Songs for Memorial Service on 9/11/2011

The 10th anniversary of the US disaster of 9/11/2001 is approaching soon. It’s on a Sunday, which means it will be referenced in tens of thousands of American church services.

What songs might we thoughtfully choose for our church services on this day? My students (Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies, and I will be making some suggestions in future blog posts.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the “comments” on this post (click on grey bar with name of blog post, then scroll to the bottom to leave a comment or read other comments). Hymns, choruses, global songs, original songs - please share your ideas with us.

In future posts we’ll look at multiple sung versions of these well-known prayers:
* Kyrie Eleison (“Lord Have Mercy”)
* Prayer of St. Francis (“make me an instrument of your peace”)
* The Lord’s Prayer

and our class also highly recommends “Goodness is Stronger Than Evil” with lyrics by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. See information on this song here:

and see the score here:
with information on where to buy it.

The song is excellent for many occasions, and may be one of the most perfect songs for church memorial services on 9/11.

It can be done with many different musical settings:
* as a jazz waltz
* with double bell, djembe, and shakers providing African polyrhythms
* a cappella
* piano, voices, flute
* Celtic-flavored with violin and pennywhistle

Of course the USA is not the only country which has suffered from acts of terrorism. We invite our blog readers outside the US to also leave their song suggestions in the “comments” section, referencing songs you’ve used (or would like to use) in your church services or parachurch context.

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