Category Archives: Holy Trinity Sunday



Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah saw a vision beyond words and beyond description. In a word, it was holy. It was holy, holy, holy! The trisagion.
Eight hundred years later and while on the island of Patmos, John saw a vision beyond words and beyond description. It was also holy and it was holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy holy was being said, and holy, holy, holy was being sung by saints, by angels, by elders and by incredibly mystical Heavenly creatures. In fact they still sing holy, holy, holy today.
I’m no scholar but it seems to me that singing a triple holy, holy, holy is important.
Holy may be the most important and descriptive word written about God in all of scripture. God is the only one in worship, no – in existence, who is holy. Holiness is at the very core of who God is. Leads me to wonder, how often do we sing holy, holy, holy?
Here are some songs for the church to sing that use this critically important trisagion:
“It is Well” – Jeremy Camp’s version of Horatio Spafford‘s hymn
“We Fall Down” – Steven Curtis Chapman‘s version of Chris Tomlin‘s song
“I See The Lord” – by Chris Falsom
“Isaiah 6” – by Todd Agnew
“Holy God” – by Brian Doerksen
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – words by Reginald Heber, music by John Dykes
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – Matt Maher version
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – Michael Schroeder version
“Holy” – by Matt Redman and Jason Ingram

Sender, Sent, Sending

Sender, Sent, Sending

God the Father…
God the Son…
God the Spirit…

God is a relationship: Father, Son and Spirit.

God the Father is the sender
He sent Jesus

Jesus is the “sent”
Born of flesh into this beautiful world

The Holy Spirit has also been sent, but is now sending
He is sending you into this wonderful world
You are not ordinary
You are extraordinary
Because the Spirit is in you
That’s your call
That’s your mission
You are now sent.
Sent to do God’s will
Sent to do God’s work
Sent to speak the words of the sender

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing – you were sent there!

Five Great Holy Trinity Songs

Five Great Holy Trinity Songs

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.

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.

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.

Trinity Sunday, Isaiah 6, Using Art in Worship

Holy Trinity Sunday falls on June 7 this year.  I’ve already posted about the fact that we will be using “Father, I Adore You” during this service and that a teen will be joining us in the musical accompaniment.

As it turns out, the OT reading for this particular Sunday, according to our Lectionary, is Isaiah 6:1-8, a favorite of mine.  One other thing that we will be doing at this service, and it involves another teen, is to use a piece of art, an original watercolor prepared by a talented young artist in our congregation.  His artwork is a depiction of the Seraphim described in Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in the Temple.  I plan to use his artwork as a talking piece for the children’s message.  We don’t use art much in worship (except for banners), but for the few times that we have, I wished that we could do more of it because the visual perspective is so helpful to me and I assume to others as well.  It’s helpful because it presents God’s word in a visual format, plus it gives us a chance to see people using the gifts that God has given them to glorify the source of all gifts.  In this instance, it brings these magnificent Seraphim to life which is difficult to do through reading.  And in true Lutheran fashion, this young man does not want any notoriety and has expressed his work to remain anonymous.

I don’t know why the Isaiah 6 account is used on Trinity Sunday but recall that the Seraphim were calling to one another “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty…”; which we will be singing to each other as well in the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty”  (CW195).

There’s a contemporary song that takes these exact Isaiah 6 words of scripture and masterfully puts them to music.  You can listen to the song entitled “Isaiah 6” by Todd Agnew here:

Also, we happen to use the “Best of the Best” songbook at our church and song # 112, “I See the Lord” by Chris Falson is a wonderful song to be used as a response to the Isaiah 6 reading.

Music for Holy Trinity Sunday and How to Transpose

On Trinity Sunday, I have chosen the song ”Father I Adore You” as a song choice.  Many congregations use this on Trinity Sunday.  There are other good contemporary song choices, such as “Glorify Thy Name”, but I chose ”Father I Adore You” because there is a portion of our congregation that normally does not sing, but they will be singing this song.  I’m talking about our smallest children, and more importantly, those too young to read.  At our church, this age group knows this song from previous VBS and other children’s activities.  I think it’s important for us as worship planners to include a song that they can join in on every once in a while.

