Andrew C. Backus, Ph.D.

Composer of Liturgical Music

 

Andrew C. Backus, Composer of Liturgical Music

 
TO BRING THE OPERATIC AND CANTORIAL SPIRIT
TO RELIGIOUS SERVICES OF ALL TRADITIONS
 
I offer compositions on this site at no charge:

short meditative piano pieces
interludes, songs, preludes, postludes
service openings
sacred flame kindlings
prayers, meditations
choral anthems
benedictions

Please contact me when you use them 
and tell me how it went.
>> Thank You <<

 Email me

Please view these compositions and print them for use.
I do not require payment.
 
Andrew C. Backus
2746 Broadway
Bellingham, WA 98225
 
Please give proper attribution. All compositions are copyrighted.
Some of the words are from the Unitarian Universalist religious tradition, though all offer broad appeal.


 

Short Meditative Piano Pieces (1-3 min)

 Intermezzo No. 1: "Wind Blown Fields"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 2: "Busy-ness"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 3: "Excursions"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 4: "Nostalgia"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 5: "Tentative"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 6: "Joy Waltz"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 7: "Hurried"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 8: "Careful"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 9: "Quick Resolution"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 10: "Plaintive"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 11: "Cute"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 12: "Summer Fun"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 13: "Night Thoughts"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 14: "Ballad Without Words"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 15: "Incompleteness"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 16: "Resignation"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 17: "Subdued Joy"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 Intermezzo No. 18: "Trying Hard"  ==>View PDF ==>Return to Top

 

Interludes, Songs, Preludes, Postludes

  "Until I Die" a song for Cantor to be used as a prelude, meditation, or postlude, with words by Alfred Tennyson:

How dull it is to pause, to make and end, to rust unburnished not to shine in use! As though to breathe were life! Death closes all; but something near the end, some work of noble note, may yet be done. Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world, to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the Western stars, until I die. Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are we are: One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Bless This House" a prelude/invocation with processional for choir and cantor -- adjustable in length.

Bless this house, let love prevail. Bless these souls, let joy abound. [also included are an opening, "This Day Is Ours," and a sacred lighting, "This Is the Fire."]  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 1" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It can be one minute or two and a half minutes long.

This is a composition of mild sentiment, kind in demeanor, though not without some small excitement.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "O Life That Maketh All Things New" a song for Cantor to be used as a prelude, meditation, or postlude, with words by Samuel Longfellow:

O Life that maketh all things new, the blooming earth, our thoughts within, our pilgrim feet wet with thy dew, in gladness hither turn again. From hand to hand the greeting flows, from eye to eye the signals run, from heart to heart the bright hope glows; the seekers of the light are one: one in the freedom of the truth, one in the joy of paths untrod, one in the soul's perennial youth, one in the larger thought of God; the freer step, the fuller breath, the wide horizon's grander view, the sense of life that knows no death, the Life that maketh all things new.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 2" a one-minute prelude or postlude for the piano.

This is a lively, upbeat, whimsical, two-voiced piece with interesting harmonies.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Oft Have I Said" a song for Cantor to be used as prelude, meditation, or postlude, with words by the poet, Hafiz (translated by Ralph Waldo Emerson):

Oft have I said, I say it once more, I, a wanderer, do not stray from myself. I am a kind of parrot; the mirror is holden to me. What the Eternal says, I stammering say again. Give me what you will; I eat thistles as roses, and according to my food, I grow and I give. Scorn me not, but know I have the pearl and am only seeking one to receive it.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 3" a two-minute prelude or postlude for the piano.

This is a sweeping invitation to listen or to begin again. It is grand in scale yet modest in scope.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
"To Risk" a prelude/opening song for single voice and piano with ancient wisdom words:
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for one another is to risk exposing our true self. To place our ideas, our dreams before the crowd is to risk loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. To live is to risk dying.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 4" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is two and a half minutes long.

