A Few of Our Favorite …

Pieces That Promote Healing

Compiled by Eric Dundore

As we emerge from this pandemic and all the loss and trauma it has created, here are some anthems that will address the healing necessary to make our lives whole again. Those who plan worship for their congregations will want to acknowledge the hurt, grief and just general malaise of the folks sitting in the pews and also those in our choirs who didn’t have the chance to use their singing voices. Here are a good number of examples of “Healing Anthems” that might help individuals to express their grief and loss in a very positive and healing way. These were taken from various publisher sources and can be listened to on those publishers’ websites.

Prayer for Healing

Molly Ijames

SATB and piano

Beckenhorst Press – BP 1968

"Lord of this barren land, make of these ashes a beautiful place." This song of renewal and transparent brokenness reminds us of the intimacy of prayer, and the assurance of healing from a gracious Master. It is beautifully appropriate for times of confession, supplication, and memorials. Deeply personal and very dramatic dynamic contrasts. The move from minor to major is at once hopeful and reflective.

Healing River

Fred Hellerman and Fran Minkoff/arr. Mark Hayes

SATB and piano (optional instrumental group)

Hope Publishing Company – C6027

The "healing river" is a symbolic metaphor of God's never-ending grace and mercy, pouring forth as it awakes and flourishes on the dry and parched land. This powerful prayer for healing, justice and mercy is given a soulful gospel setting by Mark Hayes. The instrumental parts are scored for guitar, electric bass, B-3 organ, and drums.

The Healing Place

Joseph M. Martin and Jonathan Martin

SATB and piano

Shawnee Press - 00334904

An invitation to comfort and restoration lies at the center of this text. The gently flowing melody embraces this message and incorporates the familiar hymn, Near to the Heart of God. The lovely piano accompaniment can be enhanced by an optional instrumental ensemble part.

A Prayer for Healing

Joseph M. Martin

SAB and piano

Brookfield Press

Written during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this song of spiritual and physical wellness speaks to many moments of need. Opening with the first few chords of O God, Our Help in Ages Past, the anthem is framed as a petition for God's healing mercy. The unison melody gently rises and falls before all join in on the prayerful refrain: "In the silence help us hear words of hope and promise clear. Teach us not to live in fear. Lord of all, we pray to you."

Do Not Be Afraid for You Are Mine

Lloyd Larson

SATB and piano

Beckenhorst Press – BP 1997

"When you walk through the storms, when you walk through the fire, do not be afraid for you are mine." The still, gentle voice of compassion is rendered in music with Lloyd Larson's superb choral reminder of God's care for his children in times of uncertainty. Moving to a full verse of the beloved hymn God Will Take Care of You, this exquisite work is a balm of healing for the troubled soul and a warm embrace of those truths that comfort the believer through difficult trials.


By Patricia Mock, Arr. By Richard A. Nichols

SATB and piano, SAB and piano

Hope Publishing - C6182 (SATB), C6288 (SAB)

This is an ideal anthem for services dealing with prayer for peace in our world and the prayer for the light of Christ to shine: "In a world where hatred seems so strong, may your grace right the wrong. Give your peace." This choral setting, featuring a powerful text and gorgeous music, is a prayer for that peace.

I Will Be with You

By Joel Raney

SATB and piano or rhythm

Hope Publishing - C6154

The text of this original gospel anthem takes on the voice of God speaking in the first person to his children and provides confidence and assurance that through any trial, he is there. "When you pass through the water, when you walk through the fire, when the rivers overflow, I will be with you." The dynamic vocal writing and optional rhythm and synth parts all work together to create a powerful presentation.

Shelter in the Storm

By Joel Raney

SATB and piano

Hope Publishing - C5465

This authentic gospel anthem combines original words and music with "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Composer/arranger Joel Raney brings together adult and children's voices to create a powerful, soulful testament to God's steadfast love.

We Cannot Measure How You Heal

Scottish Folk Tune - arr. John Bell

SATB and organ

GIA Publications – G8016

This lovely song of healing is based on the Scottish folk tune Ye Banks and Braes. Bell's arrangement is simple and stark, ending with a striking a cappella SATB verse. Add the optional cello and flute parts, available directly from the publisher, for a reverent and memorable moment during any church service.

Come, Ye Disconsolate

David Rasbach

SATB and piano

Beckenhorst Press – BP 2004

"Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying, Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure." In response to the deepest longing of the human heart, David Rasbach has written his own emotive melody on a beloved text. This is the healing balm for the anguished believer and a vivid reminder of the watchcare of a loving God over His people.

In the Quiet Hour

David Lantz

SATB and piano

Beckenhorst Press – BP 1855

All Christians experience times of deepest despair, when prayers are silent and words are the most difficult to find. Like many of the Laments of David in the Psalms, this anthem moves quietly from thoughts of tumult and doubt to those of peace as God's gentle voice covers His child with the assurance of His watchful care. Expressive and richly harmonic, this is the song of every believer that will always have a message and will bring a healing balm to the worship service whenever it is presented.  ■

*For the Fall 2021 issue of Worship, Music and Ministry we are asking for Advent music that you would highly recommend. If you wish to send in a suggested piece, address it to ericdundore@outlook.com and get it to me in the format you see above by July 30th. 


Listen to My Sighing


We Wait Full of Hope

by Richard Bruxfoort Colligan


by Cliff Aerie

As Our Voices Join Together

by Amanda Udis-Kessler


Mariners Cross

Anchored Cross

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