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Pentecost 2022: Encouragement for a more multilingual church June 4, 2022

Posted by Pete B in multilingualism, worship.
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I’ve been blogging for a while about #multilingualchurch. Here’s why – A rich diversity of language and culture was God’s idea!

This is an idea explored a few times in a new book, “Language and the mission of God“. This is an ebook with a suggested price of $25 but a minimum price of “FREE” , that asks, amongst other things, “How does our perception of language influence our lives and ministries?”

If it’s the first time you’ve been asked that, ponder it yourself for a while while listening to this very multilingual compilation of “the Blessing”.

Long before the “World Blessing, the “UK Blessing”, the “The Blessing Zimbabwe” or before that particular 2020 worship chart topper was sung in over 214 languages in over 100 nations around the world, it was God’s idea to bless not just one chosen people but to bless all the nations.

At Pentecost three amazing things happen:

  1. The Holy Spirit comes on a waiting but hidden group of believers
  2. He gives them the gift of speaking other languages (and the hearers a gift of being spoken too)
  3. He launches the church as something that is not confined by language or culture.
image pixabay

It’s 30 years since I first really heard about Pentecost in a way that spoke to me and made me realise that the fragments of the Bible I’d heard many times before might fit together into something that was both attractive and true.

Pentecost definitely isn’t the first appearance of the Holy Spirit but it’s the start of something new. Jesus had said he was going back to the Father (I recently saw a facebook post where someone talked of Ascension day as the day Jesus started working from home), and he had told his disciples to wait. He’d said that he would send a new counsellor.

As with many other things Jesus had said, the disciples probably didn’t get what he meant at the time, but with a possible threat to their own lives they had good reason to be hiding away.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the tired believers new courage to proclaim good news to those around them. May that be our prayer and practice in the church today.

Bardcore Worship #2 Blending old and new September 27, 2020

Posted by Pete B in worship.
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It’s now a few weeks since I discovered  bardcore – faux medieval style versions of 20th and 21st century pop songs, shared on YouTube along with pictures that may (or look like like they may) have come from the Bayeux tapestry or books from somewhere between the 5th and 15th centuries.

For those looking for religious pictures there are no shortage of sources now online such as this 14th century picture digitised by the British Library. There are many interesting scenes, including this illustration of why Mary didn’t recognise Jesus after the resurrection until he took his hat off. Some of the illustrations take a little working out for 21st viewers, but these were once a bold attempt at telling an old story in a contemporary setting.

the ‘Holkham Bible Picture Book’ c 1327-1335 Digitised in the British Library

As you see, he actual mixing of old and new in interesting ways isn’t anything new in itself. The church has being doing it for centuries. Sometimes it is the updating of an old, but not forgotten hymn, such as “Be thou My Vision” so that the grammar and vocabulary in lines like “Naught be all else to me, save that thou art ” are a little less obscure for people for whom English isn’t their first language, and also for all those of us for whom English has moved on a bit since it first made sense.

wikipedia 1919 Church Hymnal with Accompanying Tunes

If you know the hymn you might also know that it’s a really old one. What I didn’t know though was that although the lyrics were translated from a 6th or 8th century Irish poem, and the tune an Irish folk song, the two weren’t brought together until translated in 1912 by Mary Elizabeth Byrne.

Many other old hymns are still in use, either in something like their original form, or adapted, remixed, and otherwise modernised throughout the centuries. I love that we have access to so many historic books. I’ve got several CD’s of the ‘latest’ worship hits from last few years. Here’s an older equivalent… a collection of hymn tunes from the most modern and approv’d authors

available on archive.org

and before ear buds, before smart phones, before ipods, even before ‘personal stereos’, or any way of recording songs, people walked around with items such as the, “Pocket hymn book, designed as a constant companion for the pious

available on archive.org

A little more exploring the archives may uncover more treasures. So following the bardcore trend, which modern worship songs would sound good in medieval style? Or which popular worship hits from past centuries have stood the test of time or or due a fresh remix?

Bardcore Christian Worship songs #1 September 9, 2020

Posted by Pete B in worship.
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A new genre has emerged recently medieval style versions of 20th and 21st century pop songs, known by some as bardcore.

a few modern medieval classics from youtube.com/c/Hildegardvonblingin

Fusions of old and new, or of different cultural styles, or even of different languages are far from a new idea. If you’ve heard Summertime Sadness, Jolene, or Somebody that I used to know, but not heard them like this then I recommend them and others for a fun diversion.

