 34, is included here as an example.

This is followed by two versions of verses from Psalm 34, turned into a responsive acclamation. The first of these two versions uses the Common Worship translation of the psalm; the second is based loosely on the CEV (Contemporary English Version of the Bible).

There are a number of metrical and sung versions of Psalm 34 easily available in hymn books, such as:

*    ‘Tell his praise in song and story’ (8787 D) – T. Dudley Smith

*    ‘Through all the changing scenes of life’ (8686 CM) – Tate and Brady

*    ‘Praise to the Lord’ (Songs from the Psalms © Make Way Music) – Graham Kendrick

Two further singable versions are also included here, by Teresa Brown and Paul Wigmore.

Refrain:

1    I will bless the Lord at all times;  

his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

2    My soul shall glory in the Lord;  

let the humble hear and be glad.

3    O magnify the Lord with me;  

let us exalt his name together.

4    I sought the Lord and he answered me  

and delivered me from all my fears.

5    Look upon him and be radiant  

and your faces shall not be ashamed.

6    This poor soul cried, and the Lord heard me  

and saved me from all my troubles.  

7    The angel of the Lord encamps around

those who fear him  

and delivers them.

8    O taste and see that the Lord is gracious;  

blessed is the one who trusts in him.

9    Fear the Lord, all you his holy ones,  

for those who fear him lack nothing.

10  Lions may lack and suffer hunger,  

but those who seek the Lord

lack nothing that is good.  

11  Come, my children, and listen to me;  

I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12  Who is there who delights in life  

and longs for days to enjoy good things?

13  Keep your tongue from evil  

and your lips from lying words.

14  Turn from evil and do good;  

seek peace and pursue it.  

15  The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous  

and his ears are open to their cry.

16  The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,  

to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.

17  The righteous cry and the Lord hears them  

and delivers them out of all their troubles.

18  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted  

and will save those who are crushed in spirit.  

19  Many are the troubles of the righteous;  

from them all will the Lord deliver them.

20  He keeps all their bones,  

so that not one of them is broken.

21  But evil shall slay the wicked  

and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22  The Lord ransoms the life of his servants  

and will condemn none who seek refuge in him.  

Verses from Psalm 34

D3

O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord and he answered me;

he delivered me from all my fears.

O magnify the Lord with me.

In my weakness I cried to the Lord;

he heard me and saved me from my troubles.

Let us exalt his name together.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

O magnify the Lord with me;

let us exalt his name together.

Verses from Psalm 34

D4

Honour the Lord with me!

Celebrate his great name.

Honour the Lord with me!

Celebrate his great name.

I asked the Lord for help

and he saved me from all my fears.

Honour the Lord with me.

I was a nobody, but I prayed,

and the Lord saved me from all my troubles.

Celebrate his great name.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit.

Honour the Lord with me.

Celebrate his great name.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

D5

Refrain:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;

blessed be the Lord.

Cantor/Choir

I will bless the Lord at all times,

God’s praise always on my lips;

glorify the Lord with me,

together let us praise God’s name.  

I sought the Lord and was heard;

from all my terrors set free.

When the poor cry out the Lord hears them

and rescues them from all their distress.  

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;

those whose spirit is crushed God will save.

Many are the trials of the upright

but the Lord will come to rescue them.  

I’ll praise the Lord for ever

D6

Refrain:

Glorify the Lord with me; exalt his name, for great is he!

I’ll praise the Lord for ever and ever.

I’ll praise the Lord for ever and ever,

my soul shall boast of his wonderful name:  

I sought the Lord, he answered my calling,

delivered me from my innermost fears:  

O taste and see how gracious the Lord is –

secure are they who take refuge in him:  

The Lord redeems the faithful who serve him,

and those who trust him he never condemns:  

Verses from Psalm 40

D7

A paraphrase of some verses from the psalm, with a response.

You put a new song in my mouth:

a song of praise to you, my God.

You put a new song in my mouth:

a song of praise to you, my God.

I waited patiently for you, Lord;

you bent down to me and heard my cry for help.

You put a new song in my mouth.

Many shall see, and stand amazed,

and put their trust in you, Lord.

You put a new song in my mouth.

I love to do your will, Lord God;

your law is deep in my heart.

You put a new song in my mouth.

