Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Music for Ordination Service

Tne new minister at the Episcopal church in which  I serve will be ordained at the church sometime in January. This is a big event in our parish and I want the service to be rich with a variety of music. I am looking for suggestions of choral repertoire appropriate for this service. We will be inviting small area church choirs to join us with a minimal amount of rehearsal so the repertoire needs to be of an average to easy level of difficulty, with no significant divisi.
All style suggestions of repertoire from "High Church" traditional to Contemporary Christian selections are welcomed, as long as the text is appropriate for the occasion and it is straight forward to put together (in other words, EASY!). The instruments we will have available will be flute, trombone, brass and timpani, and hopefully a guest handbell choir.  I also would like to involve children in the service as well.
I am especially interested in finding an anthem for the combined choirs  that speaks to the theme of  "A Community of Faith." The logistics of pulling this service together will be considerable so the musical selections need to be meaningful but not a huge challenge to perform.
Thanks in advance and I look forward to your suggestions!
on July 28, 2014 10:53am
Ecce Sacerdos Magnus is appropriate for a bishop's visit:
A Prayer of King Henry VI is not exactly rousing, but I love the text (see the Latin text and English translation in the link):
The text of The Spirit of the Lord is also lovely:,_Op._49_(Edward_Elgar)
Or How lovely are the messengers:
on July 28, 2014 12:49pm
I really like David Schwoebel's "An Expression of Gratitude", it's based on Philippians 1:3-11.
Pepper Choplin's "This Is My Word" is a great anthem, text from Isaiah 55:10-12.
I also think a setting of the hymn "Here I Am, Lord" would be appropriate, Lloyd Larson and Craig Courtney both have good ones.
on July 29, 2014 4:05am
Patricia -- Congratulations to your parish on this big step forward!  May I suggest "How Shall They Hear?" for SATB a cappella?  I wrote it for ordinations, using an outstanding poetic text by Michael Perry drawn from the book of Romans.  Its three verses take 3 minutes, in ABA form, and the only divisi is the final three chords, into six parts; so it's not challenging to learn.  Score, audio and details at this link on my website.
Christopher J. Hoh
on July 29, 2014 4:41am
"God of Our Days and All Our Seasons" (RENDEZ A DIEU hymntune) arranged by Craig Kingsbury, available from Oregon Catholic Press (OCP).  Great recessional; can be done unison if you must without loss of effectiveness; can be done SATB (although v. 4 is normally done SATB a cappella, it has a harmony soprano part, tune being in the tenor, which is a situation I find makes many volunteer choir sopranos uneasy, so we do that verse unison, and let the organ play colle parte) and v. 2 can be done a cappella.  Our use (a festival choir consisting of four groups brought together) was for a confirmation Mass and rite; the text is a great one for telling those who are the focus of the event that they have a responsibility to the entire community.  Give it a glance; great hymntune; great words; terrific arrangement that is eminently flexible for your needs and your available resources.
on July 29, 2014 5:02am
Hello Patricia,
You may enjoy looking at an anthem O Spirit come, commissioned of me especially for an ordination service. As with her wonderful Magnificat For Turning, The Rev. Wendy Maclean’s rhythmical, powerful and searching poetry translated beautifully into music. The anthem is a couple of verses long, and was written so that a choir composed of delegates and choristers from a number of choirs could pick it up after a couple of rehearsals. There are two versions– SAB and SATB, with a tiny bit of optional divisi at cadences and other telling moments. The accompaniment is organ or piano; given some advance time, a setting for instruments available could be arranged. Here is the first of the two verses:
O Spirit come, from deep to deep, unite our soul with yours.
We bring our fallen lives and dreams to you, for healing.
Mend the seams that hold us all to you, in everything we do.
A sample pdf (You may have to paste this in) may be found at:
on July 29, 2014 5:02am
on July 29, 2014 6:41am
Hello Patricia,
I would like to suggest you look at this anthem:
Kindle the Gift of God
HANCOCK, G - Oxford University Press
for SATB and organ An anthem suitable for ordination, confirmation or other occasions featuring the laying on of hands.... view details


When I sang in the choir at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, we did this piece for ordination of a priest.  As I remember, the text comes from the Epistle lesson for Ordination.  I hope this will be useful for you.
Donald Snyder
Silver Spring, MD
on July 30, 2014 5:57pm
There are some choral arrangements of "Make Me A Channel of Your Peace", which is a
beautiful prayer. 
An appropriate vocal solo is "To Be Used of God." by Audrey Meier, published
by Manna Music 1964, Hollywood, CA.
Ruth Bergstrom Jones,  Lancaster, CA
on July 31, 2014 4:58am
We just did Rene Clausen's setting of the St. Francis Prayer ("Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace"), for the funeral of a Lutheran pastor.  The choir did a wonderful job on 30-45 minutes of rehearsal.
on August 1, 2014 9:58am

Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

Arranged by Edwin Childs

Voicing: SATB, Congregation
Instrumentation: handbells, brass, timpani and organ
Catalog number: AMP 0389
Price: $1.50

Instrumental score: AMP 0389P

Alliance Music Publications, Inc.
PO Box 131977
Houston, Texas 77219-1977

Order Line: 713-868-9980 or 800-350-7750
Fax Line: 713-802-2988

  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.