This site offers original music for worship for the use of church music directors as well as listening music for the general public. It is designed to facilitate the selection, rehearsal and presentation of music for worship, utilizing numerous indexes and a wide variety of visual and audio renderings of each piece.
To identify a song that best fits the theme of a given service, hit the Index Tab where you will find four indexes, Performers, Alphabetical, Scriptural, and Topical. The Scriptural and Topical Indexes facilitate the selection of offerings based on the scriptures to be used as well as the subject matter of a given sermon. Click on tab and slide down into the white box to access the desired index. Once you are in an the index file, clicking on a given title will take you to the song’s page.
Songs addressing thematic content might be a retelling of a gospel narrative, a paraphrasing of the scriptural text or utilize a reflective “sermon-in-song” approach. These songs might be sung for or with the congregation as suggested in the “Composer’s Notes” on the song page. Songs that include vocal or choral harmonies are identified in the index with a hash tag (#).
Those interested in songs to be downloaded for listening can use the Performers Index to identify selections featuring a given vocal artist or ensemble. Usually the composer will be singing his or her own pieces, but not always. To find the work of a particular guest composer go to The Composers link where beneath each biography a list of a given song writer’s offerings is provided. (The exception are the writings of Tom DeFrange that are too numerous to list.) At the right side of the play bar is a downward arrow. By clicking on it the song can be immediately down loaded and saved.
The Lectionary Index Tab provides songs directly related to the scriptures designated for a particular Sunday in the liturgical year. It is dated and identifies the content provided by the Revised Common Lectionary with the nomenclature used for Catholic Worship written in italics. Simply click on the song title to go to its individual “song page” were renderings for rehearsal and presentation are available to be printed or downloaded.
On the song page you will find visual renderings of the featured composition that may include the Choral Score, Choral Vocals, Sheet Music, Lead sheet, Congregation’s Copy, Song Lyrics, and Power Point presentation. The audio renderings include; an Audio of the Accompaniment, an mp3 Accompaniment Track, a Sample Performance (when available) and a MIDI accompaniment track.
To view renderings side by side on your screen, left click on links to open them in separate windows.
Subscribers to this sight have permission to copy and download materials for rehearsal and worship as is necessary. See the Useful Downloads link to acquire free programs that will allow you to successfully capture PDF, mp3 or MIDI formats.
Because much of this music is written to reflect a particular scripture, it is not necessarily usable on a regular basis. Congregational participation, therefore, becomes an issue. The congregation is often being invited to join in on a song that they have probably never heard before. In fact, a scripture that may only show up in the lectionary once every three years, might inspire a song just as seldom sung. To overcome this obstacle to congregational participation a number of strategies are employed. Responsorial Psalms typical of the Catholic tradition incorporate a simple repeated phrase that is sung by the congregation as the song leader or “cantor” sings the verses. Such song settings in the Index are marked with an asterisks (*). These settings, however, do not usually include the entire text of the psalm as it is presented in the Revised Common Lectionary. Complete renditions are available, set to a simple melody repeated in multiple verses. Introduced with an instrumental play-through, the first verse is sung for the congregation and then repeated with them after the final verse. More complicated arrangements might employ a repeated refrain or chorus, with a song leader or choir doing the heavy lifting. Bridges in an arrangement might also be delegated to such entities to reduce for the congregation the melodic content required for their participation.
Of course they will need access to the lyrics. Congregational Copies, Lyric Sheets and Power Point renditions are provided for your convenience. In the audio renderings you will find instrumentals of the work that includes the melody line. Much like the overture in a musical, these can be played in background before the service as the congregation assembles. This subliminal exposure will actually cause the music to become more “familiar” at the time of its execution.
When previewing the material, it is recommended that you open the audio in a separate window by left clicking on the link. When available the sample performance provides the best presentation. Failing that, you may use the accompaniment track which is usually always available. Visually, it is easiest to follow either the lead sheet or choral vocal renditions. This allows you to you avoid dealing with the keyboard accompaniment which typically stretches the score over multiple pages.
Much of the material on this site is designed to supplement the existing worship repertoire of your congregation. It is music that can’t be found in published hymnals and often represents an “alternative” lyrically and musically, providing the opportunity for variety and a more targeted support of a given scriptural theme. You may not want to use too much of it at once, but merely as seasoning for the main course! Happy shopping!
If needed, here are some useful links to help you process the content of this site:
To access the materials on this Site I recommend that you take advantage of the following free on-line programs.
PDF lite will allow you to read and print the sheet music.
RealPlayer will allow you tolisten to both mp3 files and MIDI files. Be aware that because MIDI files depend on the availability of instruments in the bank of the playing device, the Real Player version may not provide the production quality of a MIDI keyboard, but it will give you an idea of the arrangement. The advantage of the MIDI format over an mp3 accompaniment track is that you can control the tempo, change the key and subtract instruments from the arrangement if you want a lighter sound.
Converter Lite lets you convert mp3 files to WAV files that, once loaded onto a disk, can be playedon aCD player.
LibreOfficeImpress is a free Power Point program that allows you to view and generate Microsoft compatible presentations without the Microsoft price tag. It will of course serve as a Power Point provider on its own once downloaded to any computer.