Song of the Week

Each week we will present a song that we will be singing the following weekend at mass.  Please check back each Monday for updates!


December 31, 2018 - We Three Kings

As we approach the Epiphany next Sunday we cannot forget the most well know Epiphany hymn, We Three Kings.  While they may have not been kings and there may have been more than three, this songs speaks of the three gifts that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus.  The first verse speaks of the journey to see the baby, followed by a verse for each of the three gifts.  The final verse sings praise to the newborn King.  Each year on the Epiphany we have our annual Christmas concert at the parish.  Come and join us this Sunday at 2pm for some wonderful Christmas music!


December 24, 2018 - Silent Night

Merry Christmas!  This year marks the 200th anniversary of the song Silent Night.  Enjoy this beautiful arrangement of this beloved Christmas hymn by the Piano Guys. We wish you and your family a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas!


December 17, 2018 - Jesus, Hope of the World by Paul Tate

Jesus, Hope of the World has become one of our most loved Advent songs that we sing.  We first introduced this song about six years ago and it caught on very quickly.  While this song is in Communion section of our choir books and could be used at other points in the year, it just has a feeling to it that fits perfectly in the Advent season.  This year we sang it three of the four Sundays of Advent during the communion procession.  In the refrain we hear the words, "Here we await you, O Master Divine, here we receive you in bread and in wine."  In the verses we response to the cantor's words with the simple phrase, "Come, Lord Jesus."  After we sing it this Sunday we won't sing it again until next December.  


December 10, 2018 - The King Shall Come by Trevor Thomson

In this song the traditional text of The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns in paired with a new melody.  The text tells us of the coming of Christ not at the Nativity, but at the end of time.  While the readings this weekend take a turn toward the coming of Christ at Christmas, we always keep in mind that Christ will return again.  This song is a beautiful Advent piece with a text that has been sung for generations.


December 3, 2018 - Ready the Way by Curtis Stephan

This weekend in the readings we hear the voice of John the Baptist crying out, "Prepare the way of the Lord."  At the beginning of our liturgies this coming weekend we will sing Ready the Way, a song we introduced about five years ago that has been very well received by the musicians and congregation.  In the video below you will hear Curtis Stephan share the story behind the song,


November 26, 2018 - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Advent begins this weekend as we prepare ourselves for the Christmas season in just 4 short weeks.  No Advent would be complete without the traditional chant, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.  We will sing it this weekend as well as again at the end of the season.  Here's a bit of background taken from

You are most likely familiar with the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” But are you as familiar with its rich history — a great treasure of the Advent season?

In Roman Catholic tradition, the Church begins reciting the Great Antiphons or “O Antiphons” on December 17 through December 23. This is the special period on the Church calendar known as the Octave before Christmas. There are seven antiphons, and a special one is recited each day of the Octave before and after the Magnificat prayer (Luke 1:46-55) during Vespers (evening prayer) of the Liturgy of the Hours. Flanking the antiphons around the Magnificat, or Mary’s Canticle, illuminates the graces God pours out on Israel through Mary’s fiat.

As shown below, each antiphon highlights a different name for Christ inspired by various attributes found in Scripture. You can see they also form the verses to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” In seven various, but interrelated ways, the antiphons voice the ultimate petition of Scripture — “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20).

  • December 17: O Sapientia (O Wisdom)
  • December 18: O Adonai (O Lord)
  • December 19: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
  • December 20: O Clavis David (O Key of David)
  • December 21: O Oriens (O Dayspring)
  • December 22: O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
  • December 23: O Emmanuel (O God is with Us)

The first letters of the Latin titles in reverse order (as bolded and underlined above) spell out “ERO CRAS”, which translates to “Tomorrow, I will come”, representing the seven remaining days of Advent preparation before the coming of Jesus.



November 19, 2018 - Soon and Very Soon by Andrae Crouch

As we approach the end of the liturgical year we hear readings about the end of time.  A song that we often sing during this time of year, as well as at the start of Advent when we hear of the second coming of Christ, is Soon and Very Soon.  The words are simple and the message is clear: "Soon and very soon we are going to see the King."  It goes on to say, "No more crying there" and "No more dying there."  This uplifting gospel song is always a joyful way to end our liturgy!  