Other housebound artists have produced a huge number of other renditions. Here’s an instrumental version of “Land down under” while you read more.

with 425,346 views here is @mysticzaru version of “Land Down Under”

In addition to giving us the line “Here, taketh thine sandwich of vegemite, traveller.” YouTuber Mystic Zaru also gives a fun link “You can make an image like the one seen in the video here: https://htck.github.io/bayeux/#!/

In a later post I’ll point to a couple of other medieval manuscripts that might accompany more sacred sounding melodies.

I’ve yet to discover modern Christian worship songs given the same treatment but after a little research I found some “inverted bardcore”, medieval music in a modern setting.

Here’s a 14th century hymn that made it to number 4 in the UK singles charts in 1976

Some might consider it cultural appropriation, but there are many other songs of centuries past to be mined and modernised, or even appreciated in something approximating their original arrangements.

You can read more about the original “In Dulci Jubilo” on Wikipedia which states:

“In its original setting, the carol is a macaronic text of German and Latin dating from the Middle Ages.”

This mixing Latin and the local vernacular language was common and something that perhaps fits well with some contemporary thinking on how multilingual worship can connect with people today.

More medieval worship favourites in another post soon. Meanwhile what are your favourite songs from the 5th-15th century?

The Blessing – how many languages will it be sung in? May 10, 2020

Posted by Pete B in multilingualism, worship.
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Updated Aug 12, 2022
A new song based on an ancient blessing quickly became the anthem of 2020 for virtual choirs around the globe. I first heard the “UK Blessing” performed by a virtual choir from 65 churches and received almost 2 million views in it’s first week.
The UK Blessing wasn’t the first and definitely not the last attempt to bring churches together from a single country.

One day blessings will be sung in over 7000 languages, but not necessarily to this tune

I like the song and love the significance of so many people coming together to sing (or sign) it. This same concept has been repeated in many different communities and countries so I went looking for how many different languages I could find it in and began adding them to a playlist.

To start with I found English (a few varieties), French, Spanish, Hebrew, Tagalog, Farsi, Italian, Malalayam, Hindi, (and another in both Malalayam and Hindi) Nepali, Romanian, Polish, Papiamentu, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Luganda, Mongolian, Lingala, Thai, Mandarin Chinese, Nigerian Pidgin, Tamil, Amharic, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Swahili. I then added Shona, Ndebele, Xhosa (each part of The Blessing – Zimbabwe), Rukiga, Haitian Creole, BSL, ASL, Makaton, and Filipino Sign Language (There are 380+ sign languages in the world). One artist sings in Portuguese, French, English, Lingala & Korean. The Malaysian Blessing includes singers from 80 churches and includes English, Tamil, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Dusun, Kelabit and Iban. Then came Ukranian, Fijian, Ekegussi, Afrikaans , Vietnamese, Burmese, Mauritian Kreol, and Hungarian , and the list kept growing. I almost stopped counting at 70 but then I heard the Nigerian and Ghanaian versions, soon followed by a version from India with 31 different languages.
By the start of June there were over versions in over 140 languages. If it wasn’t already the most translated song, it was probably the song that had been translated most quickly into so many languages.

New versions were still coming out and by of Sept 1st 2020 it had been sung and signed in at least 160 languages.

By the end of 2020 this was one curve that was flattening out. By Feb 2021 there were 130 videos in the play list comprising of both single language and multilingual versions brought the total to 175 languages, and by December 2021 I had found another 20 and yet more from 2021 found later in 2022.

The most recent update to the list comes with twelve videos from Cameroon as part of a national competition Heal the Land in which groups made original covers of the song in four local languages or dialects from the over 250 spoken across Cameroon.

