Peace Prayer

St. Francis of Assisi wrote this timeless prayer. This bluesy choral composition won the ACCC Diane Loomer Award.  It was premiered by the Canadian National Youth Choir in 2012 at PODIUM in Ottawa. 

I love this text - so much that I wear it constantly - it's engraved on a lovely simple bracelet I received years ago as a gift. It's one of those timeless texts that resonates with people, regardless of their upbringing and religious or spiritual leanings. I've performed variations of this piece - with groups of singers, with a rhythm section, or solo from the piano - in formal worship services and more casual vespers settings - in cathedrals and synagogues and under the great sky dome - and it's always appropriate. In terms of musical feel, the piece must not be rushed, and the backbeat needs to be strong, but not exaggerated. And the rests are very important to framing the anticipated notes - the jazz idea of "playing the rests" is useful here. It's perhaps helpful to think of Ray Charles for this piece. When he played a slow 4, the quarter note (or dotted quarter note) was fat and luxuriant. He was never in a hurry for beat 2, but when it did arrive it was right where it belonged.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there's despair, hope;
and where there is darkness
let me light the way for joy.
Lord, grant that may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
Dona nobis pacem.
Amen.

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This selection is available through Cypress Choral Music. Click the tree to order.

This selection is available through Cypress Choral Music. Click the tree to order.