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Unity Awards 2008 - October 25

Nick Alexander here...

The Unity Awards for 2008 are nearly upon us. These are the equivalents of a Grammy or a Dove Award. They are administered by the United Catholic Music and Video Association, and they will be having their awards ceremony this coming weekend.

The following represents all the nominees that have songs listed in iTunes. To have the full lists, you may need to go to http://www.ucmva.com and read all the nominees.

UCMVA Song of the Year

  1. Ave Maria by Trish Foti Genco
  2. I Surrender by Sharmane
  3. Discover the Way by Nick Cardilino
  4. Traces of Jesus by Dan Dúet
  5. Away from Myself by Noelle Garcia
  6. Holy Spirit, Come Now by Jesse Manibusan
  7. Fare Thee Well (A Song of the Ascension) by Simonetta

UCMVA Devotional Song of the Year

  1. Ave Maria by Trish Foti Genco
  2. I Surrender by Sharmane
  3. My Lord, My King by Brian Blum
  4. I Thirst by Danielle Rose
  5. All for Your Glory by Dan Schutte
  6. Endless Is Your Love by Tom Kendzia
  7. Be With Us Mary by Jenny Pixler

UCMVA Gospel Song of the Year

  1. Jammin' for the Lord by John Grassadonia
  2. I Lay Down My Burdens by Julius Collins & Gwen Matthews
  3. On That Final Judgment Day by Robert Robinson
  4. Honey from the Rock by Tom Kendzia
  5. Shout Praise by Grayson Warren Brown
  6. Wade In the Water by Frank Jansen & ValLimar Jansen
  7. Christmas In New Orleans by Trish Foti Genco

UCMVA Liturgical/Sacramental Song of the Year

  1. May the Road Rise to Meet You by Mel Kennedy
  2. Adoro Te Devote by Voice Trek
  3. Table of the World by Tony Alonso
  4. Hail Mary by Simonetta

UCMVA Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year

  1. Discover the Way by Nick Cardilino
  2. You Gotta Walk the Walk by Julius Collins & Gwen Matthews
  3. Faith, Hope, and Love by Paul Melley
  4. Away from Myself by Noelle Garcia
  5. Ain't Gotta Be Like That by Crystal Velazquez
  6. Miles Away by Simonetta

UCMVA Praise & Worship Song of the Year

  1. Spending Time Adoring You by Margo B. Smith
  2. Lord of Lords by Robert Robinson
  3. Washed In the Blood of the Lamb by Gwen Matthews
  4. Rise, O People, Called to Worship by Brian Blum
  5. If We Choose to Love by Margo B. Smith

UCMVA Rock/Modern Song of the Year

  1. Body and Blood by Critical Mass
  2. Be My Everything by Chris Padgett
  3. Satisfied by Joel Stein

UCMVA Country Song of the Year

  1. Traces of Jesus by Dan Dúet
  2. My Portion, My Treasure by Brian Blum
  3. Oh Papa by Simonetta
  4. Isn't It Amazing? by Kurt and Julie Carrick

Results will be listed as soon as they are available.

Year of St. Paul - 2 Corinthians Songs

Nick Alexander here...
This is the Year of St. Paul, and to honor this special time, we are focusing on songs that use the texts of his writings as a basis for songs. This month, we are focusing on St. Paul's second letter to the Corinthians.
As you can see, we have a pretty exhaustive list. This list encompasses all genres, from contemporary Christian, to praise and worship, to liturgical favorites. All of these songs use 2 Corinthians as a basis of its text.
Enjoy, and be edified.

