Writing a Worship Album: Dom Dougherty

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In case you haven’t been in on the hype, emmanuelworship is releasing a new album this year! 'Mercy' is a full length album of new songs, the majority of which have never been heard. emmanuelworship leads us in worship at all of Ignite Youth’s events and as the album’s release approaches we’ve been speaking with the principal songwriters for the album about the process of writing and recording a Catholic worship album. 

pre-order 'Mercy' now

Dom Dougherty

Originally starting as a drummer for emmanuelworship, Dom eventually rose to become one of the ministry's worship leaders and electric guitarists. Recording his first track 'Transform Me' for the One EP, Dom's second emmanuelworship writing credit is going to be a highlight of the album.


Your writing credit on the album is the song ‘Psalm 57 (Lord you are my refuge)’. Tell us about the song

I wrote the song about 2 years ago - I was in the middle of a prayer time and I just felt like I needed to write a song. I was flicking through the Psalms and I opened up to Psalm 57 and that refrain really stuck out to me, ‘Oh Lord you are my refuge, let me cry out to you.’ I remember it was a time in my life that I was really needing God to be my refuge - to actually rely on him. I was needing him to be my refuge in all areas; not just some parts of my life, but giving him my whole life.

Only the verse and the chorus are taken from Psalm 57, the rest of the song was originally a different song I had written and we decided that they actually flow into each other nicely. It makes this whole song a journey to the victory of Jesus winning our hearts and going deeper into relationship with him.

From starting out with 'Lord please be my refuge', it moves to a line in the bridge where it says ‘All power lies within your scars, your love consumes me.’ Acknowledging what Jesus has done for us by dying for us and giving us life in his kingdom, which then leads to the climax of the song. It was funny because I never intended for this song to tell the story or go on the journey that it now does - but it just happened and I think its really beautiful. 


Talk a little bit about the process of putting this album together

It was an interesting process because its not like we decided to all write songs about mercy and bring them in. As a ministry we came together with these songs that had been written, some for a few years already, and they were all pointing toward that direction of mercy - God’s relentless mercy. It was amazing to see them come together like that. Plus the fact that obviously we are in the Year of Mercy meant it was a natural theme for the album.


What excites you about the album ‘Mercy’

I’m really excited to play all these songs live, to be able to lead people in worship with these songs and see them pour their heart out. It will be amazing to see them give Jesus their lives, worshiping to the songs we’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into. I’m also really excited about the impact this will have on the greater Church, not just the Catholic Church. I would love the album to breach the borders of our church and be heard by Christians everywhere. 

emmanuelworship's new album will be released at Ignite Conference '16 Revelation and is now available for pre-order off their website.