Category Archives: Michael Schroeder

The Passion


The Passion

A review of the latest CD release by Contemporary Christian artist Michael SchroederM Schroeder
by Steve Brown

“The Passion” was released in time for Holy Week observations 2014. It is a compilation of Michael Schroeder’s best passion-filled songs together with a few new pieces.

Vinyl Records and a Trip Down Memory Lane
One thing that I enjoy about Michael’s CDs is that in one way, they remind me of vinyl album releases back when I was a teen. I remember the actual buying of an album to be such a fun experience because when you got home and opened it up, you were treated to an array of album artwork, printed lyrics – sometimes there were even messages from the artists; but the real treat was if a poster was also included.

More than an MP3 Download
Michael’s CDs, at least his last two, contain little gems that harken back to these fond memories of opening up a new album. His last CD, titled “Worship” contained two discs: (1) the music CD and (2) a bonus disc of backing tracks to be used in a corporate worship setting. The 2-CD package also included all the lyrics together with an exhaustive list of scripture references and an article on Michael’s thoughts relating to worship.

His new CD, “The Passion” contains a devotional booklet to be read for each day during Holy Week. It is this kind of stuff that is missing in today’s world of digital downloads. The eight devotional readings are paired with the first eight songs from the CD. It is worth the purchase of the CD just to experience the worship moment of reading through these devotions while listening to the selected song. Without giving too much away, in the devotions you will learn that the first song, the song that goes along with Palm Sunday – was written in a very inspirational and special place. As the saying goes, “sometimes we just need to strike while the iron is hot.”

The Song List
Here’s a quick rundown of the ten songs contained on the CD:

1. Jesus is Lord* – Palm Sunday (originally released on the Worship CD)

2. Handle with Prayer – Monday (originally released on A Witness)

3. The Greatest Gift – Tuesday (originally released on Fuel for the Soul)

4. The One – Wednesday (originally released on Fuel for the Soul)

5. Just as I Am* – Maundy Thursday (originally released on the Worship CD)

6. The Nails* – Good Friday (new)

7. Free – Saturday (originally released on A Witness)

8. Jesus Christ is Risen Today* – Easter Sunday (new)

9. Paradise* (originally released on A Witness)

10. Love Changes Everything* (originally released on the Worship CD)

The “*” next to some songs are what I would classify as “congregational friendly” – meaning these can be sung in corporate worship if you have a good enough worship team to pull-off the accompaniment. All of the songs are a pleasure to listen to and nicely produced.

The Poppy
Poppy
The CD cover art is a simple, delicate, pink poppy – a symbol of sleep (remember in the Wizard of Oz), peace, remembrance, life lost and the promise of resurrection after death – perfect for a Holy Week compilation! Do you see any other symbolism? There is one more important element. Look closely and open up your mind and think about Holy Week and your savior. It will come to you.

 

 

 

Song Reviews
Rather than provide a critical commentary on each song, I will concentrate on the two newbies – “The Nails” and the remake of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today“.

He Nailed It!
The Nails is obviously a passionate piece for Schroeder as it is sung with great feeling and emotion. I think this is so important in worship. Charlie Chaplin, was once quoted as saying: “we tend to think too much and feel too little.” I think he’s right. If us worshippers could harness this emotion in our corporate singing, God would be greatly glorified and we would also sound a whole lot better! Music is meant to be felt. We are not stones. Like Jesus, we are passionate people.

I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.” – Ivan Stravinsky

I am pleased that Schroeder sings with heart-felt emotions making these lyrics his personal testimony to his Savior. In the church, we call this “inwardly digesting the lyrics”. Lyrically, the song hits deep, as most of Schroeder’s songs do. It strikes a ringing minor chord in my heart. It is a perfect song for Good Friday as it captures the essence of this incredible substitutionary sacrifice – for You! And for me!