I proclaimed your righteousness in the gathering of

God’s people;

I did not hold back from speaking out.

You put a new song in my mouth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

You put a new song in my mouth:

a song of praise to you, my God.

cf Psalm 40.1-3,9,10

Verses from Psalm 46

D8

Verses from the psalm, with a response.

The Lord is with us, he is our stronghold;

God will help at the break of day.

The Lord is with us, he is our stronghold;

God will help at the break of day.

God is our refuge and strength,

ready to help whenever we are in trouble:

God will help at the break of day.

We will not fear, even if the earth shakes,

and the mountains topple into the sea:

God will help at the break of day.

Come now and look at the works of the Lord,

the awesome things he has done on earth:

God will help at the break of day.

Be still and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations;

I will be exalted in the earth:

God will help at the break of day.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

The Lord is with us, he is our stronghold:

God will help at the break of day.

Psalm 46.1-3,8,10

Verses from Psalm 66

D9

A psalm used by the congregation in two parts, A and B.

Leader   Let the praises of God ring out.

All   He is the source of our life.

A   Let all creation rejoice in God;

B   sing the glory of his name.

A   Come and see the work of God,

B   how wonderful he is to all people.

A   He turned the sea into dry land,

B   so his people went through the water on foot.

A   There we rejoiced in him.

B   In his might he rules for ever.

Leader   Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

All   Let the praises of God ring out.

He is the source of our life.

cf Psalm 66.4-8

Psalm 70

D10

This is the ICEL translation, probably best spoken by a single voice.

Help me, God.

Lord, be quick to save me.

People are plotting to kill me;

humble them, shame them.

They want to ruin me;

ruin and disgrace them.

Let those who jeer at me

swallow their shameful taunts.

But those who seek you

and trust your saving love

rejoice and always sing,

‘God is great.’

I am poor and helpless,

O God, hurry to my side!

Lord, my help, my rescue,

do not delay.

Verses from Psalm 95

D11

This is a very free paraphrase of selected verses from the psalm, intended to convey the mood of the psalm and not just its content.

Come, let us sing to the Lord our God;

raise the roof to the Rock of rescue.

Come into the presence of the Lord with thanks;

raise the rafters with songs of praise.

The Lord is the great God, over all;

greater than every other power.

He holds the depths of the earth in his hands,

and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The ocean is the Lord’s: it was made by God;

the land was formed by his own hands.

Come, let us bow before the Lord our maker;

with humble hearts we worship God.

The Lord is God and we are his;

we are the Shepherd’s very own flock.

cf Psalm 95.1-7

Verses from Psalm 102

D12

Selected verses from the psalm, turned into a responsive acclamation.

Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Lord, hear my prayer,

and let my cry come before you:

be swift to answer when I call.

Do not hide your face from me

in the day of my trouble:

be swift to answer when I call.

You, Lord, endure for ever,

and your name from age to age:

be swift to answer when I call.

You will be moved to have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to have pity on her:

be swift to answer when I call.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Turn your ear to me;

be swift to answer when I call.

Psalm 102.1,2,12,13

Verses from Psalm 118 (a)

D13

A selection of verses, in a contemporary translation, designed for the congregation to say together.

When I was really going through it, I prayed to the Lord.

He answered my prayer, and set me free.

The Lord is on my side,

I am not afraid of what others can do to me.

With the Lord on my side

I will defeat all my enemies.

It is best to trust the Lord for protection.

Don’t put your trust in anyone else.

cf Psalm 118.5-8

Verses from Psalm 118 (b)

D14

A further selection of verses from Psalm 118, this time set out as a dialogue between leader and congregation.

Open the gates of justice!

I will enter and tell the Lord how thankful I am.

Here is the gate of the Lord!

All who do right may enter this gate.

I praise the Lord for answering my prayers and

saving me.

The stone the builders rejected has now become

the most important stone.

The Lord has done this, and it is amazing to us.

This is a day that belongs to the Lord!

Let us rejoice and be glad today.

We’ll ask the Lord to save us.

We’ll ask the Lord to let us succeed.

God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

We bless you from here, in the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God; he has given us light.

Let us join the joyful procession to the

altar of the Lord.

The Lord is my God.

I will praise him and tell him how thankful I am.

