Matt Maher / WELCOME TO LIFE Review -
Matt Maher's Lyrics * Video 1 & Matt's Video 2



To lead listeners from all Christian denominations on a spiritual journey as he explores through the songs on this album the wonders and challenges of following God's call to a life of faith.

"Henri Nowen said that the greatest sign of a Christian was their sense of hospitality. So, in the name of Jesus, welcome. Welcome to life - in the church, out of the church, in the sacraments, in our sin, in seasons, in love and pain, in joy and sorrow, in growing and refusing to grow, in pride and surrender, in marriage and divorce, in hurt and forgiveness, in being young and feeling old, and in our ugliness still somehow looking beautiful despite ourselves." - Matt Maher


Before he started this music ministry to the outside world in 2002, he was already serving as a youth music ministry leader, with his friend and mentor, Tom Booth, at their home church near Tempe, composing their own songs for the youth and young adults, bringing contemporary Christian music to their Catholic Church, which has been and continues to be a huge success.

However, the Lord had much bigger plans for Matt Maher's gifts and musical talents; to be in a musical ministry for all young people; expanding his musical outreach to not only Catholic youth outside his own church, but also to youth in other Christian denominations and youth who don't know Jesus yet.

This expansion of Matt Maher's music ministry to the rest of the Christian world began in 2002, when Matt Maher's songs first received national exposure when other artists recorded them. His songs, JUST LIKE YOU and LOVE HAS COME were recorded by Kathy Troccoli, on her album, HEART OF ME, an album which earned a Grammy nomination for best Pop / Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year in 2002.



Encouraged by Tom Booth, who himself was having a CD released, Matt Maher released his first CD in 2002, entitled THE END AND THE BEGINNING, which earned Matt Maher in 2003 an UNITY Award for "Best New Artist of the Year," from the United Catholic Music and Video Association.

THE END AND THE BEGINNING was released under the Spirit and Song label, who also releases albums for such up and coming artists including his friend Tom Booth, Sarah Hart, Ceili Rain, Daughters of God, Steve Angrisano and Julie Hoy.

Matt Maher comments on the main themes found throughout the songs on this album: “We are an ‘end people.’ Most of us spend our lives stuck at the end. For some the end means death, or graduation, or changing careers. We look at it all with finality. God looks at the end and says, ‘No, that’s the beginning.’ With God, death is life.”

This award got his music noticed by others, wanting music which appealed to the young and ministered to them at the same time. One of his songs, LITANY OF THE SAINTS, from THE END AND THE BEGINNING album was sung at the official Papal Evening Prayer during the World Youth Day in Toronto. The holy father, Pope John Paul 11 sang Maher's contemporary lyrical prayer, along with 700,000 enthusiastic youthful pilgrims from all over the world.

In 2005, In between performing for large events, youth concerts, etc. and leading youth worship in his own church, Matt Maher got together with his friends and recorded his second CD, entitled WELCOME TO LIFE, which again earned him recognition by not only the Catholic youth and young adults, but also was noticed by other Christian music lovers, moving into a broader audience of fans.

At the 2005 Unity Awards, Matt Maher once again was honored by two nominations; Male Vocalist of the Year and Artist of the Year, because of his album of songs, WELCOME TO LIFE.

Despite his success in Christian music, Matt continues full time in his original music ministry with his friend and mentor, Tom Booth. As a youth worship leader and as a young adult minister, and leading a young adult Bible study in a Mesa Arizona church, St. Timothy Catholic Church.

Matt Maher


Matt Maher has been called to and has devoted much of his energy and gifts into the spiritual development of youth and young adults. The songs on his new album, WELCOME TO LIFE testify to his very special music ministry he has nurtured and grown for the benefit of the younger generation. The songs are aimed at youth and the young at heart, exploring themes human beings universally struggle with in this earthly life, themes which he expresses both lyrically and musically in just the right combination in these compositions.

In his energetic to poignant acoustic / pop / ballad / hymn and rock songs, Matt offers a variety of inspiring guitar-based praise and worship anthems, poignant prayer hymns, and ballads which are musically enjoyable, uniquely different, offering something on this album for most everyone to relate to and enjoy. There is never a dull repetitiveness in either the compositions or lyrical content.

