10368669Melodic and thoughtfully composed, this choral prayer is beautifully lyric and stays well within the capabilities of the four-part choir. The prayer, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, has become established as a service benediction, concert work or signature piece in the choral repertoire. This piece features a close harmonies in the treble voices with a contrasting middle section on the text, “O Master grant that I may never seek . . .” with a hauntingly graceful melodic shape.

About the text . . .
Popularly known as the prayer of Saint Francis, this text has been misattributed to the “little saint” due to the fact that it often appeared on the back of prayer cards with his picture on the front of it in the early 20th century. Its modern translation is used frequently and is even quoted in twelve step literature.

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Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

It appeared in the French magazine La Clochette (The Little Bell) in 1912 in the following form:

Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l’amour.
Là où il y a l’offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l’union.
Là où il y a l’erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l’espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.
Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant
à être consolé qu’à consoler,
à être compris qu’à comprendre,
à être aimé qu’à aimer,
car c’est en donnant qu’on reçoit,
c’est en s’oubliant qu’on trouve,
c’est en pardonnant qu’on est pardonné,
c’est en mourant qu’on ressuscite à l’éternelle vie.

Source: La Clochette, n° 12, déc. 1912, p. 285.