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Music for Online Worship

A woman wearing headphones sits at a laptop, gesturing with both hands at someone (not visible) on the screen.

What Hymns Can We Use?

Some of the hymns and/or readings (PDF) from our UU hymnals may be used without permission from the copyright holder.

The following videos may be used in online and recorded worship services by Unitarian Universalist congregations. The music that follows does not require additional permission for online use (see sidebar). However, we ask that you provide full attribution to the composers and lyricists on your screens, not just verbally, for each piece that you incorporate into worship.

Please note that these selections are intended to ease our collective transition into the sometimes confusing world of online worship. They're shared in the spirit of supplementing your existing resources and should not be interpreted or used to justify decreasing the wages or positions of professional music staff.

New! ūüéĄ Christmas and Holiday Music

  • "Dark of Winter" (#55 in Singing the Living Tradition; music & words by Shelley Jackson Denham).¬†Vocals: Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt; cello accompaniment: Rev. Cathy Rion Starr; audio & video production: Rev. Christe Lunsford
  • Rev. Megan Visser's set of 5 videos for lighting the candles on the Advent wreath.
  • Videos of Christmas songs, coordinated and arranged by Adam Podd:
  • Audio of Adam Podd's arrangement and piano (only) accompaniment of those songs:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Piano instrumental by Adam Podd

Joy to the World

Piano instrumental by Adam Podd

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Piano instrumental by Adam Podd

Silent Night

Piano accompaniment by Adam Podd


Song-Leading Music

These videos create an intimate, easy way to learn new songs.

Hymns

Singing the Living Tradition

Singing the Journey

  • "Morning Has Come" (words & music by Jason Shelton; #1000 in Singing the Journey).¬†Created by Paul Thompson (Music Director at the UU Church of the Palouse, Moscow ID).
  • "When I Am Frightened" (words & music by Shelly Jackson Denham; #1012 in Singing the Journey). Created by the Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship. If you use this song, Shelley's daughters ask that you please donate, as you're able, to‚ÄčHeritage UU Church in Cincinnati‚Äč, choir or children‚Äôs music program.
  • "Woyaya" (words & music by Loughty Amoa, Solomon Amarfio, Robert M. Bailey, Roy Bedeau, Francis T. Osei, Whendell K. Richardson, and Mac Tontoh; #1020 in Singing the Journey). Created by Paul Thompson (Music Director at the UU Church of the Palouse, Moscow ID).
  • "Lean on Me" (words & music by Bill Withers; #1021 in Singing the Journey). Created by the Minnesota Valley UU Fellowship.
  • "Blue Boat Home" (words by Peter Mayer; #1064 in Singing the Journey). Created by Paul Thompson (Music Director at the UU Church of the Palouse, Moscow ID).
  • ...and UU congregations have been invited to visit Jess Huetteman's YouTube channel for more videos that you can use!

Hymn-Based Music

These videos are great to use as preludes or musical meditations/interludes in your online worship services:

  • Adam and Matt Podd's arrangement of "My Life Flows on in Endless Song" ("How Can I Keep From Singing"), featuring musicians and singers from Grace Chorale of Brooklyn,¬†First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, and¬†First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn. (Quaker text; melody by¬†American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry; #108 in Singing the Living Tradition).
  • "Circle 'Round for Freedom" (by Linda Hirschhorn; #155 in Singing the Living Tradition) by Dr. Glen Thomas and Allison Halerz. Editing by Mike Halerz.
  • "We Are" by Dr. Ysa√Ņe Barnwell, performed by Dr. Ysa√Ņe Barnwell and the UUA General Assembly 2020 virtual choir. Produced and Directed by Benjie Messer. Video Editing and Motion Graphics by Izzy Hyman. Audio Editing by Sam Plattner. Photos by Clint McKoy, Christopher L. Walton, Paul Becker, Janine Gelsinger, and contributed by members of the choir. All audio and videos was captured by musicians in their own homes. Dr. Barnwell notes that if you've purchased scores for each of your singers, there is nothing else required. However, if you wish to use this piece in worship, please send a one-time fee of $30 to Barnwells Notes, Inc., 2442 Tunlaw Rd North West, Washington, D.C. 20007.

(Mostly) Original Music

  • "We Are Living Earth" written and performed by James Underberg. (Please write to James if you use this video; follow link for address.)
  • "The Journey Becomes Our Home" written and performed by James Underberg. (Please write to James if you use this video; follow link for address.)
  • "We Shine" written and performed by James Underberg. (Please write to James if you use this video; follow link for address.)
  • "I Have Decided," written and played by Dave Rowe based on the quote from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I have decided to stick with love; hate is too great a burden to bear." If you use this video, please visit Dave's virtual tip jar to make a love offering.
  • "Song of Gratitude," written and played by Dave Rowe. If you use this video, please visit Dave's virtual tip jar to make a love offering.
  • "Bring Me Little Water, Silvie," a video created by Adam Podd and First Unitarian Church, Brooklyn, NY, for their water communion.
  • "Ubi Caritas," a Gregorian chant, by Jess Huetteman
  • "Give Up the Fight (Breathe)," a meditation by Rev. Gretchen Haley overlaid with a song by Christopher Watkins Lamb. (See also text only of Gretchen's "Surrender to This Life.")
  • "We Will Not Stop Singing," written by The Chapin Sisters (Lily & Abigail). Song copyright The Chapin Sisters, published by sad pony music and foggy mountain music (ASCAP).Arranged by Adam Podd, featuring the First Unitarian Brooklyn Choir (w/ Dennis Wees, Kiena Williams, Brandon Hornsby-Selvin, and Candice Helfand-Rogers).
  • "Heart Is Wide Open," a song to calm and open your heart by Danya River. You can also use the audio-only file. While donations are not necessary, if you are able, please consider donating to Danya‚Äôs recording fund so she can continue making meaningful music to share with the world.