His praise and worship compositions sometimes offer a nice blend of an acoustic ensemble voices, melded with background electric guitar, and a steady driving infectious beat all which propels the catchy melody which grabs the listener instantly, in such songs as JERICHO. Another unique acoustic praise and worship song of hope is his composition based on ISAIAH 61, which catches the spirit of this ancient scripture.

Other Praise and worship songs, such as ALL GLORY TO GOD are aimed directly at the young, with pounding acoustic / electric rock as the musical vehicle but still have the customary bright melody, meaningful message, strong clear vocals which clearly praise and worship the Lord.

The prayer hymns and ballads are also diverse musically, adding sparkle and variety to the various songs in these categories. A truly beautiful prayer hymn which would be at home in any contemporary service is JESUS, MY EVERYTHING.

His ballad about true love, SET ME AS A SEAL, between a man and a woman has universal appeal, having truly beautiful acoustic ensemble work with a cello voice. The composition provides the perfect support for a pretty, delicate vocal duet between Matt Maher and his guest Jenny Pixler.

Also, his acoustic ballad, SOPHIA is another most enjoyable gem about love in relationships and asking the Lord if this is in His plans.

Besides being a lyricist and composer, Matt Maher is also a fine vocalist, who uses his natural tenor voice to fully express these thoughts from his heart in styles perfect for each composition. He has a very good sense of dynamics, harmony, and style. He has a solid vocal range, and perfect for his songs on this album.

The lyrics are truly special and meaningful, reflecting the loving heart that Matt has for the Lord, as his personal faith shines through for the benefit of us all. His songs, no matter what musical style they are written in, have lyrical messages that explore themes which are part of our human condition, relating them in a variety of ways to the importance of being connected / seeking the Lord and being in a relationship with Him, which is a vital element which we must strive for in our walk of faith in Jesus, who will empower us and give us inner joy and peace, no matter our circumstances.

Using just the right musical vehicle for each song, the lyrical messages express the peaks and valleys, temptations and struggles, joys and trials we all experience at some time during our stay on earth. For Matt Maher focuses on what we have in common as human beings, such as times of joy and grief, anger, being in love, being in easy or difficult relationships, challenges, gladness, etc. and the possibility of depending on a faithful and loving source; the anchor of our faith - Jesus Christ, exploring why He alone is the answer.

Whatever our circumstances or behavior, Matt brings the message that we can turn to the Lord for anything. These songs are great musical examples on how to approach the Lord to praise and worship Him, ask for forgiveness, guidance, and how to give Him all the Glory, all great ways to maintain a close relationship with the Lord, allowing Him to be our hope, the anchor for our souls, as we follow Him in faith. (Heb. 6:19)

The songs on this album speak to not only Catholic youth and young adults, but also to the younger generation in other Christian denominations and those of any age which enjoy the acoustic pop rock music genre as well. I dare say other generations of people (over 30!) will also be inspired, as this reviewer was blessed in reviewing this album.

I highly recommend this album for your personal music collection and /or for any church music library. The songs are inspirational, enjoyable, and very spiritual for Christians of many denominations, something for most contemporary services.


Welcome to Life - Gives a broad Overview of themes found in most of the songs on the CD.
Believe and trust in Jesus and love each other as Jesus loves us.
Seek the Lord in prayer to confess our mistakes, to ask for help and to thank him for our blessings.
Thank Him and give Him all the glory for our successes and our blessings.

Other Songs

Worship and praise Him, giving the Lord all the glory for our successes and our blessings - ALL GLORY TO GOD * ISAIAH 61 * JESUS, MY EVERYTHING * I LOVE YOU, LORD * LEAD ME HOME

Trust in Him and cast out your worries on Him- 40 DAYS * SOPHIA

Made to love one anther as Jesus loves us - a model for the world - VOID * SOPHIA * SET ME AS A SEAL

Seek the Lord Jesus, accept Him as Lord and Savior - JESUS, MY EVERYTHING * JERICHO * VOID * LEAD ME HOME


We all stumble, make a mess, need to confess our mistakes and ask for guidance - 40 DAYS

CD Dedication: Jesus - For all the beautiful people You have put in my life; for Your beauty. To You be the glory - Matt

Welcome to Life Songs: Individual Commentary and Review


A strong opening song which musically reminds the listener of a cross between a circus atmosphere and the feeling of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour song which is swirled creatively together with Matt's own ideas creating a fine ear-catching festive song which sets the stage lyrically for the themes presented in the rest of the songs found on this CD.

Scriptural References: (John 13:34, Romans 7:18-20, 1 Cor.16:14, Gal. 5:6, 1 John 2:5 & 4:19)


Hello, good morning, everyone underneath the glorious Son. I wrote a little song for you / Sometimes we forget we are the image of the Love of God / So please, if you don't mind, let me remind you / That we were made to love each other as a sister and a brother, imitate perfection in this imperfect world.

Chorus: So, welcome to life; I hope you enjoy it / in between yesterday and tomorrow. / Welcome to life; I hope that you get it right.

And on the way, I do confess we stumble, fall, and make a mess of everything we try to hold dear. So be honest when you pray, and maybe thank him for today.

Let go of the future so unclear / Listen for the voice of mercy, cast out all your fear and worry / Can't you see you've only got room for the cross?

Bridge: And you live and you'll die; you'll be honest and you'll lie. Put you trust where the truth is and your treasure where you heart is.


I hope that we get it right / I hope that I get it right.

* * * ALL GLORY TO GOD - Words and Music by Kathy Troccoli, R. White, and B. Cuomo.

Praise and worship hymn aimed right at the hearts of the young. A creative combination of punk, ska, rock, and roll, carried off very well by some inspiring electrical guitar work, driving drums, some keys and an interesting vocal style performed by Matt Maher who is a versatile vocalist!

Scriptural References: (Psalms 8:5, & 66:2, Rev. 4:11 & 5:12, 2nd Cor. 4:1-7, John 10:27-30)


Everything I say and do, everything I am to you, oh, I pray that you will know. Whatever is good in me, wherever there's joy to see, hear me say it's not my own.

Chorus: All glory to God, all honor is his, no other is worthy of his name. All glory to God, I'll always be his, forever I'll live to sing his praise.

Everyday I know I'm blessed just to know my heart, it rests in his hands that gave me life. But you know I won't forget what he's done for me, you bet I'm amazed every time. So I'm singing…..

* * * + + YOUR GRACE IS ENOUGH - Words and Music by Matt Maher and Tom Booth

2nd favorite song of this reviewer. Well-done prayer worship hymn composed in a easy beat contemporary pop rock style, with some pretty impressive sythns / electrical guitar work/ which builds dynamically, adding to the emotion of the song. Verses are sung softly. Well done dynamics building in both vocals and musical support from Bridge to the Chorus. Great use of three distinct melodies. Verses, Bridge and Chorus each have their own melody segment, which all work together to provide a moving most enjoyable song.

Matt Maher again provides the great vocals which bring the lyrics to life.

Comment: Matt Maher performed this song at World Youth Day 2005 Cologne, Germany in front of hundreds and thousands of young believers. Chris Tomlin recorded this song on his newest CD, ARRIVING.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 23:2 & 117:2, Lam. 3:23, 2nd Cor. 12:9, Gen. 33:24)


Great is your faithfulness, O God of Jacob; You wrestle with the sinner's restless heart / You lead me by still waters into mercy / where nothing can keep us apart.

Bridge: So, remember your people, remember your children, remember your promise, O God.

Chorus: For Your grace is enough. Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / for m.e

Great is Your love and justice, God of Jacob; You use the weak to lead the strong / You lead us in the song of heaven's victory / and all Your people sing along.

Bridge: So, remember your people, remember your children, remember your promise, O God.


So, remember your people, remember your children, remember your promise, O God.

VAMP: For Your grace is enough. Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / for me. /// (Sung acappella with just the rock beat for support.)