This is a composition of gentle melody with some small drama.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Gifts of Life" a prelude/invocation for soprano, alto, and bass, with words by Bonnie Vegiard:

This is the day that Life has given us. This is the place that Life has given us. These are the people that Life has given us. Let us rejoice and be glad!  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 5" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is two minutes long.

This is a wistful piece with a sense of returning home.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Once Love" a song for two voices to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is under three minutes long.

Once when Love stirred my heart to singing, once when Love was mine so easy like breathing, once we vowed that we'd love forever, Love that all the others only imagined, you and I found it true. Rainbows lit our days when storm clouds scattered dancing by the night on stardust moonbeams. We were so in love that nothing mattered, now those days and nights are gone. Dreams are lost in the morning sunlight. Love I've never known is standing before me. Come, let's walk hand in hand together, building love so strong it lasts us forever. You and I'll make it true. You and I'll wish it true.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 6" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is a minute and a half long.

This is a zesty little waltz that is a lot of fun.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" a piece for harp or piano for use as a prelude or postlude or interlude; one and a half minutes.

This is a snappy instrumental version of the famous song, "Somewhere over the rainbow way up high . . ."  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 7" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is a minute and a half long.

This is a driving two against three that is a quick thrill.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
"First Fire" a prayer for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Barbara J. Pescan:
High above you the sun shines and beyond its glory the stars of night hide in the daytime sky. Below your feet worms out of their bodies remake the soil and at the center the earth still simmers with its first fire. Somewhere between the stars and the earth's core we live and weep, we ask and laugh and answer. How can we not be amazed? Let the light and darkness bless each other and bless us. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 8" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is a minute and a half long.

This is a careful piece, that is very easy to play.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
"Invocation to Earth" opening for voice and piano with words by Joan Goodwin:
Spirit of the East, spirit of air, of morning and springtime: Be with us as the sun rises, in times of beginning, in times of planting. In spire us with the fresh breath of courage as we go forth to new adventures. Spirit of the South, spirit of fire, of noontime and summer: Be with us through the heat of the day. Help us to be ever growing. Warm us with the strength and energy for the work that awaits us. Spirit of the Wet, spirit of water, of evening and autumn: Be with us as the sun sets. Help us enjoy a rich harvest. Flow through us with a cooling, healing quietness and bring us peace. Spirit of the North, spirit of earth, of nighttime and winter: Be with us in the darkness, in the time of gestation. Ground us in the wisdom of the changing seasons as we celebrate the spiraling journey of our lives.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 9" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is two minutes long.

This is a quietly joyful piece about resolution.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
"Look to this Day!" opening for choir and piano with ancient wisdom words:
Look to this day. For it is Life! The bliss of growth. The glory of action. The splendor of beauty. For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of Hope! Look to this day. For it is Life!  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top

 "Intermezzo No. 10" a piece for piano to be used as a prelude, musical meditation, or postlude. It is one minute long.

A quiet and plaintive piece with a tentative ending.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
 
The Singing Liturgist: Prayers and Meditations

 "Oft Have I Said" a meditation for Cantor with words by the poet, Hafiz (translated by Ralph Waldo Emerson):