Tell the Lord how thankful you are

because he is kind and always merciful.

cf Psalm 118.19-29

Verses from Psalm 119

D15

A selection of verses, based on a contemporary translation and set out as a dialogue between leader and congregation.

Treat me with kindness, Lord

so that I may live and do what you say.

Open my mind:

let me discover the wonders of your law.

Your laws are my greatest joy!

I do what they say.

I am at the point of death.

Breathe new life into me, as your word

has promised.

When I told you my troubles, you answered my prayers.

Now teach me your laws.

Help me to understand your teachings,

and I will think about your marvellous deeds.

I am overcome with sorrow.

Strengthen me, as you have promised.

I am eager to do all that you want.

Help me to understand more and more.

cf Psalm 119.17,18,24-28,32

Verses from Psalm 130

D16

A selection of verses with the same response between each block of text, allowing the psalm to be used without a text for the congregation.

Out of the depths I have called to you, Lord.

Let your ears be open to hear my voice.

My hope is in God’s word.

If you recorded all our sins

who could come before you?

My hope is in God’s word.

There is forgiveness with you:

therefore you shall be feared.

My hope is in God’s word.

My soul is longing for the Lord,

more than those who watch for daybreak.

My hope is in God’s word.

O Israel, wait for the Lord,

for with the Lord there is mercy.

My hope is in God’s word.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

My hope is in God’s word.

Verses from Psalm 141

D17

A selection of verses, set out as a dialogue between leader and congregation.

O Lord, we call to you: come to us quickly.

Hear us when we cry to you.

Let our prayers rise up before you like incense:

let our lifted hands be like an evening sacrifice.

Put a guard on our mouths, O Lord;

keep watch over our lips.

Turn our hearts from evil desires,

and keep us from doing wrong.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

cf Psalm 141.1-4

An act of praise based on Psalm 145

D18

A selection of verses, set out as a dialogue between leader and congregation.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised:

there is no end to his greatness.

One generation shall praise your works to another,

and shall declare your power.

All creation praises you, Lord,

and your faithful servants bless you.

They declare the glory of your kingdom

and tell of your mighty power.

My mouth shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.

Let every living thing bless his holy name

for ever and ever.

cf Psalm 145.3,4,10,11,12, 21

Canticles

General

D19

Te Deum Laudamus

We praise you, O God,

we acclaim you as the Lord;

all creation worships you,

the Father everlasting.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,

the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.

The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.

The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:

Father, of majesty unbounded,

your true and only Son, worthy of all praise,

the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory,

the eternal Son of the Father.

When you took our flesh to set us free

you humbly chose the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death

and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.

We believe that you will come and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,

bought with the price of your own blood,

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting.

[Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.

Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.

We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,

for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:

let us never be put to shame.]

General

D20

Te Deum Laudamus (God, we praise you)

God, we praise you, God, we bless you,

God, we name you sovereign Lord!

Mighty king whom angels worship,

Father, by your Church adored:

All creation shows your glory,

Heaven and earth draw near your throne

Singing ‘Holy, holy, holy,’

Lord of hosts, and God alone.

True apostles, faithful prophets,

Saints who set their world ablaze,

Martyrs, once unknown, unheeded,

Join one growing song of praise,

While your Church on earth confesses

One majestic Trinity:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

God, our hope eternally.

Jesus Christ, the King of glory,

Everlasting Son of God,

Humble was your virgin mother,

Hard the lonely path you trod:

By your cross is sin defeated,

Hell confronted face to face,

Heaven opened to believers,

Sinners justified by grace.

Christ, at God’s right hand victorious,

You will judge the world you made;

Lord, in mercy help your servants

For whose freedom you have paid:

Raise us up from dust to glory,

Guard us from all sin today;

King enthroned above all praises,

Save your people, God, we pray.

8.7.8.7.D

General

D21

Te Deum with Celtic Alleluia

Refrain:

Alleluia, alleluia. Alleluia, alleluia.

Father, we praise you as Lord,

all of the earth gives you worship,

for your majesty fills the heavens, fills the earth.  

Blessed apostles sing praise;

prophets and martyrs give glory:

‘for your majesty praise the Spirit, praise the Son!’  

You are the Christ everlasting

born for us all of a virgin,

you have conquered death, opened heaven to all believers.  