You can hear “The Nails” here:

He Makes All Things New!
The new arrangement for “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” to me, is only recognizable with the singing of the title line followed by Alleluia. There are plenty of new lyrics, new progressions, new instrumentation, a new groove, new, new, new… to make this a joyous pleasure to listen to. I guarantee that you will be smiling and tapping your foot within a few seconds of listening to this piece.

What’s really special to me is that I love the original hymn and when this is the case, I just don’t like it when people mess around with them. Leave them alone! They have survived a few centuries for a reason! What I do like, is when it is changed so much that it takes on a new life and this is exactly what happens with Schroeder’s arrangement of the classic hymn. It does have a new life and a new meaning. You will just have to hear it for yourself.

Link to listen to “Jesus ChristChrist is Risen Today”:

A Penultimate Thought
On a closing note, check out the pinnacle of the song titled “Paradise“. You will know the pinnacle moment by the pitch of one exemplary high note. I’m guessing it’s at least a very impressive high G note. It does it’s job. It draws attention to the lyrics and after all, our music is supposed to serve the word, right?

It strikes me that this CD would be a great confirmation gift or a good subject matter for a teen bible class!

You can read all the lyrics, watch a few videos, and purchase the Passion CD at michaelschroeder.com.

 

 

A Call to Worship based on the Beatitudes


A Call to Worship based on the Beatitudes

M:        This is a call to all those who are poor in spirit,
C:        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

M:        This is a call to all those who mourn,
C:        for they will be comforted.

M:        This is a call to all those who are meek,
C:        for they will inherit the earth.

M:        This is a call to all those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
C:        for they will be filled.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the merciful,
C:        for they will be shown mercy.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the pure in heart,
C:        for they will see God.

M:        This is a call to all those who are the peacemakers,
C:        for they will be called sons of God.

M:        This is a call to all those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
C:        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

M:        Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me (Jesus). 

– Based on Matthew 5:3-12

Here’s some incredible music based on these passages to go along with the reading:

Matt Maher – “Unwavering”

Michael Schroeder – “The Beatitudes”
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/a-witness/id30841673
http://www.newsongministries.info/ms-site/lyrics/A%20Witness/Beatitudes.html


“Blessed To Be A Blessing” by Michael Schmid (ref Mt 5:1-16):
http://www.truevinemusic.com/blessed_to_be_a_blessing.htm

“Blest Are They” (CWS 758)
“Jesus Sat With His Disciples”(CWS 763)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

How to Modernize a Hymn – Part two of a two part series


How to Modernize a Hymn – Part two of a two part series

“Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” by Michael Schroeder

Let’s consider the doxology put to music, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” which is hymn number 334 in “Christian Worship” (the Lutheran Hymnal).

By looking at the hymn, it’s apparent that it is written in the key of G because it has one sharp.  This already is a guitar friendly key so we are off to a good start.

Next, from the chord tables presented in yesterday’s post, we see that the typical chords in the key of G are going to be G, Am, Bm, C, D, and Em.  Very important!

Next, by looking at the notes, we identify the chords and the best places for the chord changes.  We can see from the lead sheet below that the artist, Michael Schroeder, is using a chord progression consisting of G, D, C and Em which are all in line with our expectations cited above.  We’ll discuss the slash chords and extensions later.

First, let’s look at the intro.  This is the musical hook for the new arrangement.  It’s catchy, it’s a driving beat, it sets the mood for the song, it’s memorable, it’s identifiable, in short, it’s great.  The key to the hook is the chord change from the G(no3) to the Gmaj7(no3) and the transition to the C2(no 3) and the Gmaj7(no 3) / C bass.  These are not very well known chord voicings but once you know them, they sound incredible together.  This is “jazzing up the piece” as identified in step five in yesterday’s post.

Next, let’s look at the lyrics and the structure of the song.  The first and last verse are the same as the hymn verse.  This is great because who wants to mess around with the doxology?  But Schroeder adds two new verses that are biblical and support the overall themes of praise and thanks in the hymn.  He also does a fine job of bringing out our praises to all persons of the Holy Trinity.