  1. Yes and Amen by Matt Redman based on 2 Cor 1:20
  2. Freedom Reigns by Ed Bolduc based on 2 Cor 3:17
  3. Freedom by Darrell Evans based on 2 Cor 3:17
  4. Earthen Vessels by John Michael Talbot based on 2 Cor 4:7
  5. Trading My Sorrows by Critical Mass based on 2 Cor 4:8-9
  6. We Walk By Faith by Marty Haugen based on 2 Cor 5:7
  7. New Creation (J-boy Mix) by Mike Harrison based on 2 Cor 5:17
  8. Cheerful Giver by Pia Taylor & Praise based on 2 Cor 9:6
  9. Angel of Light by Petra based on 2 Cor 11:14
  10. Your Grace Is Sufficient by Shane Barnard & Shane Everett based on 2 Cor 12:9

Triumph of the Holy Cross

Nick Alexander here...
On the weekend of September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross. In celebration, we have hand picked ten songs best suited for the occasion. These songs range from modern hymn classics to contemporary praise songs. Artists as varied as Matt Redman, Sean Clive, Hillsongs, Gerard Faucheux, Jeremy Riddle, Apostolica, and The Good Shepherd Singers are all represented.
Happy Feast Day!

Suggestions for a Contemporary Baptism Service

Nick Alexander here... A couple of days ago, a reader of this blog asked if we could come up with some recommendations for a youth-oriented baptism service. He was looking for the great song that would tie everything together. After putting our heads together, we came up with the following list. I hope it helps others looking for something similar.

  1. Receive the Power by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto
  2. Your Grace Is Enough by Matt Maher
  3. Spirit of Fire by Mike Harrison & Greg Walton
  4. Come Holy Spirit (Veni, Sancte Spiritus) by John Michael Talbot
  5. SpiritSong by Lynn Geyer
  6. Create New Hearts by Tom Booth
  7. Healing Waters by Trevor Thomson
  8. Jesus, I Trust in You by Angus McDonell
  9. Overflow by Matt Maher
  10. River of Life by Josh Blakesley
  11. Sacred Silence by Jenny Pixler
  12. Your Grace Is Enough by Bob Rice
  13. Come to the Water by Matt Maher
  14. Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew
  15. Worthy Is the Lamb by Darlene Zschech
  16. All Who Are Thirsty by Brenton Brown
  17. I Give You My Heart by Michael W. Smith
  18. My Savior My God by Aaron Shust
  19. Nothing but the Blood by Matt Redman
  20. Holy Spirit Rain Down by Natalie Grant
  21. Kindness (Live) by Chris Tomlin
  22. What the Lord Has Done In Me by Reuben Morgan
  23. I Will Never Be by Hillsong
  24. Who Am I by Casting Crowns
  25. Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice
  26. Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith
  27. Let It Rain by Michael W. Smith
  28. Water by Catholic Kids Worship
  29. Shine for You by Michael Gleason
  30. Veni, Creator Spiritus by John Angotti
  31. Breath of God by Bob Millspaugh

Finally, if you are looking for suggestions for retreat themes, or religious services, or prayer nights, or whatever, we would like to be of help. It's free. Just contact us, and we will do our best. It would give us no greater joy than to introduce others to those great songs that can minister to you and your community. Read Full Story >>>

Nick's Notes: Praise You in the Storm

by Nick Alexander
It has been my intention to follow up my last Nick's Notes article, about finding exceptional worship songs, with another article about how to discern which untested songs may work well for a congregational setting. However, over the last three months I have been thrust into a trial that I wish to recount here. I suspect that I would be able to continue my series in future installments.

My father-in-law, Richard, is a good man, a devout Catholic, and had been afflicted with epilepsy for nearly his whole life. A recent series of events (which included a minor traffic violation that caused the removal of his license), made him decide to do something about it: enlist for brain surgery.

This particular surgery, mind you, was among the most basic of surgeries … and he had it performed at one of the top hospitals in the state, by a doctor who has performed this surgery for well over twenty-five years.

This surgery came and went. Other than his complaints of a terrible headache, he was well on his way to recovery. He had one last surgery remaining, the replacement of that skull portion with a metallic plate—the portion removed that made the surgery possible.