November 12, 2018 - Blest Are They by David Haas

This week we are doing something a bit different and featuring a song that we sang at the concert last Thursday with David Haas.  We had an amazing turnout with over 250 people in attendance.  Our choir did an outstanding job singing along with David on a number of pieces.  The song that we ended the concert with was one of his most popular songs, Blest Are They, and is based on the Beatitudes.  Below is a video of Blest Are They from the concert featuring David as well as one of our cantors, Cindy Buck.  You can find recordings of some of the other songs on our Facebook page.  Log on to Facebook and search for "Church of St. Anselm Music Ministry."  Be sure to click "like" while you are there to stay up to date on what is happening in the music ministry.


November 5, 2018 - I Will Walk With You by David Haas

I Will Walk With You is a new song composed by David Haas.  This Thursday evening we are excited to welcome David to St. Anselm to perform a concert as part of his "I Will Bring You Home" concert tour, celebrating his 40 years of writing music for the Church.  David has been to St. Anselm in the past sponsored by the Upper Room Spiritual Center.  He reached out to us last spring to ask if he could make St. Anselm one of the stops on his tour and we quickly said "yes!"  This concert will be unlike some of his others in the past.  It will feature both his most beloved compositions as well as some new ones, including I Will Walk With You.  David has also invited our choir to participate in the concert and we will be singing eight songs with him.  Toward the end of the concert David is planning on taking requests of pieces to sing, which is something he has not done before.  If you don't have tickets yet you can purchase them in the parish office through Wednesday.  They will be available at the door the evening of the concert.  We hope to see you there!


October 29, 2018 - Litany by Matt Maher

This week we celebrate the Feast of All Saints.  The Litany of the Saints is used at baptisms throughout the year and is sung at the Easter Vigil right before the blessing of water, baptisms (if any), renewal of baptismal promises, and sprinkling of the assembly.  At the Easter Vigil we have an extended Litany of the Saints.  On All Saints Day we will use this shortened version of the litany as our Entrance Chant.  The cantor will invoke the name of the saint and we will all respond, "pray for us."  After each group of saints the cantor will sing "ora pro nobis," which is Latin for "pray for us."  The video below includes images and icons of the saints mentioned.  November is a great month to ask the saints to pray for you.  Is there some specific request that you have?  There is a Patron Saint for practically every cause.  A quick online search will find you the saint you are looking for and you can read about their lives and how they became the Patron Saint of the cause you are asking to pray for.


October 22, 2018 - Holy God, We Praise Thy Name arranged by Rick Modlin

At the beginning of mass this coming weekend we will sing Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.  This hymn was composed in the 1700's and later translated into English in the 1800's.  It has been a Catholic Church "standard" that has been sung through many generations.  This arrangement of the hymn is pleasing to both young and old worshipers alike as it blends the traditional melody with a more modern feel.  Despite the change in meter (4 beats per measure as opposed to 3 beats per measure in the original) the hymn is quite easy to sing and pray.  In the videos below you will hear a professional recording of the song as well as an interview with the arranger, Rick Modlin.




October 15, 2018 - Christ Has No Body Now But Yours by Steven Warner

This week's song during the presentation of the gifts is based on the words of St. Teresa of Avila.  St. Teresa wrote “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ's compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.” The text reminds us that we ourselves must bring about the Kingdom of God.  


October 8, 2018 - Prayer of St. Francis by Sebastian Temple

Prayer of St. Francis is a song that Catholics around the world are familiar with.  It was composed in the period following the Second Vatican Council and uses the words of St. Francis of Assisi.  The song has been recorded many times since it was written by many artists.  It is frequently selected as a song for both weddings and funerals.  This weekend we will sing Prayer of St. Francis during the presentation and preparation of the gifts.  Here are two recordings of the song.  One is an original recording and the other is a more updated, modern recording.  




