Sunday, July 01, 2007

5 Fave hymns

Well, I've been tagged by Brother James Hayes f.i.c. for my 5 favourite hymns. You don't make it easy, do you Bro James? I have agonised for days over my choices and have probably left some good ones out. The original tag was for the 5 favourite Latin hymns and 5 favourite English hymns. Well, I have to say 'Latin hymns' is somewhat problematic for me since, apart from Ave Maria, I've never sung any Latin in church. However, I love sacred music and can at least summon up some favourite pieces as follows (in no particular order):

1. Miserere Mei by Allegri - achingly beautiful and has me floating in the rafters every time.

2. Lamentations of Jeremiah by Thomas Tallis. I love a bit of melancholy, within reason, and this whole series of pieces lets me know I'm still alive by taking me to the lower reaches of my emotional spectrum.

3. Crux Fidelis by John IV, King of Portugal. More sweet melancholy.

4. Stabat Mater by Palestrina. I just can't get enough of those minor keys.

5. Jubilate, Servite (Taizé) Not sure if Taizé counts as Latin hymns but I'm getting desperate now. The words are Latin, anyway. And I needed to prove that I can do joy, as well.

Favourite English Hymns:

1. Amazing Grace - I did an Alpha course in 2000. I wasn't going to church at that time but when I decided to come back to Mass, the opening hymn was Amazing Grace and how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like coin a phrase. I had been nervous coming throught the door but when I heard this, I felt as though it was just for me.

2. O Sacred Head Ill-uséd - We used to sing this around Easter time at primary school. Before I understood the words, the music spoke its meaning to me.

3. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - I love this one. Again it is a primary school memory like No.2. I think the words are beautiful and I love each one of the 3 or 4 settings that I have heard.

4. How Great Thou Art - When I hear this the desire to worship is uncontrollable. I have, on occasion, gone all charismatic and lifted my arms up with this one. Wonderful stuff!

5. The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended - I love Abide with Me but it all goes pear-shaped for me with the phrase 'point me to the sky'. It makes me think of those human cannon balls. I have trouble not bursting into laughter when I hear it and since this hymn is sung mainly at funerals and the FA Cup Final, this is not always an appropriate response. So my alternative funeral hymn (or indeed end of day) is this one.

I will rise to the Brother James' challenge and try for the contemporary worship and contemporary Christian music offerings (although I sometimes have difficulty knowing where one ends and the other begins, so be patient with me.)

Contemporary Worship

1. Befriended by Matt Redman - Our God is, indeed, an awesome God but it is in intimate moments such as this that I really feel loved.

2. Lost in Wonder by Martin Layzell - As above.

3. Pour Over Me by Stuart Townend - As above.

4. Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord - Really listened to this for the first time at a 'Life in the Spirit' seminar at our church. I sometimes think that the Holy Spirit is the all too often neglected aspect of the Trinity and yet what would we achieve without the Spirit? Does you good to remember God's presence in the world 'cos sometimes we forget and think it all depends on our feeble clay.

5. How Deep the Father's Love for Us - Stuart Townend is one of the great writers of contemporary worship songs and this is his finest, in my humble opinion. Modern and yet drawing on the great traditions.

Contemporary Christian Music

1. Carry Me by Sabio. Full of contemporary angst and vulnerability but strong in the knowledge that Jesus is the best friend we have.

2. Thank you by the Katinas. I think we're talking the modern Gospel stable here. Some might find it cheesy and boy bandish but I like the sentiments. I like it and it is my list, so there...

3. All Because of You by Tree 63 - A love song to God and I love it.

4. Did You Hear the Mountains Tremble by Delirious? Great song. I have fond memories of singing it at the top of my voice in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral at a Delirious? gig. Great stuff.

5. What a Friend I've Found by Delirious? More reflective than the last and has more in common with the previous category. What a Friend We Have in Jesus for the postmodern age. By the way Delirious? are at Greenbelt Festival this year...

I am going to tag Dirty Catholic and Mark...


Brother James Hayes f.i.c. said...

You were at that Delirious gig too??? What a great night. I was there with about 16 youths from the parish. I'll never forget them excitedly shouting "We know this one!!" and joining in on songs like "Did You Feel..", "Majesty", "History Maker"... Lots of pogo-ing done too. These were songs I'd been using in their youth masses and they hadn't realised that so many of them were by Delirious. "Majesty" was so powerful in that place on that night... Good memories. Have seen them 2 other times in Liverpool since.

Kathy said...

You didn't mention any hymns sung to the tune Brother James' Air?

holyfamoley said...

I don't think I know that tune but I agree it could be very apt!