Congregational Songs

Showing 157–168 of 247 results

  • Psalm 149: Let God’s People Sing a New Song

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/psalm_149-let_gods_people-ozoned.mp3"][/audio]

    As the Psalter ends, it erupts into a chorus of Hallelujahs and Praise the Lords, naming a plethora of instruments that should be used to make the praise even more glorious. This song follows suit, with strings, brass, harpsichord, flute, accordion, and saxophone all joining in. Of course, you don’t need all the instruments featured on the recording; you lead this with a worship band, guitar, or the piano accompaniment that’s available below.

    The song was featured on the Cardiphonia album The Songs of the Psalter, Vol 5.1, part of a series that covers the entire Psalter.

  • Psalm 150: Hallel, Hallelujah!

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    http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_150-hallel_hallelujah.mp3

    The exuberance and repetition in this Psalm text led me to compose a Taizé style chorus, but in a regal, rather than meditative style. You’ll notice that the song is built on a repeated 10 measure phrase. This is unusual–music is normally written in divisions of four–but the irregular phrase length keeps the repeats from feeling banal. Also keeping the song’s motion moving forward is the unresolved final chord.

    This hymn is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 16: The Refuge of My Soul

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_016-the_refuge_of_my_soul.mp3[/embed]

    This song chronicles a life from birth to death under God’s care.

    At first glance, it may seem like the song has little to do with the Psalm 16. It uses none of the “protect me, God” or “path of life” phrases that other settings of this Psalm use. Instead, it goes a layer deeper, into the Psalm’s structure.

    Samuel Terrien proposes that Psalm 16 is made up of 6 strophes, with the first three mirroring the last three. In broad strokes, the Psalm begins its focus on things of earth and moves toward heaven. As I meditated on the Psalm it suddenly struck me that it closely follows the span of human life. It is very clear in the last two strophes, which focus on the grave and eternal life. Working your way backward, you can see further life milestones: the growth of wisdom (strophe 4) and earthly blessings (strophe 3). The first two strophes are less clear, but with a bit of imagination, I recast the first strophe’s protection and refuge as the womb and the sacrifices to false gods in strophe two as the sins of youth. It’s easier to understand when you see the Psalm and my song side by side as in this PDF.

  • Psalm 18: I Love You, God My Lord

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_18-i_love_you_god_my_lord.mp3

    In addition to being quite long, Psalm 18 presents the difficulty of wide-ranging content. It starts with praise for God’s strength and a plea for help, then extols God’s retribution of enemies, provides an overly flattering assessment of the Psalmist’s own piety, takes joy in the strength God gives the Psalmist, and ends with more praise for the victory God will give.

    Adam Carlill’s 20 verses do justice to the original while remaining accessible to modern ears. I added a refrain–it felt like the song needed something to break up all those verses. I could imagine a leader singing a few verses at a time and then handing it over to the congregation to sing the refrain.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 19: The Heavens Tell the Story

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    [embed]https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/the_heavens_tell.mp3[/embed]

    This song places Romans 1:18-32 beside Psalm 19:1-4 for a compelling musical exposition of God’s character revealed in nature.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 2: The Restless Nations Rage

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_2-the_restless_nations_rage.mp3

    The great thing about Psalm 2 and Naaman Wood’s version of it is that it untangles the claims of earthly and heavenly power. In a political climate where many believe God to be on their side–or that they’re fighting on behalf of God–this Psalm lets us know that our constant wrestling for power is all for naught. God, and only God, stands above us as the ultimate power. It is only in God that we can find true refuge.

    This song is mentioned in Greg’s podcast, “2021 Musical Year in Review.

  • Psalm 20: Blessing

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/bluett-psalm_2-blessing.mp3

    Kate Bluett’s beautiful rendering of Psalm 20 is simply called “Blessing.” She has recast the language of the Psalm in a way that speaks powerfully into our own context. For example, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses” becomes “Some trust in arms and some in power.” In my estimation, this is exactly the kind of “transplanting” that should take place in modern Psalm songs.

  • Psalm 23: God Is Our Shepherd

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    https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/psalm_23-god_is_our_shepherd.mp3

    Michael Morgan’s modest, beautiful hymn of trust is supported by a simple melody and unadorned harmonies. It is a song in the spirit of early American hymn tunes like those found in Southern Harmony.

    This hymn is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 24: Lift Up Your Heads, O You Gates!

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_024-lift_up.mp3[/embed]

    Psalm 24 is a processional Psalm, likely sung as worshipers approached the temple in Jerusalem. This song keeps that festive, processional feel in a music style that straddles traditional hymnody and contemporary praise. The song was commissioned in honor of Pastor Steven Schwier in thanksgiving for his ministry at Christ the King Lutheran Church, South Bend, Indiana.

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

  • Psalm 25: Foothold

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    [embed]https://musicblog.gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/foothold_COS_07.10.16.mp3[/embed]

    Debra Rienstra won the Fuller Seminary School of Psychology Fortieth Anniversary hymn competition with this hymn text based on Psalm 25. Originally paired with the hymntune KINGSFOLD, I wrote a new tune in a jazz ballad style that brings out the more prayerful, pleading, and melancholic aspects of the words.

  • Psalm 27: One Thing

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    [audio mp3="https://gregscheer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/one_thing.mp3"][/audio]

    Based on Psalm 27:4, this song is a prayer for the beauty of God to fill our eyes. The music can be adapted to any number of styles, from straight acoustic guitar strumming to a jangly U2 groove. I’ve provided leadsheets in both E minor and C# minor for greater flexibility when using a capo. You’re welcome.

  • Psalm 3: I Shall Rest in Peace

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    [embed]http://musicblog.gregscheer.com/psalm_003-i_shall_rest_in_peace.mp3[/embed]

    Psalm 3 is traditionally associated with King David as he fled from his son Absalom. Whether or not the Psalm was actually written while David fled for his life during a revolt, the Psalm is certainly full of fears and anxieties–with a side order of vengeance. But more than that, the Psalm is full of trust. Even though all hell is breaking loose, the Psalmist talks about going to bed: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me. I am not afraid…”

    In this setting of Psalm 3, “I shall rest in peace” becomes a repeated refrain throughout. “Rest” not only indicates peaceful sleep but “rest in peace” is a euphemism for death. It seems to me that many people who might read Psalm 3 or sing this song may be fighting the enemy of disease, age, or death itself. Even in death, we can rest in the Lord. 

    This leadsheet is a free download. If you sing this song in your church please report its use to CCLI or OneLicense.

Showing 157–168 of 247 results