Academic journal article The Hymn

We Walk His Way: Shorter Songs for Worship

Academic journal article The Hymn

We Walk His Way: Shorter Songs for Worship

Article excerpt

We walk his way Shorter songs for worship by John L. Bell and the Wild Goose Resource Group. Glasgow: Wild Goose Resource Group; Chicago: GIA Publications, 2008. 138 pp. ISBN 978-1-57999-759-5. US $13.95.

The third collection of over forty "shorter songs for worship" prepared by John Bell, FHS, and the Wild Goose Resource Group, includes songs from around the world, along with a CD recording that teaches the language and musical styles of the nonEnglish-language songs. His "Columba" setting of the traditional texts for communion - Kyrie, Sanctus and Benedictus, and Agnus Dei (all in English) - concludes the songbook.

John Bell comments: "None of these songs has a narrowly defined purpose. We prefer them to be flexible in their use." We walk his way contains songs that are "meditative . . . acclamations . . . prayer responses . . . [and] recessionals." He urges worshippers to adopt these songs as their own: "There is no right way to do them. We do not encourage people to emulate exacüy what we do on the mainland or Iona, but to feel for these songs as tools to develop new or different patterns of worship appropriate to the context in which the users Uve and believe" (5-6).

The collection is organized in the direction of the liturgy, as indicated by the section titles. Here is a sampling of what is on offer in We walk his way:

Gathering: welcoming songs from America, South Africa, Israel, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Glasgow, for "the joined-up celebration that is public worship" (10). "Somebody prayed for me," an African American spiritual, opens the collection, followed by '*'*Ewe, thina/Wt walk his way," the book's tide piece, a processional or recessional Xhosa song consisting of only three notes, with a fitting text for Lent and Easter. …

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