Other additions included a five language version from Australia, an eight language version from South Sudan, and a compilation World Blessing that has well over 100 languages. Here is the full alphabetical list of what I’ve found so far:

Albanian, Afrikaans, Ambon, American Sign Language (ASL), Amharic, Ao Naga, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Australian sign language, Bafamg, Bagangte, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Bakossi, Batak Pakpak, Batak Simalungun, Balanda, Bali, Bamoun, Banen, Bassa, Batak Karo, Batak Toba, Bayangi, Bengali, Benin, Bhojpuri, Birom, Bisaya, Bodo, British Sign Language (BSL), Bulgarian, Bulu, Bundeli, Burmese, Camaroon Pigin, Cebuano, Chatino, Chhattisgarhi, Chichewa, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Cilacap, Comores, Damara Nama, Dari, Dayak, Duala, Dusun, Dutch, Ekegussi, Ende, English, Esan, Eton, Ewe, Ewondo, Farsi, Fijian, Filipino Sign Language, French, French Sign Language, Fulfulde, Ga, Garhwali, German, Greek, Gurene, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hakha Chin, Hausa, Haryanavi, Havakinau, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Iban, Ibibio, Igbo, Igede, Ijaw, Ilocano, Italian, Japanese, Jarai, Jawa, Kabyle, Kalabari, Kankanaey, Kannada, Kaonde, Karenni (Kayah), Karina, Karo, Kashmiri, Kelabit, Khasia, Khmer, Kikuyu, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Kokborok, Konkani, Korean, Krio, Kutai, Kwassio, Kyrgyz, Ladakhi, Lahauli, Lamnso, Lampung, Lingala, Lua, Luganda, Maban, Macedonian, Makaton, Maithili, Malagasy, Malayalam, Malaysian Sign Language (BMI), Maltese, Manado, Manguissa, Manipuri, Marathi, Mauritian Kreol (Morisyen), Mexican sign language, Mewari, Mixteco, Mizo, Mongolian, Mungaka, Nagamese, Ndebele, Ndogo, Nepali, New Zealand Sign Language, Ngadju, Nias, Nigerian Pidgin, Nishi, Noongar, Norwegian, Nuer, Nyiyaparli, Nzema, Odia, Okrika, Oshiwambo, Otjiherero, Padang, Pangasinan, Papiamentu, Papua, Pitjantjara, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Rukiga, Russian, Sadri, Samoan, Sawa, Scottish Gaelic, Shilluk, Shona, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Suomi (Finnish), Sunda, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Ternate, Te Reo Māori, Tetun, Thai, Tiv, Tok Pisin, Tongan, Toraja, Tupuri, Turkish, Ukranian, Ukrainian sign language, Urhobo, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Waray, Welsh, Wimbum, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zapotec, Zomi and Zulu.

This also included versions in 13 sign languages (so far) from UK, Singapore, Mexico, Philippines, USA, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Columbia, Japan. The final one in my playlist being Makaton, a sign language developed for children and adults with communication and learning difficulties.

Inspired by the global impact of the song, and aided by the playlist, one person has now pulled together over 500 clips into one amazing eight minute video. I’m not sure yet how he counts 257 languages but it does includes 57 ways of writing Amen in different languages and scripts.

According to Billboard.com, “The Blessing”, was written by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes on Feb 27th and first recorded in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 1st. The lyrics are much older, based on Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”


These verses have been translated into at least the 724 languages that have full Bibles, of which at least 4-500 are available via bible.com, bible.is global.bible, find.bible and scriptureearth.org .(Over 75% of the 3500 languages in which some scripture has been translated now have at least part of the Bible online in some form)

Since I first posted about this I’ve added many updates, each ending with the same question:

In how many languages could be it be sung by the people connecting online to your church?

This final video is from one congregation in London, UK, in a city where well over 300 languages are known to be used (and others are yet to be counted). If you like it, share it. The Blessing in over 200 Languages playlist has passed 10,000 views in June 2022, but the goal is not to see how many hits that can get, the goal is simply to join the prayer and celebration and celebrate as part of the #multilingualchurch.

Global(ised) Worship June 3, 2019

Posted by Pete B in multilingualism, worship.

83 widely translated Worship Songs

Each of the songs below have been translated into at least 10 languages and are available via www.weareworship.com .

To find exactly which languages you now have to be logged in as a member but can set up a free account.

Sometimes using the translated song title or first line may find a recording on YouTube and one song may lead you to a whole playlist of songs you already love, and songs that you’ve never heard.

These 83 songs represent contributions from 54 different songwriters most writing in English and having global reach. While it is good that these songs can be sung in many languages it is also good to recognise that around the world songs are sung in hundreds and one day thousands of languages each with its own distinct style and unique expression.

Over 1300 of the nearly 8000 songs listed have been translated into at least one other language (not counting UK and USA English as separate). with 360 being available in 4 or more languages.

2020 update: Several of the songs are available in many more languages than mentioned below and since researching this in 2019 one new song, “The Blessing” has already been sung (and signed) into over 160 languages (only English and German currently on WeAreWorship).

