I thought I’d post a few audio (video) clips from this past Sunday, the 1st Sunday of Lent.  There is some beautiful music by some really talented composers.  I’d like to highlight 3 composers with 3 different pieces:

Return to God  by John Angotti and Alan Hommerding (World Library Publications)
This song has it all…easy to sing, simple to play, beautiful, rich lyrics. It’s a wonderful song for liturgy and it can be used at various times throughout. (Gathering, Preparation/Offertory, Communion).  From the first lyric: “From ashes to the living font your church must journey, Lord…”  it really sets the tone for Lent.
We chose not to play the written/recorded intro, but instead play the verse instrumentally as an introduction. Here’s what it sounded like this past Sunday at our 6pm Mass at Saint Ann’s:

Be Merciful, O Lord, For We Have Sinned – different Refrain text for Create a Clean Heart In Me/I Will Rise and Go to My Father by Lorraine Hess (World Library Publications)

Using the same melody, and adding a few eighth notes to the rhythm, we used Lorraine Hess’ setting of Psalm 51 and just changed the lyrics in the Refrain. I kept the intro very simple…just played the melody on the piano and kept an eighth note pulse in the LH. I wanted everyone to clearly hear the melody twice before I even sang it.
Take note of how the band plays on this song.  It’s a gradual build for both the instruments and the vocals. Everyone does not play right at the beginning.

Christ In Me Arise by Trevor Thomson (spiritandsong.com)
Here is a song that I think will become a standard in may parishes…Trevor Thomson’s beautiful ‘Christ In Me, Arise.’ The Refrain is instantly memorable and inviting, the text is wonderful.  This song works well all year long.  Listen to the song; play through it.  It speaks for itself.  This is one of those songs that seems to receive a lot of positive comments.
Here’s how we played it last Sunday for Communion. Simple, nothing fancy. But take note of how it starts and builds from that moment of sacred silence.