Then early on Sunday morning, everything changed for the worse.... (Click here to read the rest of the story)

Year of St. Paul - 1 Corinthians Songs

Nick Alexander here...
This is the Year of St. Paul, and to honor this special time, we are focusing on songs that use the texts of his writings as a basis for songs. This month, we are focusing on St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.
As you can see, we have a pretty exhaustive list. This list encompasses all genres, from classical, to folk, to contemporary Christian, to praise and worship, to alternative rock. All of these songs use 1 Corinthians as a basis of its text.
Enjoy, and be edified.

  1. The Cross Is Foolishness by John Michael Talbot based on 1 Cor 1:18
  2. Even so Come by Crystal Lewis based on 1 Cor 1:27-28
  3. No Eye Has Seen by Paul Baloche & Rita Baloche based on 1 Cor 2:9
  4. No Eye Has Seen, No Ear Has Heard by Twin Sisters based on 1 Cor 2:9
  5. This Body Is a Temple by Melsoultree based on 1 Cor 3:16
  6. Do You Not Know? by Elizabeth Schmeidler based on 1 Cor 3:16-17
  7. Our Blessing Cup by Michael Joncas based on 1 Cor 10:16-17
  8. Your Body Is the Temple of the Lord by Bill Guy based on 1 Cor 3:16-17
  9. I Will Run the Race by The University of Notre Dame Folk Choir based on 1 Cor 8:24
  10. Long Distance Runner by Degarmo & Key based on 1 Cor 8:24
  11. Run Run Run by Cindy Rethmeier based on 1 Cor 8:24
  12. Our Blessing Cup by Bob Hurd based on 1 Cor 10:16-17
  13. Remembrance by Crossview based on 1 Cor 11:23-26
  14. Body Be by Johnny Q Public based on 1 Cor 12
  15. We Are Many Parts by Angelina based on 1 Cor 12
  16. We Are the Body by John Grassadonia based on 1 Cor 12
  17. 1 Corinthians 13 by Kathy Troccoli based on 1 Cor 13
  18. Greatest of These by Sleepy Ray & The Mighty Blood based on 1 Cor 13
  19. I L-O-V-E U by Take 6 based on 1 Cor 13
  20. Love Is by Barry McGuire based on 1 Cor 13
  21. Love Will Set You Free by Brendan Delumpa based on 1 Cor 13
  22. St.Paul's Song by Pierce Pettis based on 1 Cor 13
  23. The Greatest of These by Larnelle Harris based on 1 Cor 13
  24. Strangelanguage by Charlie Peacock based on 1 Cor 14
  25. The Gospel by Wayne Pascall based on 1 Cor 15:1-4
  26. Since By Man Came Death by His Majestie's Clerkes based on 1 Cor 15:21
  27. In the Twinkling of An Eye by Robin Bolden based on 1 Cor 15:52
  28. When the Great Trumpet Sounds by The Oak Ridge Boys based on 1 Cor 15:52
  29. Grave Robber by Petra based on 1 Cor 15:55
  30. Where O Death Is Your Victory by Godprints based on 1 Cor 15:55

The Assumption of Mary

Nick Alexander here...

This is a lovely hymn in honor of today's solemnity:

Who is She Ascends So High 75.75

Who is she ascends so high
Next the heavenly King
Round about whom angels fly
And her praises sing?

Who is she adorned with light
Makes the sun her robe
At whose feet the queen of night
Lays her changing globe?

This is she in whose pure wombe
Heaven's Prince remained;
Therefore in no earthly tomb
Can she be contained

Heaven she was, which held that fire
Whence the world took light
And to heaven doth now aspire
Flames with flames t'unite.

She that did so clearly shine
When our day begun,
See how bright her beams decline:
Now she sits with the Son.
-Sir John Beaumont, 1583-1627

Also, be sure to check out the Top Mary Songs List.

Ten Artists From the Top Tens

Nick Alexander here...
It's fun to look back at all the competitions we have had throughout the last year. In doing so, we want to profile some artists that you may have noticed throughout these lists.

