ANÚNA : “Victimae Paschali Laudes”

Victimae paschali laudes immolant Cristiani 
 Let all Christians offer sacrificial praise to the Passover victim

Laudes, Agnus Dei
Praise, Lamb of God

Victimae paschali laudes is a sung sequence prescribed for the Roman Catholic Mass and liturgical Protestant Eucharists of Easter Sunday. It probably dates from the 11th century.

It is one of the few sequences that are still in liturgical use today. Its text was set to different music by many Renaissance and Baroque composers, including Busnois,Josquin, Lassus, Willaert, Hans Buchner, Palestrina, Byrd, Perosi, and others.

The contemporary setting from Ireland in the video below is a short excerpt from the longer liturgical text. Those opening lines are followed by these:

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
The Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.

Here’s an excerpt from a book by Rev. John RW Stott titled "The Cross of Christ."

Propitiation underscores the wrath of God upon us, redemption our captivity to sin, justification our guilt, and reconciliation our enmity against God and alienation from him. These metaphors do not flatter us. They expose the magnitude of our need.

Secondly, all four images emphasize that the saving initiative was taken by God in his love. It is he who has propitiated his own wrath, redeemed us from our miserable bondage, declared us righteous in his sight, and reconciled us to himself. Relevant texts leave us in no doubt about this: ‘God…loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ ‘God…has come and has redeemed his people.’ ‘It is God who justifies.’ ‘God…reconciled us to himself through Christ.’

Thirdly, all four images plainly teach that God’s saving work was achieved through the bloodshedding, that is, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. With regard to the blood of Christ the texts are again unequivocal. ‘God presented him as a propitiatory sacrifice, through faith in his blood.’ ‘In him we have redemption through his blood.’ ‘We have now been justified by his blood.’ ‘You who once were far away have been brought near (i.e. reconciled) through the blood of Christ.’ Since Christ’s blood is a symbol of his life laid down in violent death, it is also plain in each of the four images that he died in our place as our substitute. The death of Jesus was the atoning sacrifice because of which God averted his wrath from us, the ransom-price by which we have been redeemed, the condemnation of the innocent that the guilty might be justified, and the sinless One being made sin for us.

So substitution is not a ‘theory of the atonement’. Nor is it even an additional image to take its place as an option alongside the others. It is rather the essence of each image and the heart of the atonement itself. None of the four images could stand without it.

The song is by Anúna, an Irish choral group. In 1987 Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded An Uaithne, a name which describes the three ancient types of Celtic music, Suantraí (lullaby), Geantraí (happy song) and Goltraí (lament). One of the group’s stated aims is to explore and redefine this music. An Uaithne became Anúna in 1991 and in 2010 adopted the name “Anúna, Ireland’s National Choir”. Most of the material they perform is written or arranged specifically for the group by Michael McGlynn. He also has reconstructed and arranged a substantial amount of early Irish music, which has been recorded by the group. McGlynn’s choral arrangements are written specifically for their combination of classically trained singers and untrained voices.


'Yu Yet Yu Namba Wan' (PNG)

Some acquaintances connected with Papua New Guinea (PNG) released an album in 2013 as a band called OneBell. The album is original Christian songs, with urban music styles, in PNG’s language called Tok Pisin (Pidgin), spoken by about 5 to 6 million people in PNG.

Here’s the second song on the album, “Yu Yet Yu Namba Wan” ( You Yes You [Are] Number One).

The lead singer is Robin Kawaipa. Originally from PNG, he now lives in Sydney Australia where he ministers in churches and conferences throughout PNG such as PNG EncounterFirst.


You can contact Robin via

You’ll find the song as a download at

and that will take you to the entire album, called “Kisim I Go” where you’ll hear Robin share lead vocals with Ray Badham. Ray is of the producers who you see in the video above playing guitar and singing in the green shirt. Robin and Ray composed this great song which I’ve now enjoyed 5 times in a row!


Ray Badham is an established songwriter for Hillsong Music and has written songs such as Magnificent. Ray was born and raised in PNG as his parents were missionaries and lived there till he was 15.

"The purpose of this album is to resource the churches in PNG in which people can engage with the lyrics and worship God," Robin told me.

