for SATB Choir, Cantor, Assembly, and Piano, with Guitar Chords
premiered Ash Wednesday, 2002
The Church of St. Peter
Saratoga Springs, NY
Used throughout Lent at St. Peter's since 2002
About Lenten Prayer:
Lenten Prayer (2002) was the first liturgical-use piece I composed as Music Director at the Church of St. Peter in Saratoga Springs, NY. It was originally used as a Communion Hymn, but I found after a number of years that it works really well as a Gathering (Processional) Hymn. Subsequently, I rewrote the verse texts to paraphrase the Entrance Antiphons for Ash Wednesday and the Sundays of Lent, so that only one verse is sung as part of the Entrance procession, usually with the refrain sung twice at the beginning and once after the verse. That said, the piece can be sung during other parts of any Lenten service, using more than one verse in sequential order. The verses do not appear in the Assembly reprint for this reason, and they may be sung by the Choir in unison or by a Cantor. The refrain focuses on our "return to God", conjuring the image of the Prodigal Son often associated with Lent, as well as Jesus' Sacrifice of love. The piece is ultimately very usable, singable, and flexible, and has become a seasonal favorite of parishioners and choir alike at St. Peter's.