Help those you saved by your blood,

raise them to life with your martyrs.

Save your people, Lord, as their ruler raise them up.  

© 1985, Fintan O’Carroll and Christopher Walker. Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Permission is required to reproduce this item (see here for details).

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D22

Venite – a Song of Triumph

1    O come, let us sing to the Lord;  

let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.

2    Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving  

and be glad in him with psalms.

3    For the Lord is a great God  

and a great king above all gods.

4    In his hand are the depths of the earth  

and the heights of the mountains are his also.

5    The sea is his, for he made it,  

and his hands have moulded the dry land.

6    Come, let us worship and bow down  

and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

7    For he is our God;  

we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

cf Psalm 95

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D23

Venite – a metrical version

Come, worship God who is worthy of honour,

Enter his presence with thanks and a song!

He is the rock of his people’s salvation,

To whom our jubilant praises belong.

Ruled by his might are the heights of the mountains,

Held in his hands are the depths of the earth;

His is the sea, his the land for he made them,

King above all gods, who gave us our birth.

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture,

He is our maker and to him we pray;

Gladly we kneel in obedience before him –

Great is the God whom we worship this day!

Now let us listen, for God speaks among us,

Open our hearts and receive what he says:

Peace be to all who remember his goodness,

Trust in his word and rejoice in his ways!

11.10.11.10.

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D24

Jubilate – a Song of Joy

1    O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth;  

serve the Lord with gladness

and come before his presence with a song.

2    Know that the Lord is God;  

it is he that has made us and we are his;

we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

3    Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;  

give thanks to him and bless his name.

4    For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting  

and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation.

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 100

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D25

Jubilate, ev’rybody (from Psalm 100)

Jubilate, ev’rybody,

serve the Lord in all your ways,

and come before his presence singing:

enter now his courts with praise.

For the Lord our God is gracious,

and his mercy everlasting,

Jubilate, Jubilate, Jubilate Deo!

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Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D26

Come, rejoice before your maker (from Psalm 100)

Come, rejoice before your maker

All you peoples of the earth;

Serve the Lord your God with gladness,

Come before him with a song!

Know for certain that Jehovah

Is the true and only God:

We are his, for he has made us;

We are sheep within his fold.

Come with grateful hearts before him,

Enter now his courts with praise;

Show your thankfulness towards him,

Give due honour to his name.

For the Lord our God is gracious,

Everlasting in his love;

And to every generation

His great faithfulness endures.

8.7.8.7.

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D27

Jubilate (Laudate Dominum)

Refrain:

Laudate Dominum, laudate Dominum,

Omnes gentes, alleluia!

(Sing, praise and bless the Lord, sing, praise and bless the Lord,

Peoples! Nations! Alleluia!)

Cantor:

We come before you with joyful songs, alleluia, alleluia.

You are our God, you have made us,

alleluia, alleluia,  

You are our God, we belong to you, alleluia, alleluia,

We are your people, the sheep of your flock,

alleluia, alleluia,  

Let us then enter your gates with thanksgiving,

alleluia, alleluia,

Let us give thanks and praise your name, alleluia, alleluia,  

For you are good and your love lasts for ever,

alleluia, alleluia,

Your faithfulness lasts from age to age, alleluia, alleluia,  

Father, Son and Spirit

Approach to worship

D28

Jubilate (Sing all creation)

Sing all creation, sing to God in gladness!

Joyously serve him, singing hymns of homage!

Chanting his praises, come before his presence!

Praise the Almighty!

Know that our God is Lord of all the ages!

He is our maker, we are all his creatures,

people he fashioned, sheep he leads to pasture!

Praise the Almighty!

Enter his temple, ringing out his praises!

Sing in thanksgiving as you come before him!

Blessing his bounty, glorify his greatness!

Praise the Almighty!

Great in his goodness is the Lord we worship;

steadfast his kindness, love that knows no ending!

Faithful his word is, changeless, everlasting!

Praise the Almighty!

11.11.11.5.

God in creation

D29

Benedicite – a Song of Creation (shorter version)

1    Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

2    Bless the Lord you heavens:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

3    Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

4    Bless the Lord all people on earth:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

5    O people of God bless the Lord:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

6    Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

7    Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

8    Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit:  

bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart;

bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit:  

sing his praise and exalt him for ever.

