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Jezu de Nazaret: Singing the Church Together

by Rev. Debra Tyree

 
Global Praise: General Board of Global Ministries

We are often asked how Global Praise collects the songs of the world. Sometimes they are literally "under our nose." In this case, we discovered "Jezu de Nazaret" in the offices of the Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN.) Jorge Lockward, Director of Global Praise, was meeting with several colleagues as a part of planning for a Global Ministries staff worship service focused on praying for Haiti.

Sophony Lamour, who is originally from Haiti, was one of the persons he asked to share with him songs that she felt the people of Haiti would be singing in the midst of the crisis. She immediately sang the song "Jezu de Nazaret."

Download the score as a JPEG file.

This infectious song is easy to teach and will be quickly learned by persons of all ages. The repeated text in the first three phrases allows the song to be easily taught by rote by a song leader. Break the song into short fragments when lining out the melody to the congregation. Sing the first two phrases and ask the congregation to repeat it with you. Do this with the third and fourth phrases as well. Ask the singers to put those two sections together.

Once they have sung the first portion of the song, share that this is the first section and that this section repeats when you sing the song. If the congregation was singing comfortably earlier, you can move on to lining out the last three phrases. To help reinforce the melody, consider having the melody line doubled by the keyboard or other C instrument.

Throughout it all, the song leader needs to reflect the joy of the song. One way to do that is to emphasize the first beat of each phrase. If you choose to accompany the song, create an accompaniment pattern that supports that rhythmic emphasis.

Click video of "Jezu de Nazaret" being taught to a congregation. Download the video in Quicktime MP4 format.

The English translation of the song was provided by John Thornburg and can be used throughout the year. Possible uses in worship include:

  • Sing as a response to prayers focusing on hope.
  • Sing the first four measures as an antiphon in an intercessory prayer pattern. The instrumentalists/keyboard could play the last three stanzas under the prayers leading into the sung antiphon. At the close of the prayer time, sing the song in its entirety.
  • Sing as a response to a Scripture reading focusing on the ministry of Jesus Christ.
  • Sing as a joy-filled processional call to worship. Create colorful streamers for children to carry into the space as the choir and liturgists joyfully sing "Jezu de Nazaret" and move into the worship space. Consider using a vibrant hand-drum pattern as the call prior to the procession.
  • Combine the processional idea from above with an offering for Haiti! Ask several youth to join in the procession with colorful baskets to use as offering plates. Consider assigning a child to carry colorful streamers to each youth carrying an offering basket. The choir would move to the front of the worship space as the youth/children move to places in the worship space that will allow your congregation to easily move and place their offering into the basket. Sing "Jezu de Nazaret" as the beginning and ending song of a joyful medley of songs during the offering.

 
See Also...
Topic: Evangelism Global connections Music Focus on Congregational Development
Geographic Region: Haiti
Source: GBGM Mission News
 
 

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: Haiti   

Date posted: May 26, 2010