Oft have I said, I say it once more, I, a wanderer, do not stray from myself. I am a kind of parrot; the mirror is holden to me. What the Eternal says, I stammering say again. Give me what you will; I eat thistles as roses, and according to my food, I grow and I give. Scorn me not, but know I have the pearl and am only seeking one to receive it.  ==>View PDF  ==>Return to Top
"Sunday Prayer" a prayer for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Andrew C. Backus:
Spirit of Life, Mysterious Power in all creation: we come, drawn by one another and by the hope that we might discover the hidden meanings, that we might once again trust a mystery. From pains and pressures, from problems and plans, we lift ourselves out, and join together to share a corner of time, and to make it sacred. We celebrate life -- in all its unexpected pleasures and its dashed hopes. We celebrate love -- in all its power to heal and its promise of a false simplicity. We celebrate community -- in all its creative potential and its limits to our freedom. And when the advancing edge of time always so near cuts us apart and walls and worries separate us one more time, let our creation sustain us and let us know that we shall meet again. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"February Prayer" a prayer for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Andrew C. Backus:
Spirit of Life, Mysterious Power in all that is and is to be: First snows are a wistful memory now; it is well past the middle. Yet, there is much still to learn. Give us todays without grand resurrections. Bare, dark branches and roadside grime remind us of our greying powers of love, our unmet promises. Give us todays without pink buds and yellow hopes. Spirit of Life, teach us the lessons we have not yet learned. Let us know the risings within we have not yet recognized. Give us todays with soft greys and vain attempts to cover the dirt. Soon we will be ready. Soon we will be ready. We are, indeed, part of the Mystery. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"From Generation to Generation" a meditation for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Antoine de St.-Exupery:
Love, like a carefully loaded ship crosses the gulf between the generations. In a house which becomes a home, one hands down and another takes up the heritage of mind and heart, laughter and tears, musings and deeds. We live not by things, but by the meanings of things. Therefore we do not neglect the ceremonies of passage: when we wed, when we die, and when we are blessed with a child; when we depart and when we return. Let us build memories in our children, lest they drag out joyless lives, lest they allow treasures to be lost because they have not been given the keys. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Let Us Find You" a prayer for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Andrew C. Backus:
Spirit of Life and Love, Mysterious Power in all Creation: We stand before you now, asking as countless others before us, that you make yourself known to us. Let us find you in the glories and wonders of the world, and in the moments of great joy and ecstacy, but most of all: Let us find you in the commonplace, in what we touch everyday. Let us find you in the familiar, in those whom we love along our way. Let us find you in ourselves, at the very center of our being. Teach us these things in the careless, casual moments of everyday life, when we do not seek them. We are, indeed, part of the sacred Mystery. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"First Fire" a prayer for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Barbara J. Pescan:
High above you the sun shines and beyond its glory the stars of night hide in the daytime sky. Below your feet worms out of their bodies remake the soil and at the center the earth still simmers with its first fire. Somewhere between the stars and the earth's core we live and weep, we ask and laugh and answer. How can we not be amazed? Let the light and darkness bless each other and bless us. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Meditation from Star Island" a meditation for Cantor and Liturgist with words by Polly L. Guild:
I wish I were like a rock: sturdy and strong, enduring; polished smooth by the forces that beat against me; a safe place for storm tossed souls. Sometimes I am. I wish I were like the waters of the sea: flowing and yielding; perfectly fitting the space I'm in; reflecting the changing sky, but deep and still within the depths that nurture myriad forms of life. Sometimes I am. I wish I were like the sun: bright and warm and lifegiving; shining even when the clouds hide me from view; ever faithful, rising and setting in predictable ways. Sometimes I am. I wish I were like the clouds: light hearted, wispy, multi-shaped in a clear blue sky; or soft grey with balm for a parched earth; occasionally dramatic, rolling and angry, demanding attention. Sometimes I am. I wish I were like the wind: fragrant, cool, gently caressing you blowing soft and sweet over wild roses; or forceful and persistent holding high an aspiring kite; and filling the sails of those who travel life's precarious ways. Sometimes I am.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Touch Not My Lips" a prayer for Cantor and piano with words by Alfred S. Cole:
Touch not my lips with the white fire from the glowing altar of some peaceful shrine. Thrust not into my hand the scroll of wisdom gleaned through the patient toil of centuries. Give me no finished chart that I may follow without effort or the bitter taste of tears. I do not crave the comfort of the ancient creeds nor the sheltered harbor where the great winds cease to blow. But winnow my heart and torture my soul with doubt. Let me feel the clean gales of the open sea until thy creative life is my life and my joy, one with the miracle of spring and the blowing grain, the yearning of all humankind, and the endless reach of the stars.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Christmas Eve" opening prayer and carol for Liturgist, Cantor, choir, brass and piano with words by A. Powell Davies:
In legend upon legend and story after story, Christmas always begins not with daybreak and the coming of morning, but in the dark of night. It was at midnight that the oldest observances began. It was the darkest hour of the night, not in the glow of morning that the shepherds of the legend heard the angels sing; and of course the wise men were guided not by the sun but by a star. The legends have grown both beautiful and fanciful. Yet they have never drifted out of the darkness into a premature daylight. They have stayed close to the inner truth from which they drew their substance: the truth that one must find one's faith not in the daylight but in the dark. Here is something that goes right back to the beginning, farther than thought can reach, back into the primordial from which we come. Here is something that journeys through the centuries, borne by the faith and courage of all humanity. Here is something that beckons to us also from the future, that belongs to the very nature of the human spirit because it belongs to the nature of life itself. It kindles a light and no matter how little a light it is, the darkness cannot put it out. It says, 'Be not afraid; the good and the true are stronger than anything that stands against them and sooner or later will prevail.' The darkness is vast -- truly -- but across it there is a path of light, a path of moving light.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
 
