Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Planning: Picking the Music (Part 2)

Read Planning (Part 1) here.

Picking out music was one of the hardest things to do in planning a memorial service for our son. Worship with music is something that is dear to my heart. It's one of my favorite ways to express my relationship with God and to thank Him for who He is and what He's done. Normally I really enjoy pondering the words of worship music but this was really hard on my heart. And considering that my husband was super busy with youth ministry and seminary classes I knew it would be my responsibility. In the end, after a hard afternoon and evening reading lyrics and listening to music, my husband helped me pick the final songs.

I knew that I wanted this time to be a hopeful time. A time of celebration of our Elihu's short life, his Homecoming, and our faith that we would join him one day in heaven. But I also wanted it to be thoughtful and a time of reflection. Those are some hard things to combine but we really prayed over it and these are the songs we chose:

How Can I Keep From Singing 
Chris Tomlin

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring

And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love
How can I keep from shouting Your name
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives

And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

This song had a lot of meaning for me and my husband. It's hard to sing through the troubled times, when we lose our steps. Thankfully the Spirit prays on our behalf when we have no words to express our hurt, our pain, our joy, our sorrow, our hopefulness, our faith when we are grieving and going through times of depression. But deep down inside I knew that even through all the tears, crying out, anger that God was with me. I wasn't losing my faith through my grief I was losing my child. And today I can say out loud the words of this song and really mean them even though tears accompany the words.

Call to Me
Seeds of Courage

Call to me and I will answer you
Call to me and I will answer you
And tell you great and unsearchable things
And tell you great and unsearchable things
you do not know
Call to me
(repeat 3x)

Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah
Shout it out now, hallelujah

I am thankful for the promises in Jeremiah 33:3. That He hears us and will answers us. And thankfully He did that for me especially concerning our son's name. It was a blessing to have God speak so directly to me. (The music and lyrics from the Seeds CD collections are priceless. They are designed to instill Biblical seeds in your children's hearts as they memorize Scripture to music. Kinda cool.)

What a Day That Will Be
Bart Millard

There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky, no more tears to dim the eye;
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face the One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me thro' the promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

There'll be no sorrow there no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no more pain, no more parting over there;
And forever I will be with the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

When the trump begins to sound we will then be Heaven bound
We'll meet Jesus in the sky in the twinkling of an eye;
When He takes me by the hand and leads me thro' the promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be!

I knew I wanted at least one hymn. I studied the words of several hymns and enjoyed looking up Scripture and really pondering the words of each song. I picked What a Day That Will Be because it spoke so hopefully of our Homecoming in heaven. I feel so blessed to know that our heartaches will be no more, our tears will be no more that one day we will be heaven bound and we will embrace our son. It was hard to find the right music for this song. The words and promises of this song were very important to me but so was the mood of our celebration. Most of the recordings I heard were very funeralesque and I did not want to go that route. I wanted the music to be representative of the joyful promises of the song and I found Bart Millard's Hymned Again CD online and my husband already had the CD in his office. It was perfect. We had the words and the tempo that we thought best got our message across.

Our God Is a Great Big God
Vineyard Records

Our God is a great big God,
Our God is a great big God,
And He holds us in His hands.

He's higher than a skyscraper,
He's deeper than a submarine.
He's wider than the universe,
And beyond my wildest dreams.
He's known me and He's loved me
Since before the world began;
How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan.
This is a favorite song of our boys and I love the lines "He's known me and He's loved me since before the world began; How wonderful to be a part of God's amazing plan." It's a blessing to sing the promises that come from God's Word even when they are hard to understand. (We received this song on a CD mix from a friend. Vineyard Records Great Big God series has some great music that my boys really enjoy - and I don't find annoying :) - and I'm sure your children will too.)

There were many other songs that I would have enjoyed singing and playing at Elihu's heaven party/memorial service but I am so glad that these are the ones we chose. I do have a file, however, of all the songs that I studied in preparation for the service. I printed them out and put them in a special box with our son's keepsakes.

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