In June 2017, Illumine held its first annual Songwriting Weekend where several songwriters came to Illumine with a single goal: to start and finish writing a song that can be used by congregations for worship. Each Thursday, we will be featuring one of the songs that was composed that weekend.
Why (did you write) this song?
"When I sat down to write this song, I really wanted to write something to honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and I used the following solas to structure my verses: sola scriptura (only Scripture), sola fide (only faith) and sola gratia (only grace)." -Melanie Bourman
Melanie does an excellent job of taking those three "solas" and crafting a well-thought and coherent verse around each one. Her poetry is both beautiful and crystal clear. Her final verse brilliantly ties all three ideas together and closes with a doxology.
I particularly enjoy how timeless her lyrics feel, which fits with her stated goal of writing something for the anniversary of the Reformation. The truths proclaimed 500 years ago are the same truths we proclaim today.
Use in Worship
We are including several different versions of a lead sheet for this song in hopes that you will be able to choose one that best suits your purposes.
Melanie originally wrote the song in the key of C, where it was very comfortable for her (an alto) to sing. However, most congregations would struggle to sing as low as she does, so we are also including a version in the key of G.
Secondly, the original melody contains some slight variations from verse to verse. We have included that original version (and that is what you will hear on the demo MP3) but we have also included a version with some slight changes so that it could be notated more like a traditional hymn would be.
Our hope is that at least one of these resources will be valuable for you in your particular setting.