The Singing Liturgist: Opening Words
 
"This Day Is Ours" opening for voice and piano with words by Vincent B. Silliman:
This day is ours: its beauty, its promise, its weight of sorrow and disappointment, the brightness of its opportunity for the deepening of love and understanding. This day is ours: even as we make it ours by the readiness and warmth of our appreciations. For from it we shall receive according to the measure of our giving. Let our giving then, be of ourselves and from the heart. May there be laughter in this day, and if there be tears, then generous tears. This day is ours.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Invocation to Earth" opening for voice and piano with words by Joan Goodwin:
Spirit of the East, spirit of air, of morning and springtime: Be with us as the sun rises, in times of beginning, in times of planting. In spire us with the fresh breath of courage as we go forth to new adventures. Spirit of the South, spirit of fire, of noontime and summer: Be with us through the heat of the day. Help us to be ever growing. Warm us with the strength and energy for the work that awaits us. Spirit of the Wet, spirit of water, of evening and autumn: Be with us as the sun sets. Help us enjoy a rich harvest. Flow through us with a cooling, healing quietness and bring us peace. Spirit of the North, spirit of earth, of nighttime and winter: Be with us in the darkness, in the time of gestation. Ground us in the wisdom of the changing seasons as we celebrate the spiraling journey of our lives.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The Cruicible" opening for voice and piano with words by Richard W. Kelley:
All creation nestles within the crucible of time. A cup of hallowed strangeness, of passingness and duration, held perhaps in unknown hands. The washed light of time surrounds us with our sorrows and our exultation; for it brings us endless departure and yet precious achievement, brings us glimpses of bright flecked eternity. Restlessness stirs forever within the crucible, eternally creating and transforming; and thus it holds both the problem and the answer to our lives.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The Return" opening for choir and piano with words by Barbara J. Pescan:
One of the old ones stood up into the morning light and spoke to those who had come back to the river: Now we have come again to this place. It is a good thing. My life apart from you is not as strong. Yes, I have danced and I have told the stories at my own fire and I have sung to all the six directions. But when I am with you, my friends, I know better who it is in me that sings.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Community" opening for voice and piano with words by Starhawk:
We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been, a place half remembered, and half envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free. [used with permission; from Dreaming the Dark (1982) www.starhawk.org]  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Lost" opening for voice and piano with words by George C. Whitney:
Somewhere, my fingers slipped from out the hand of God and in the crowded way I lost God. Running free I chased a sunbeam down the street and plucked an echo from the wind; I leapt across a wall to speak to flowers and to carve my name upon a tree. On days like these the world is wide enough, is bright enough, is wild enough with hearts and fingers glowing for the love of everything. And if God's lost, God's wise enough, I'm sure, to find God's self again, and me.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"This Is a New Place" opening for voice and piano with words by Libbie D. Stoddard:
This is a new place. We have never been here before, though we think we have. But it is new to us every day, even every hour: as the sun enters first through one window then another and the colors and the shadows change and move. This is a new place. We have never been here before, though we think we have. But we are new persons every day, even every hour: as life enters first one way then another and the colors and the shadows bring peace and security, anxiety and loss. This is a new place. We are new people. Let us be gentle with each other.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Look to this Day!" opening for choir and piano with ancient wisdom words:
Look to this day. For it is Life! The bliss of growth. The glory of action. The splendor of beauty. For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of Hope! Look to this day. For it is Life!  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"To Risk" an opening song for single voice and piano with ancient wisdom words:
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for one another is to risk exposing our true self. To place our ideas, our dreams before the crowd is to risk loss. To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk despair. To try is to risk failure. To live is to risk dying.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Come In!" a call to worship for choir and piano by Andrew C. Backus:
Come in! Make yourself at home. Come in from the cold. Make yourself a religious home. If only for these brief moments in spite of time, which soon shall bear us away from one another. Come in! Make us family. Come in from the storm. Treat us all as your very own. Come in! Make yourself at home. Sing and love life!  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Generation to Generation" a call to worwhip for choir, narrator and piano with words by Antoine de St.-Exupery:
Love, like a carefully loaded ship crosses the gulf between the generations. In a house which becomes a home, one hands down and another takes up the heritage of mind and heart, laughter and tears, musings and deeds. We live not by things, but by the meanings of things. Therefore we do not neglect the ceremonies of passage: when we wed, when we die, and when we are blessed with a child; when we depart and when we return. Let us build memories in our children, lest they drag out joyless lives, lest they allow treasures to be lost because they have not been given the keys. It is needful to transmit the passwords from generation to generation.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
 
