Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pentecost

When I was still vicar in a middle-of-the-road parish in Coventry, Pentecost hymns were fairly easy to choose - Breathe on Me Breath of God to the less-miserable tune was about as lively as it got. O thou who camest, Come down O love divine... filled the list out. Since being in a place where much more contemporary stuff is used again, it's been interesting to see how few lively Pentecost worship songs there are. They are usually quite slow and even a bit dreary.

The surprising thing is that you would expect charismatics to be enthusiastic about Pentecost. Feeling the need to write a song, but I know I never will. If only I was a completer-finisher (and knew how to use the subjunctive properly).

11 comments:

emma said...

We found it equally as difficult as a music group to choose songs for this morning (of the 'a little less contemporary but still fairly modern' feel). There's always Shine Jesus Shine (blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire) and When the Spirit of the Lord. Hymns Old and New is a little lacking in suggestions too.

Mike said...

Consuming Fire is another. The field is pretty small, though.

Matthew McMurray said...

Well, yeah, we had "Come down O love divine" and "Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire".

Mind you, you know me: if it ain't broke don't fix it!

Perhaps the problem is that we don't often experience such "pentecost" moments. I am not always convinced by attempts to recreate them either.

Mike said...

I just think that if there's one day in the Church year to get excited, then it's Pentecost, and it's remarkable how unexciting the music is. After all, liturgies try and acknowledge that, so why don't the songs?

Anonymous said...

No dancing around the church then this year? As we sang, 'I will dance as David danced' this morning and I took a look around the church I thought to myself just how ridiculous it was that we sang it. If we don't mean it, why do we sing it?! Most of the congregation would be outraged if I'd skipped down from the platform and boogied down the aisle, and as for anyone joining me... not a hope!

emma said...

sorry, that was me, didn't click the right box!

Matthew McMurray said...

I agree that it is the one time of the year to get excited. The best worship songs (or at least what I consider to be the best) are the ones that come from a real experience.

What I was trying to say, albeit clumsily, was that perhaps if we experience more "authentic" pentecost moments, then the songs that came out of that would reflect it more.

http://spaces.msn.com/mpmcmurray

Matthew McMurray said...

Meant to say as well that singing somebody else's "testimony" is pretty useless. I suppose it is like what Emma said:

Why sing it if you don't mean it?
Why sing about it if it isn't part of your experience?

I suppose that with "When the Spirit of the Lord", you can only really dance it if you have felt a specific anointing of the Spirit to inspire you to do that. Singing it in a congregation who haven't is like getting the local mosque to sing, "My Jesus, My Saviour".

St said...

I wanted to play Ghost Town by the Specials but got over-ruled.

Write your song. Am going to bully you until you finish it. Deadlne - performance Friday July 14th Cafe Create.

Mike said...

Pity they didn't allow it - a song inspired by Coventry, no less!

Mike said...

You could always go for Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown