the music of Philip Spaeth
for Cantor/Choir, Assembly, and Keyboard (2023)
Based on Matthew 5:1-12 (The Beatitudes)
Suitable for general liturgical use
Refrain includes SATB choral parts, as well as a soprano descant
About Bless Us:
Bless Us (2023) is based on the Beatitudes at the start of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, as found in Matthew 5:1-12. The eight Beatitudes are paraphrased in the four verses of this hymn in the form of petition, so that "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." becomes "Bless us to be poor in spirit," etc. The hymn's refrain implores Jesus to bless us and save us, so that we can "live with joy in Christ." This echoes Christ's exhortation in the last verse of this passage, in which he tells his hearers, "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven." This hymn works well any liturgy in which the Beatitudes are read, or indeed any liturgy in which the theme involves a radical reordering of one's life in living the Gospel. Both text and tune are simple enough to be learned quickly by any congregation.
Click on the title page image above to view a sample score.
Below is an audio recording of this hymn, sung by me at the piano.
Premiered Jan. 28-29, 2023, The Church of St. Peter, Saratoga Springs, NY