God in creation

D30

Benedicite (Glory to God above)

Refrain:

O sing hallelujah

and praise God for evermore!

Glory to God above!

Heavens declare his love;

praise him, you angels,

praise him all you high and heavenly host.

Worship him, sun and moon;

stars, complement their tune:

grounded in God’s good purpose

let his grace become your boast.  

Glory to God below

let depths of ocean show;

lightning and hail, snow,

wind and cloud perform at his command!

Let every mountain range,

forest and grove and grange,

creatures of earth and air and sea

praise God in every land.  

‘Glory to God!’ now sing

commoner, queen and king;

women and men of every age

unite to praise the Lord.

Worship God’s holy name

and let your lives proclaim

God’s saving power extends to those

who love and serve his word.  

God in creation

D31

Benedicite (Let us sing to the Lord)

Refrain:

Let us sing to the Lord, let us sing to the Lord!

Let us sing to the Lord, let us sing to the Lord!

Cantor:

All creation bless the Lord;

and you, angels of the Lord,

praise and glorify the Lord.  

Sun and moon, bless the Lord;

and you, night and day, bless the Lord,

and you, light and darkness, bless the Lord.  

Praise the Lord all the earth.

Birds of the air, bless the Lord,

all creatures of the sea, bless the Lord.  

Fire and hail, bless the Lord.

Snow and frost, bless the Lord,

mountains and hills, bless the Lord.  

Praised be Christ, he is our hope,

he is the joy of our hearts.

Compassionate and gracious is our God.  

The Lord opens up a way,

and leads us on paths of life,

the earth is full of God’s love.  

The glory of the Lord fills the earth.

Let all peoples bless God’s name,

Let everything that breathes bless the Lord.  

Christ’s coming

D32

Benedictus (The Song of Zechariah)

Refrain:

You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

born of the house of your servant David.

1    Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,  

who has come to his people and set them free.

2    He has raised up for us a mighty Saviour,  

born of the house of his servant David.

3    Through his holy prophets God promised of old  

to save us from our enemies,

from the hands of all that hate us,

4    To show mercy to our ancestors,  

and to remember his holy covenant.

5    This was the oath God swore to our father Abraham:  

to set us free from the hands of our enemies,

6    Free to worship him without fear,  

holy and righteous in his sight

all the days of our life.

7    And you, child, shall be called the prophet

of the Most High,  

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,

8    To give his people knowledge of salvation  

by the forgiveness of all their sins.

9    In the tender compassion of our God  

the dawn from on high shall break upon us,

10  To shine on those who dwell in darkness

and the shadow of death,  

and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Luke 1.68-79

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

You have raised up for us a mighty Saviour,

born of the house of your servant David.

Christ’s coming

D33

Benedictus (Now bless the God of Israel)

Now bless the God of Israel

who comes in love and power,

who raises from the royal house

deliv’rance in this hour.

Through holy prophets God has sworn

to free us from alarm,

to save us from the heavy hand

of all who wish us harm.

Remembering the covenant,

God rescues us from fear,

that we might serve in holiness

and peace from year to year.

And you, my child, shall go before,

to preach, to prophesy,

that all may know the tender love,

the grace of God most high.

In tender mercy, God will send

the dayspring from on high,

Our rising sun, the light of life

for those who sit and sigh.

God comes to guide our way to peace,

that death shall reign no more.

Sing praises to the Holy One,

O worship and adore.

C.M.

Permission to reproduce this item is required from GIA Publications or Decani Music (see here for details).

Incarnation

D34

Benedictus (O bless the God of Israel)

O bless the God of Israel,

who comes to set us free,

who visits and redeems us

and grants us liberty.

The prophets spoke of mercy,

of rescue and release;

God shall fulfil the promise

to bring our people peace.

Now from the house of David

a child of grace is given;

a Saviour comes among us

to raise us up to heaven.

Before him goes the herald,

forerunner in the way,

the prophet of salvation,

the messenger of Day.

Where once were fear and darkness

the sun begins to rise –

the dawning of forgiveness

upon the sinner’s eyes,

to guide the feet of pilgrims

along the paths of peace:

O bless our God and Saviour,

with songs that never cease!