  1. Lynn Geyer
    Seven-Time Top Ten Artist, including Top Ten Songs for Lent, Easter, and Advent. Check out her album "Christmas All Year Through"
  2. Paul Harrigan
    Paul's Song "Medjugorje" earned him #4 on the Top Ten Songs for Mary. Check out his album "Thank You2."
  3. Gretchen Harris
    Five-time Top Ten artist, including: Top Ten Songs of 2007, and Songs for Weddings. Check out her Album "Sing of Mary".
  4. Fr. Kent O'Connor
    "Little Way (St. Therese of Lisieux)" was #8 on the Top Ten Songs for Children. Check out his album "Saints."
  5. Mel Kennedy
    Four-Time Top Ten artist, including Top Ten Songs for Weddings, Easter, and the Holy Spirit. Check out her Album "Beinaventrados."
  6. Bryan Murdaugh
    You can find Bryan on our Top Ten Up and Coming Catholic Recording Artists. Check out his Album "With Everything I Know..."
  7. Last Day
    This Catholic band landed #3 on the Top Ten Songs for Lent with their song "A Simple Cry." Check out the album "We're here."
  8. Bob Metivier
    Bob's song "Father (the Passion)" was #8 on the Top Ten Songs for Holy Week. Check out his album "The Lord Takes Broken Pieces."
  9. George Lower

    Three-time Top Ten artist, two for the Top Ten Songs for Lent, and one for the Holy Spirit. Check out his album "Of Saints and Angels."
  10. Annie Karto
    Three-time Top Ten artist, including Top Ten Songs for Mary, Holy Spirit, and Up & Coming Catholic Artists. Check out her Album "Perfect Sacrifice."

Be sure to check out more of these lists at our Top Tens page.

Top Ten Wedding Songs

Nick Alexander here... We have here a new, wonderful list. These are all great songs that highlight the Sacrament of Matrimony. These work either as songs for the marriage ceremony, or songs in preparation thereof. Load up your playlist with these songs, as you drive from the church to the reception hall...

  1. In the Name of the Father by Jim Cosgrove
    The song tells of the love, wonder, and hopes of a bride and groom within the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  2. At the End of the Day by Sean Clive
    In today’s world, stories of enduring love are few and far between. One of the greatest days of my life was the day that I began this sacrament of marriage with my Jenny, this outward expression of God’s love. I pray for all married couples, old, young and all of us in the middle -- that God will continue to strength and encourage us with a love that endures. I pray for the yet to be married -- that they will seek God in their life, hand in hand.
  3. (Loving You is) A Prayer by Nick Cardilino
    I wrote this song for my wife on our wedding anniversary a number of years ago, and several couples have used it in their wedding liturgies, and several marriage encounter groups have used it because it describes well what marriage is designed by God to be.
  4. Arms of Love by Mark Mallett
    Written to accompany the Catholic novel of the same name by author Carmen Marcoux, ARMS OF LOVE is a beautiful love song/duet by Mark and Lea Mallett.
  5. Your Presence is Real by Nick Cardilino
    This song about the Catholic notion of Sacramentality focuses on the Real Presence of Christ in Matrimony in verse 2 and chorus 2.
  6. Ave Maria by Gretchen Harris
    I've been singing this forever, as has everyone else I'm sure, but it sure is a beautiful song...
  7. Bridge to Heaven, A by Dan Duét
    We can build a bridge to Heaven, with the love between you and I / Like the stars that shine forever, is the love between you and I
  8. Love That Someone Right by Nick Alexander
    This is a parody of the popular song "Summer Nights" from Grease, which encourages saving oneself until marriage. It is a duet with Teresa Smith, and produced by David Smith, and has guest vocals from a few others. Key line: "Once complete in matrimony, newfound love leads to newborn life..."
  9. Covenant Hymn by Mel Kennedy
    This beautiful song written by Gary Daigle and Rory Cooney not only speaks of covenant, but also commitment and the faithfulness of God. I use this a lot at weddings (and actually, funerals, too.) My version of this piece keeps the simple hymn structure but adds a contemporary vibe.
  10. When Smiles Fill My Eyes by Valerie Von Fange
    When Smiles Fill My Eyes was written by my husband, Tom, as a Valentine's poem. It then was inserted in our wedding program and subsequently turned into a song once I added the music. It is now a top seller on the Steadfast Love CD.
    This moving guitar serenade showcases beautiful accordian and violin fillers and solos. The words define love between two people as one movement through life.

