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Stebbing, Great Dunmow, Essex, United Kingdom
The occasional blog of an Anglican priest in rural Essex

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Nothing compares ...

Once again the old steam driven tower pc I persist in using won't let me cut and paste into a Facebook note so I am replying to one I was tagged in here.
It is the "Favourite Music for Worship" meme, following hot on the heels of a previous one about your least favourite chorus, which I declined to do (as it would have taken all day to decide which one of many cringeworthy things I have sung over the years would get that title).

So here are the questions
1.What is your favourite piece of music for congregational singing? Why?

2.What is your favourite piece of music for performance by a group of specialist musicians within a liturgical context? This might be a worship band or a cathedral choir or just a very snazzy organist or something else entirely, but the point is that it is not congregational singing and it is live music in liturgy.

3.What is your favourite piece of music which makes you think about God to listen to outside of your place of worship? Why? This could be secular music.

4.What is one thing you like about the music at your usual place of worship? Have you told the musicians about this lately?

And these are my answers. Reading this? You're tagged!
1. My favourite piece of music for congregational singing would have to be Keith & Melody Green's "There is a Redeemer". It was a close run thing between this and "Thine be the Glory", but I went for it in the end because it was sung at my ordination, and also because it was one o f the first songs I learnt following  my conversion in the mid 80's. The slight downside is that I usually end up thinking about Rory McGrath while singing it because he kind of looks like Keith Green...
2. I don't like the idea of performance in worship (justabout getting used to the concept of worship musicians having a "set list") but I am always very blessed by the worship team at St Mary's Church, Stebbing, when they play during the distribution at communion services. It doesn't really matter what they play!
3. The title of this post gives this one away. "Nothing Compares 2U by Prince (or more usually Sinead O'Connor). It's like a Psalm for me, a lament, though I know not all the lyrics really work. I'd love to do just the chorus in a Taize service one day.
4. See 2, and also, the organists in Lindsell and the Salings (who are both reading this via Facebook) never cease to bless me with their dedication and talent and desire to diversify.


  1. 1. Be Thou my Vision and Blessed be your name...also Thou whi camest from above.
    2.Still thinking...
    3.Fix You by Coldplay and most songs by U2
    4.Lovely faithful organist, who is always so helpful and plays beautifully.

    Tessa Mann

  2. Actually, I could easily have plumped for 'There is a Redeemer', also! Really lovely to sing in the congregation and also one has in one's heart the memory of Keith Green singing it so beautifully.

    Will not quickly forget the power of singing 'Thine be the Glory', with a pint of ale held aloft, with three thousand others, outside The Jesus Arms @Greenbelt, August Bank Holiday weekend of 2009. Sublime!

    Good call on the Prince/Sinead O'Connor song. (Interestingly, was just about an hour ago listening to Manic Monday by The Bangles, another song penned surrepticiously by Prince - and not a bad 'Psalm of the Doldrums', itself!)


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