If your are still in recovery from the folk masses of the 1970s, with their endless guitar strumming and cheesy choruses of "Kumbaya," you need to sample Marty Haugen. He layers his liturgical music with border pipes, tin whistle and mandolin, and uses oboes, trumpets and flutes to create a reverent but spirited sound. Haugen grew up a Lutheran in Eagen, Minnesota, but cut his musical teeth as a worship leader in a Catholic church. Today, he's considered one of the nation's best liturgical composers, and his music is sung by Catholics and Lutherans, and is being rapidly embraced by other Protestant traditions.

His latest CD, "Beneath the Tree of Life," is music for a communion worship service. Drawing on Christian's common heritage, the CD's songs look to a day when denominational divisions won't be a barrier to Christian unity. The tone is set by the title track, which uses rich, gender-inclusive metaphors for God. ("Come and gather beneath the Tree of Life.") The "Glory to God" and "Alleluia" are linked by the same melody. The offertory song evokes a real-life table setting, "Come let us bring the warm and fragrant bread."

This CD will be most appreciated by worship leaders seeking to update their worship without scaring off who can't hear the words "contemporary liturgical music" without shuddering.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad