Emmaus Releases Worship Music On Digital Platforms

Author: Andy Drozdziak, CCR Web Editor

Emmaus Releases Worship Music On Digital Platforms

“It’s time we put it out there and let God do what He wants to do with it,” Rónán and Joanne Johnston tell CCR's Andy Drozdziak after they release their extensive worship back catalogue on digital platforms.

Popular Irish worship band Emmaus has released its material on popular digital streaming services, meaning more people can access its back catalogue of recordings.

Emmaus has released 14 albums since 1986. Until now, their music was only available on CD and tape. Now all 14 albums, from "Come to Me" (1989) to "Your Father in Heaven Knows" (2016), are available on Amazon, Spotify, TikTok, YouTube, iTunes and Apple music.

Husband and wife Rónán and Joanne Johnston from Emmaus have been sharing with CCR their journey of putting the music on the platforms and their belief that it’s ‘time we put it out there to let God do what He wants to do with it.’

“What we decided was-these are legacy albums. What we really felt was that these belong to the Body,” Rónán said.

“I just hope it becomes a kind of library. Hopefully the quality is good enough.”

'Let's Get It Out There'

Rónán and Joanne are well known in the UK for leading worship at many conferences and festivals for over 30 years, including Celebrate, New Dawn and Bright Lights Festival. In recent years, their online worship ministry has proved very popular, whilst a new album is in the works, which currently contains ’36 songs’, according to Rónán. 

Joanne Johnston explained the reasons for releasing the material now, which contains popular and high quality charismatic tracks such as 'Alleluia, Jesus is the Lord', 'You Have Called Me', 'The Way the Truth and the Life' and 'The Righteousness of God.'

“You realise that there are a wealth of gifts the Lord has given for the Body and we thought-let’s get it out there,” she said.

“It’s time we put it out there and let God do what He wants to do with it. Wake up sleeper, come on. It’s being able to be part of that river of life and for us all to be in it, dipping in and out, and being able to get what you need at the time. There’s more of a chance of somebody stumbling across it if it’s out there now.”

Joanne added that leading worship through their music is ‘like laying the path so that they can come along and find Him-He’s waiting for them anyway. We’re not making them meet God-He’s there all the time with open arms.’

Listen below to 'You Have Called Me' from the Emmaus album 'Your Father In Heaven Knows'.

Consolation To The Brokenhearted

Emmaus has been writing songs and leading worship for almost 40 years, having started meeting and worshipping in 1986. Joanne explained how the Holy Spirit has used Emmaus’ music to help people at key moments in their lives.

“It was about understanding retrospectively what God has been doing these past forty years,” she said.

“The amount of times people have come to us and said, ‘my mum was dying and all she wanted was to listen to these songs’. Even when people are giving birth, it’s part of their birthing tracks. And you just go, wow, it’s really beautiful to be part of the beginning and end of someone’s life, and realising that the Emmaus story is about consolation to the brokenhearted.”

The response to the material has already been very positive, with many fans commenting on social media. Sheira Fox said: “Enjoying especially the first 2 albums, which I only had on cassette back in the day and were long gone.” Leah Gaines said: “That has just made my entire year.”

Firebrand Charismatics and Intimate Worship

Rónán has spent several decades writing and producing music for TV, radio, film and theatre. He is a soundtrack composer and producer who composed music for the award-winning Sky series “Moone Boy”.

His passion for worship remains as strong today as it always was, as he explained how Emmaus' music and worship has been influenced by ‘firebrand charismatics’ and the late Jesuit priest Fr Bob Faricy.

 “Father Bob Faricy used to say that ‘charismatic prayer is contemplative prayer.’ The whole point of high praise into worship into meditation and silence is to get us into the Holy of Holies-an intimate place with God,” Rónán said.

“I was very glad to have had the experience of that, and to see absolute firebrand charismatics, pioneers who showed us how to worship, so that you didn’t stop until you were on your face in the Holy of Holies before God. Don’t give up until you’re there."

Trying To Be As Authentic As Possible

Rónán also spoke of their journey of songwriting and striving towards authenticity, seeking to share the wonderful truths of God they have experienced during their time with Emmaus.

“When we started writing songs, it wasn’t like we were trying to get people there; these songs were a reflections of the journey from high praise all the way down to that intimate moment with God," he said.

“We were trying to be as authentic as possible with that. We had bits of truth and we just wanted to nail them into songs. Tony (Ryce-Kelly) would be good at that, just these simple songs like ‘Who Are You’-just really simple and direct."

Many will agree that having access to the Emmaus music on the digital platforms is a wonderful blessing indeed.

The material is available under three artist names: Emmaus, Rónán Johnston, and, finally, Rónán Johnston & Emmaus.

Visit Emmaus' YouTube channel here

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