(There are a wide range of other sites and tools for Multilingual worship which I’ll add to in the #multilingualchurch tab)

Some of the translated versions are available on songselect.ccli.com (serch by title or ccli number), but in a much smaller range of languages.

CCLI Title Written By Languages
4847027 HAPPY DAY Written by: Ben Cantelon, Tim Hughes 18
5340815 ALL TO YOU Written by: Neil Bennetts, Eoghan Heaslip 11
5376377 YOU ALONE CAN RESCUE Written by: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman 12
5557062 OUR HEARTS ARE BREATHING IN (THE MORE WE SEE) Written by: Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin 11
5120176 HALLELUJAH Written by: Ben Cantelon 11
5109647 THERE IS A HOPE Written by: Mark Edwards, Stuart Townend 11
5003372 BEHOLD THE LAMB (COMMUNION HYMN) Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 11
5469291 BY FAITH Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 11
4779872 HOLY SPIRIT LIVING BREATHE OF GOD Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
4706948 GLORY AND HONOUR TO YOU WE BRING Written by: Doug Horley 11
4674166 YOU NEVER LET GO Written by: Beth Redman, Matt Redman 15
5828478 WORTHY Written by: Ben Cantelon, Becky Drake, Nick J Drake 11
5677416 OUR GOD Written by: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin 18
6016351 10,000 REASONS Written by: Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin 27
6186078 BUILD YOUR KINGDOM HERE Written by: Rend Collective 13
5942543 AT YOUR NAME Written by: Tim Hughes, Phil Wickham 12
3111376 AMAZING GRACE Written by: Nathan Fellingham, John Newton 11
4642105 EVERY PROMISE Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 11
4685258 EVERYTHING Written by: Tim Hughes 13
4556538 EVERLASTING GOD Written by: Brenton Brown, Ken Riley 23
4615235 SPEAK O LORD Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 15
4610917 BENEATH THE CROSS Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty 11
4611992 O CHURCH ARISE (PUT YOUR ARMOUR ON) Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
4506980 BENEDICTION Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
4490766 THE POWER OF THE CROSS Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 18
4329411 NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD Written by: Matt Redman 14
78275 YOU LAID ASIDE YOUR MAJESTY Written by: Noel Richards 13
3915912 BEAUTIFUL ONE Written by: Tim Hughes 19
2296522 THE HEART OF WORSHIP Written by: Matt Redman 21
1033408 WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH Written by: Doug Horley 15
2106499 WE BOW DOWN Written by: Viola Grafstrom 12
3818569 CONSUMING FIRE Written by: Tim Hughes 14
1585970 PSALM 23 Written by: Stuart Townend 13
1108735 LORD YOU HAVE MY HEART Written by: Martin Smith 16
3266032 HERE I AM TO WORSHIP Written by: Tim Hughes 29
1545484 JESUS LOVER OF MY SOUL (IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU) Written by: Paul Oakley 11
48119 JESUS PUT THIS SONG INTO OUR HEARTS Written by: Graham Kendrick 12
1564362 ONCE AGAIN Written by: Matt Redman 16
1083764 I WILL OFFER UP MY LIFE Written by: Matt Redman 15
2430979 LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH Written by: Matt Redman 11
37845 LORD JESUS WE ENTHRONE YOU Written by: Paul Kyle 13
1097451 BETTER IS ONE DAY Written by: Matt Redman 14
1558110 HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US Written by: Stuart Townend 24
1540719 HOLY HOLY (LIFT UP HIS NAME) Written by: Nathan Fellingham 11
78897 THE SERVANT KING Written by: Graham Kendrick 12
3798438 BLESSED BE YOUR NAME Written by: Beth Redman, Matt Redman 23
120824 BE STILL Written by: David J Evans 13
2492216 BEAUTIFUL SAVIOUR Written by: Stuart Townend 14
120556 ALL HEAVEN DECLARES Written by: Noel Richards, Tricia Richards 15
38686 ABBA FATHER Written by: Dave Bilbrough 11
4108797 RESURRECTION HYMN (SEE WHAT A MORNING) Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 13
5232617 COME PEOPLE OF THE RISEN KING Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 15
5146473 AND CAN IT BE Written by: Chris Eaton, John Hartley, Gareth Robinson 11
5925663 WAITING HERE FOR YOU Written by: Jesse Reeves, Martin Smith, Chris Tomlin 12
7002032 MY LIGHTHOUSE Written by: Rend Collective 12
5037070 GOD OF THIS CITY Written by: Richard Bleakley, Aaron Boyd, Peter Comfort, Ian Jordan, Peter Kernoghan, Andrew McCann 12
4662491 HOSANNA (PRAISE IS RISING) Written by: Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche 15
7038281 THE LION AND THE LAMB Written by: Brenton Brown, Leeland Mooring, Brian Johnson 12
3350395 IN CHRIST ALONE Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 26
2298355 OPEN THE EYES OF MY HEART Written by: Paul Baloche 17
20285 GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART Written by: Henry Smith 17
798108 BLESSING AND HONOUR (ANCIENT OF DAYS) Written by: Jamie Harvill, Gary Sadler 11
674545 THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU Written by: Lenny LeBlanc 13
190579 ONLY BY GRACE Written by: Gerrit Gustafson 14
16347 WHEN I LOOK INTO YOUR HOLINESS Written by: Cathy Perrin, Wayne Perrin 11
6460220 GREAT ARE YOU LORD Written by: Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Jason Ingram 13
4447960 REVELATION SONG Written by: Jennie Lee Riddle 16
3540703 JESUS HOPE OF THE NATIONS (HOPE OF THE NATIONS) Written by: Brian Doerksen 11
4219071 HERE I AM (MAJESTY) Written by: Stuart Garrard, Martin Smith 14
2672885 ABOVE ALL Written by: Lenny LeBlanc, Paul Baloche 19
879168 JESUS ALL FOR JESUS Written by: Jennifer Atkinson, Robin Mark 12
4403076 INDESCRIBABLE Written by: Jesse Reeves, Laura Story 16
4348399 HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD Written by: Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin 21
2456623 YOU ARE MY KING (AMAZING LOVE) Written by: Billy J Foote 11
3148428 FOREVER Written by: Chris Tomlin 19
4158039 HOLY IS THE LORD Written by: Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin 11
6454621 VICTOR’S CROWN Written by: Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, Darlene Zschech 11
6367165 WE BELIEVE Written by: Richie Fike, Matthew Hooper, Travis Ryan 12
14181 HOW GREAT THOU ART Written by: Stuart K Hine 22
1043199 I COULD SING OF YOUR LOVE FOREVER Written by: Martin Smith 11
6115180 JESUS AT THE CENTRE Written by: Israel Houghton, Adam Ranney, Micah Massey 11

