I was raised a christian (roman-catholic) with a focus on the so called ‘social gospel’, but also a focus on ‘contemplative spirituality’. Learning to be in the presence of communion with God and the so called Body of Christ (the community of christians). Later on in life, through being acquainted with vajrayana buddhism I got a deeper understanding of the christian songs, prayers and practices. While there are differences, there are also a lot of similarities in the different ways of approaching the same inner spiritual or should I rather say thoroughly human realities.
The Taize community in France where these songs have been composed is a non-denominational community which welcomes everyone beyond the differences in theology. It focuses on praying together, sitting in silent contemplation, communicating together in sharing groups. My parents brought me there a lot, and when I was living on my own I visited there with agnost friends. They were equally moved to tears. The songs of Taize are being sung in most christian churches of the world as the lines appeal in their simplicity and directness.
Taize songs (ecumenical)
Taize - Gott ist nur Liebe German version of the Polish original Bóg jest miłością “Gott ist nur Liebe. Wagt, für die Liebe alles zu geben. Gott ist nur Liebe. Gebt euch ohne Furcht”
Taize - Crucem Tuam A song about the mystery of the cross, suffering, death and resurrection - in Latin: Crucem tuam adoramus Domine Resurrectionem tuam Laudamus Domine Laudamus et glorificamus Resurrectionem tuam Laudamus Domine
Taize - Confitemini Domino Based on Psalm 136. Trust in the Lord as he is good. There are also german and english versions with the same melody. Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus. Confitemini Domino, Alleluai
Taize - Grande est ta bonte Il n’est pas de plus grand amour que de donner sa vie pour ceux qu’on aime. Grande est ta bonté, Seigneur, envers nous! There can be no greater love than to lay down our lives for those we love. Bless the Lord, our God, whose goodness abounds!
Taize - Nada te turbe Nada Te Turbe was written by Jacques Berthier of the Taizé Community inspired by the writings of the Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila. Nada te turbe, nada te espante Quen a Dios tiene, nada le falta Nada te turbe, nada te espante Solo Dios basta Let nothing trouble you, let nothing scare you He who loves God, needs nothing Let nothing trouble you, let nothing scare you Only God is enough
Taize - Mon ame se repose Mon âme se repose en paix sur Dieu seul, de lui vient mon salut. Oui, sur Dieu seul mon âme se repose, se repose en paix. In God alone my soul can find rest and peace In God my peace and joy Only in God my soul can find its rest. Find its rest and peace.
Carmen Stoetzer Melissant (reformed)
St. Francis - Make me a channel of your peace Allen Pote arrangement Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
A Dutch priest assigned to write new modern Dutch catholic lyrics was at the for front of church reforms in the wake of the 2nd Vatican Council. Although he married in the expectation of reforms in celebacy rules which never came, his songs are still sung in The Netherlands and Belgium. The music composition is often by Bernard Huijbers. Licht dat ons aanstoon in de morgen Groter dan ons hart Wees hier aanwezig Een mens te zijn op aarde
Katholicus (catholic speed metal, i like the combination)
A Polish composer set music to one the greatest quotes from the New Testament, composed for a beautiful movie, directed by his friend Kieslowski - sung in the original Greek. Song for the unification of Europe
My favorite song from his album ‘Silence, Night, Dreams’ - sung by Teresa Salgueiro from the Portuguese fado band Madredeus - lines from the book of Job, chapter 28, from the latin Vulgate.
sapientia vero ubi invenitur? et quis est locus intellegentiae? nescit homo pretium eius, nec invenitur in terra suaviter viventium abyssus dicit: “non est in me”; “non est mecum”. unde ergo sapientia venit, et quis est locus intellegentiae? (…) perditio et mors dixerunt: “auribus nostris audivimus famam eius” sapientia vero ubi invenitur? et quis est locus intellegentiae? non est in me. non est mecum… ~~ but where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? man does not know its worth, and it is not found in the land of the living. the deep says, “It is not in me.” and the sea says, “It is not with me.” from where, then, does wisdom come? and where is the place of understanding? abaddon and death say, “we have heard a rumor of it with our ears.” but where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? it is not in me it is not with me
Tchaikovsky - Hymn of the Cherubim English translation from the Russian chant: We, who mystically represent the Cherubim, And chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity, Let us set aside the cares of life That we may receive the King of all, Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts. Alleluia
Jewish oriented songs
Joe Purdy (US):
I got troubles, Lord, but not today
“Cause they’re gonna wash away
They’re gonna wash away
And I have sins, Lord, but not today
‘Cause they’re gonna wash away
They’re gonna wash away
And I had friends, Lord, but not today
‘Cause they done; washed away
They done; washed away
And oh, I’ve been cryin’
And oh, I’ve been cryin’
And oh, no more cryin’
And oh, no more cryin’ here
And we got lonely, Lord, but not today