As it is in Heaven | SATB Chorus & Organ | 6.5'
As it is in Heaven sets Leo Tolstoy's meditation on the Lord's Prayer, excerpted from his essay “On Reason, Faith and Prayer.”
In the text for this piece, Tolstoy describes how he prays daily in solitude, adding biblical verses to each line of the Lord's Prayer. His text offers a very human perspective on faith and doubt; he acknowledges that no man has seen God and reaffirms his own faith by first calling it into question, asking whether he really believes that he is in God and God in him.
Here, a familiar prayer takes on a new meaning through
Tolstoy's intimately personal perspective. The music contrasts the familiarity of a homophonic, hymn-like setting for the words of the Lord's Prayer with overlapping, independent melodies for Tolstoy's additions and personal musings.
This piece was commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral, Robert Simpson, Canon for Music, and premiered at the 2016 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists Houston, Texas, with organist Monica Czausz.
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Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. And after this, I add, from the Gospel of John: Thy name is love, God is love. He who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. No man hath seen God anywhere, but if we love one another then He abides in us, and His love is fulfilled in us.
[...] Thy Kingdom Come. And I add: Seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the rest will be added unto you. The Kingdom of God is within you.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. And here I ask myself whether I really believe that I am in God and God in me? And do I believe that my life consists in increasing love in myself? [...] Is it true that I do not wish to live for personal desires and human glory, but only for the fulfillment of the will of God? And I add the words of Jesus from the three Gospels: Not my will, but Thine; and not what I desire, but what Thou desirest.
This text is excerpted from Tolstoy's essay “On Reason, Faith and Prayer,” as published in What Is Religion? And Other New Articles and Letters.