The last few months I’ve been hard at work recording two very different albums with my church that will be released this Fall. I’m excited about them both!
The first project, “We Will Proclaim: Live Worship with The Falls Church Anglican” was recorded live a few weekends ago (July 13th and 14th) and features many of the same musicians who participated on our first album last year. This album features 14 congregational songs, a mix of familiar/original/contemporary arrangements or retuning of hymns, and follows a liturgical pattern of an Anglican worship service. We incorporated many liturgical elements such as a Call to Worship, the Prayer for Purity, Apostles’ Creed, Confession, General Thanksgiving, and a Benediction. We hope to cram as many songs and liturgical elements onto this album as physically possible! This album features a full band, strings, organ, and loud congregation.
The title “We Will Proclaim” comes from the Matt Redman song “How Great is Your Faithfulness” that we recorded. The chorus of that song says: “The heavens ring, the saints all sing / Great is your faithfulness / From age to age we will proclaim / Great is Your faithfulness / How great is Your faithfulness”. If you know anything about the story of my church over the last few years, you’ll know that we’ve been clinging to this reality that God is faithful. The heart behind this live album is to capture a congregation that’s been tested and tried, and continues to proclaim the faithfulness of God and the power of the gospel. I’m trilled with how this album is turning out, and I’ll share snippets of it with you as soon as I can. You can preorder this album at www.tfcamusic.org.
The second project, “For Our Salvation” is an Advent EP that was also recorded in mid-July using the same musicians from my church, as well as friends from Nashville and L.A. who played on the worship album. This EP features 6 songs, one of which is an instrumental piece, four of which are traditional Advent hymns, and one of which is an original song of mine. An amazing youth choir conducted by my sister-in-law sings on three of the songs, and the whole EP features some of the best string players from Nashville playing original orchestrations by my friend Joshua Spacht.
The title for this EP comes from the hymn “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending” which has the line “Lo! He comes, with clouds descending / Once for our salvation slain”. This echoes the line from the Nicene Creed which says that “for us and for our salvation (Jesus) came down from heaven”. Some of the hymns of Advent can get treated as dusty relics that are inaccessible as songs of worship. This is a shame. The heart behind this EP is to offer these songs as vibrant, powerful tools to worship Jesus as the one who came down for our salvation as a “beautiful baby boy”, and the one who will come again “robed in dreadful majesty”. I’m thrilled with how it’s sounding and I will share it as soon as possible!
My sincere hope and prayer is that these two albums are a blessing to my congregation, a blessing to anyone else who hears them, a tool to help people worship Jesus, and a gift to worship leaders who are always looking for songs to incorporate in their own setting. Every measure of every song was designed to be singable for the average congregation and playable for the average worship team. I’d appreciate your prayers over the next two months as we get them both ready!