John Philip Newell
with soloist Suzanne Butler
The chants, sung in English, have a descant in the original language from the three households of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. The words are selections from the Quran, the Hebrew Scriptures and the Words of Jesus and are interwoven with prayers by John Philip Newell. The soloist and music director is Suzanne Butler who was featured on Newell's previous chant CD, Sounds of the Eternal.
The composer Linda Larkin is from Santa Fe; the spoken prayers are from John Philip's new book Praying with the Earth
The portion of the track that you can listen to (above) is "Wait for God," track 2.
Chanting for Peace begins with a prayer and alternates with the chants. The Play list includes:
Prayer: for everything that emerges from the earth
Chant: Wait for God
Prayer: Blessing on the day born of night
Chant: Do Not Be Afraid
Prayer: May the angels of light glisten
Chant: There is a Guardian
Prayer: Your Presence like treasure
Chant: Teach Me Your Way
Prayer: In lives where love has been born
Chant: Love Your Enemy
Prayer: Whichever way we turn
Chant: Whichever Way You Turn
Prayer: Clear our heart, O God
Chant: Seek The Face Of God
Prayer: Peace be ours
Chant: Come To Me
Prayer: To the home of peace
Chant: God Invites Us
Here is a review by The Rev. Nancy Roth, author and priest:
John Philip Newell's CD of prayers and chants invites us to a way of prayer that is deeply connected to God's creation, from the creatures of the oceans and birds of the forests to our own physical bodies enlivened by God's spirit.
Listening to the CD of words and music becomes a liturgy. The poetry of Newell's spoken prayers draws us to new wisdom, like an alternative lectio divina. These prayers alternate with a clear and gentle soprano voice singing repeated phrases of petition or praise set to melodies with simple harmony, each with a descant in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic, spicing the simplicity with the flavor of the Middle Eastern roots of Christian faith.
"Praying for Peace" can be used as a resource for both personal prayer and group worship. For the individual, listening to it can become an alternative form of Morning or Evening Prayer. For groups, it can be used to provide contemplative space during retreats or communal worship. It is a special gift for those of us who resonate deeply to the Celtic spiritual tradition represented by Newell. This offering will become an important part of his ministry as a writer and spiritual teacher, making his wisdom more readily available to the fortunate listener.
Lyrics are included on the CD package.