*Counts of languages from early 2019.

Five ways to use other languages (a bit) in your church June 1, 2019

Posted by Pete B in multilingualism, worship.
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How many languages will be heard in and from your church this Pentecost?

Do you know how many languages are spoken by the members of your church? (it could be a good time to find out)
Do you know how many languages are spoken in your local community? (it may be more than you think)
And even if everyone can understand English (or the language used most in your church) is that their only or their preferred language? Would people welcome hearing and using the other languages they speak on a daily basis at home and in their community?

That’s part of what I am currently looking at for my MA dissertation and for a paper I will present in July as part of the London School of Theology’s one day conference “Sounds of Heaven and Earth“.

I’m exploring a lot of the ways churches are or could be using languages other than English as part of their services and outreach. Here are just five very simple ideas.

  1. A multilingual welcome sign, plus other signs and posters.
    With text projected on the screen, used into printed notices, and used on the walls in various parts of the church buildings it is easy to add content in a few more languages. (Translations of Bible verses easily available using Bible.com but verse numbers are sometimes mid sentence and in some translations verse numbers vary. You can double check with speakers of the language or for languages covered by Google you can translate the verse back into English for confirmation)
  2. Saying “the grace” or a blessing in other languages
    Saying ‘the grace’ to one another’ seems to be the only bit of liturgy my own church uses but there are many other options of single verse greeting.
    “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  Cor 13:14 NIV
    You can put a few others on the screen or just invite people to say it in their own language.
  3. Playing familiar worship songs in other languages.
    Many of the songs you sing are already available in other languages. Whether or not you sing (or play them) in other languages you can add the lyrics on the screen in another language.
    I’ve compiled a list of 83 worship songs that are each available in 10 or more languages . Over 1300 of the nearly 8000 songs listed at https://www.weareworship.com/ have been translated into at least one other language with 360 being available in 4 or more languages.
    Be aware that versions in other languages are often not direct translations. (Update 2020 probably the most widely translated song to emerge this year, or in the last few centuries is “The Blessing” now in over 160 languages)
  4. Introduce songs with a verse of scripture in the languages spoken in your community.
    Simply display translations of a Bible verse that introduces the theme or is directly quoted in a song. eg 10,000 Reasons starts with and takes several phrases from Psalm 103 .
  5. Introduce worship songs from another language and culture
    Newcomers may appreciate songs that are not only in their preferred languages but also in their preferred musical styles. If you want a mostly English congregation to join in singing in a language they don’t speak pick something simple or just teach one line of the chorus. Sing the song, explain the significance.
    Some songs available at worshipleaderapp.com and https://songs2serve.nl, http://hmworship.com has songs in Latvian, English, Ukranian, Russian, Turkish, and Estonian. Also see twonineteen.org.uk/multicultural-worship-top-tips/