7.6.7.6.D

Incarnation

D35

Benedictus (Blest be the Lord)

Blest be the Lord, the God of Israel,

Who brings the dawn and darkest night dispels,

Who raises up a mighty Saviour from the earth,

Of David’s line, a son of royal birth.

The prophets tell a story just begun

Of vanquished foe and glorious victory won,

Of promise made to all who keep the law as guide:

God’s faithful love and mercy will abide.

Men:

This is the oath once sworn to Abraham:

All shall be free to dwell upon the land,

Free now to praise, unharmed by the oppressor’s rod,

Holy and righteous in the sight of God.

Women:

And you, my child, this day you shall be called

The promised one, the prophet of our God,

For you will go before the Lord to clear the way,

And shepherd all into the light of day.

The tender love God promised from our birth

Is soon to shine upon this shadowed earth,

To shine on those whose sorrows seem to never cease,

To guide our feet into the path of peace.

10.10.12.10.

Text © 1991, Owen Alstott. Music © 1993, Bernadette Farrell. Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Permission is required to reproduce this item (see here for details).

Incarnation

D36

Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Refrain:

You have done great things, O God,

and holy is your name.

1    My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;  

he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.

2    From this day all generations will call me blessed;  

the Almighty has done great things for me

and holy is his name.

3    He has mercy on those who fear him,  

from generation to generation.

4    He has shown strength with his arm  

and has scattered the proud in their conceit,

5    Casting down the mighty from their thrones  

and lifting up the lowly.

6    He has filled the hungry with good things  

and sent the rich away empty.

7    He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,  

to remember his promise of mercy,

8    The promise made to our ancestors,  

to Abraham and his children for ever.

Luke 1.46-55

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

You have done great things, O God,

and holy is your name.

Incarnation

D37

Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

With Mary let my soul rejoice,

And praise God’s holy name –

His saving love from first to last,

From age to age the same!

How strong his arm, how great his power!

The proud he will disown;

The meek and humble he exalts

To share his glorious throne.

The rich our God will send away

And feed the hungry poor

The arms of love remain outstretched

At mercy’s open door.

So shall God’s promise be fulfilled,

To Israel firmly made:

A child is born, a Son is given

Whose crown will never fade.

All glory to the Father, Son

And Spirit now proclaim;

With Mary let the world rejoice

And praise God’s holy name!

C.M.

Incarnation

D38

Magnificat (Holy is his name)

Refrain:

And holy is his name through all generations!

Everlasting is his mercy to the people he has chosen,

and holy is his name!

My soul is filled with joy as I sing to God my Saviour:

he has looked upon his servant, he has visited his people.  

I am lowly as a child, but I know from this day forward

that my name will be remembered, for the world will call

me blessed.  

I proclaim the pow’r of God! He does marvels for

his servants;

though he scatters the proud-hearted and destroys

the might of princes.  

To the hungry he gives food, sends the rich away empty.

In his mercy he is mindful of the people he has chosen.  

In his love he now fulfils what he promised to our fathers.

I will praise the Lord, my Saviour. Everlasting is his mercy.  

Incarnation

D39

Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Great is the Lord my soul proclaims,

in him my spirit sings for joy;

for he who saves has looked on me

with boundless love to raise me high.

Ages to come shall know that I am blessed and favoured

by the Lord:

his name is holy, mighty God;

his wondrous power on me is poured.

All those who fear him find his love, in ev’ry age,

in ev’ry land.

His strong right arm puts down the proud,

disperses them like grains of sand.

Down from their thrones he casts the strong,

and raises up the meek of heart.

He gives the hungry choicest food;

in emptiness the rich depart.

Israel, his servant, knows his help in keeping

with the promise sworn

to Abraham and all his race:

God’s love will never be withdrawn.

Glory to God: the Father, Son, and Spirit, Trinity sublime.

All honour, thanks and praise be theirs across

the spans of endless time.

L.M.

© 1984, Paul Inwood. Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Permission is required to reproduce this item (see here for details).

Incarnation

D40

Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Refrain:

The Almighty works marvels for me.

Holy his name, holy his name.

Verses (Cantor):

My soul glorifies the Lord.

My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.

He looks on his servant in her lowliness;

henceforth all ages will call me blessed.  