For Your grace is enough. Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / Yeah, your grace is enough / for me. ///

* * * + 40 DAYS - Words and Music by Matt Maher and Tom Booth

A hopeful acoustic rock worship anthem - Strong acoustic driven beat / intro sets the tempo and melody. Love the melody, lyrics, and stirring vocals which express the hope we have in our belief in Jesus, as our Savior and Lord.

Scriptural References: (Lev. 25:8-17, John 4:10, Jer. 17:13, Rev. 21:6, Ephes. 2:4-8)


40 days to wander, 40 days to die to self / 40 days to grow stronger as faith breaks open the gates of hell.

The Jubilee is over, but grace is far from gone / In the hearts of the faithful, broken on the wheels of love.

Chorus: In the desert of temptation, lies the storm of true conversion, where springs of living water drown and refresh you And as the Jordan pours out change, your true self is all that remains, where springs of living water bind and break you.

40 days to remember the Paschal sacrifice / 40 days to discover as passion calls us to new life / The Jubilee is over but mercy is far from gone / In the arms of the Father as the wayward child comes home.


The Jubilee is over but mercy is far from gone.

* * * + + ISAIAH 61 - Music by Matt Maher / Words by Matt Maher and Paul George

A truly interesting praise and worship song, which captures the feeling and descriptive character so nicely of a Jewish Old Testament scripture. Beginning sets the mood with a cantor singing something in Hebrew - Like a call to prayer. Then rhythmic guitar jumps in to set beat and melody. Song is composed in a minor key, which builds to a majestic high, by the second time through the chorus! The Choral back up voices add a nice touch. Electric guitars slowly become part of this celebration at first supporting the guitar, then shine a little on their own at the very end of the song.

Scriptural References: (Words based on Isaiah 61).


The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me / He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord and a day of vindication by our God, and a day of vindication by our God.

Chorus: So will the Lord God let justice and praise, justice and praise, justice and praise, so will the Lord God let justice and praise spring up before all nations.

I rejoice heartily in the Lord; in the Lord is the joy of my soul / For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.

As the earth springs forth its plants and garden makes its growth spring up, and a garden makes its growth spring up.

* * * + + JESUS, MY EVERYTHING - Words and Music by Matt Maher

Favorite confessional hymn. A beautiful piano / acoustic guitar confessional prayer hymn which would do well in any contemporary service in any denomination. The wonderful combination of the poignant vocals sung like he means it with the beautiful musical support and light drum beat from second verse on makes a meaningful musical experience.

Scriptural References: (Rev. 3:20, Matt. 24:33, John 14:23, 2nd Cor. 5:7)


I've been looking for a reason… I've been longing for a purpose…I'm losing all my meaning…I've run out of excuses.

Lord, it's hard to know You. I don't always see your plan / But holiness is calling me so take me as I am.

Chorus: You are my everything, you are the song I sing; I'll do anything for you / Teach me how to pray, to live a life of grace; I'll go anywhere with you / Jesus, be my everything.

Lord, I get so tired of the struggle within / I settle in complacency and I'm weighed down in my sin /

So lead me past emotion, 'cause they changed with the wind / I want to be a true disciple to daily choose Your hand.

* * * + + JERICHO - Words and Music by Matt Maher

Favorite guitar rock praise and worship hymn of this reviewer, which is both heartfelt and pumping with spirit. Love the change in dynamics and contrasts found throughout the song. Begins softly as a majestic solemn hymn in the intro with a youth choir for first 8 measures. Segues into a driving beat, propelled by electric / acoustic guitar and drums. Against this rock beat, verses & the catchy melody supporting them are sung / played like a prayer, with soft guitar chords both broken and solid, but swells into a joyous chorus of thanksgiving, of praising Jesus, both vocally and in the enthusiastic band ensemble! If this song were played on the radio, it would be #1. The listener will be swept up in the joy and may find that singing along in spirit will be the natural reaction!

Scriptural References: (Luke 10:27, Rev. 4:11, Phil. 2:8-11, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, Heb. 6:19-20)


Intro: Girls: Let the walls come down Boys:(Let the walls come down) Let the walls come down (Let the walls come down) : Let the walls come down.

