Music, it is said, “stirs the deepest strings of our heart and causes them to resound”.  It gives ‘wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
An essential part of a fulfilling community worship experience, its importance cannot be understated. Whether raised in praise, thanksgiving or lamentation, the ability of song to stir our soul and buoy our spirit is ageless and eternal.
In spiritual life formation and liturgy, music can be a tool not simply to engage the listener but to move an entire community to participation through “beauty expressive of prayer”, while preserving the “solemn character of the celebration”.  This tension is important to consider because not all songs are appropriate to the occasion or the solemnity of the moment no matter how beautiful or inspiring.
One age group or ministry that is making significant strides with in doing this well is the area of youth ministry. Incorporating visuals with songs, and quite often using live music, youth ministry is recognizing the importance of music as a means for evangelization and enrichment. Given the array of contemporary Christian artists, quite a few of them even specifically Catholic; there is no shortage of music styles, or diversity of gifts. While it might surprise you, in Christian music today there is not only room for outstanding gospel and praise artists, but blues, pop, metal, and rap as well.
Having said this, I would love your help with my latest project! Within the format of the retreat setting, and sacramental preparation, I am interested in amassing an ongoing list of artists and songs to deeper engage the whole believer to participation. Then, with these songs, parishes could use them in coordination with guided sacramental programs and retreats, even garnering the assistance of local musicians if possible.
The following are an initial top 15 for Reconciliation, in no particular order, with some more obviously applying to different age groups. Please comment, or inbox me through FB or Twitter if you have suggestions for this list.
- Lord, I need You-Matt Maher
- Breaking You- Audrey Assad
- Forgiveness-Matthew West
- Come to Me-Jamie Grace
- Redeemed-Big Daddy Weave
- Turn Around-Matt Maher
- Infinite Grace-Sarah Hart
- Be Forgiven- Jackie François-Angel
- Empty and Beautiful-Matt Maher
- In the Silence-Sarah Kroger
- Suitcases-Dara McClean
- Find You on My Knees-Kari Jobe
- Your love is like a River-Third Day
- Like a Bridge over Troubled Water-Audrey Assad
- I Need You Now-Plumb
 Rudolph Steiner
 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1157
7 thoughts on “Music That Moves the Soul”
I love the idea of incorporating music and ensuring that the music meshes well with the combination of liturgical events (or in my church, at the very least, the message). It bothers me when a service seems thrown together and disjointed. But when music is carefully chosen and matched to everything else going on, I think we see a tapestry of love and grace, woven together by God’s Spirit in us.
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I can’t believe that I neglected to respond earlier to your insightful comment! It bothers me too when music is merely an afterthought, or an add on to a service. We went years without a music minister that could incorporate music properly into a service. What a difference!
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Looks like a great list, by the way. Forgot to mention that.
Fantastic list – I am going to download a few of these to use…Here are a few more ideas that I have used on Women’s Retreats etc either during Adoration or in preparation for Confession
Restless: Audrey Assad
Blessings: Laura Story
I Will Lift My Eyes: Bebo Norman
Lay it Down: Matt Maher
Be Still and Know: Steven Curtis Chapman
Pour Out My Heart: Millenium 3
I Will Rise: Chris Tomlin
Trust In Me: Donna Corri Gibson
Debbie, Oh what a kindred spirit you are! LOVE these selections! I have all of these but two, and I am now adding Pour out my heart and Restless to my iPod. 🙂 Thank you so much!
Wow, what a list! I am excited to encounter some new music!