His mercy is from age to age;

on those who fear him, on those who fear him

he puts forth his arm in strength

and scatters the proud-hearted;

he casts the mighty down and raises the lowly.  

He protects Israel, rememb’ring his mercy,

as he promised to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever.

Alleluia.  

Text and music © 1989, 1991, Peter Jones. Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Permission is required to reproduce this item (see here for details).

Incarnation

Living in the world

D41

Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.

My spirit sings to God, my saving God,

Who on this day above all others favoured me

And raised me up, a light for all to see.

Through me great deeds will God make manifest,

And all the earth will come to call me blest.

Unbounded love and mercy sure will I proclaim

For all who know and praise God’s holy name.

God’s mighty arm, protector of the just,

Will guard the weak and raise them from the dust.

But mighty kings will swiftly fall from thrones corrupt.

The strong brought low, the lowly lifted up.

Soon will the poor and hungry of the earth

Be richly blest, be given greater worth.

And Israel, as once foretold to Abraham,

Will live in peace throughout the promised land.

All glory be to God, Creator blest,

To Jesus Christ, God’s love made manifest,

And to the Holy Spirit, gentle Comforter,

All glory be, both now and evermore.

10.10.12.10.

Text © 1993, Owen Alstott. Music © 1993, Bernadette Farrell. Published by OCP Publications, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR 97213. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Permission is required to reproduce this item (see here for details).

Other metrical settings are available, e.g.‘Tell out, my soul’ by T. Dudley Smith

Resurrection

D42

The Easter Anthems

1    Christ our passover has been sacrificed for us:  

so let us celebrate the feast,

2    not with the old leaven of corruption and wickedness:  

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5.7b,8

3    Christ once raised from the dead dies no more:  

death has no more dominion over him.

4    In dying he died to sin once for all:  

in living he lives to God.

5    See yourselves therefore as dead to sin:  

and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6.9–11

6    Christ has been raised from the dead:  

the first fruits of those who sleep.

7    For as by man came death:  

by man has come also the resurrection of the dead;

8    for as in Adam all die:  

even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15.20–22

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Heaven

Incarnation

D43

Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon)

1    Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:  

your word has been fulfilled.

2    My own eyes have seen the salvation  

which you have prepared in the sight of every people;

3    A light to reveal you to the nations  

and the glory of your people Israel.

Luke 2.29–32

Glory to the Father and to the Son

and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning is now

and shall be for ever. Amen.

Heaven

Incarnation

D44

Nunc dimittis (Lord, now let your servant)

Lord, now let your servant

Go his way in peace.

Your great love has brought me

Joy that will not cease:

For my eyes have seen him

Promised from of old,

Saviour of all people,

Shepherd of one fold.

Light of revelation

To the gentiles shown,

Light of Israel’s glory

To the world made known.

6.5.6.5.

Heaven

Incarnation

D45

Nunc dimittis (Jesus, hope of every nation)

Jesus, hope of every nation,

Light of heaven upon our way;

Promise of the world’s salvation,

Spring of life’s eternal day!

Saints by faith on God depending

Wait to see Messiah born;

Sin’s oppressive night is ending

In the glory of the dawn!

Look, he comes! – the long-awaited

Christ, redeemer, living Word;

Hope and faith are vindicated

As with joy we greet the Lord.

Glory in the highest heaven

To the Father, Spirit, Son;

And on earth let praise be given

To our God, the Three-in-One!

8.7.8.7.

Time (evening)

D46

Phos hilaron – a Song of the Light

O gladdening light,

of the holy glory of the immortal Father

heavenly, holy, blessed,

O Jesus Christ.

Now that we have come to the setting of the sun

and see the evening light

we give praise to God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Worthy are you at all times

to be worshipped with holy voices,

O Son of God and giver of life:

therefore all the world glorifies you.

Time (evening)

D47

Light of gladness, Lord of glory

Light of gladness, Lord of glory,

Jesus Christ our king most holy,

Shine among us in your mercy:

Earth and heaven join their hymn.

Let us sing at sun’s descending

As we see the lights of evening,

Father, Son and Spirit praising

With the holy seraphim.

Son of God, through all the ages

Worthy of our holiest praises,

Yours the life that never ceases,

Light which never shall grow dim.

8.8.8.7.