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Activity 1: Singing "Come, Come Whoever You Are"
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- One copy of the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook Singing the Living Tradition
Preparation for Activity
- Review Hymn 188 in Singing the Living Tradition, "Come, Come Whoever You Are," a very short hymn that is easy to sing a cappella and can be sung as a round.
- If you wish, invite someone in advance to attend this session to help you teach and lead the song. Possible volunteers might include a choir director, accompanist, or member, or other adults or youth in your congregation who belong to singing groups, play a musical instrument, or have a background in music.
Description of Activity
Learning this popular hymn will introduce the hospitality theme of the session and help deepen children's sense of Unitarian Universalist identity. Gather the group. Sing for them Hymn 188 in Singing the Living Tradition, "Come, Come, Whoever You Are."
Ask if any of the children have heard the song before. In your own words, say:
This song is called "Come, Come, Whoever You Are." It is a popular Unitarian Universalist hymn. A hymn is a special kind of song. It might have words that say "thank you" or words that offer praise to the world or give a blessing. Faith homes like our Unitarian Universalist congregation, or a temple, or a church, are places where people often sing hymns.
Tell the children that you will teach them this hymn so the next time they hear it in their congregation, they can sing along.
Teach the hymn yourself, or ask the volunteer you have invited to teach it, by singing each line and asking the children to repeat the line after you. Then put the lines together. Sing the song several times. As "Come, Come Whoever You Are" is a fairly upbeat song, consider inviting the children to stand and join hands, swinging them upward and outward to the beat.
In this age group, children may not fully understand the meaning of all this hymn's words and phrases. Explain that the title phrase, "Come, come, whoever you are" means that we, as Unitarian Universalists, joyfully welcome every different kind of person.
This hymn is frequently sung as a round. If you feel your group might enjoy trying to sing it that way, form two groups. Have everyone sing it through once, then have one group start singing and bring the second group in after the first line. Let both groups sing the hymn three times.