Pentecost Songs: The Way Forward Continues to be the Way Back

Zac HicksHistory of Worship and Church Music, Hymns Movement News & Reviews, Worship Resources, Worship Theology & Thought3 Comments

The rootlessness of contemporary Christianity is starved for remembrance, but the vacuum of historical connectivity has finally turned on.  And the sucking sound is getting louder and louder.

For years now, Cardiphonia has been on the leading edge of liturgical renewal in evangelicalism.  Before it was “cool” to talk about liturgy and historic practices in Christian worship, Cardiphonia was carving its path in this direction on the world wide web.  Its mastermind, Bruce Benedict, I have watched from afar in the past, and now I consider him a friend, liturgical mentor, and kindred spirit in worship-thought.  Bruce has many unique gifts, rarely packaged in a single person.  He is an artsy musician and an academician.  He listens widely and reads widely.  He plans and leads worship from the point of biblical values and ideals, not trends and polls.  But perhaps Bruce’s most outstanding trait is his ability to network widely, inspire artists, and galvanize efforts for the sake of the broader Church. 

The latest masterpiece of Cardiphonia is the robust, twenty-three tracked compilation album, Pentecost Songs, gathering the efforts of twenty-one different artists (listed below) from across the country (and one in Singapore!).  The musical style straddles everything from folk, to ambient, to electronica, to rock, to pop-orchestral.  The importance of this project in the development of church music history is immense.  Contributor and Music Associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Greg Scheer, said it best in recent email correspondence:

It’s really a monumental project. Who knows? Maybe 100 years from now, this will be in alongside the Foundling Hospital Collection or Southern Harmony! In the more immediate future, I hope the collection benefits the church.

In other words, this project is significant because it seeks to carry on the church music tradition of creating compilations of congregational music which pull from the past and push toward the future.  Pentecost Songs contains old hymns to new music, a re-harmonized chant, and brand new textual and musical creations.  Equally wonderful is the fact that the careful listener will hear, even amidst the clever and artsy production, that the songs have a simple integrity which makes them VERY suitable for congregational singing–simple, singable melodies, combined with accessible chord-structures and accompaniment options. 

Pentecost Songs is available for FREE on bandcamp, with an option to support the project financially.  The Pentecost Songs Songbook is also available for free!  The season of Pentecost begins this Sunday.  Don’t miss this opportunity to listen and sing your way through the Spirit’s season.  Read about the project in its entirety at Cardiphonia.

I’ve reproduced Cardiphonia’s list of contributors here, so that you can see the diversity and breadth of expression represented.  I was blessed to be one of the songwriters on the project, but it’s not at all pretense when I say that I am among the “least of these.” 

Hiram Ring – Come, Holy Spirit, Come
Musician with Pageant Music and Doctoral Student in Linguistic in Singapore.

Nathan Partain – Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord
Music Arts Director at Redeemer Presbyterian, Indianapolis

Wen Reagan – Almighty Comforter
Musician and Doctoral Student in American Studies at Duke.

Bruce Benedict – Come, Holy Ghost & Come, Thou Everlasting Spirit
Music Director at Christ the King, Raleigh

Jered McKenna – Almighty Comforter
Musician and Worship Leader for Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church

Matt Boswell – God the Spirit
Worship Pastor at Fellowship of the Parks, Fort Worth, TX

Zac Hicks – Away With Our Fears
Associate Pastor of Worship & Liturgy at Cherry Creek Pres, CO

Brian T Murphy – Did I Not Plead Above
Red Mountain Music and New York Hymns

Melanie Penn & Steve Elliot – Holy Ghost, By Him Bestowed
Brooklyn, NC – /
Musicians at Park Slope Pres

Clint Wells – No Longer Visible
Nashville, TN –
Musician and Red Mountain Music

Karl Digerness – Spirit of God
San Francisco, CA –
Music Director at City Church, SF

Michael Van Patter – Breathe on Me & Great Comforter, Descend
Greensboro, NC –
Director of worship-arts at Hope Chapel

Anne-Marie Strohman – Holy Spirit, Light Divine
Musician – Palo Alto, Ca

Luke Brodine – Come Down O Love Divine
Palo Alto, CA –
Pastor and musician at Grace Pres.

Cameron Gray – Breathe on Me
San Diego, CA –
Chad Gray works as a designer and musics at Harbor Pres.

Greg Scheer – Glossolalia & O Holy Spirit, Come!
Grand Rapids, MI –
Minister of Worship at Church of the Servant in Grand Rapids and Music Associate at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Rick Jensen – Spirit I Wish I Knew Your Name
St. Louis, MO –
Musician and Liturgy Fellowship Dir.

Gina Tuck – Hymn to the Holy Spirit
St. Louis –
Director of Liturgical Arts at Central Pres

Luke Morton – Come, Holy Spirit, Come
Issaquah, WA – No More Fear
Assistant Pastor at Cov. Pres. Church.

Wendell Kimbrough – Holy Spirit, Come
Washington, DC –
Musician at Church of the Advent (DC)

3 Comments on “Pentecost Songs: The Way Forward Continues to be the Way Back”

  1. This looks amazing. Their link seems to be down right now but I hope to purchase this soon. Congrats on getting a track on this comp.

  2. Very cool. To be honest, the first congregational song I think of on the subject is the old gospel hymn. Behold its awesome corporate worship mojo.

    Lord, as of old, at Pentecost,
    Thou didst Thy power display,
    With cleansing, purifying flame,
    Descend on us today.

    Refrain: Lord, send the old-time power, the Pentecostal power!
    Thy floodgates of blessing, on us throw open wide!
    Lord, send the old-time power, the Pentecostal power!
    That sinners be converted and Thy Name glorified!

    For mighty works for Thee, prepare
    And strengthen every heart;
    Come, take possession of Thine own,
    And never more depart.

    All self consume, all sin destroy!
    With earnest zeal endue
    Each waiting heart to work for Thee;
    O Lord, our faith renew!

    Speak, Lord! before Thy throne we wait,
    Thy promise we believe,
    And will not let Thee go until
    The blessing we receive

  3. Great to hear all of those styles in one album: folky, electronic, pop, rock. A huge album with many styles is just what people need to be reminded of The Holy Spirit.

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