Review of David Crowder Band’s Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys])

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The David Crowder Band released their final record with the imagination the Crowder band is known for. Whether compared to the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Johnny Cash, or Bill Gaither, the record never ceases to surprise. This is by far the most musically and lyrically diverse David Crowder Band album to date. It’s fitting to be their last.

What’s it Doing?

Context, context, context.  Without understanding what Crowder is trying to accomplish on this record, you will be completely lost.  For example, in the song “Sequence 1” you’ll hear the lyrics, “Day of wrath! O day of mourning! See fulfilled the prophets’ warning, Heaven and earth in ashes burning!”  When was the last time you heard that on a Passion album?

Thank goodness they spell it out for us in the title!  Here we can clearly discover the format: it’s a Requiem Mass.  For those who don’t know, a Requiem Mass is a liturgical worship service in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated on behalf of one who has died. This type of service is usually, but not always, done in the format of a funeral.  The mass (and thus the record) begins with the words “Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” which means “Grant them eternal rest, O Lord.”  Therefore, one can interpret this worship album as a liturgical reflection on death and the afterlife for others already deceased and what this means particularly for us.

Lyrics

Now that you know Give Us Rest is a liturgical mass for the dead, you can understand the lyrics in a richer way.  All 34 tracks are split into seven categories following the format of the mass.  Each one has a specific theological theme.  In this post, it would be impossible to go in depth for each one, but a great help is this simple Wikipedia article that walks you through the service.

Much of the albums lyrics are taken directly from the liturgy, especially “Sequence 1-7”.  The lyric that took me hostage is the bridge from “After All (Holy)” which echoes the “Sanctus” prayer of the mass.

 

Traditional Mass:

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

 

Crowder:

Heaven and earth are full

Full of Your glory, Your glory

My soul it overflows

Full of Your glory, Your glory

Oh, blessed is He who reigns

Full of Your glory, Your glory

My cup it can’t contain

All of Your glory, Your glory

Hosanna, we are found.

Other various themes resonate throughout Give Us Rest like light, darkness, doubt, suffering, judgment, death, resurrection, mercy and grace.  I have not heard a record so lyrically focused on death and the afterlife without heavy emphasis on Heaven.

What’s Best for Corporate Worship?

There are a couple great songs that are sure to be used because of their accessibility.  “Sometimes”, “Fall on Your Knees”, and “Let Me Feel You Shine” could even be in set lists this weekend.

Other songs that will expand the worship leader’s repertoire of songs are “God Have Mercy” and “Sequence 7 (repentance focused), “Oh My God” and “I Am A Seed” (more bluegrass influence) and “Oh Great God, Give Rest” (great invocation song).

“After All (Holy)” was my favorite.  It made me half an hour late to work cause I could not stop worshiping!

I hope you enjoy the album as much as I do.  You can buy it on iTunes, Amazon, and many other places. Praise God for the contribution David Crowder Band has made to worship in the Church!

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