'Healer Come Heal Us' by Dan Adler

Dan Adler is a friend in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, and leads the multicultural worship band ‘Heart of the City.’

Here’s a great song from an album he recorded with his wife Sandy.


He writes, “We all struggle in this life. Some of us struggle with things that things that have happened to or been done to us. Others struggle with what we’ve done to ourselves. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is our Healer and we can call on Him to heal us from whatever ails us - our own sins, sickness or the results of someone else’s sins. And then the amazing thing is that He then calls His followers to be wounded healers who serve as conduits to bring His healing to others. This is such amazing grace!”

From the CDs "Songs for the Battle" and "The Best So Far"


The Wounded Healer - Henri Nouwen

Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.

from this book:

Here’s the official book description:
The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective. In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature. Emphasizing that which is inhumanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others. Nouwen proceeds to develop his approach to ministry with an analysis of sufferings — a suffering world, a suffering generation, a suffering person, and a suffering minister. It is his contention that ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their time in their own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of their service. For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering — in the image of Christ. In other words, we heal from our own wounds. Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.”

"Marvelous Light" - Ellie Holcomb

From press release for Ellie Holcomb:

Inspired by God’s Word, Ellie recorded and released two EPs full of songs based on the Psalms and other scriptures, Magnolia EP and With You Now. Even with zero dollars spent on promotion, the response to these two EPs was remarkable in a way Ellie never saw coming. To wit, they both hit #1 on the iTunes Christian/Gospel charts. 

After releasing both EPs Ellie says that she “cried joy tears for about a week just dreaming about how God would encourage people through His word in the songs.” 

Now with Holcomb’s first solo effort, As Sure As the Sun (Full Heart Music), Scripture is, once again, intentionally at the forefront of all 10 tracks. Written before—and while—Ellie was pregnant with her daughter, Ellie says her hope is to refresh and encourage weary and wounded hearts.


She’s put up 8 songs for free download at

and here’s her recently-released song, ‘Marvelous Light.’

Get the chord chart for this song at


I am not who I once was
Defined by all the things I’ve done
Afraid my shame would be exposed
Afraid of really being known
But then you gave my heart a home

So I walked out of the darkness and into the light
From fear of shame into the hope of life
Mercy called my name and made a way to fly
Out of the darkness and into the light

With years of keeping secrets safe
Wondering if I could change
'Cause when you're hiding all alone
Your heart can turn into a stone
And that’s not the way I want to go

So I walk out of the darkness and into the light
From fear of shame into the hope of life
Mercy called my name and made a way to fly
Out of the darkness and into the light

Here’s another version of the song:

There’s no place I would rather be
Your light is Marvelous
Your light is Marvelous

You have come to set us free
You are Marvelous
Your light is Marvelous


So I walked out of the darkness and into the light
From fear of shame into the hope of life
Mercy called my name and made a way to fly
Out of the darkness and into the light


Here’s another live version of the song …

and here’s the studio full-band version with the lyrics embedded:

'Aiwien Phase Na Javein' (Pakistan)

Here’s a praise song from Pakistan in qawali style, led by Mubarik Matto.


Here’s an English translation of the Urdu song title as provided by my friend Eric: ""Don’t be trapped in a snare, awake from your sleep! Jesus is calling you!"

This video came from the following Facebook page - thanks to Eric Sarwar for finding and sharing it!
Masih Geet and Zaboor

In the Urdu language of Pakistan (and related cultures) “Geet” is a song genre and “Zaboor” refers to the Psalms.

"I Wanna See Heaven" - The Katinas (Samoa)

Today the close friend of a close friend died after a long battle with cancer. I’m posting this song with that death in mind, as well as other recent deaths among my family and friends.

The Katinas are a contemporary Christian music group. The family of five brothers hails from American Samoa, and moved to Washington state (USA), after the death of their mother in 1988. The group’s members sang in church as children, and began playing fairs, soon moving up to nationwide slots opening for R. Kelly, Jasmine Guy, DC Talk, and Amy Grant. They have released 16 albums starting in 1991.


