Sacred Music in a Time of Violence and War

The Hill of Crosses reveals Lithuania’s resistance to Soviet control.

Acts of violence are a recurring nightmare of the American experience. A brutal war is ravaging the people and landscape of Ukraine. The following pieces are appropriate during a time of violence and war. I invite you to download one or more scores for your personal use. Please contact me if you wish to perform one of these pieces with your ensemble.

My hymn, Hill of Crosses, was written after a choir tour to Lithuania in 2007. It compares a hill of resistance to Golgatha and to hills of despair in our lives. On the HYMNARY page you can listen to the Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir perform an expanded version of this hymn during chapel at St. Olaf College in 2008.

The Lord Is My Shepherd is based on an old Slovak psalm tone full of sorrow and lament. Here is a unison setting with organ of the original SATB a cappella anthem. A straight-forward setting is found here.

The Lord’s Prayer (2006) may be sung in Unison or in an SATB choral version.

So We Do Not Lose Heart (2008) is an SATB anthem based on 2 Corinthians that juxtaposes affliction and destruction with confidence in God’s promise. Originally composed for organ, an oboe may render the solo line as indicated in the score. The performance by choir and organ found under ANTHEMS was recorded on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 by the Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir, Hickory, NC.

Agnus Dei (1978) for high and low voices combines two melodies in a plaintive setting.

Grant Peace, We Pray, in Mercy, Lord (2009) is an STB setting of Luther’s Prayer for Peace.

Just as I Am (2007) is set in its original key and harmonization with two new descanting soprano parts. This beloved hymn, with a slight editorial change for soldiers, was found in the hymnals of both the Northern and Southern armies during the Civil War. You may hear a recording of it performed by the Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir in 2007 at the Riga Dom in Latvia–with its eleven second reverberation–under ANTHEMS.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God is an expanded setting that depicts the battle between good and evil, God and the Evil Foe, the baptized and diabolical tests of every kind. All or part of my popular setting available from MorningStar Music is appropriate for this time of war and during the season of Lent.

Published by pauldavidweber

I am a composer, pastor, and educator from Staunton, VA, passionate about music and the church!

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