“Lead Me, Guide Me” Workshop

April 17, 2013 by  
Filed under African American, Director's Blog

On Saturday, March 16, 2013, about 60 people from various parishes throughout our Archdiocese as well as the diocese of Providence gathered for a workshop at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Dorchester to introduce the new edition of the “Lead Me Guide Me Hymnal”.

The workshop presenters, Kim Harris and Roger Holland are well known composers and arrangers of music who have worked to create music arrangements for the new Roman Missal and the arrangement for the settings of some of the responsorial psalms.

They helped those present to rediscover familiar songs such as “Let All the Earth”, “Go Ye Therefore”, Lead Me, Guide Me”, “Gift of  Finest Wheat”, and “Blessed Assurance”.  In addition, there were some new songs that were introduced such as,  “ I Need You to Survive”, “I Will Call Upon the Lord”, “Total Praise”, and “Awesome God”.  The aim of the workshop was to show that the second edition of “Lead Me, Guide Me” includes a variety of musical styles that the black Catholic tradition draws from:  Euro-American hymns such as “Bread of Life”, negro spirituals such as “Oh Freedom”, gospel music such as “Total Praise”, as well as Praise and worship songs such as “Lord, I  Lift Your Name on High”.

One of the important ways in which African Americans express their spirituality during the Mass is through song.  This need for black Catholics to reflect both their African American and Catholic faith through music, led to the project that put together the first edition of the “Lead Me, Guide Me African American Catholic Hymnal”,  published in 1987.  Two of the pioneers who steered this project were Fr. Clarence Rivers, a black Catholic priest and Archbishop James P. Lyke, O.F.M.   The new edition of the “Lead Me, Guide Me Hymnal” was published in 2012.

Some of the comments about the workshop were:

“I feel so affirmed by this…there is a place for this music in the Mass.  This is truly Black and    authentically Catholic.”

“We are a Church universal, but that does not mean that we express our faith in a uniform way.”

“This was more than a workshop, it was a time of REALLY singing praises to God.”


Links to some of the songs:

Total Praise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phBXe4RN3t8

I Need You to Survive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsEqZxvosKY

Awesome God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff9vcveAPOE

Lord I Lift Your Name On High: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na–ZWZziDY

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