motet/anthem for christian unity service
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 350
    Please can anyone suggest a suitable piece to be sung by combined choirs at a Christian Unity service. It will be on Sunday 19th January which is (at least in the UK it is) the Sunday in the week of prayer for Christian Unity. We are hosting it this year and it will take the form of Sung Evening Prayer.
    Any motet or anthem will need to be fairly straightforward, probably in English in order to assist the various Episcopalian/Presbyterian/Methodist etc singers. We will be singing Pitoni's Cantate Domino immediately before the service, and some people seem to feel that's enough Latin to cope with.
    Thank you.
  • Here are a few suggestions:

    "I bind unto myself this day", (i.e., the Lorica of St. Patrick) would work well as a hymn.
    "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" is another suitable hymn.

    Among pieces of relatively simple choral music, you could use O Lord, increase my faith by Orlando Gibbons.

    You could sing any number of solid English renderings of the Te Deum.

    Sir Charles Parry's I was glad when they said unto me is a boisterous rendering of the psalm, and I think it's for double choir (but I don't have it in front of me).

    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    Tallis' If Ye Love Me, which I would think would be familiar to choristers whose churches use anthems in worship. The Baptism of the Lord having preceded this, you're in the wake of the Spirit time that follows on the heels of Christmastide.

    You might also mine ideas from the order of Evensong for Pope Benedict's visit to Westminster Abbey back when:
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,171
    Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake, long attributed to Richard Farrant, but perhaps not really his; it's on CPDL and there are several performances on the net.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Not a motet but with harmonizations could be fancy enough perhaps
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    This is where I'd be cheeky and program Tallis's "Verily, verily, I say unto you", setting Jn. 6:53-56., but all the above are good suggestions. I would also suggest S.S. Wesley's "Lead me, Lord", or Mendelssohn's "Grant us thy peace" as possibilities.

    I don't know how involved you are in these services on a year-to-year basis, but on a practical note: I'd see if you could get copies of programs from the past several years to see what they've done in the past to avoid too much duplication and repetition.
  • A couple of years ago our parish choir participated in a combined choir event and the massed choir sang Shaw's "With a voice of singing".
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Did you know it's possible to chant the Athanasian Creed? That might be a place to start.

    You could also pull "Turn Back, O Man, foreswear thy foolish ways" (Ton-y-botel, not Andrew Lloyd Webber) as the capstone of the Ecumenical service.
  • How do you sing Turn Back O Man to that tune?

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,171
    I hate to give contrary advice to one of the respected musicians' suggestions above, but a song that refers strongly to singing, at an event like this, can give the impression that the assembled body of people is rejoicing in itself.
  • Andrew,

    Wrong tune. Must stop relying on my memory like that. It's Old 124th. In any case, it's not Andrew Lloyd Webber, for whose setting your question still stands.
  • Nisi
    Posts: 66
    "Draw Us In the Spirit's Tether" - H. Friedell
    "King of Glory" - T. F. Candlyn (also other composers, as this text is famous)
    "Psalm 150" - C. Franck
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • How do you sing Turn Back O Man to that tune?

    Very carefully...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,171
    "Christ is the world's true Light", by W.K. Stanton, is in The Oxford Easy Anthem Book (1962).
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • ut omnes unum sint (James MacMillan)
    ut unum sint (Matthew Martin)

    Both might be too difficult, but worth mentioning.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    But the OP said not Latin given the Latin already programmed....
  • E'en So, Lord Jesus
  • Our parish hosts a 'Community Thanksgiving Service' the Monday before Thanksgiving. It is put on by the local ministerial alliance. It loosely follows the Liturgy of the Word in form. Various ministers the different parts of the service (i.e. one minister does the opening prayer, one does the first reading, one does the second reading, etc.) Choirs from several churches come together as a combined choir for this event. Each choir is gets to choose one piece for the combined choir to sing. Caps off a day of distributing turkey dinners to the poor. Afterwards, everyone is invited to a turkey dinner that is served by the ministers.