October 1, 2018 - Gather the People by Dan Schutte

We introduced this song a number of years ago.  One of the great benefits of Gather the People is that it works nicely in many parts of the liturgy.  A few weeks ago we sung it at the presentation of the gifts.  This coming Sunday we will use it as our gathering song.  In a few weeks we will sing in during communion.  It probably ranks as one of the songs with the most verses, having 10 different verses!  It is a great song to sing as we gather together, whether at the beginning of mass, as the altar is prepared or as we process up to receive communion.  


September 24, 2018 - Take and Eat This Bread by Paul Tate

This weekend we will sing a communion song that we introduced last spring during the Holy Triduum.  Take and Eat this bread uses the words of Jesus at the last supper, which we hear during Holy Week each year.  It is a fitting communion song to sing at any time of the year, but especially in the fall when the Gospel readings often begin to take a turn and lead us to the end of Jesus' life on earth.  The beginning of each verse proclaims, "Come before the table, come with all your heart."  We come with all our heart each Sunday as we approach the table of the Lord seeking healing, forgiveness, hope and comfort.  At the Lord's table be find love, faith, peace and truth.  The recording below is from St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC.


September 17, 2018 - We Are Called by David Haas

Sorry for the delay in posting this week...we ran into some technical difficulties with the website.  This coming weekend we end our liturgies by singing We Are Called.  In this song we are called to act with justice, to love tenderly, to serve one another, and to walk humbly with God.  When David was at our parish a few years ago to perform, he told the audience that he cautions people to not get caught up in the liveliness of the tune, but to focus on the text. So, here is the text of the three verses of the song.  Read through it and then pray this song with us on Sunday.  (The text is reprinted under ONE LICENSE #A-700443.  It may not be reprinted without permission.)

1. Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom,
 to live in the freedom of the city of God! We are called to act with justice,
 we are called to love tenderly, we are called to serve one another; to walk humbly with God!
2. Come! Open your heart! Show your mercy to all those in fear!
 We are called to be hope for the hopeless so all hatred and blindness will be no more!
 We are called...
3. Sing! Sing a new song! Sing of that great day when all will be one!
 God will reign, and we'll walk with each other  as sisters and brothers united in love!
 We are called...

September 10, 2018 - Take Up Our Cross by Curtis Stephen, Sarah Hart and Marc Byrd

Next Sunday we hear Jesus in the Gospel telling his disciples that "whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."  The song Take Up Our Cross beautifully sets this text to music.  We often sing this song on Palm Sunday as we travel into the sacred Triduum, as well as in Ordinary Time following Christmas when we hear of Jesus calling his disciples.  In the video below you will see two of the composers, Curtis Stephan and Sarah Hart, talk about how they wrote this song.


September 3, 2018 - Gloria (Glory to God)

This week the song of the week could actually be called the song of the year.  The Gloria (Glory to God) is a hymn that we sing every Sunday, except during the seasons of Advent and Lent.  While there is a lot of freedom in the choice of music for mass, the Gloria is one of the only hymns that has a required text that needs to be sung.  Composers have the liberty to create various melodies for the text of the Gloria, however they cannot change, rearrange or paraphrase any of the words.  The Gloria is sung following the Penitential Rite every Sunday and feast day.  At St. Anselm we have 3 settings that we sing of the Gloria depending on the time of the year.  During Ordinary Time we sing a setting of the Gloria from the Mass of Renewal.  This is the one we are currently singing.  During Easter and any time there is a feast day throughout the year we sing a setting from the Mass of St. Ann.  And, during the Christmas season we sing a setting based on the carol Angels We Have Heard on High, which makes it easy for those who are visiting us during the Christmas season to join in singing the Gloria.  For more information on the Gloria and it's history click HERE for an article by Dr. Glenn Byer.  Here are the settings of the Gloria from Mass of Renewal and Mass of St. Ann.  You will probably find them very familiar!


August 27, 2018 - Blest Are They

This coming weekend we will sing Blest Are They during the communion procession.  Blest Are They was selected because the Communion Antiphon that the church assigned to next Sunday is based on the Beatitudes, which is also what Blest Are They is based on.  While there are many musical settings of the Beatitudes, Blest Are They is probably the most well know.  It was written by David Haas, a liturgical composer with over 40 years of composing music for the church.  Recently David wrote a book titled "I Will Bring You Home" in which he shares the stories behind some of his most beloved compositions.  He is currently going on tour throughout the country singing songs from his book.  He will be coming to St. Anselm on Thursday, November 8th and our choir will be performing with him in a concert that you will not want to miss!  Here is recording of Blest Are They as well as a video of David talking about his book.  



August 13, 2018 - Hail, Holy Queen

With the Feast of the Assumption this Wednesday our song of the week will feature a Marian hymn.  Hail, Holy Queen is a hymn that is nearly 1000 years old.  Written around 1080 by Contractus Hermannus, this hymn was originally in Latin and translated many years later in the late 1800's.  This song became well know among Catholics and non-Catholics alike when it was featured in the movie Sister Act.  Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) took over as choir director and this was the first song they sang under her leadership, which was the beginning of people returning to the church and eventually led to the Pope himself coming to that church as well.  


August 6, 2018 - Psalm 34 by Tom Booth

This week's song is a setting of Psalm 34, "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord."  It is the Responsorial Psalm that we will sing for the next three Sundays.  We have been hearing readings about the multiplication of the fish and loaves, the manna in the desert, and Jesus being the Bread of Life.  A similar theme will continue over the next couple of weeks.  As such, the assigned Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 34.  The verses that the cantor will sing each week will change slightly, but the refrain will remain the same.  


July 30, 2018 - Open My Eyes by Jesse Manibusan

A song that has become a staple in Catholic liturgy over the past years is Open My Eyes.  This song began simply as a song for the composer, Jesse Manibusan's, parish and then spread like wild fire to parishes around the world.  It has been translated into and sung in many languages.  Listen to this great interview with Jesse Manibusan on the Open Your Hymnal podcast by clicking HERE to hear more about how this song came to life.  Scroll down to "Open My Eyes" which is episode #9. This Sunday we will hear Jesus tell the apostles that he is the true Bread of Life and that those who come to him will never hunger.  This can be a hard concept to grasp, even today.  The apostles, and all of us, need to ask God to "open our eyes" so that we can see who Jesus really is, to "open our ears" to hear his voice. and to "open our heart" to love as Jesus loves.  


July 23, 2018 - Make of Our Hands a Throne by Steven Warner

This week we present a new communion song that we will be using, Make of Our Hands a Throne.  The song was composed by the former director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, Steven Warner, and the recording below was sung by the choir on one of their earlier albums.  This week in the Gospel we will hear the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand people who had followed him.  This leads into the Gospels of the next two weeks where we hear about Jesus as the Bread of Life.  We will sing Make of Our Hands a Throne during the communion procession for all three Sundays.  In the refrain we sing, "Make of our hands a throne to hold the bread of heaven, make of our hearts a home to hold the very wine of life, in this mystery, Lord, make us one in you."  The verses are taken from Psalms 34, 65, 78 and 145 as well as Didache, all of which have a Eucharistic theme to them.


July 16, 2018 - We Come to You by Josh Blakesley

Next Sunday is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  In the Gospel we hear that Jesus told his disciples to come away to a deserted place and rest.  This comes after this past weekend's Gospel where Jesus sent the disciples out two by two with nothing but a walking stick to preach repentance.  We will be singing the song We Come to You during the communion procession.  As we sing the words, "we come to you, broken, hungry, make us whole again" we can imagine how to disciples may have felt broken and hungry after driving out demons and healing many who were sick, despite most likely not being welcomed or listened to in many places.  One of Communion Antiphons taken from Psalm 110 reads, "The Lord, the gracious, the merciful, has made a memorial of his wonders; he gives food to those who fear him."  As we come to the Lord's table feeling broken and hungry, we too seek the food that the merciful Lord will provide.  In this week's video the composer, Josh Blakesley, talks about how he came to write the song We Come to You.