He has also added a chorus that does all the things mentioned in yesterday’s post.  Namely, it is lyrically a response to the verse, it is sung higher and with more energy and it is memorable.  It also uses all the major chords (tonic chords) in the key of G – G, C and D.

The structure of the song is Intro, Verse 1, Intro, Verse 2, Chorus, Verse 3, Chorus, Verse 4, Outro.  You will also note that the “hook” established in the intro is used as a musical turnaround throughout the song.  The arrangement is nicely and thoughtfully put together.

Finally, Michael Schroeder has done a stellar job of jazzing up the chords.  He’s dropped the third from the G chord converting it to a power chord (essentially a G5 chord), he’s added slash chords to highlight a bass run to go along with the chord changes in the verse, and he’s using a Dsus and a few “2” chords, like the C2 for a real contemporary sound and feel.

All in all, a very fine job.  This is what modernizing a hymn should sound like.

You can listen to a 1.5 minute sound clip of this piece here (song #10):

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/worship/id363944033?uo=4

You can also purchase the CD from the Itunes site, or if you buy it from Michael Schroeder’s website ( www.michaelschroeder.com ), it will also include a free bonus CD with backing tracks, chord charts, lyrics, scripture references, commentaries and power points for each of the songs included on the disc. 

Here’s my recommendations: 

If you are a Pastor who has never tried anything like this before, but you are curious, I would propose to proceed carefully as follows: 

  1. Buy the CD from www.michaelschroeder.com because the dual disc format and the extra resources will prove to be priceless to you.
  2. Use the bonus disc with the backing track for “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” and try it first with your youth or teen group if you have one.  If not, try it with your choir first.  My guess is that your people are going to love it.
  3. Have your choir or the youth group introduce it to the congregation by singing it on any given Sunday.
  4. Get a copy of the lead sheet from this website to your church musicians (pianist and a guitarist are a must for this piece).  Have them practice it until they know it well.
  5. Sing it as a congregation using either the above two-piece band or you can still use the backing track if you don’t have the musicians.
  6. You might want to have a soloist or the choir sing the choruses because the E note is quite high for the average singer.
  7. God be with you.  Email if you have any questions.

For a limited time, you can get the lead sheet by clicking on the following text:

Praise God – MSchroeder

 

How to Modernize a Hymn – Part one of a two part series


How to Modernize a Hymn – Part one of a two part series

I don’t think there are many Christians, even those who use nothing but Contemporary music, that doubt or question the depth and the beauty of the lyrics contained in our wealth of hymns. But sometimes, they are difficult to comprehend or are just too musically foreign to those that we are Called to reach.

There is a process to modernize these hymns and to put chords to them but it’s not easy to do and there are a lot of subtleties that only come with experience and knowledge. In this two-part series, I will try to address one basic approach to do this.

In this first installment, we will consider a step-by-step approach written for a beginner’s level and the second installment will show an example where these types of techniques have been used successfully.

So let’s start…

Step One – Put Chords to it

Here is the process you will need to add your own chords:

  1. Identify the key signature by looking at the number of sharps and flats.

No sharps or flats – key of C or Am
1 Sharp – key of G or Em
2 Sharps – key of D or Bm
3 Sharps – key of A or F#m
4 Sharps – key of E or C#m
5 Sharps – key of B or G#m (rarely used)
6 Sharps – key of F# or D#m (rarely used)
1 flat – key of F or Dm
2 flats – key of Bb or Gm
3 flats – key of Eb or Cm
4 flats – key of Ab or Fm
5 flats – key of Db or Bbm
6 flats – key of Gb or Ebm (rarely used)

