Hymn: Cantique de Jean Racine

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

OK, so this isn’t strictly a hymn. More a piece of choral music. But it ranks high amongst my favourites.

The Cantique de Jean Racine is a setting by Fauré of an earlier text by (you guessed it) Jean Racine. The music is wonderful – I love the constant triplets in the accompaniment, and the rich harmonies.

The words speak of God’s grace, presence, glory and peace. One of my favourite lines translates roughly as “That hell may flee at the sound of [His] voice!” – this really helps remind me of just how glorious God is. And yet, after this climax, it dies down gradually to the end of the third verse, where the text talks of God’s faithful people going in peace.

This is an important reminder to me at the moment. I’ve got a fair number of assessments to work on and a busy day with the Brass Band on Saturday. I find it all too easy to get stressed out and worked up about things like this – having a calming piece of music that speaks of God’s peace, grace and glory is a great reminder to stay grounded!


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