The Singing Liturgist: Kindling a Sacred Flame
 
"May This Light" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Max A. Coots:
May this light, as a beacon in the night, be an outward symbol of the light we kindle within to dispel the darkness we harbor inside ourselves.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Sleepers, Awake!" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Fred F. Keip:
Sleepers, awake! As we light our Chalice, grasp this new day. As night star fades, hold to this bright flame as a beacon for the day ahead. Seek it in another's eye, and let its light, in your eye, brighten your day and the days of those you meet.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
 "This Is the Fire" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Canadian poet, Keith Wilkinson:
This is the fire of creation that first stirred the river of our being. This is the fire of life that smoulders deep within the cells of our watery bodies. This is the fire of care that warms our friendships and generates community. This is the fire of hope that shines its bright eyes up from the teary rivers of change.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"May the Light" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Harold E. Babcock:
May the light of our Chalice remove the shadows in our hearts and brighten our togetherness. May the light of this Chalice be as the brightness in our hearts when we know that we are loved.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Night and Day" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Sir Thomas Brown:
Night and day divide the course of time. Life is pure flame and we live by an invisible sun within us.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Let This Flame" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; ancient words adapted from the Jewish Gates of Prayer:
Let this flame be to us a symbol of the holiness we seek. Its brightness dispelling gloom, lighting a path to faith and hope; its glow reminding us of the sacred bonds which link us to all people; its radiance calling us to fulfill our destiny, to cast the light of freedom, justice and peace upon all the world.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"We Bring Light" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Brad Carrier:
We, the dust of stars reborn, bring light renewed into our midst. This fire is fresh yet ancient only now yet always as ever. Bring light into our lives, O fragile flame of beauty. Enlighten our minds, and brighten our hearts. Keep warm our fellowship and remind us what is truly real. May ancient stars, ever new, shine with love in our hearts.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Deep Calls Unto Deep" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Gordon McKeeman:
Deep calls unto deep. Joy calls unto joy. Light calls unto light. Let the kindling of this flame rekindle in us the inner light of love, of peace, of hope. And as one flame lights another nor grows the less, we pledge ourselves to be bearers of the light wherever we are.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Morning Haze" for choir and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Andrew C. Backus:
Morning haze burns off. Bright day revealed. Young love bursts forth unexpected. Keep the flame. Keep the flame forever.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"At Times" for voice and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame; words by Albert Schweitzer:
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The Light of Faith" for choir and piano to accompany the kindling of a sacred flame with words by Max A. Coots:
May God, the mind that sees our faults, the tears that sting our wounds, the laugh that soothes our aches, and the love that redeems us all, be revealed by the light that we kindle in this house of faith.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Young Love" a kindling for choir and piano by Andrew C. Backus:
Morning haze burns off. Bright day revealed. Young love bursts forth unexpected. Keep the flame. Keep the flame forever.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The Flame" a kindling for voice:
The flame. It lights the dark. It speaks the truth. It touches gently and says: Come dance with me, my love, come dance with me.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
 