  1. Know the typical chords used in each key signature (these are referred to as the harmonized scales):
MAJOR SCALE   R   -   2   -    3    4   -   5   -   6   -   7 
   C  maj.:   C   -   Dm   -   Em   F   -   G   -   Am  -  rarely
   Db maj.:   Db  -   Ebm  -   Fm   Gb  -   Ab  -   Bbm -  used
   D  maj.:   D   -   Em   -   F#m  G   -   A   -   Bm
   Eb maj.:   Eb  -   Fm   -   Gm   Ab  -   Bb  -   Cm
   E  maj.:   E   -   F#m  -   G#m  A   -   B   -   C#m
   F  maj.:   F   -   Gm   -   Am   Bb  -   C   -   Dm
   F# maj.:   F#  -   G#m  -   A#m  B   -   C#  -   D#m
   G  maj.:   G   -   Am   -   Bm   C   -   D   -   Em
   Ab maj.:   Ab  -   Bbm  -   Cm   Db  -   Eb  -   Fm
   A  maj.:   A   -   Bm   -   C#m  D   -   E   -   F#m
   Bb maj.:   Bb  -   Cm   -   Dm   Eb  -   F   -   Gm 
   B  maj.:   B   -   C#m  -   D#m  E   -   F#  -   G#m 

MINOR SCALE   R   -    2      b3  -   4    -       5      b6  -   b7
   A  min.:   Am   -   Bdim   C   -   Dm   -   Em or E    F
   Bb min.:   Bbm  -   Cbdim  Db  -   Ebm  -   Fm or F    Gb
   B  min.:   Bm   -   C#dim  D   -   Em   -   F#m or F#  G 
   C  min.:   Cm   -   Ddim   Eb  -   Fm   -   Gm or G    Ab
   C# min.:   C#m  -   D#dim  E   -   F#m  -   G#m or G#  A
   D  min.:   Dm   -   Edim   F   -   Gm   -   Am or A    Bb
   Eb min.:   Ebm  -   Fdim   Gb  -   Abm  -   Bbm or Bb (B)
   E  min.:   Em   -   F#dim  G   -   Am   -   Bm or B    C 
   F  min.:   Fm   -   Gdim   Ab  -   Bbm  -   Cm or C    Db 
   F# min.:   F#m  -   G#dim  A   -   Bm   -   C#m or C#  D
   G  min.:   Gm   -   Adim   Bb  -   Cm   -   Dm or D    Eb 
   G# min.:   G#m  -   A#dim  B   -   C#m  -   D#m or D#  E
  1. Know what each line and space represent on the treble and bass clefs. (See below)

Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons

4. Now the hard part. If you know the key signature by the number of sharps and flats (item 1 above), then you know the basic chords to look for (item 2), and now you should be able to identify all the notes in each grouping of chords on your sheet music by using the chart in item 3. You will also need to know the notes that comprise each chord. Here’s a little help:

A…………….A-C#-E
Am…………..A-C-E
Bb……………Bb-D-F
Bbm………….Bb-Db-F
B……………..B-D#-F#
Bm…………..B-D-F#
C…………….C-E-G
Cm…………..C-Eb-G
C# (or Db)….. C#-F-G# or (Db-F-Ab)
C#m (or Dbm).C#-E-G# or (Db-E-Ab)
D…………….D-F#-A
Dm…………..D-F-A
Eb……………Eb-G-Bb
Ebm …………Eb-Gb-Bb
E……………..E-G#-B
Em………….. E-G-B
F……………..F-A-C
Fm………….. F-Ab-C
F# (or Gb)……F#-A#-C#
F#m (or Gbm).F#-A-C#
G…………… G-B-D
Gm………….G-Bb-D
Ab………………Ab-B-Eb
Abm……………Ab-Bb-Eb

5. Many hymns that don’t have guitar chords do so for a reason, and typically it is because every note in the melody line theoretically requires a different guitar chord. If this is the case, your song will sound too choppy with a chord change on every beat. Songs that lend themselves well to guitar accompaniment typically have a chord change at the start of the measures or sometimes at the mid-point of the measures. For example, a song in 4/4 time might have a chord change before the first and maybe the third beats. Even if you’re hymn requires a unique chord for each note in the melody line – don’t do it! If 4/4 time, stick to the chord changes on the first and third beats. Also, listen for the “strong beats” and put the chord changes on those particular notes.

