Worship Music and the Church Calendar

In the last post, my dad lamented the dearth of modern Easter songs in the church. The same could be said of songs for the seasons of the Church in general. This is why my church has done two Advent albums, and why our Worship Arts pastor encourages folks to write music related to the church calendar — songs for Pentecost, Lent, Advent, Good Friday, Easter, etc.

Our latest recording project, which they’re working on right now, is a double album of Isaac Watts hymns with slightly updated lyrics and new music. The first album is congregationally-oriented, with songs suitable for singing in our gatherings; the second comprises contributions from some of our… um… edgier musicians, including one by my dear friends the O’Nans.

Check out the Advent albums and our other music here.


12 thoughts on “Worship Music and the Church Calendar

  1. Oh, and now that the shameless promotion is out of the way….

    What exactly does “edgier” mean? I read about an Anglican church that uses U2 songs in its liturgy.

  2. Haha… Alex's music is electronic — loops, etc. It's amazing but not really SO singable congregationally.

    We do NOT do U2 songs. We have done a Bob Dylan song, though.

  3. So the song “Blessed Be Your Name” is actually the same tune as the U2 hit, “With Or Without You.” A Jennifer Knapp song has the same tune as the U2 song “All I Want Is You.”

    Do you like David Crowder? I went to his church one time and he seemed to pick the most un-suitable songs for congregational worship.

  4. Hey! I have to interject and stick up for my boy Bono and Mr. The Edge. U2 has at very least an album's worth of music that could be sung in corporate worship. Look at Gloria and “40” for example. Whether you think they are really orthodox or not, they are also pretty much musically responsible for the vast majority of modern worship music (at least that which uses electric guitars).

  5. I'm impressed by this music. It sounds very well put together. I also love the whole Isaac Watts music more generally.

    Is there a way to get access to lead-sheets to try out the arrangements in my church?

    Do they have the music registered for Copyright license payments?

    Have you listened to Sovereign Grace's Savior CD? That is an advent one I had a look at last year.

  6. Pete, if you go to sojournmusic.com/music and click on the individual albums, you should be able to find chord charts for most of the songs — at least the ones we have permission to put up. All the chords from the last album are available there (with the exception of Evergreen, because the couple who wrote it has an ironclad contract with their record company), as well as most of the ones from the Advent album and the previous worship album.

  7. Laura, one Sunday several years ago, Chad and I were leading worship at Sojourn, and we opened up with U2's “Yahweh.” But that song is certainly not in the normal rotation of congregational music at Sojourn.

  8. Haha, LB…

    But I do have to say that “opening” songs are not exactly like the rest of the music, typically.

    Wait, you and Chad? Lewis? Weird vocal combo.

  9. Chord charts are ok unless you need to teach melody to your church group and can't play guitar.

    Thanks though for the thought.

    I might have to dig a bit deeper through Australia's copyright guys to find what I'm looking for through legit means.

    Anyways, thanks for the songs, and the advice.

  10. Pete, we just don't have the necessary time or technology to do lead sheets. But the mp3s are there as well — they're free to stream, and if you purchase the songs on itunes or something, it's covered under fair use to make copies for rehearsal purposes.

    Hope that helps.

  11. Yeah, I was gonna say that we've done “Yahweh” by U2 at least twice that I can remember — but not since we've been at The 930, that I can recall.

    Sojourn's original music is all covered by CCLI, as of a few weeks ago.

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