The Singing Liturgist: Benedictions
 
"The Peace of God" a benediction for church choir:
Now may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, that peace which the world can neither give nor take away, abide with us this day and forevermore. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"May Our Eyes Be Opened" a benediction for voice; words by George Brooks:
May our eyes be opened to see what is beautiful. May our ears be opened to learn what is true. May our hearts be opened that we may find the love that is there for all people. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Take Courage" a benediction for voice; words by Wayne B. Arnason:
Take courage, friends. The way is often hard; the path is never clear; and the stakes are very high. Take courage. For deep down there is another truth: you are not alone. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Bless the World Now" a benediction for voice; words by Andrew C. Backus:
Bless the world now. Offer up the power of a beginning so sweet as this. Give away your joy. Sanctify the days ahead with your jubilant remembrances. Care for others as though your life depended on it. Bless the world again. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"For All Who See God" a benediction for voice; words by Robert M. Doss:
For all who see God, may God go with you. For all who embrace Life, may Life return your affection. For all who seek a right path, may a way be found, and the courage to take it step by step. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Each of Us Is an Artist" a benediction for voice; words by Arthur Graham:
Each of us is an artist whose task it is to shape life into the pattern we dream about. The molding is not of self alone, but of shared tomorrows and times we shall never see. So let us be about our task. The materials are very precious and perishable. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Bless and Be Blessed" a benediction for voice; words by Andrew C. Backus:
Now go forth, bless and be blessed. Take with you an honest mind that you may know yourself; sincere affection for people that you may know others; a true devotion to the just causes that by others you may be known. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"Return with Light" a benediction for voice:
We are blessed by one another and by the hope and promise that spring forth in our gathering. Keep the promise and sustain the hope. Live its beauty. Tell its story. Go in peace. Return with light. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"We Are the Ones" a benediction for choir and piano; words by Suzelle Lynch:
Mothers, lovers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters; weavers of tales, sellers of salt, singers in the Mystery; swimmers in Truth's own sea: We are the ones placed here to offer blessings. We are the ones longed for in a world made fair. May we go in peace, knowing we must work to love the world. May we go in peace, knowing that our work has just begun. Amen.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
 
The Liturgical Choir
 
"Covenant" anthem for church choir, a setting of well-known words by L. Griswold Williams:
Love is the doctrine of this church. The quest for truth is its sacrament. And service is its prayer. To dwell together in peace. To seek knowledge in freedom. To serve the world with each other. That all souls shall grow in haromony. Thus do we covenant, with each other and with our God.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The Call" a setting of words by Kahlil Gibran for baritone and choir:
When evening was fully come and the moving throng had gone their ways, I heard a voice within the temple saying: All life is twain the one a frozen stream, the other a burning flame. The burning flame is Love. Thereupon I entered the temple and bowed my heart in supplication, and chanting a prayer in my secret depths: Make me, oh Lord, food for the burning flame. Make me, oh God, fuel for the sacred fire.  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"On Marriage" a setting of words by Kahlil Gibran for soprano and tenor:
You were born together and together you shall be for evermore. But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. . .  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"On Children" a setting of words by Kahlil Gibran for soprano and tenor:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. . .  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top
"The People's Peace" a setting of the John A. Holmes poem for choir:
Days into years, the doorways worn at sill,/ Years into lives, the plans for long increase/ Come true at last for those of God's good will:/ These are the things we mean by saying, Peace. . .  ==>View PDF  ==>Hear Sample  ==>Return to Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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