6. When you have finished putting chords to a musical piece, sit back and look at the song in its entirety, as opposed to the note-by-note study that you have just finished. Look for overriding chord patterns or progressions. Sometimes, you can delete certain chords that you have identified and use fewer chords that fit into an overall theme for the song. It also sometimes helps to replace the chord names with Roman numerals and then to look for repeating patterns.

This technique should get you started. There are other more advanced issues such as numbered chords (C2, C5, Csus, C7, etc.) and slash chords (D/A, D/F#, D/G, etc.) but these can come later.

Step Two – Consider adding a Chorus and maybe a Bridge

The Chorus:
Most hymns only have verses. Lots of verses. These verses tell a story. Sometimes it’s nice to respond to these verses with either a chorus or refrain and sometimes it’s nice to alter the musical accompaniment with a bridge.

When writing a chorus, think of it as an answer to the story being told in the verse. Also, the chorus is usually sung a bit higher than the verse and with more energy. Choruses are usually the “hook” of the song; they are the part that people will remember and sing throughout the upcoming week. The chorus will have a stronger chord progression than the more fragile verses and the chorus will typically use more of the tonic key notes than in the verses. Choruses can also talk about feelings, or how you should feel about the story being told in the verses. A good example of a hymn with a great chorus that you undoubtedly know is “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Another good example would be Chris Tomlin’s recent adaptation of “Amazing Grace” with his iconic chorus “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior, has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns. Unending love. Amazing Grace.” Wow!

The Bridge:
The bridge offers melodic, lyrical and even harmonic variation. Bridges can be a welcome addition to hymns because the verses and even the chorus can be very repetitive. Oftentimes, bridges in songs written in major keys start with a minor chord and vice versa, and they almost never start with the tonic chord.

Next you will need a formula for the structure of your new hymn. Consider something like:
Verse 1, Verse 2, Chorus, Verse 3, Chorus, Bridge, Verse 4, Chorus, End

But there are unlimited combinations.

Step Three – Consider updating the lyrics

Read through the hymn lyrics. If they are in our CW hymnbook, they will be pretty awesome. However, some hymns use too many churchy words, too many archaic words, phrases no longer in use, old English, phrases that just didn’t translate well into English from the original language the hymn was written in and what I’ll call reverse poetry. Keep all these things if the hymn sings well and makes sense to you. Only make changes if the lyrics require you to research and study them immensly before you get the picture. Our hymnal has actually already come a long way. There were massive revisions between our current hymnal and it’s predecessor so you might be OK in this regard.

If you change lyrics, make sure that you do not change the message, the rhythm, or the meter (the number of syllables per measure). You may find a rhyming dictionary and a thesaurus to be helpful in this regard.

Step Four – Consider adding a Musical Turn Around

Most hymns just seem to run into a musical brick wall at the end of a verse and then awkwardly go back to the beginning. Update this! Add a short musical turn-around, perhaps just a measure or two, but find a way to musically tie the ending back to the beginning.

I know that many of you reading this post are in my denomination and have probably heard the band known as “Branches.” They have a great example of a musical turn around in their arrangement of “How Great Thou Art.” Just listen to Andy Braun and the band use a few simple chords to turn the end of each verse into a transition to get back to the beginning and you will know exactly what I am talking about. Braun’s turn-around makes an incredible hymn even more incredible and that’s the point of this effort.

Step Five – Consider Jazzing it Up

There are many ways to do this. Consider modulating the last verse up or down a whole step, or even a minor third, depending on the mood of the song. Or, take an instrumental break in between verses or simply add an intro. Another idea would be to use some chord extensions like ninths, elevenths, thirteenths or even major sevenths. Another thing you can do is add a few slash chords with inherent bass runs to connect the chords together.

Step Six – Say a Prayer of Thanks; you’ve made it.

Whew! That was a lot of work; but that hymn you’re considering redoing is worth it.

Tomorrow we will consider an example. “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” that was redone by musician Michael Schroeder in 2010.

