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The Prayer of St. Francis (download)

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A meditative setting of Francis of Assisi’s beloved peace prayer for unaccompanied mixed chorus–3′


Listen to The Prayer of St. Francis, sung by the Deviated Septet; Audio engineer: Jon Visser. Used by permission.
Recording made possible by a grant from SUBITO, the quick advancement grant program of the American Composers Forum.

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Description

The Prayer of St. Francis (Peace Prayer)

SATB chorus, unaccompanied
Duration: 3′
2008
Premiere: 2008, by the Choir of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota, James Biery, Director.


Text

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light,
where there is sadness, joy,
O Gracious God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and in the dying to the human self
that we are born into the eternal Christ.

Attributed to Francis of Assisi


This work is part of PROJECT : ENCORE™ of Schola Cantorum on Hudson. PROJECT : ENCORE™ works have been premiered, and then evaluated via blind adjudication by prestigious conductors as being works of excellent quality. The online, searchable database is located here.

Note for performance:

While the conductor may wish to sing the opening wordless section on [ah] or [oo] to make it more audible, the composer prefers the more internal, private [mm]. It doesn’t even really matter if the first sounds aren’t clearly heard, for the music recurs immediately. A sense of prayer, gradually reaching out to the listener, is what is desired.

 

Note for performance:

While the conductor may wish to sing the opening wordless section on [ah] or [oo] to make it more audible, the composer prefers the more internal, private [mm]. It doesn’t even really matter if the first sounds aren’t clearly heard, for the music recurs immediately. A sense of prayer, gradually reaching out to the listener, is what is desired.

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