How could I be silent anymore? For all you are and all you've done, my Lord, how could I bow down to anyone but You? In my heart I'll make an altar for You alone to dwell forever / In my heart I only want to live for You.

Bridge 1: And my soul cries out to You / Yeah, my soul cries out to You.

Chorus: You are beautiful, glorious, wonderful, Lord Jesus / Forever will I worship You, forever will I sing / You are beautiful, glorious, wonderful, Lord Jesus / Forever will I worship You at the sound of your name.

The world of man will rise and fall / under the weight of Your great love / And everyone will praise Your name, for You are God / All Your children will return / to the table of the Lord / And everyone will praise Your name, for you are God.

Bridge 2: I will stake my claim in you / I will stake my claim in you .

Chorus: .....At the sound of your name// at the sound of your name.

Hook: Let the walls fall down at the sound of Your name / Let the earth bow down at the sound of Your name / Let your people pray at the sound of Your name / Let Your glory fall at the sound of Your name.

Rock guitar interlude

Chorus: You are beautiful, glorious, wonderful, Lord Jesus / Forever will I worship You, forever will I sing / You are beautiful, glorious, wonderful, Lord Jesus / Forever will I worship You.

Tag: At the sound of your name / at the sound of your name / at the sound of your name / at the sound of your name, Lord.

* * * + VOID - Words & Music by Matt Maher - Programming / Electric Guitar: Jeff Thomas

A spirited rock ballad prayer hymn altar call song written in a minor key. Great contrast in dynamics. Begins loudly with a electric guitar rock jig (Jeff Thomas), setting the rhythm and minor key melody. Settles down to a quieter mood with tight rhythmic support of melody in verses, played first by acoustic guitar then electric guitar chimes in as well in the same style. Expressive lyrics tell the story and thoughts of someone realizing that everything our secular society offers doesn't fill the emptiness inside - that only Jesus can fill this emptiness.

Scriptural References: (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-16, Col. 3:5)


Riding down the streets of envy, looking for some recognition / That would make me really happy / If they desired my position.

Prom-time princess, beauty queen; see all the admiring faces / Chasing after blind ambition, they don't see the King of Heaven's graces.

Chorus: Cause what I want is you; what I need is truth / Will someone tell me that for a change? / Nothing ever holds in a world lukewarm / so come and fill the empty space inside of me

Wish upon a falling star / and dream of your perfection / It fades away held up against your failures / and dying self-opinion.


Beauty's on the late night TV / showing off the next big thing / Turn it off -I'm lost / I forgot who I was / Jesus, won't you tell me I'm worth something?

Chorus: Repeat twice

* * * + + SOPHIA (A love song for Wisdom) - Words and Music by Matt Maher

Fine acoustic ballad with a peppy easy rock beat. Begins simply with just an acoustic guitar in first stanza. Love the 3 distinct melodies in the song - Verses, Bridge, and the glorious Chorus. Delicate inner voices of this acoustic ensemble add so much to the melody support in all three sections. Great use of dynamics in both the composition and vocals.

Vocals by Matt Maher and Marissa Gamero add so much to the lyrical presentation. The lyrics describe a man head over heels in love, asking the Lord if this romance is in His plan for this individual.

Scriptural References: (Phil. 4:6-8, 1 Peter 5:7)


She's so, you know, makes me want to be like Jesus // I am / Your hands / tell me what Your plan for this is.

Bridge :In Your sacred heart, I burn for You. Could I burn with her in a flame of truth /where all my burdens float like angel feather?

Chorus: Sophia, you know me / Sophia see through me / Sophia, dance with me, help me make it through the night.

Dark night, so bright, now I see the way of passion / Let go my soul, now it only longs for your affection.

In Your sacred heart, I dwell with You / Could I dwell with her like the angels do, where all my burdens float like angel feather?


VAMP: Sophia, Sophia, Sophia, Sophia (dance with me tonight), Sophia (dance with me tonight), Sophia (dance with me tonight), Sophia (dance with me tonight), Sophia (dance with me tonight).

Nice string and guitar interlude at the end.

* * * + + SET ME AS A SEAL - Words and Music by Matt Maher

Favorite acoustic ballad of this reviewer. An absolutely beautiful, 3/4 metered, flowing love ballad, brought to life musically by an ensemble of guitar / piano/ mandarin / cello, creating a flowing melody support and counter melody which provides the perfect musical base for the heartfelt vocals. Listener is treated to a delightful vocal duet by Matt Maher & Jenny Pixler. Perfect for a contemporary wedding!!!!! Any denomination would love this song.

Scriptural References: (Song of Songs: 3:1-4 & 4:1 & 8:6)


Duet Chorus: Set me as a seal on your heart / Set me as a seal on your soul / For strong as death is love, unyielding as the grave / Nothing will quench its flame, nothing will quench it's flame.

(Jenny Pixler) Kiss me, my love, that your name be on my lips / You intoxicate my being with the fragrance of your presence.

(Matt Maher) How beautiful you are, my darling / Show me your face, let me hear your voice / (duet) Sweet as the dew in the early morn, like a lily among the thorns.

(Jenny Pixler) I looked for you, the one my heart loves / I looked for you, but did not find you / I searched through the night until I rested in your sight / Now I will never let you go.

(Matt Maher) You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes / Your lips so sweet, adorned with honey / (duet) My hands, they drip with myrrh.

Duet Chorus: Set me as a seal on your heart / Set me as a seal on your soul / For strong as death is love, unyielding as the grave / Nothing will quench its flame, nothing will quench it flame.

* * * + I LOVE YOU, LORD

Another well-performed acoustic prayer / worship hymn with a lovely melody, poignant vocals & lyrical message, and a chorus perfect for a litany for any congregation as the words are easy to remember and sing along with. An inspiring love letter to the Lord. Drums don't appear until the Hook.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 91:1-3 & 46:1-3)


Chorus: I love you, Lord / I love you, Lord / I love you, Lord; you are my strength.

My heart, it longs to be with You and nothing else will ever do / So at your throne is where I'll be, where Your flesh and blood consumes me and I am one with You.

My stronghold, my refuge, Your righteousness will see me through / In the dark of night and torn of sin I will stay close to You, my friend, and I am one with You.

Hook: I am one, I am one, I am one, with You.


Tag: I love you, I love you Lord, I love You!

* * * + + LEAD ME HOME - Words and Music by Matt Maher

Background vocals: Marissa Gamero, David Lancette and Jenny Pixler

The perfect song to end this fine CD! A lovely acoustic worship prayer hymn of thankfulness with a light peppy beat and a dash of pop which should please a wide age range in contemporary worship. Great blend of electrical guitar work along with the acoustic pop gives a full sound to the composition. Dynamics build nicely through out the customary 3 melody parts - Verses / Bridge / Chorus. More of a rock feel begins at verse 3. Vocals are well presented both main vocals by Matt and the back-up vocals.

Scriptural References: (John 3:16, 1 Thess: 5:16-18, Heb. 7:27-28, Romans 5:1-5)


Thank you for the cross, thank you for Your love, the perfect sacrifice of praise to God above / Thank you for the gift / thank you for the price of losing everything / to gain eternal life / Thank you / Thank you / Thank you.

Thank you for Your joy, thank you for the pain of longing for peace in my suffering / Thank you for my hunger, for my poverty, that I would fall into the arms of mercy.

Bridge: Every road leads back to You, every journey lies in You.

Chorus: So lead me home, my lover, Savior / Lead me home, my master, redeemer / Lead me home and I will rest in you.

I praise You when I'm broken / praise you when I'm lost, that it would keep me honest, in need of You alone / I praise You for the past, for the mess of sin, that I would never want to turn from You again.

Bridge: Every road leads back to You, every journey lies in You.

Chorus: So lead me home, my lover, Savior / Lead me home, my master, redeemer / Lead me home and I will rest in you.

Hook: Every road leads back to You, every journey lies in You / So lead me home, my lover, Savior / Lead me home, my master, redeemer / Lead me home and I will rest in you.


VAMP: Lead me home and I will rest in you / Lead me home and I will rest in you / Lead me home and I will rest in you / Lead me home and I will rest in you.

Reviewed by Julie Carr for

Sheet music for some of these songs is available at