'All Creatures Of Our God And King' - Proto Evangelion

"Proto Evangelion" in Greek means "First Gospel." It is a term used to describe this verse in the Bible: “I will put enmity between your seed and her seed; you shall strike his heel, but He shall crush your head” (Genesis 3:15).

This was spoken by God at the dawn of time. What we see is that, even at the beginning, God planned on crushing the Enemy, and the effect of sin on the world.
 
 

Proto Evangelion is also the name of a band in Seattle, part of Calvary Fellowship. http://calvaryfellowship.org

They released a great album of hymns with contemporary arrangements in 2010. Here’s the opening track (click on photo):

Get the whole album at
http://protoevangelion.bandcamp.com/album/dimly-lit

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Scandinavian Metal Praise: Praise Adonai (Finland)

The project Scandinavian Metal Praise began to be created in 2007 with the goal of making metal versions of classic Christian praise songs.

In 2008 several musicians from Finland including some of the band HB , recorded the debut album of Scandinavian Metal Praise with nine songs.
http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavian_Metal_Praise

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Learn a little bit more at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scandinavian-Metal-Praise-Official/253514848099306

Here’s one of their hits …

Who is like Him
the lion and the lamb
Seated on the throne
Mountains bow down
Every ocean roars
to the Lord of hosts
Praise Adonai
From the raising of the sun
to the end of every day
Praise Adonai
all the nations of the earth
all the angels and the saints
sing praise

Thanks to Kerry for this great find!

“The Myths of Muticulturalism in the Church”

Tracey Lewis-Giggetts contributes to the conversation about unity. "The Myths of Muticulturalism in the Church."

The Body of Christ is most effective when all of its parts are working at their maximum potential. Consequently, we should be the greatest advocates for cultural diversity, in race, gender, class, and more. We certainly should not lag behind secular society’s notion of diversity. Part of maximizing the capabilities of the church and accomplishing its mission is by being sensitive to and proactive in reaching and ministering to more diverse audiences; all without sacrificing the integrity of God’s word.

With the transformation of our collective hearts, the body of Christ can actively shift towards a multicultural, multidimensional (and subsequently more effective) approach to ministry. The first step is to quell the distracting myths about multiculturalism in the church.

What are these myths?

Read the rest here: 
http://www.missioalliance.org/the-myths-of-multiculturalism-in-the-church/

Her post first appeared at MinistryMatters.com

Before War, A Punk Drummer Preserved Syrian Chants

Today, NPR ‘Fresh Air’ published online a great story. You’ll find the photo and 20-minute audio interview at
http://www.npr.org/2014/08/07/338586411/before-war-a-punk-drummer-preserved-syrian-chants?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nprmusic&utm_term=music&utm_content=20140807

Here are excerpts:

Before the civil war in Syria destroyed ancient religious sites — and scattered some of the oldest Christian communities in the world — Jason Hamacher made several trips there, taking photos and recording ancient Sufi and Christian chants.

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The project got its start when Hamacher read in a book about “the world’s oldest Christian music.” He tracked down From the Holy Mountain author William Dalrymple, who told him there were no recordings of the music — and that “it’s not a monastery in the desert; it is a Syrian Orthodox church in the middle of the city of Aleppo.” Hamacher ended up staying at that church as a guest of the archbishop, who has since been kidnapped by rebels.

As Hamacher tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, he is planning a series of albums called Sacred Voices of Syria.

Hamacher isn’t coming at this from the perspective of a musicologist, or as a member of a religious community. He’s a drummer who’s played in several punk bands in the Washington, D.C., area, including Frodus, Decahedron and Regents.

Here’s his notes about one special recording: So this is the Lord’s prayer done in the Syriac language and it is the Archbishop of Aleppo - it’s his nephew, who’s actually Chaldean Orthodox Christian but worked at the church. And this is in 2007. And I really wanted to record his nephew and his friend based on what I was hearing during church services. So one night when the bishop was gone, they just got the keys to the cathedral and we went in and recorded at like one in the morning. It was one of the most sacred, really holy experiences I had in Syria. We went in and it was the cathedral of Saint Ephraim and it was just the two of them - the two voices - and it was so beautiful and so holy. And they both sang for about an hour. 