I could add other ideas but so can you. Add comments here or on the accompanying Facebook post. What has worked well in your church or what ideas would you like to see tried?
Other Pentecost post coming soon.

Not just “the Church of English” March 4, 2019

Posted by Pete B in Bible Translation, worship.
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” whilst she loved worshipping with her sisters and brothers in her faltering English she always longed to worship in her own language. We had no resources then to help.” – a fragment from the sermon by the Bishop of Durham at the launch of a new Farsi Communion service.

The Bishop was relating an incident in 1994 at a point when Farsi resources existed and had long been used by the church in Iran but would not have easy to find in the UK.

Since 1994 the number of languages with a complete Bible have doubled to 692 and the number of languages with some portion of scripture has gone from 2100 to 3352. Many of these are available on Bible apps already installed on peoples phones across the world.

Official and unofficial translations of liturgy have also been part of the mission of the church for centuries. Portions of the Church if England’s Book of Common Prayer were translated into at least 200 languages. Many of these have been made available online in recent years.

How many clergy and church members know how to find and share these and other resources?

How much do we see language as a barrier to overcome without also recognising that language is also expression of identity? Even when the English is no longer “faltering” there is something special about connecting with God using the language of your childhood, especially if it is still the language you use most at home.

There are over 300 languages spoken by people living in our country. I believe more should be spoken and sung in praise of God in our churches and am beginning to collect and compile resources and ideas for simple steps in using languages other than English within churches in the UK.

The Worlds Favourite Worship Songs? January 31, 2019

Posted by Pete B in multilingualism, worship.
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This is no longer a new CD, so many of the songs might already be among your favourites, but are they really the World’s favourites?

“Possibly the best worship collection ever made featuring over 50 of the finest modern worship songs sung the world over.

With songs that cross the nations and span the generations The World’s Favourite Worship Songs showcases what the world’s churches are singing today.


I like lots of the songs on here (as do many people around the world) but watching the video you’d think the church only sang in English.

I am pleased to see that the team at weareworship.com , recognises that and are inviting subscribers to submit translations of many popular songs. (eg there are 29 translations of “Here I am to Worship” and scroll to the bottom of the list and it gives you a link to provide a translation if there isn’t one in your language).

Sadly they don’t (yet) have the built in ability to search by language, but it is possible to use Google to do that for you. eg

polski site:https://www.weareworship.com

My hope however is that in addition to the globalisation of worship where everyone sings to the same tunes we will have truely global worship where we get to hear more songs from other cultures and musical styles both traditional and modern. WeAreWorship are contributing to that too with a platform called SongShare and there is another emerging community at proskuneo.org.

Meanwhile if you look for it there is a lot of worship happening in different languages, some of which is shared on YouTube. Here’s 70,000 people singing in Arabic

348,000 views on YouTube

And another Arabic Christian song that seems quite popular

almost 5,000,000 views so far

How many languages are actually being used to worship God? Heaven knows.

How many languages will sung in heaven?

I know that there are over 3350 languages into which some part of the Bible has been translated and would hope (but don’t know) that songs are being sung to God in each of these and perhaps even more.

I also know that there are well over 300 languages spoken by people living in my home country of the UK but suspect that far fewer are used in our churches. So I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the singing. Here’s some worship leaders and theologians talking in 2015 about their hopes for the future of worship in the UK.

seen only 1137 times in the last 4 years, but worth letting people know about

…and a plug for a Multicultural Worship day on Feb 23 at All Nations

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