WHEN emmanuelworship launched its latest album Justice + Praise last Sunday at a Fuel (young people’s) gathering in Jubilee parish, their aim was to “push the message” not themselves.
This was also their aim when producing the album, band lynchpin Patrick Keady said.
“When bands put together video clips they often cut to shot of the band playing and singing … we wanted to push the message not ourselves,” he said.
The result was a You Tube compilation which presented some of the musicians “as actors in the plot” while “the message” the talented songwriter and other band members had in mind was one of “breaking down the polarisation that exists between faith and action”.
“It’s not a justice album, it’s a praise and justice album … it’s not ‘either or’, it’s ‘both and’,” he said.
“There are songs about mission but also about the right to have a relationship with Jesus … everyone should have the right to have a relationship with their creator.”
Within that message Patrick said the group “were challenged to write songs to be used for corporate prayer” especially in parishes and schools.
“There’s a need for worship with an ‘our’ or ‘we’ perspective … that’s what parishes need and it’s what they are asking for,” he said.
“Most of the songs (on Justice + Praise) bring out that dimension.” Earlier emmanuelworship albums are “high energy stuff” Patrick said, while the latest he described as “simpler”, his favourite offering, Praise Comes, he said, “Everything I wanted to say in a song.”
emmanuelworhsip have asked those making the purchase to give funds to help another.
“We’re thinking if you have twenty-five dollars to spend on a CD, you have money to give to someone in real need,” he said.
“We’re asking people for every dollar they spend to give away the same amount.” Patrick said they often had the misconception that a call to “mission” only involves “travelling to Calcutta or Uganda”.
“You don’t have to wait to get there to start (reaching out),” he said. “The call to mission begins in our own lives … to heal broken relationships … to realise the friend in need … God’s justice wants to come to that as well.”
emmanuelworship members have long drawn inspiration from the idea of “putting feet to prayers” and also base their music on the scriptures, another songwriter for the latest album said.
“For us, uniting themes of faith and action is part and parcel of our Catholic identity,” Patrick said.
“One thing we hope people don’t mistake this album for is ‘jumping on the social justice bandwagon’.
“Our sincere desire is to support ministries that reach out to the broken and hurting in our world as well as to challenge ourselves and those who listen to our music to go beyond ‘singing the songs’ to ‘living the lyrics’.
“That’s where the rubber hits the road.”
As well the CD, emmanuelworship are offering a USB (stick) featuring backing tracks, sheet music, PowerPoint slides, multimedia, video clips and other liturgical resources.
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