Listen to the audio interview to hear an excerpt of this. Hamacher has released one album so far in his series, all of Sufi chants. You’ll find it at
http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Invocations-Forgotten-Songs-Aleppo/dp/B00KYL7WTM/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1407456569&sr=1-1&keywords=nawa

Some of his forthcoming albums will focus on ancient Christian songs - hear more in the audio interview.

All quotes come from the two NPR webpages referenced at the top, and NPR maintains ownership of this material, excerpted on this noncommercial blog for purposes of education and sending potential customers to Hamacher’s recordings.

You can learn aobut Jason’s company at
http://lostorigins.com/about-lost-origins-productions/

Lost Origin Productions explores the past to change the future. Jason Hamacher is the founder and director of this Washington D.C. based multimedia production company. Fueled by a quest to understand the human condition paired with expertise in cultural preservation, Lost Origin Productions explores ancient civilizations to discover unique stories from the past and present to inspire and unite our turbulent world.”

'O Frondens Virga' by Hildegard von Bingen

Here’s a marvelous song from Medieval Europe in 4 musical styles: a cappella, with New Age instrumentation, with sampled techno beats, and with a worldbeat arrangement.

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, O.S.B. (German: Hildegard von Bingen) (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard, and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess,visionary, and polymath.

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Over 70 of her musical compositions survive today in manuscript and have been recorded.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen#Music

Here’s her piece 'O Frondens virga (For the Virgin)' as sung a cappella by Chanticleer:

O Frondens virga

O frondens virga, 
in tua nobilitate stans 
sicut aurora procedit: 
nunc gaude et letare 
et nos debiles dignare 
a mala consuetudine liberare
atque manum tuam porrige 
ad erigendrum nos. 

For the virgin

O leafy branch, 
standing in your nobility
as the dawn breaks forth: 
now rejoice and be glad 
and deign to set us frail ones 
free from evil habits 
and stretch forth your hand 
and lift us up.

 There is an example of Hildegard’s Latin punning, “O frondens virga”—note that the punning metaphor associates the lively green vigor of a healthy “branch” (virga) with the fruitful gifts of the “Virgin” (virgo).
http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1442/a_beginners_guide_to_the_music_of_st_hildegard_of_bingen.aspx

Here’s another version accompanied by contemporary New Age instrumental sounds:

Third, a very contemporary version by Garmarna, a Swedish band I’ve followed for decades. They were formed in 1990. They’ve done a lot of creative arrangements with Swedish folk songs. 

In 1998 Garmarna did a series of concerts in churches in the North of Sweden presenting their interpretation of the medieval works of Hildegard of Bingen. They recorded the full-length Hildegard von Bingen album, which was released in 2001. The tracks in this album are based on the compositions of 12th century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen, and the lyrics are in the original Latin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garmarna

That album features some of Hildegard’s songs with jazzy keys, Swedish instruments, and sampled beats like this one. I’ve enjoyed the album since it was released. (I enjoy the two versions above equally.)

And finally, here’s the version I heard first, from the album that introduced me to the music of Hildegard von Bingen. It was released in 1994, so I reckon I’ve been a fan of Hildegard’s music now for a full 20 years!

It’s from an album of “worldbeat arrangements” produced and arranged by Richard Souther.

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I can’t find the full song online anywhere, but you can hear a 30-second sample at
http://www.amazon.com/For-The-Virgin-Frondens-Virga/dp/B000TH0N56

'We Come To Meet' - Jonathan D. Cool

Jonathan Cool wrote this beautiful song for communion with his friend Dan Wilt.

