For the last few weeks we have been teaching our congregation the song "Jesus Messiah." It is refreshing to see new songs with biblically strong text, not just repeated text. This Sunday we included this song in our setlist and put it together with Hallelujah What A Savior, that 'old' hymn has some great text. Now to make a strong set we added two sections of scripture that set up the both songs. Here is how this combination of scripture and songs went together: Scripture: Acts 2:32-36 While this scripture was being read the intro to the next song was started by the piano. (Also, all scriptures today were projected on our screens but read by a member of the vocal team.)
Song: Jesus Messiah vcvcbc (key of A) verses sung as solo and then all joined on chorus and bridge
Scripture: Isaiah 53:1-6
Song: Hallelujah What A Savior vvcvvcv reprise Jesus Messiah (key of A)
we used a version of this song similar to the Ascend The Hill arrangement, plus two small changes and one big change: The small changes were first we added a 2/4 bar on the beginning of the word Savior at the end of each stanza making the syllable 'ior' land on beat one after the 2/4. This seem to give a stronger end to each stanza. The second small change was that we cut the 'alleluia' part by 4 bars using the last half of the recorded refrain. The big change that tied together the old and the new was that after the last stanza (we eliminated the added 2/4 bar after this verse) we reprised the chorus of Jesus Messiah.
No matter the song it must be evaluated by the words first and the two songs mention here have strong words and those become even stronger when supporting scripture is read.