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Canticle of Hannah

- Gary D. Penkala


PDF Sample

Use: General
Required Resources: SAB choir, organ
Language: Latin and English

The text for the Old Testament Canticle at Morning Prayer during Week 2 of the Psalter comes from I Samuel 2:1-10. This setting uses a Latin antiphon/refrain:

Exsultavit cor meum in Domino
qui humiliat et sublevat.
Exsultavit cor meum in Domino.

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
he humbles and he exalts.
My heart rejoices in the Lord.

Written for the high school choir at the church, this refrain is set for SAB voices. Parts 1 and 3, in energetic homophonic texture, contrast with the quieter, contrapuntal middle section. The organ accompaniment is supportive, but does not duplicate the vocal parts.

There are eight unison English verses plus a doxology, set to an original accompanied psalm tone in Meinrad style. When sung as the Old Testament canticle for Morning Prayer, the format would be:

  • Antiphon
  • Eight verses
  • Doxology
  • Antiphon

The psalm setting also has use as a choral piece, wherein the verses can be sung singly by sections of the choir, or in pairs, with an antiphon after each. The flexibility is obvious — with nine verses, the music can be ideally matched to the time necessary for a Processional, an Offertory motet, or a Communion piece.

With just a little bit of easy Latin, this could be the perfect piece for your choir to move out of strict vernacular singing — and it's suitably liturgical, too!


Order #: 3195
Price: $1.85


- Liturgical Setting
- Ordinary Time
- 3-pt Choir
- Latin / English

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