Setting of a prayer from the Reform Jewish liturgy;
Grant Us Peace was commissioned to honor the late Rabbi Leonard Poller’s long and distinguished service to Larchmont Temple. It was performed at his retirement ceremony. The text is Rabbi Poller’s favorite prayer from the Reform Jewish Liturgy: the English version of the Shalom Rav, which is ecumenical in outreach:
Grant us peace, Your most precious gift, O Eternal Source of peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth. Bless our country that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations. May contentment reign within its borders, health and happiness within its homes. Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of Your name hallow every home and every heart. Blessed is the Eternal God, the Source of peace.
The piece may be performed in either liturgical or secular contexts. The setting follows liturgical practice, where the cantor or soloist sings a portion of text which is repeated by the congregation/choir. In several sections these repetitions form rounds, with each new voice starting from the beginning when the first voice reaches an asterisk (*).
In each of the rounds, the cantor/soloist may sing the entire section alone before the congregation/choir starts the round.
In the secular performances, the soloist(s) are likely to be from the choir. If the choir is large enough, a different soloist may be used in each section.