At Your Word, Lord

Music - Core Repertoire - Examples

(Luke 1: 46–55)
My soul glorifies the Lord
Mary’s great hymn of praise is used everyday by the Church in Evening Prayer. It is the first and best Marian hymn — praise of God who raises the lowly, a theme echoed through the scriptures. More than any other core text there are a wide variety of settings from hymn paraphrases to responsorial settings; shouts of praise to quiet reflection. Care should be taken to chose a setting suitable to the occasion but above all this should be a familiar text on the lips and in the hearts of Catholics.
  • God fills me with joy — J P Lécot (Lourdes)
  • Holy is his name (anon)
  • Magnificat — Bernadette Farrell
  • Magnificat — Gelineau
  • Magnificat — Taizé
  • My soul rejoices — Owen Alstott
  • Tell out my soul — T Dudley Smith
  • The Almighty works marvels for me — Peter Jones
The majority of settings of the Beatitudes are based on the version in Matthew’s Gospel (5: 3–12).
  • Amen, amen, is shall be so — Iona
  • As a tree planted — Marty Haugen
  • Beati in domo domini — Taizé
  • Blessed, blessed are the poor — Iona
  • Blest are they — David Haas
  • Happy are those — Russian arr. Stephen Dean
  • Peacemakers — Malcolm Campbell-Carr
  • The Beatitudes — Peter Jones
  • The Kingdom — Mike Anderson
Isaiah 12: 2–6
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
This is used as the responsorial psalm after the fifth reading at the Easter Vigil. The references to water and praise and trust of God make it suitable as a song for the sprinkling of water.
  • God, our fountain of salvation — Christopher Walker
  • In the Lord — Taizé
  • We shall draw water joyfully — Inwood
  • With joy you shall draw water — Bob Hurd
  • Settings in various responsorial psalm books
Psalm 22
Perhaps, through hymn paraphrases, the most familiar psalm. It occurs regularly in the Lectionary though it is not a common psalm, Frequently used at weddings and funerals it is a psalm of comfort, a psalm of anointing and leadership—some see the psalm as a commentary on Holy Week, a psalm of trust in God.
  • Because the Lord is my shepherd— Walker
  • God alone may lead — Conry
  • I’ll sing God’s praises — Nazareth
  • My shepherd is the Lord — Glynn (Psalm Songs)
  • O Christe Domine Jesu — Taizé
  • Shepherd me, O God — Haugen
  • The Lord is my shepherd — Ollis (Psalm Songs)
Psalm 33
Regularly used in the Liturgy of the Word Psalm 33 is also a core text for the communion procession — Taste and see that the Lord is good. A psalm of blessing, of appeal to God who answers our cry. The variety of responses suggest different uses for the psalm.
  • Taste and See — Dean, Moore, Richards, Walker (Psalm Songs)
  • Look towards the Lord — Glynn (Psalm Songs)
  • The Cry of the Poor — Foley
Psalm 115
Used as the Responsorial Psalm on Holy Thursday with the response from the earliest account of the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians. The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.
  • The Blessing Cup — Walker
  • Our Blessing Cup — Hurd
  • How can I repay — Dean
  • Lord, how can we repay — Glynn
Psalm 147
One of the sequence of praise psalms found at the end of the psalter. It uses the image of God feeding us with finest wheat.
  • Lauda Jerusalem — Lourdes
Philippians 2: 6–11
His state was divine
The text is read as the second reading on Palm Sunday and also provides the Gospel Acclamation verse for that day and Good Friday. It is also sung at Evening Prayer I of Sunday.
  • Before heaven and earth — Black
  • Every knee shall bow — Dean
  • Jesus the Holy Lamb of God — O’Hare
  • Jesus the Lord — O’Connot
  • Though one with God — Bell
1 Peter 2: 21–24
Christ suffered for you.
Sung during Lent at Sunday Evening Prayer II as the New Testament canticle the text speaks about the Passion of Christ.
  • By his wounds — Foster/Bévenot
  • As prophets foretold — Peter Jones
  • Ours were the griefs he bore — Stephen Dean
  • See Christ was wounded for our sake — Brian Foley
Ubi Caritas
Where charity and love are found — God is there.
This ancient liturgical text is sung as the gifts are brought forward on Holy Thursday.
  • Plainchant
  • Taizé - 2 versions: Berthier, Gelineau
  • Faith, hope and love — Christopher Walker
  • God is love and where true love is — James Quinn
  • Into one we all are gathered
  • Ubi Caritas — Bob Hurd
  • Where charity and love prevail — Omer Westendorf
  • Where is love and loving kindness — Alan Rees
Litany of Saints
At the end of the preface we join with the saints and angels to sing the praise of God. We are not alone; we celebrate with those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. In the Litany of Saints we are calling for the saints to join us in our prayer. The litany is used at the Easter Vigil, Ordinations and the Dedication of a Church. It would be a good way to begin a celebration of All Saints; it is also recommended for the 1st Sunday of Lent — the saints to join and support our Lenten journey.
On All Saints it would be important to name Saints who have meaning to the parish community: the patronal saint of the parish, local/diocesan saints, saints from the different cultures that make up the parish. There is a structure to the order of saints within the litany which should be respected. New Testament Saints; Martyrs; Doctors of the Church ; Men Saints; Women Saints.
The sung litany is a common musical form but in recent years some composers have written a longer sung response with the saints read over musical accompaniment.
  • Missal
  • Geoffrey Steel
  • James Walsh
  • Bernadette Farrell
Te Deum
This great 5th century hymn of praise can look forbidding when presented as a long page of Latin plainchant. Most English versions are paraphrases and to be true to the text should reflect the shift in it from universal praise to hopes and fears for the future and trust in God.
  • Celtic Alleluia with Te Deum verses— O’Carroll/Walker
  • Holy God, we praise thy name
  • Plainchant
  • We praise you, God, confessing you as Lord! — James Quinn
  • We praise you, O God. — Peter Jones
  • You are God, we praise you — Marty Haugen