Song Choices to Accompany Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount


Song Choices to Accompany Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is documented in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5:1-47. It begins with the beautiful Beatitudes in verses 1-12. This section of scripture comes up in our Lectionary during the season of Epiphany on 1/30/11 (Mt 5:1-12), 2/6/11 (Mt 5:13-20) and 2/13 (Mt 5:21-37). The following are my favorite songs to use for this text:

Traditional: “Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening”, CW283, text by Anna Sophia, music by Johann Schop. I have the guitar chords for this tune if any one is interested; email me at sjbrown58(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Blended: “Speak, O Lord”, CWS735 by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend. This song is included in our hymnal supplement and lyric-wise is similar to the above mentioned hymn. Both songs do an excellent job at describing our listening to Jesus’ words as He speaks his sermon.

You can hear this song as performed by the Getty’s by clicking on this graphic:

You can learn to play it by clicking here:

You can here the MLC choir performing it by clicking here:

Contemporary: “the Beatitudes” by Michael Schroeder and/or “Unwavering” by Matt Maher. Actually, in my opinion, both of these songs are better than either “Speak, O Lord” or “Speak, O Savior; I Am Listening” for this occasion because they basically take the Beatitudes text and set them to music; especially Schroeder’s song.

You can hear “the Beatitudes” by clicking on this graphic:

You can hear “Unwavering” by clicking on this graphic:

We Bow Down


We Bow Down

There are some really great song lyrics coming out these days, but some of our churches don’t have the capabilities to play the newer musical styles.   Here’s a way to still use these finely crafted lyrics in a spoken format.

The following is a responsive reading that uses scripture, together with the lyrics from a contemporary song.  It is meant to be read responsively.  For an added bonus, and if you do have the capabilities, your praise band might want to play the song “We Bow Down” as either pre-service, during the Offering or as a postlude.

M:  Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound—May the glory of the LORD be praised in his dwelling place! – Ezk 3:12
C: I bow at your glory, I bow at your love; that purchased and bought me through your precious blood.

M: Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; – Ps 95:6
C: I bow to the Savior, my Lord and King; I worship and praise you, and to you I sing.

M: But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple. – Ps 5:7
C: I bow at your mercy that reigns over all, I bow at the greatness of the Lord our God.

M: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Ps 19:1
C: I bow as your glory the heaven’s proclaim and fall down to worship, and bow to your name.

M: It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;     every tongue will confess to God.’ ”
C:  We bow down to our Lord and King.  We bow down to Your holy Name.  Let all the nations sing praises to the King as we bow down.

M: She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. – Mt 1:21
C: I bow at your glory, and fall to my knees.  I bow to the savior that came to save me.

M:  Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. – Isa 40:28
C: I bow in Your presence, the lord over all; I bow to our great, everlasting God.

M: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, – Phil 2:10
C: We bow down to our Lord and King.  We bow down to Your holy Name.  Let all the nations sing praises to the King as we bow down.

M: Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. – Isa 29:19
C:  I’m humbled before you, my Lord and King.  I worship and praise you, and to you I sing.

M: All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. – Ps 86:9
C: We bow down to our Lord and King.  We bow down to Your holy Name.  Let all the nations sing praises to the King as we bow down.

“We Bow Down” was written by Michael Schroeder – thanks for sharing your lyrics and allowing others to use them in this format!

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Lyrics – ©2010, Michael Schroeder, http://www.michaelschroeder.com

Free Chord Chart for “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow”


Free Chord Chart for “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow”

In my prior post, I had mentioned a new version of the hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” arranged by Michael Schroeder.  The post also included a video of the piece.  Michael has offered a chord sheet of his arrangement to anyone interested.  You can get your free copy by either downloading the pdf file from my file download area, or by requesting a copy from me at my email address: “sjbrown58 at yahoo.com” and I would be happy to pass one off to you; courtesy of Michael Schroeder.  For a limited time, you can also visit Michael’s website for a copy as well (http://www.michaelschroeder.com).

