New music to carry us into the world

For our Sunday evening liturgy on May 1, the music leadership was handed over to Peter Friesen, a music student from Canadian Mennonite University. What follows here is Peter’s brief description as to how this all came about, along with a recording of the song with which we closed the evening.


n our ‘Liturgy and Artistic Expression’ class at Canadian Mennonite University, Professor Dietrich Bartel gave us the opportunity to produce a piece of liturgical art instead of writing an essay as our final assignment. I jumped at the idea, and immediately began thinking of music I could write. I proposed the project to Dietrich, and he immediately suggested I contact Larry Campbell at saint benedict’s table. He said it was essential that I have a close connection to my regular church, and that the project be something useful and meaningful.

  • To listen to the closing song, click on the arrow

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I then began the creative process, beginning with the basic saint ben’s format of a song for contemplation, for the gathering, the setting of the table, the communion, and for the ending as we are sent into the rest of life. I first set out to writing the texts. A few were my original poetry, one was based on Psalm 118, another on the prayers of the St. Teresa of Avila, and another taken entirely from the Anglican hymnal Common Praise, with only a few minor modifications. The principal of variety also ruled my creative process while writing the music. I wanted each song to sound noticeably different, so I incorporated styles like Taize, chant, the round song, folk, jazz, and praise and worship. After that, everything just worked out. The lyrics came, the music fit, and everything seemed to go together. It has been a great experience, not only being able to produce a set of songs, but a set of songs that I can offer to God and to the church, that have meaning and will be useful.

Peter Friesen

Into the world this day we go
As one people one body in you
So let us proclaim the good news
Your light shines all over the world

We are your hands
We are your feet
We are your light in the world
Ours are your words
Ours are your deeds
Ours is your light in the world

We are your love
We are your light
In this world
(Music and words by Peter Freisen, based on a 16th century prayer by St Teresa of Avila)

One Response to New music to carry us into the world

  1. Aisha Entz says:

    This is absolutely brilliant! I really like what he has done here with a 16th century prayer!

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