This is another piece I wrote for the Small Choirs Competition. Unusually, I’ve used my own text for this one. I had planned to set the text just as a hymn, but enjoyed employing a bit of retrograde and some changes to timing in order to turn it into a more interesting anthem. It’s set for unison voices but there’s no reason you couldn’t swap things around even more by setting some for lower and some for higher voices, for example.
1 You’d failed, abandoned us, you’d left.
Why should I think you could come back?
We struggled, lonely and bereft.
Your easy absence was our lack.
2 How to continue, left behind?
What good news could we truly tell?
And then, this weakness of the mind:
They said you had come back from Hell.
3 I can’t accept it, won’t conspire
to lie to people in their grief.
I need to touch your wounds, require
a tactile witness, for belief.
4 And yet I thought I saw you wince
in love and care. And even though
it’s been some twenty centuries since,
I’ve seen you bleeding here below.
5 You’ve carried me, I’ve touched a welt;
Those scars are real, I will allow.
Mayhap I know how Thomas felt.
“My Lord, my God!”: I know you now.