Monthly Archives: May 2008

Using the Metrical Index

This Sunday, one of the major themes of our service is the Christian’s love for God. Psalm 116 immediately came to mind as one of the seminal passages in the Bible regarding loving God. I scoured my psalters for a suitable setting of the text and ended up with Isaac Watts’ version.

I love the Lord; he heard my cries, and pitied every groan:
Long as I live, when troubles rise, I’ll hasten to his throne.

I love the Lord; he bowed his ear, and chased my griefs away;
O let my heart no more despair, while I have breath to pray!

The text is in CM (Common Meter), which means that each verse contains four lines – 8 syllables – six syllables – 8 – 6. I searched the Metrical Index and tried to find a suitable tune. None of the CM tunes seemed to work, but a CMD tune stuck out. (CMD stands for Common Meter Doubled. Instead of 8.6.8.6., the melody is 8.6.8.6.8.6.8.6.) I set the text to Laura Taylor’s tune for “To Christ the Lord”. I find it works rather well. After raising the key a minor third and setting Watts’ lyrics, it looks like this:
I Love the Lord Lead Sheet
I’m pleased with the pairing.

I’ll be continually updating the metrical index on this site as a reference tool. Feel free to use it to use my tunes or others’ tunes. (If you have any suggestions on how to make it more useful, please email me and let me know.)

Eschatological Worship (a few thoughts)

All worship is eschatological. All true worship remembers the past, experiences the present and looks toward the future. In that sense, eschatology should shape how we see our gathered worship of God. It is in worship – in hearing the Word preached, in prayer, in exhorting each other, in affirming our faith, in receiving the sacraments – that we, as a community, reject antichrist.

(These are just a few thoughts that I’m putting down for myself in preparation for a sermon in July. The last time I preached, my text was from Revelation 13 – the mark of the beast passage – and on July 6, I’ll be tackling antichrist. I promise that I’m not fixated on the “End Times”, except in the sense that all of our lives are lived in the end times.)

God Be Merciful to Me

Here is a very quick and dirty arrangement of Chris Miner’s tune for “God Be Merciful to Me”. I’ve done some harmony adjustment that makes the song more of a confessional, in my opinion. I obviously cranked out this arrangement after listening to “Summer Skin” by Death Cab for Cutie one too many times.

There are no dynamics yet and I can’t quite figure out how to correctly work the modulation on the organ but this is a first step, nonetheless, toward creating some new arrangements.

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Whirlwind Reflections

I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Grapevine, Texas after a busy weekend.  After beginning the day on Saturday with the wedding of two good friends, I drove up here to the Metroplex so that I can attend a conference on Monday and Tuesday.  As part of my trip, I visited several churches in the D/FW area to get an idea of what their worship services look like.  Within a span of 24 hours I attended 4 services.  Here are some reflections while they are fresh in my mind. (more…)

Fresh Content Coming

It’s pretty depressing when most of the recent posts are in the category “Site Information”.  That won’t be the case for long.  After a lengthy sabbatical that has included graduating from seminary, moving, starting a job, getting married, undergoing ordination exams, purchasing a house and getting ordained, I am working on the site once again.  If there are any readers left, thanks for your patience.