“Father I Adore You” was written by Terrye Coelho Strom, many of us WELS types know it as LAPPY # 67.

Last week, during our monthly contemporary service, a teen in the congregation approached me after worship and offered to play her guitar in future services.  Apparently she has been taking lessons and is ready to use her gifts.  I am very excited about this because it’s a teen showing an interest in participating in worship which for some reason is an age group that we find to be difficult to get involved.

But here’s the problem.  “Father I Adore You” is written in the key of F and includes the chords: F, Gm and C.  Not a big deal for most guitarists, but for a beginner, the F and Gm chords can be difficult.  Here’s the solution: transpose.

In this instance, usually the best thing to do is to transpose down to a more guitar-friendly key, then use your CAPO to lift the pitch back to the original key.  For example, let’s transpose this song down to the key of D.  To find the new chords, we need to write down both of the major scales (F and D) as follows:

Original Key:  F  G  A    Bb  C  D  E    F
New Key:       D  E  F#  G    A  B  C#  D

Next, find the original chords in the original key (upper row), then read the new chords, in the new key directly beneath the original chords.  For example:

F becomes D
Gm becomes Em
C becomes A

The new chords are now D, Em and A which are all very easy to play.

The last thing we need to do is to find the CAPO position.  Remember that we lowered the key from F to D, which is 3 half steps (just count the number of frets between the F and D note on any one string). This means that we need to raise our pitch by 3 half steps so the CAPO needs to go at the third fret.

And here’s a neat trick; if you have two guitarists, let one play in the key of F and have the second guitarist play it in the key of D at the capo 3 position.  This will add some color and different chord voicings to your music.  Also, check your guitar tuning with the CAPO in place as this will sometimes throw your tuning off.

For future reference in transposing, here are all the major and minor keys:

MAJOR SCALE   R   -   2   -   3   4   -   5   -   6   -   7
   C  maj.:   C   -   D   -   E   F   -   G   -   A   -   B
   Db maj.:   Db  -   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -   Bb  -   C
   D  maj.:   D   -   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -   B   -   C#
   Eb maj.:   Eb  -   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   -   D
   E  maj.:   E   -   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -   C#  -   D#
   F  maj.:   F   -   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -   D   -   E
   F# maj.:   F#  -   G#  -   A#  B   -   C#  -   D#  -  (E#)
   G  maj.:   G   -   A   -   B   C   -   D   -   E   -   F#
   Ab maj.:   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   Db  -   Eb  -   F   -   G
   A  maj.:   A   -   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -   F#  -   G#
   Bb maj.:   Bb  -   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -   G   -   A
   B  maj.:   B   -   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -   G#  -   A#

MINOR SCALE   R   -   2   b3  -   4   -   5   b6  -   b7  -
   A  min.:   A   -   B   C   -   D   -   E   F   -   G   -
   Bb min.:   Bb  -   Cb  Db  -   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -
   B  min.:   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -
   C  min.:   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -
   C# min.:   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -
   D  min.:   D   -   E   F   -   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -
   Eb min.:   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -   Bb (Cb) -   Db  -
   E  min.:   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -   B   C   -   D   -
   F  min.:   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   Db  -   Eb  -
   F# min.:   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -
   G  min.:   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -
   G# min.:   G#  -   A#  B   -   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -

Hymn to the Trinity (Come Thou Almighty King)

Hymn to the Trinity (Come Thou Almighty King)

An anonymous hymn of praise to our triune God.  For an Independence Day treat, try singing this familiar text to “AMERICA” (“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”).





Come, thou Almighty King,

Help us thy name to sing,

Help us to praise:

Father, all glorious,

O’er all victorious,

Come and reign over us,

Ancient of Days.


Come, thou Incarnate Word,

Gird on thy mighty sword,

Our prayer attend:

Come, and thy people bless,

And give thy word success:

Spirit of holiness,

On us descend.


Come, Holy Comforter,

Thy sacred witness bear

In this glad hour:

Thou who almighty art,

Now rule in every heart,

And ne’er from us depart,

Spirit of power.


To thee, great One in Three,

Eternal praises be

Hence, evermore!

Thy sovereign majesty

May we in glory see,

And to eternity

Love and adore.