If you missed the video, you can see it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai13oFR9pOo

Have a great “Holy Trinity” celebration this weekend and may God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit share the glory in all that you do.

Five Great Holy Trinity Songs


Five Great Holy Trinity Songs

Traditional:
My two favorite hymns for Holy Trinity Sunday are “Come, Now, Almighty King” and “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty”; I probably don’t need to say much about these hymns because the circles I run with and the majority of the people reading this BLOG are infinitely familiar with each song.  So let’s move on.

Blended:
I have two song recommendations that are getting old and are well used but I like them for a particular reason.  The two songs are “Father I Adore You” by Terrye Coelho Strom and “Glorify Thy Name” by Donna Adkins.   I like these songs for one main reason – they do a wonderful job at voicing our equal praise to each person of the Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  The song lyrics show no favoritism between the three persons of the Godhead and I think this is a valuable thing to consider on Holy Trinity Sunday because most of us tend to cling closely to Jesus, I know that I do, and there’s nothing wrong with this; but I think that we also need to take time once in a while to show equal worthiness to all three persons in the Trinity.  The other thing that I like about these songs is that the lyrics and melodies are so simple that most people can sing them from memory without even looking at a book, a song sheet, or at a screen.  Even if you’ve never sung these songs before, you will be able to sing it this way after the first verse.  This also, is a valuable attribute to consider because we sing better when we can look forward, chins up and not having to be concerned about reading lyrics and musical notation.  Either of these songs are a wonderful complement to the recitation of the Athanasian Creed.

Here are the lyrics for each piece:

Father, I adore You (LAPPY #67)

Father, I adore You, Lay my life before you, how I love you.
Jesus, I adore You, Lay my life before you, how I love you.
Spirit, I adore You, Lay my life before you, how I love you.

©Copyright 1972, Maranatha! Music, Terrye Coelho Strom

Father I Adore You can also be sung as a round, and as an added benefit most children know this song as well, probably from VBS.

Glorify Thy Name (BOB #66 & LAPPY #86)

Father we love you, we worship and adore you.  Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.
Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.
Jesus we love you, we worship and adore you.  Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.
Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.
Spirit we love you, we worship and adore you.  Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.
Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name, Glorify Thy Name in all the earth.

©Copyright 1976, Maranatha! Music, Donna Adkins, CCLI #1383

New (Contemporary):
My recommendation for a new piece of music would be Michael Schroeder’s rendition of the classic hymn “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.”  His arrangement gives equal praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and he even fit in the expression “three in one” which is a great lyric to be expressing on Trinity Sunday.
As an added bonus for you guitarists, here’s a few hints to nail this piece:

For the opening riff, noodle around between these two chord fingerings:

3×0033 changing to 3×0032 and really emphasize the change on the first string which is actually bouncing  between a G5  and a G maj7 (without the third) – it’s pretty simple but effective; the key is to get the timing which you can only obtain by listening to the original and practicing along with it.  You can actually play this riff after the first, third and forth line of each verse to fill in the gap between the lyrics.  It does a nice job of drawing attention to the lyric that has just been sung.
The second hint is to do a reverse rake (pull up on the last four strings – one at a time; faster than an arpeggio but slower than a strum) after the second line of each verse.  The chord is a Dsus so you’ll be pulling up on these notes:

E string – 3rd fret
B string – 3rd fret
G string – 2 nd fret
D string – open

I don’t know if this is how Schroeder (or his band members) actually play these riffs but my interpretation should be a quick and easy way of getting close to his sound.  This is one of those songs where you can lead the congregation with only a guitar!

You can hear the piece here:

Used with permission and heartfelt thanks go to Michael for sharing.   www.michaelschroeder.com

One more thing of interest here; at least to me.  On Schroeder’s CD he has included the chord sheets but he has arranged this particular chord sheet in a peculiar way.  It’s actually set up like a hymn which is an interesting twist given that the song is a modern arrangement of a hymn.  You’ll have to get a copy of the CD to see what I am referring to; and now you also know a few of the musical licks to get your strumming to sound like the original.