The Katinas posted this song online just two days ago and wrote,

"A few months ago, we were in our Homeland of American Samoa to lay to rest our beloved sister Eua. When we were there, we recorded this video at the historic Siona (1st church to be built on the island) in the village of Leone.

We dedicate this to anyone who has experienced loss. Heaven awaits those who have lived a life of faith in Christ Jesus. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. -2 Corinthians 5:8.”

"Lord Jesus, receive this lamb of your redeeming into your loving and everlasting arms. Father, in Jesus’ name, please flood the relatives, friends, and all who will miss her so much with your peace which is beyond all human understanding."

There are moments in this life
When it’s hard to carry on
When I think about my father
And all the loved ones that are gone
Friends and close relationships
Somewhere on the other side
They’ve passed into forever
But the love has never died

Sometimes this tired old world
Starts bringing my heart down
But you gotta bear the cross
If you wanna wear the crown
I often get impatient
As Father Time keeps dragging on
I’ve waded through the darkness
Now I’m ready for the dawn
I’m ready for the dawn

I want to see heaven
Where the faithful carry on
I want to see heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven
Where the pain of sin is gone
In heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven

As I read the morning paper
It hits me once again
We’re surrounded by the evil
Of a world that’s dead in sin
And the only sane conclusion
That my crazy mind can reach
Is to set my heart on heaven
And to live the things I preach

So I’m living every moment
As if this day was my last
Put my treasures where my heart is
And forget about the past
And if Jesus comes tomorrow
I’ll be ready to depart
As He leads me to my mansion
I’ll be following my heart
I’ll be following my heart

I want to see heaven
Where the faithful carry on
I want to see heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven
Where the pain of sin is gone
In heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven

I’ve tried to go the distance
But it’s more than I can bear
They say there’s no more crying
And no more dying there
I’ve held on to the promise
Whosoever will believe
Will have life that’s never ending
I believe
I believe

I want to see heaven
Where the faithful carry on
I want to see heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven
Where the pain of sin is gone
In heaven
Oh Lord
I want to see heaven
Here’s the studio version of the same song:

'Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed' retuned by Redemption Hill Music

Redemption Hill Music is a collection of musicians from Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, Virginia.


Redemption Hill Music released a NEW EP today, Poor Wayfaring Stranger, featuring six hymns and original songs sung during Sunday gatherings. It is available for download at the Bandcamp link below.

Here’s my favorite song from the EP, an interesting “retuning” of the lyrics by Isaac Watts which mixes minor and major tonalities.

Lyrics by Isaac Watts
Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears 

Alas! And did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die? 
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I? 

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine 
And bathed in its own blood 
While the firm mark of wrath divine 
His soul in anguish stood 

Well might the sun in darkness hide 

And shut his glories in 

When Christ, the mighty Maker died 
For man the creature’s sin 

Was it for crimes that I had done 
He groaned upon the tree? 
Amazing pity! grace unknown! 
And love beyond degree! 

But drops of grief can ne’er repay 
The debt of love I owe: 
Here, Lord, I give my self away 
’Tis all that I can do.
Download the the whole EP (tips appreciated!) at

'It Is Not Death To Die' - Sovereign Grace

In recent months, my father died, a close friend from college died, and another close friend is providing pastoral care for a friend expected to die this month, so songs for funerals and mourning are on my mind.

Today I found the great list of 43 songs for use at funerals and more, compiled by Kristen Gilles. See her list and excellent essay on ‘Songs for Grieving’ at

Through her list, I found this truly terrific song from Sovereign Grace Music. It’s currently my favorite song; may it bring healing to other who need the message.

A song about hope and a new beginning after death by Sovereign Grace from their album “Come Weary Saints.

Original Words by Henri Malan (1787-1864), Non, ce n’est pas mour­ir que d’al­ler vers son Dieu

Translated by George Bethune (1847), Music, Chorus, and Alternate Words by Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Music.

