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Choral Music Publishing

Blessing And Honor, Glory And Power

A New Choral Anthem by Keith Terhune
 

It was somewhat surprising and exciting, to me to learn that the "United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the Form of a Doxology", was presented in the New Century Hymnal without a musical setting.

For some time I had been looking for a universal text that contained thematic elements of a Te Deum, which could be set in a modern form and be sung by both large and small choirs.

The text was originally written by a committee appointed in 1957, composed of two groups of fifteen persons each representing the traditions of both the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church which were emerging as the United Church of Christ. The original text was in the form of a "confession" and was unanimously approved by the Second General Synod of the United Church of Christ in 1959.

The Executive Committee of the General Synod later revised the text in order to address the issue of inclusive language and for use in the 25th anniversary celebration of the United Church of Christ in 1982. The General Synod affirmed the revised text in 1983.

It is in the 25th anniversary revision that the function of the text evolves into a prayer to God, thus a doxology rather than a creed.

          (Click on the music to view a sample portion of the score in PDF format. Acrobat Reader required.)

                                      

Click here to download complete PDF for evaluation.

You may order a copy of the full score for immediate download by clicking here. See details below.

The doxology form (a song of praise) also seemed to fit the requisite in that it does not impose structural limitations on the composition. It was the text itself that defined the structure of the composition.

While I was able to identify two recurring rhythmic patterns that worked well together, there were some remaining lines of differing length that just didn't seem to fit together.

It occurred to me that these remaining lines could be written almost like a chant, which could be lengthened or shortened as needed to fit the text.

Ironically, it was this third section that resulted in the great climax of the piece.

                       "Your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end."

Once the rhythmic puzzle was solved, the pieces just seemed to fall together. It was a joy to write and I hope you will feel the same uplifting inspiration that I felt in it's original performance at Admiral Congregational Church UCC on Easter Sunday, 2002.
 
The recordings you are listening to were made on February 12, 2006 at our choral festival concert "God Is Still Singing" which featured three UCC choirs from West Seattle (Alki, Admiral and Fauntleroy) along with singers from the community and was conducted by Dennis Coleman with "yours truly" on the piano.
 
The recording of Blessing And Honor, Glory And Power is followed by Whoever You Are On Life's Journey by Terry Teigen and Keith Terhune which was commissioned by Admiral UCC in honor of the first anniversary as an open and affirming congregation. More about that soon!
 
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Ordering information: You may now order the full score of "Blessing and Honor, Glory and Power" for immediate download for $8.95 US. After purchasing the download, you will receive an email containing your download authorization link. You are authorized to make sufficient copies as necessary for your church choir to perform as often as you like. To order  click here.
 

 

 

God Is Still Singing  Photos By Allan Poinsett

Dennis Coleman and the "God Is Still Singing" Festival Choir.

Keith and the choir.

 

 
 

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