Friday, October 9, 2015

O Thou Who Art Unchangeable - Kirkegaard

I first heard this prayer, from the writings of Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855) in the magnificent work: The Prayers of Kirkegaard by the masterful composer, Samuel Barber. I remember singing it with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and recording it with Telarc. It was during the last few years of Robert Shaw's life. We paired it with Bela Bartok's Cantata Profana in the same concert and recording. Here's a link to information about that amazing work! Lastly, here's a link to the whole album on iTunes. We won a Grammy for it :-)

"Thou who art unchangeable, whom nothing changes! Thou who art unchangeable in love, precisely for our welfare not submitting to any change: may we too will our welfare, submitting ourselves to the discipline of Thy unchangeableness, so that we may, in unconditional obedience, find our rest and remain at rest in thy unchangeableness. Thou art not like a man; if he is to preserve only some degree of constancy he must not permit himself too much to be moved, nor by too many things. Thou on the contrary art moved, and moved in infinite love, by all things. Even that which we human beings call an insignificant trifle, and pass by unmoved, the need of a sparrow, even this moves Thee, O Infinite Love! But nothing changes Thee, O Thou who art unchangeable! O Thou who is infinite love dost submit to be moved, may this our prayer also move Thee to add Thy blessing, in order that there may be wrought such a change in him who prays as to bring him into conformity with Thy unchangeable will, Thou who art unchangeable!"

Another of my favorite quotes by Kirkegaard is pictured below.

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