Read Full Story >>>

Top Up And Coming Catholic Artists

Recently, the TopCatholicSongs community voted on the top Catholic artists who are rising in the ranks of note, lately. I have created a playlist that has two songs from each of their albums.
But perhaps you would like to check out the full countdown here...

World Youth Day Videos

Nick Alexander here...

Were you there? Did you catch any of it? Have you read the texts of Pope Benedict XVI's messages?

Here's some incredible footage I've discovered on YouTube. Enjoy.

Stations of the Cross

Refiner's Fire / I Love You Lord

Your Grace is Enough

Prayer

Street Warriors (Hip Hop)

World Youth Day - Receive the Power YouTube video

World Youth Day - Artists Links

Nick Alexander here...
A great place to see a ton of Catholic music is at Catholic Audio Blogspot.com.. There are many, many links to Catholic videos from MyCatholicVoice.
Check it out!

Year of Saint Paul - Artist's Favorite Romans Passages

Nick Alexander here...

Do you have a favorite passage in Romans?

This was the question we raised within the TopCatholicSongs Artist community. We wanted to celebrate the Year of St. Paul by highlighting verses that spoke to us as artists, and as Catholic Christians.


Mel Kennedy shared that her favorite verse in Romans is Romans 5:1-5:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith to this
grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the
glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our
afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,
and endurance, proven character, and prove character,
hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of
God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy
Spirit that has been given to us.

She follows up with this encouragement: We not only have God's favor and blessing during good times but also during our trials. That's an amazing grace!


Lawrence and DianeMarie Leach of In God's Image share two favorite verses:

Romans 10:14-15
How, then, can they call on the one they have not
believed in? And how can they believe in the one of
whom they have not heard? And how can they hear
without someone preaching to them? And how can they
preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How
beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Romans 15:9-11
Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing hymns to your name." Again, it says,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." And again,
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and sing praises to him, all you peoples.


The members of Last Day share their collective favorite Romans passage is Romans 8:28:

We know that God makes all things work together
for the good of those who love God and are called
according to his decree.

They write: Famous line of scripture, often quoted and for good reason. Encouragement for any of us going through hard times to know that 'all things work together for the GOOD of those who love God'.


Finally, my own favorite verse in Romans is Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's
mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual
act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the
pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing
and perfect will.

I love this passage, because it encourages me to live out my best for the Lord.

Do you have a favorite passage in Romans? Please share in the comments boxes.

Year Of Saint Paul - Romans Songs

Nick Alexander here...

Being the Year of St. Paul, we thought it would be great to include songlists that are based on specific passages from the Pauline Epistles. This month, we examine the book of Romans.

There are four songs on this list that are well worth listening to.

First, Faith, Hope and Love by Donna Lee. While the chorus is based on 1 Cor 13:13, the verses are nearly taken verbatim from Romans 5.

Come Holy Spirit, from Margo B. Smith, has its bridge lifted from Romans 8:26:the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know
how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”
She says, "This is a song/prayer to the Holy Spirit asking Him to help me to pray."

I Will Carry You by Sean Clive, incorporates Romans 8:38:For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He writes:"This song... is really at the heart of what I need to share with the world - God's overwhelming love for each one of us. A love that overcomes all and bears all so that one day we can fully experience in His arms, the love of God."

Lastly, Simonetta has the song Why, which is a paraphrase of Romans 7.

What are your favorite Romans-inspired texts? Please comment... I want to know!