We Come To Meet - An Invitation to Eucharist
Written by: Jonathan David Cool and Dan Wilt

We come to meet with You to eat remembering
Your body broken up all Your suffering
We come to meet with You to drink remembering
Your blood poured out for us all Your offering

Oh Lord, we come to meet 
We come to meet here with You

Come and wash away all that is unclean
Purify my heart make it right in me

Learn more about Jonathan’s music at
https://www.facebook.com/jonathandavidcool/timeline

'Pray For Peace' - Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire writes, “The idea to write the song ‘Pray For Peace’ came to me last year as I was walking on our place in Gallatin, Tn. For days I’d sing, “Pray for Peace”, over and over. It wasn’t until several months later did the other parts start to fall in place. Some, not until we got into the studio to record it.

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I feel this song is a gift from God. I have never worked on a song as long as this one. It went from a bass drum, fiddle and singers to guest artist singing with me, adding more instruments and even a choir and a bagpipe!

It’s an act of perseverance, prayer, hope, fellowship and mostly love.”
http://reba.com/

Reba McEntire’s new song is almost at the two-minute mark before she sings anything other than four powerful words, over and over: ‘please pray for peace.’ It’s the repetition of that lyric that helps the tune and its heartstring-grabbing video hammer home the message that voices are perhaps the only weapons that can win the uphill battle for world peace… This is the first new music McEntire has released in almost four years.”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/reba-mcentire-recruits-friends-around-the-world-to-pray-for-peace-20140721#ixzz39MgkJmpN 

See a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the music video, which also features Kelly Clarkson, Ronnie Dunn and Caroline Kole at
http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6186078/reba-mcentire-pray-for-peace-exclusive-behind-the-scenes-video

Here’s an unrelated "Prayer for Peace." It began to circulate in 1981 in England. Its source is not clearly known, and it has no ties with any single denomination or faith.
http://peaceprayer.gn.apc.org/

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In Arabic:

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In Hebrew:

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In Russian:

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"Visible Invisible" - More Than Rubies

Ann Voskamp writes, “It’s Sunday now & you read the headlines of disease & war & yet all over the Church is gathering now, the world needs us now, & this song beats out the heart of worship this Sunday on the farm, around the world —
"The thirsty pray for water, the hungry beg for bread
The desperate cry for mercy, run to them, run to them
The broken wait for healing, the orphans long for home
The slaves all cry for freedom, THERE IS HOPE, THERE IS HOPE:
We are, *we are* the visible invisible, *we are* the flesh and bone
Of Your redeeming love
We are, *we are* Your kingdom *unshakeable*
Jesus Christ alive in us — *the visible invisible*….

https://www.facebook.com/AnnVoskamp?fref=nf

"Visible Invisible" 
Written by Lee Black, David Moffitt & Nicole Witt
Performed by More Than Rubies 
www.facebook.com/morethanrubiesmusic

"Piano/fiddle/harmonic worship music."

For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:15)
 
Band members: Christa Wells & Nicole Witt

Esterlyn - ‘Woven’

"Honestly I never wanted to play music or be in a band. A girl walked up to me while i was in Bible College over in Europe and said ‘I feel like God wants me to give you this guitar’ I had never played or sang but that simple act of obedience has led me to today. We are Esterlyn. Named after my little niece who was adopted from China our bands goal is simple. To love God and to love people with a little bit of music thrown in there- We LOVE to lead worship and be a part of seeing God move in people lives. At the end of the day to us that is what matters. In anticipation of our new album LOVE (coming out on August 19th), I asked them if we could give away our last album Woven for 2 weeks for free. We hope it blesses you and hopefully draws you into a deeper more intimate place of worship with our Creator.”

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Stream and download their album for free at
https://noisetrade.com/esterlyn/esterlyn-woven

The album includes a pop song based on Psalm 23.

'Jerusalem' - Gentle Faith

Gentle Faith was a Christian country rock band in the 1970s, during the Jesus Music era, before the rise of the CCM industry. The group was formed in 1974 and released one self-titled album in 1976 under the Maranatha! label.

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The lead singer was Darrell Mansfield, who went on to form The Darrel Mansfield Band, which is still active. Other members of Gentle Faith included Don Gerber, Paul Angers, Steve Kara, and Henry Cutrona.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentle_Faith

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, within individuals and within the nation. Here’s a live version and a studio version of their song 'Jerusalem' led by Darrell.

And now the studio version backed by a string section: