Suitable for Church Services and the Concert Stage
Voicing: SATB, Piano with Optional Performance/Accompaniment CD, Full Orchestra, Rehearsal CDs
Hal Leonard (Brookfield Press) 00195817 For more product listings.
Score and Parts (pic, fl 1-2,ob, cl 1-2, bn, tpt 1-3, hn 1-2, tbn 1-2, tbn 3/tba, perc 1-3, hp,pno, vn 1-2, va, vc, db) available as a printed edition and as a digital download.
After writing OUR FATHER, I felt called to create this cantata. Psalm 23 holds a special place in the lives of believers. We often read or say it from memory at significant services and times of challenge. The few verses are so profound and express so much. Beside the still waters, through the valley of the shadow of death, through all the days of our lives, the psalm helps us describe the journey we travel as the sheep of His pasture.
Here are a few reflections as you present this work:
We Are Not Alone – This song bookends the larger work. Many have responded powerfully to this reminder of God’s presence.
The Lord Is My Shepherd – With its sweeping melodies, this piece is both a declaration and a celebration. It is a statement of choice. Above all others, we choose to follow the Lord. With an inner joy, we sing, “Know that the Lord, He is God”. How wonderful it is to live as sheep of His pasture.
Restore My Soul – So many things in life can drain our souls. I wrote some of this piece beside a quiet lake, remembering how as a child, I would lie on the grass, peering into the sky. I could imagine the psalmist in a similar scene, playing a harp as He worshipped.
Lead Me on the Paths of Righteousness – Written during a time of cultural and political turmoil, I wrote this as a fervent prayer! The melody pulls us forward as we pray for direction. A thoughtful reading of the anthem text will reveal the soul of this piece. As we hunger for wisdom, we pray the words, “Show the way to justice, show the way to truth…” and later, “When I meet the darkness, fill me with Your light.”
Though I Walk Through the Valley – Everyone will experience the shadow of death. It may be during a time of sickness or when a loved one is lost. This anthem calls out to God: “I know that you are there. Save me from despair. Come and show that I am not alone.”
You Comfort Me –After the weight of the previous piece, this is meant to be a calming salve, a reflective time of worship. As you sing, embrace the Lord’s presence and care. In the final section, the choir sings much of the psalm as the title phrase soars above.
My Cup Overflows – This is a celebration of all that has come before. It is a chance to “glory” in all the blessings of life with the Shepherd.
Surely Goodness and Mercy – The first half of this anthem serves as a doxology, a bold statement of confidence in God’s blessings and love. The second section begins, quiet and low, then ascends as it leads us to the vision of God’s final providence, our eternal home.