A weekly blog of Ideas for Leading Creative Worship
Lamb of God
This week’s blog features another simple sung response to use when leading prayers.
You can download a PDF of the music here:
I used this response in our service at Wesley Methodist Church, Wellington last Sunday.
In this Facebook livestream video you can see Heather and I leading the prayers and singing the response starting around the 41 minute mark.
Facebook Livestream – Video:
Here is the relevant section of my sermon in which I talked about the text.
“…as I get older, experience more of life, joyfully become a grandparent, the world seems less black and white, and I feel a shift in the way I regard the stories and experiences of Easter. Words in books call to my intellect. Sacred music calls to my heart.
Later in the service we are going to sing a response to the stanzas of prayer in our intercessions. The tune is my adaptation of a section of Jonathan Berkahn’s A Hopkins Gloria.** The English words are in the New Zealand Anglican Prayerbook and are translated from the Latin Mass of the Catholic church. They are part of the Christian tradition and have been spoken for many centuries. The Latin text has a lovely ring to it:
“Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.” “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.”
“Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.” “Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us.”
The “Lamb of God” is Jesus. What does Jesus do for us? We ask God to have mercy on us through Jesus, and Jesus takes away our sin. There is a softer tone to this teaching. We don’t need to believe – 100%, hard and fast, without doubt, totally for certain – that God made Jesus die on the cross for us, and if we can’t sign up for this understanding, we are not real Christians.
We should claim the freedom to re-think and re-feel the meaning of Easter for us as individuals, and perhaps as a congregation and faith community. There is not just one right answer, one correct response to Easter. And what we feel is true and affirming for our faith today, will change over time. We are on a faith journey.…”
We sang the response between the stanzas of the Prayers of Intercession, in the place of a spoken response.
This response could also be sung during the Prayer of Approach / Prayer of Confession, earlier in a service.
Heather accompanied the response on guitar. I stood next to her at the front of the church to lead the intercessions. The response could also be accompanied on piano; gently so as not to overwhelm the congregation’s singing.
The congregation were happy to join in the singing. The music was in their printed orders of service and we also projected it.
Can you find a short piece of music, which is meaningful to you, to sing as a prayer response in the next service you lead?
7 March 2023
** You can buy the digital recording of Jonathan Berkahn’s A Hopkins Gloria on Festival Singer’s website here: https://festivalsingersnz.org/cds/a-hopkins-gloria/