Holy and Beloved

9781451492491bby James Biery (Augburg Fortress 978-1-4514-9249-1, 2014)
SATB Choir and Organ

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This anthem was commissioned and composed for the choir at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI) in 2012. The impetus for the composition of this piece came from choir members Judy Masserang and Kevin O’Brien (and his wife, Anne). They were also responsible for the choice of the beautiful text from Colossians 3:12-17, in which Paul describes the qualities of Christian life. The music begins and ends with the choir singing a chorale-like unaccompanied setting of the words “You are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” The qualities with which we “clothe” ourselves are echoed back and forth between the men and the women’s voices, coming together as they sing of “perfect harmony.” After another hymnlike passage singing of the peace of Christ, the music takes on greater richness as the choir sings of the word of God inspiring them to offer hymns and psalms. The piece concludes with a repeat of the opening chorale.