Astounding. They just keep getting better. A little before Christmas, Cardiphonia (that influential blogging and resourcing site that is in my top three go-to worship destinations online) released Canticles. A “canticle” is just fancy liturgical language for any song actually pulled directly from the pages of the Bible, more or less. Read more about it in my post here.
There’s a lot of talk out there about “biblical worship.” It means a lot of things. I’ve posted before about the difficulty and complexity of the question, “What is Biblical Worship?”, Because people answer it in a varirety of ways. It is not cut and dry. Well, certainly within the sphere of “biblical worship” must be included songs directly from the Bible. Not songs inspired by the Bible (which hopefully every worship song is at its least), but the actual capital-“I” Inspired songs of the Scriptures. People don’t realize, outside the Psalms, how many songs there are in the Bible. Well, Canticles’ 26 tracks help us see a glimpse into this.
As I listened through the album, I was reminded of the raw power of God’s Word, sung. It’s like worship songwriting 101…ground zero for the Church’s sung prayer. I was reminded how rich the Scriptural songs are, how multi-faceted, how challenging, how unconventional (compared to our typical worship categories). I was reminded how I need the Word. And I was reminded how I need music to help me know the Word.
It’s funny. We evangelicals are hardcore Bible studiers. We have Bible studies on how to study the Bible! And yet, for the biblical canticles, one cannot just sit down, read the text through the proper “historical-grammatical lens,” and mine the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic. The best way to know these texts is to hear them and sing them, for they are songs.
So, Canticles is not only a killer gift of ancient-modern worship songs for the Church, it’s a vehicle for knowing and experiencing Scripture and its Author more fully. Listen to it below. But to whet your appetite, here are some of my little observations.
I just love how this song sounds. From Isaiah 60:
Check out the sweet vocoder psychedelia in the middle of this one. From Isaiah 38:
I love the piano style in this one, reminiscent of Tupac’s “Changes” (or, more accurately, Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s “The Way it Is”). From Luke 1:
I am always on the lookout for singable lamentations that translate well to my context. This is one of them. Beautiful. From Jonah 2:
This one has a great melody. Very singable. From Revelation 15:
This is one of the more joyful songs on the album, and it would work great in an up-beat more full-on rock style. I love it. From Isaiah 60:
This is one of my favorite prayers of scripture, and it’s the inspiration for the name of my publishing company. From Habakkuk:
Go get the whole album!
Thanks for highlighting a few songs from this collection. With a project this big, it can be overwhelming. Listening through your picks helped me hear some individual tracks with new ears. And of course, I'm honored to be included.
"Arise, Shine for your light has come…" sounded so familiar that I checked out your 2008 "All Ye Gentile Lands Awake" song from The Glad Sound album, and sure enough, the Inspired Isaiah 60:1-3 has inspired more than one modern songwriter! Great songs then and now, Zac!