591

Laudate Dominum (Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord)

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Primary references are in the Psalms – 117, 97, and 99.  But other references give the background for the inclusion of all nations, particularly Genesis 12:1-3, Acts 1:8, 10:34- 36, Galatians 5:26-27 and Revelation 7:9-17.

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Sometimes the soul of the Christian needs to cry out exuberantly with joy, thanks, and adoration, even without identifying the reasons for such praise and adoration. Moreover, Christians who gather corporately find it fitting to do so as the grateful body of Christ. The Confessions of the church recognize this natural expression. Belgic Confession, Article 1 sees God as the “overflowing source of all good,” and such a realization deserves an “Alleluia!” Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2 is a reminder that living in the joy of our comfort involves a spirit of thanks for his deliverance. In the same spirit, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: his rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed!” and then as a natural response cries: “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”
591

Laudate Dominum (Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord)

Additional Prayers

God of all,
you have revealed your love to all the world through Jesus Christ your Son.
Gather all peoples to yourself so that in every tongue
one mighty hymn may rise to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
591

Laudate Dominum (Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord)

Tune Information

Name
LAUDATE DOMINUM
Key
a minor or modal
Meter
6.6.2.2.4

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Feel in one beat per measure, and be careful to observe the rests (vocally and instrumentally). Taizé songs are wonderful unaccompanied, once the congregation is familiar with them. If you wish for more support, a keyboard instrument or strummed guitar chords will suffice. Adding a single treble instrument (see descants) is also effective. Sing several times, adding and subtracting instruments to encourage cycling through different emotional and spiritual postures. Here is one possible map for accomplishing various postures (additional descants can be found in Music for Taizé vol. 1, GIA Publications, Inc.):
  1. keyboard introduction (second half of song)
  2. keyboard, congregation, and trombone duplicating the keyboard bass part
  3. keyboard, congregation, and flute on C descant
  4. keyboard, congregation, and flute on C descant
  5. keyboard, congregation, and oboe or violin on descant
  6. keyboard, congregation, and oboe or violin on descant
  7. keyboard, congregation, trumpet on Bb descant, and trombone duplicating the keyboard bass part
 
Consider using this song:
  • As a song of prayerful rejoicing, especially at the opening or closing of worship.
  • Have a cantor sing Psalm 117 superimposed on the refrain, as found in Songs and Prayers from Taizé (GIA Publications, Inc., 1991).
  • Use as a refrain in a responsorial psalm of praise, such as Psalm 145 (Sing! A New Creation, #27).
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 63)
— Robert Batastini
591

Laudate Dominum (Sing, Praise, and Bless the Lord)

Hymn Story/Background

The seventh of eight "hallelujah" psalms (Psalms 111-118), Psalm 117 is an expanded "Praise the LORD." It was probably composed for use at the beginning or end of temple liturgies. It stands fifth in the "Egyptian Hallel" used in Jewish liturgy at the annual religious festivals prescribed in the Torah. At Passover, Psalms 113 and 114 were sung before the meal; 115 through 118 were sung after the meal. Psalm 117 is only one stanza in length, but in calling all nations to praise the LORD for being faithful to Israel, it powerfully anticipates the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Paul quotes verse 1 in Romans 15:11 as proof that the salvation of Gentiles was not a divine afterthought.
— Bert Polman

For an increasing number of North Americans, the name Taizé evokes a certain style of singing that has become popular in more and more churches, retreat centers, and campus parishes. Taizé is in fact an ecumenical community of brothers located in the small village of that name in the Burgundy region of eastern France.
 
Taizé began with one man, Brother Roger. In 1940 he came to what was then a semi-abandoned village in Burgundy, his mother’s native region. He was twenty-five years old, and he had come there to offer a welcome to Jews fleeing the Nazi persecution and to work out a call to follow Christ in community, a community that would attempt to live out the Gospel call to reconciliation day by day. Today, the Taizé Community is composed of around a hundred brothers. They come from different Christian traditions and from over twenty-five different countries, and make a life commitment to live together in joy, simplicity, and mercy as a “parable of community,” a sign of the Gospel’s call to reconciliation at the heart of the world. Tens of thousands of people, mainly between the ages of 17 and 30, come throughout each year from around the world to spend a week going to the roots of the Christian faith. They join in the community’s worship three times a day, listen to Bible introductions on the sources of the faith, spend time reflecting in silence, and meet in small sharing-groups. The community encourages participants, when they return home, to take back what they have discovered and put it into practice in the concrete conditions of their life – in their parishes, their place of work or study, their families.
 
Life at Taizé, following the monastic tradition, has always turned around three main poles – prayer, work, and hospitality. The three times of worship create the basic rhythm of the day, with a very meditative form of prayer in which singing and silence have always played a large part. When the number of visitors to Taizé began to increase, and more and more young people started arriving, the brothers felt the need to find a way for everyone to join in the prayer and not simply be observers. At the same time, they felt it was essential to maintain the meditative quality of the prayer, to let it be an authentic encounter with the mystery of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Finally, it was found that chants made up of a few words repeated over and over again made possible a prayer that was both meditative and yet accessible to all. They were happy to develop a form of sung music that can be used just as well by a small group of students who meet weekly in a dorm to pray as in a celebration that fills the cathedral of a large city. The “songs of Taizé” thus make it possible for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world to be linked in common praise of God.
 
With the help of the musician Jacques Berthier, friend of Taizé, different methods were tried out, and a solution was found in the use of repetitive structures, namely, short musical phrases with melodic units that could be readily memorized by everybody. The use of some very simple words in basic Latin to support the music and the theme of prayer was also dictated by pastoral needs. From practical experience it was the only way of solving the unavoidable problem of languages that arouse at international gatherings. On the other hand, living languages are widely used. Increasingly, song collections around the world, Protestant and Catholic, include songs from Taizé for congregational worship.
 
GIA Publications is the North American publisher of the many recordings and song collections from the Community of Taizé.
-from http://www.giamusic.com/bios/taize.cfm

Composer Information

A son of musical parents, Jacques Berthier (b. Auxerre, Burgundy, June 27, 1923; d. June 27, 1994) studied music at the Ecole Cesar Franck in Paris. From 1961 until his death he served as organist at St. Ignace Church, Paris. Although his published works include numerous compositions for organ, voice, and instruments, Berthier is best known as the composer of service music for the Taizé community near Cluny, Burgundy. Influenced by the French liturgist and church musician Joseph Gelineau, Berthier began writing songs for equal voices in 1955 for the services of the then nascent community of twenty brothers at Taizé. As the Taizé community grew, Berthier continued to compose most of the mini-hymns, canons, and various associated instrumental arrangements, which are now universally known as the Taizé repertoire. In the past two decades this repertoire has become widely used in North American church music in both Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.
— Bert Polman
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