It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high 
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne 
Delivered from our fears

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save 
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

It is not death to fling 
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing 
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years 
To praise You evermore

© 2008 Integrity’s Praise! Music/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

Get free scores for guitar, keyboard, strings, lead sheet and more at

You can buy a lead sheet at

If you want to sing with the backing track, get it at

43 Songs for Grieving (Kristen Gilles)

Kristen Gilles is a worship leader at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky (where I’ve visited a few times with delight). She recently made a helpful blog post about the necessity of having songs to use while mourning:


I think that having songs to use when mourning and in grief is quite important for personal and corporate worship, so here are excerpts from her essay as well as the list of 40 recommended songs:

Go to most church services, and you’ll be able to sing along with many celebratory songs of victory, blessedness and joy. And that makes sense—we are children of God, having been forgiven of our sins and adopted into God’s family through the blood of Jesus. What a reason to celebrate!

But we live in a fallen, sinful world, full of suffering, pain and death. Not only does each Christian feel his or her share of sorrow, but we are commanded to weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15), even when we feel like we’re “on the mountain” rather than “in the valley” …


Many of you have asked us where you can find more worship songs that help God’s children mourn with hope. So we’ve curated a free Spotify playlist for you that features over 40 songs—3 1/2 hours’ worth—of laments and songs of comfort and assurance in Christ. These include classic hymns and contemporary praise songs, from many different churches and worship leaders.

Whether you’re searching for songs for a funeral or memorial service or your church service or your personal devotions, this playlist is for you. You’ll find songs that speak to your heart, allow you to express your sorrow, and remind you of your hope in Christ, whether you’re suffering loss, ill health, depression or any kind of pain …


You can click here to listen to Kristen’s songlist of 43 songs in the “For Grieving in Hope, Funerals” playlist in Spotify

You can follow Kristen’s writings and media at her blog:
Go to her original post here to read her full essay on having songs for mourning, including a section about the loss of her child.

For those who don’t use Spotify, here are 3 screenshots of the playlist so you can find the songs some other way: Her playlist of 43 songs lasts for 3 hours and 24 minutes.






For those of you choosing songs for a funeral (like some of my pastor friends), or those of you going through a time of grief and mourning for whatever reason … “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). And when you feel that you can’t trust God anymore in your despair or grief … may He reveal Himself to be present with you even there.


Peter Mayer “Holy Now”

Here’s a song I stumbled upon by Peter Mayer of Minnesota.


The theme reminds me of the famous verse of Habakkuk 2:14: “As the waters fill the sea, the earth will be filled with an awareness of the glory of the LORD.” The holiness of God is all around for those who have eyes to see. As a Christian I believe there is a special holiness within a church service, and within the Eucharist. But there is also a type of holy-ground holiness of God’s Presence everywhere, as this song says.

The song is on Peter’s album called 'Million Year Mind.'

Holy Now

When I was a boy, each week 
On Sunday, we would go to church 
And pay attention to the priest 
He would read the holy word 
And consecrate the holy bread 
And everyone would kneel and bow 
Today the only difference is 
Everything is holy now 
Everything, everything 
Everything is holy now 

When I was in Sunday school 
We would learn about the time 
Moses split the sea in two 
Jesus made the water wine 
And I remember feeling sad 
That miracles don’t happen still 
But now I can’t keep track 
‘Cause everything’s a miracle 
Everything, Everything 
Everything’s a miracle 

Wine from water is not so small 
But an even better magic trick 
Is that anything is here at all 
So the challenging thing becomes 
Not to look for miracles 
But finding where there isn’t one 

When holy water was rare at best 
It barely wet my fingertips 
But now I have to hold my breath 
Like I’m swimming in a sea of it 
It used to be a world half there 
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down 
But I walk it with a reverent air 
‘Cause everything is holy now 
Everything, everything 
Everything is holy now

Read a questioning child’s face 
And say it’s not a testament 
That’d be very hard to say 
See another new morning come 
And say it’s not a sacrament 
I tell you that it can’t be done 

This morning, outside I stood 
And saw a little red-winged bird 
Shining like a burning bush 
Singing like a scripture verse 
It made me want to bow my head 
I remember when church let out 
How things have changed since then 
Everything is holy now 
It used to be a world half-there 
Heaven’s second rate hand-me-down 
But I walk it with a reverent air 
‘Cause everything is holy now